Goldman Earnings Sink After Buffett Dividend

goldman sachsGoldman Sachs' first-quarter income fell 72 percent after the bank paid $1.64 billion in dividends to redeem preferred shares it issued to billionaire investor Warren Buffett during the financial crisis.

The New York investment bank said Tuesday that it earned $908 million, or $1.56 per share, compared with $3.3 billion, or $5.59 a share in the first quarter of last year.

Excluding the dividend payment, earnings per common share were $4.38, beating the $3.95 per share forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue fell 7 percent to $11.9 billion on weakness in the bank's core businesses of trading stocks and bonds and advising clients. Goldman's stock fell 0.9 percent to $152.38 in late morning trading.

The Federal Reserve gave Goldman Sachs Group Inc. permission to repay Berkshire Hathaway last month. While the Fed's decision wasn't a surprise given Goldman's ever-widening profits since the financial crisis, it reflected how far Goldman and other major banks have progressed from the darkest days of September 2008.

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Goldman Earnings Sink After Buffett Dividend originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 09:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Income Falls 23%

Health care giant Johnson & Johnson says sales rebounded but its profit dropped 23 percent in the first quarter, due to higher expenses, costs of recalls and litigation and a tax gain that boosted results a year ago.

Adjusted earnings topped expectations. J&J also raised its full-year earnings outlook.

The maker of Band-Aids, baby shampoo and birth control pills posted net income of $3.48 billion, or $1.25 per share, down from $4.53 billion, or $1.62 per share, in 2010's first quarter.

But after two years of declines, revenue rose by 3.5 percent to $16.17 billion.

Adjusted income was $4.86 billion, or $1.35 per share. Analysts expected earnings of $1.03 per share and revenue of $15.6 billion.

Johnson & Johnson's Income Falls 23% originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 08:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Burberry Shares Leap on Sales Update

BurberryShares in British luxury goods company Burberry Group PLC jumped Tuesday after the company reported strong second-half sales and predicted a full-year profit at the top end of market forecasts.

Burberry's popularity in the Asia Pacific region, particularly Hong Kong and Taiwan, led sales 33 percent higher in the six months to March 31, compared to a year earlier.

Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said the company expects full-year pretax profit to be at the top end of market forecasts, or around 347 million pounds ($564 million).

"While the luxury industry faces global challenges in the year ahead, we remain confident in our team's ability to outperform, underpinned by the consistent execution of our key strategies," said Ahrendts in a trading update.

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Burberry Shares Leap on Sales Update originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 08:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stocks Retreat on U.S. Debt Concerns

tradersA warning from Standard & Poor's that the agency might lower its rating on U.S. government debt sent stocks on their steepest slide in a month Monday.

S&P said there is a 33 percent chance it would lower the country's credit rating from AAA in the next two years if Washington fails to pare the country's debts.

The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq composite all had their sharpest falls since March 16.

The Dow fell 140.24 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 12,201.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 14.54, or 1.1 percent, to 1,305.14. The Nasdaq composite fell 29.27, also 1.1 percent, to 2,735.38.

S&P reaffirmed the U.S. government's top credit rating of AAA but expressed doubts that Washington would move quickly to curb the country's mounting budget deficits.

U.S. government bonds are widely seen as the benchmark for the safest kind of debt. The highly unusual move by the ratings agency to lower its outlook for U.S. debt to "negative" from "stable" caught investors off guard.

"This is a wake-up call," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at New York-based brokerage house Avalon Partners Inc. "The government is now going to have to do something to cut the budget. That is a long-term positive for the stock market, though it might not be in the near term."

The change means that S&P could lower its rating on U.S. government debt in the future. If that were to happen, the U.S. government would have to pay more to borrow money when it issues bonds.

Since the government's borrowing rates are used as a benchmark for nearly all kinds of debt, many borrowers would also pay higher rates, including companies, homeowners and credit card users. That would have a negative impact on spending in general and the overall economy.

"The credit worthiness of the country is the underpinning on which all other asset classes are valued," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank. "If all of a sudden the credit quality of U.S. Treasurys isn't as high as people perceive, we could see (an) erosion of confidence and values decline."

U.S. government debt prices fell after the S&P warning came out but soon recovered. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rises when the note's price falls, jumped as high 3.47 percent after the S&P's warning, from 3.38 percent just before. By late afternoon the yield was back at 3.38 percent.

The euro fell against the dollar as Europe's debt problems spread. Spain had to pay a much higher interest rate on new debt. There was speculation of a possible default by Greece, and a nationalist party in Finland made big gains in an election Sunday.

The euro was worth $1.4235 in late trading, down from $1.4436 Friday.

Citigroup Inc. closed flat at $4.42 after reporting earnings that came in just above analysts' expectations. The bank's net income fell 32 percent but it was able to set aside less money to cover losses from loan defaults as more customers made payments on time.

Several other big banks are due to report earnings this week. Traders are keen to find out if banks are lending more. Upcoming reports from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. this week are "crucial for the markets," says Quincy Krosby, a market strategist for Prudential Financial.

Industrial supply company W.W. Grainger rose 1.7 percent. The company's first-quarter net income soared after it began offering new products and pushed into Mexico, Colombia and Japan.

Four stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 4.6 billion shares.

Stocks Retreat on U.S. Debt Concerns originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Citi’s Income Falls 32% as Underwriting Slips

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CitigroupCitigroup's first-quarter income fell 32 percent on lower revenue from its investment banking business and a decline in consumer loans. The bank was able to set aside fewer reserves for losses as more borrowers were able to keep up with their debt payments.

The New York bank on Monday said it earned $3 billion, or 10 cents per share, compared with $4.4 billion, or 15 cents a share in the first quarter of last year. The earnings were slightly higher than the 9 cents a share estimated by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

First quarter revenue fell 22 percent to $19.7 billion from the same period last year.

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Citi's Income Falls 32% as Underwriting Slips originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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U.S. Debt Concerns Weigh on Global Stocks

tradersGlobal stocks sank Monday after a leading credit ratings agency warned of a deteriorating U.S. financial position and investors fretted over a debt default by bailed-out Greece.

Though Standard & Poor's reaffirmed its triple A rating on the U.S., it downgraded its credit outlook to negative from stable, citing a "material risk" that policymakers won't be able to agree on a plan to deal with the "very large" budget deficit.

"While it has been widely recognized that the U.S. credit rating may have been at some risk of a downgrade for years, S&P's action still comes as a major wake-up call for policymakers, and investors," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "This may well prompt more forceful action on the deficit in the next two years, which in turn will act as a more forceful drag on the economic recovery."

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U.S. Debt Concerns Weigh on Global Stocks originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 09:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mattel Net Income Falls on Higher Spending

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MattelSales of Barbie and other dolls helped Mattel Inc.'s revenue rise 8 percent during the first quarter. But higher spending on advertising and other expenses outpaced sales growth and the largest U.S. toy maker's net income fell 33 percent.

Net income fell to $16.6 million, or 5 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, from $24.8 million, or 7 cents per share, last year. Analysts expected earnings of 4 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $951.9 million from $880.1 million. That beat analyst predictions of $905.1 million. Sales rose 7 percent in the U.S. and 10 percent internationally.

Dolls were big sellers during the quarter, typically a small one for toy makers since it follows the crucial holiday quarter. Mattel's Barbie continued its run of strong sales, up 14 percent during the quarter. Monster High and Disney Princesses also sold well. American Girl brands rose 4 percent.

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Mattel Net Income Falls on Higher Spending originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 09:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bank of America Earnings Fall 39%

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Bank of AmericaBank of America Corp.'s first-quarter income fell 39 percent on higher costs related to its mortgage business and higher litigation expenses. The bank also settled a claim over faulty mortgage investments and set aside less money to cover soured loans.

The Charlotte, N.C. bank on Friday said it earned $1.7 billion, or 17 cents per share, compared with $2.8 billion, or 28 cents a share in the first quarter of last year. The earnings fell short of the 28 cents a share estimated by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue fell to $26.9 billion from $32 billion in the same period last year.

The nation's largest bank by assets also announced that the bank's chief risk officer, Bruce Thompson, will become chief financial officer, replacing Chuck Noski, who was named vice chairman. Noski couldn't relocate to Charlotte to fulfill his CFO duties because of an illness of a close family member, the bank said in a statement.

Bank of America continued to fight losses, lawsuits and higher costs related to its mortgage businesses. Its real estate services business reported a loss of $2.4 billion compared to loss of $2.1 billion for the same period in 2010.

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Bank of America Earnings Fall 39% originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 08:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scuffles, Protests Mar BP Shareholder Meeting

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BPScuffles between protesters and security guards marred BP's first annual shareholder meeting since the Gulf oil spill Thursday, as investors registered their disapproval with sizable protest votes against company directors.

Five Gulf Coast residents who had planned to tell investors about the loss of their livelihoods and health problems after the spill were denied access to the meeting, prompting confrontations with police and security guards outside the building.

Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation fisherwoman from Seadrift, Texas, was arrested after evading security to enter the foyer of the building, where she covered herself in a dark syrup to represent oil.

"I've come all the way here from the Gulf Coast," Wilson said. "My community is gone, and they won't let me in."

Police later said a 62-year-old woman was arrested for breaching the peace.

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Scuffles, Protests Mar BP Shareholder Meeting originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google’s Hiring Spree Weighs on Earnings; Shares Slide

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GoogleGoogle's first-quarter earnings came in below analyst projections as the Internet search leader sped up hiring, driving up its costs.

The results released Thursday may heighten investor fears that Google's earnings might suffer because of the company's commitment to hire at least 6,200 workers this year. That would be the most in Google's 13-year history.

The company earned $2.3 billion, or $7.04 per share, in the period ending in March. That was an 18 percent increase from nearly $2 billion, or $6.06 per share, last year.

If not for expenses covering employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $8.08 per share. That was below the average estimate of $8.11 per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue was nearly $8.6 billion, a 27 percent increase from last year.

Google's Hiring Spree Weighs on Earnings; Shares Slide originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 16:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google’s Hiring Spree Weighs on Earnings; Shares Slide

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GoogleGoogle's first-quarter earnings came in below analyst projections as the Internet search leader sped up hiring, driving up its costs.

The results released Thursday may heighten investor fears that Google's earnings might suffer because of the company's commitment to hire at least 6,200 workers this year. That would be the most in Google's 13-year history.

The company earned $2.3 billion, or $7.04 per share, in the period ending in March. That was an 18 percent increase from nearly $2 billion, or $6.06 per share, last year.

If not for expenses covering employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $8.08 per share. That was below the average estimate of $8.11 per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue was nearly $8.6 billion, a 27 percent increase from last year.

Google's Hiring Spree Weighs on Earnings; Shares Slide originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 16:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford Expands Recall of F-150 Pickups to Nearly 1.2 Million

FordUnder pressure from government safety regulators, Ford Motor Co. is expanding a recall of the popular F-150 pickup truck to include nearly 1.2 million vehicles that may have defective air bags.

The additional recall, announced Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years. An electrical short can cause the air bags to deploy unexpectedly, in some cases injuring drivers.

In February, Ford agreed to fix 150,000 of the trucks but resisted the government's wishes to recall all 1.2 million trucks that may have the problem.

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Ford Expands Recall of F-150 Pickups to Nearly 1.2 Million originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hasbro First-Quarter Profit Drops 71%

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HasbroHasbro's hit battling-top game Beyblade couldn't rescue Hasbro's first quarter from pallid demand for other games and girls toys and spending to launch The Hub TV network.

Net income fell 71 percent and missed Wall Street expectations. Stock in the maker of Scrabble and Nerf dropped 84 cents to $44.95 in morning trading.

The first quarter is typically small for toy makers because it comes just after the crucial holiday season.

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Hasbro First-Quarter Profit Drops 71% originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Silgan Buying Graham Packaging in $1.28 Billion Deal

Consumer packaging maker Silgan Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it will acquire Graham Packaging Co. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $1.28 billion.

The companies say the deal will create a stronger force in creating packaging for beverage, food and consumer products ranging from sports drinks and beer to personal care products and motor oil.

Silgan said it will have 17,000 employees and 180 manufacturing facilities in 19 countries once the deal is completed. It expects the combined company will achieve $50 million in cost savings by the third year after the sale closes.

The companies expect the sale to close in the third quarter if regulators and shareholders approve.

Silgan is offering 0.402 shares and $4.75 in cash for each Graham share, valuing the company at $19.56 per share. That's a premium of 17.1 percent to Tuesday's closing price.

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Silgan Buying Graham Packaging in $1.28 Billion Deal originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 09:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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JPMorgan’s First-Quarter Profit Swells 67%

JPMorganJPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) reported a 67 percent jump in first quarter earnings Wednesday on solid growth in investment banking fees and a drop in losses in its credit card portfolio.

The New York bank earned $5.6 billion, or $1.28 per share, compared with $3.3 billion, or 74 cents a share in the same period last year. The profits at JPMorgan, the first bank to report earnings, were way ahead of the $1.15 per share analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting.

Revenue fell to $25.2 billion from $27.7 billion in the same period last year.

The slump in real estate continued to weigh heavily on JPMorgan's results. The bank increased its provision for mortgage-related losses by $1.1 billion.

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, said in a statement that the bank's mortgage losses were "extraordinarily high," adding: "Unfortunately, these losses will continue for a while."

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JPMorgan's First-Quarter Profit Swells 67% originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 08:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zipcar Revs Up for Its IPO

ZipcarZipcar Inc., the car-sharing company that rents rides for as little as an hour, is expected to get a warm reception from Wall Street for its planned initial public offering this week.

Its supporters think skyrocketing gas prices will make car sharing more popular. They praise Zipcar's technological savvy and its plans for overseas expansion.

Zipcar is "one of the long-awaited hot tickets in the IPO valley," said John Fitzgibbon, founder of IPOscoop.com. Investors are warming up to IPOs again after the market sputtered in 2008 and 2009.

Still, Zipcar has never been profitable since it was founded in 2000. It expects to lose money again in 2011. Cars, its main expense, don't come cheap.

The IPO's value would total about $125 million at the midpoint of its expected price range of $14 to $16 per share. Of that, the company expects proceeds of about $89 million, $46 million of which it plans to use to pay down debt.

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Zipcar Revs Up for Its IPO originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nokia Launches New Symbian Smartphones

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NokiaNokia Corp. on Tuesday launched its first smartphones to run on the updated Symbian software with new icons, enhancements and a faster browser.

Nokia said the two models - the E6 and X7 - have longer battery life, better text input and new Ovi Maps applications with improved search and public transport routes.

The Nokia E6, with a standard QWERTY keypad and high resolution touch display, is aimed at corporate customers, while the Nokia X7 is an entertainment-focused handset with a 4-inch (10-centimeter) display made for games.

The world's largest cellphone maker did not price the handsets.

Markets seemed unimpressed by the announcement, which comes as Nokia continues to struggle against stiff competition, especially from Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd.

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Nokia Launches New Symbian Smartphones originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cisco to Exit Flip Video-Cam Business

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CiscoCisco Systems Inc., (CSCO) the world's largest maker of computer networking gear, on Tuesday said it's killing its Flip camcorder business as part of a reversal of years of efforts at diversifying into consumer products.

The about-face comes after several quarters of disappointing results and challenges in its core businesses. Analysts say the company has been trying to do too many different things.

A week ago, CEO John Chambers acknowledged the criticism, sending employees a memo vowing to take "bold steps" to narrow the company's focus.

The San Jose, Calif., company said Tuesday that it expects its consumer business shakeup will result in the loss of 550 jobs, or less than 1 percent of its work force of about 73,000.

It also expects to take restructuring charges of no more than $300 million spread out over the current quarter, which ends April 25, and the following one.

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Cisco to Exit Flip Video-Cam Business originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 09:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season With Improved Sales

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AlcoaAlcoa Inc. (AA) said Monday it turned a first-quarter profit on stronger sales at higher prices that were offset by a weaker dollar and higher costs for energy and raw materials.

Alcoa said business improved from a range of customers, including aerospace, automotive, commercial transportation and packaging industries. It marked the fourth consecutive quarterly profit for Alcoa as it pulled out of two difficult years hit by the recession.

The Pittsburgh aluminum manufacturer also expects business to continue to improve, reaffirming its forecast of a 12 percent increase in global aluminum demand this year.

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Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season With Improved Sales originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Level 3 to Acquire Global Crossing for $2 Billion

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Level 3 Communications Inc. said Monday that it is buying Global Crossing Ltd. for $2 billion, joining two major long-distance telecommunications networks that carry massive amounts of Internet and other data traffic in the U.S. and internationally.

Both Level 3 and Global Crossing operate vast networks of optical fiber used by other telecom carriers, corporations and government agencies. The combined company's reach would extend to 70 countries on three continents. Despite steadily increasing data traffic, the prices Level 3 and companies like it can charge for carrying that traffic have been driven down by competition, said Erik Kreifeldt, a senior analyst with the research firm TeleGeography. Meanwhile, the carriers have high fixed costs, including the cost to lay fiber-optic cables on the bottom of the ocean.

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Level 3 to Acquire Global Crossing for $2 Billion originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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