Friday, 14 Aug 2020

Global GDP Tracker Signals Rebound, Now Comes Hard Part

‘Ready Player Two’ Sequel Novel Set For November Publication Date

Ready Player Two, novelist Ernest Cline’s sequel to his Ready Player One, will be published by Penguin Random House imprint Ballantine Books on Nov. 24 in North America, the publishing house announced today.

International publication dates will be announced in coming months.

Cline adapted his debut novel into the Warner Bros.’ Steven Spielberg-directed film Ready Player One. The 2018 movie took in more than $500 million worldwide.

The first book is set in a near-future dystopia where people escape the chaos of the real world for an expansive virtual universe. Ballantine’s announcement today did not provide details on the sequel’s plot.

Cline’s publishing deal was brokered by manager Dan Farah of Farah Films & Management and literary agent Yfat Reiss Gendell at Foundry Literary + Media.

COVID-19 cases soar in Central Asia

Former Soviet states are suffering a second wave of cases – since lockdown restrictions were eased two months ago.

Coronavirus infections are soaring in Central Asia.

Former Soviet states have been suffering a second wave of cases since lockdown restrictions were eased two months ago.

Al Jazeera’s Victoria Gatenby reports.

Supreme Court Backs Trump on Birth-Control Religious Exemption

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration rule that gives employers and universities a broad right to opt out on religious grounds from the Obamacare requirement that they offer free birth control through their health-care plans, Bloomberg News reports.

The 7-2 ruling lets the administration expand a narrower religious exemption offered by President Barack Obama’s administration. Critics say the move could leave large numbers of women without ready access to birth control.

More information is available on the Bloomberg Terminal.

WATCH: Rockies vs. Diamondbacks in MLB The Show 20 simulation, July 8, 2020

With the start of the Major League Baseball season postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we here at The Denver Post took a look at how the Rockies would fare in MLB The Show 20 on PlayStation 4. We will have a story for every game that had been scheduled until real-life baseball returns. Here’s a look at the virtual Rockies’ preseason preview. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Rockies were 61-29.

The Rockies and Diamondbacks play the finale of their three-game series on Wednesday. The live stream will begin at 11 a.m. MT.

Mobile users, if you can’t see the video, tap here.

Acer Prelim. Q2 Revenue Up 19.0% YoY – Quick Facts

Acer Inc. reported preliminary second quarter consolidated revenues of NT$65.60 billion, up 34.3% quarter over quarter and by 19.0% year-on-year. Second quarter revenues grew quarter over quarter for notebook PCs by 48.4%, monitors by 28.9%, gaming line by 70.9%, and Chromebooks with 74.8%.

For the month of June, consolidated revenues were NT$25.67 billion, up 27.2% month-on-month and by 4.9% year-on-year. For the year-to-June period, consolidated revenues were NT$114.46 billion, an increase of 4.2% from last year.

Acer said, in most countries, the company benefitted from work-from-home and distance learning needs.

Stock Alert: Simply Good Foods Stock Up On Upbeat Q3 Results

Shares of The Simply Good Foods Co. (SMPL) are currently trading at $21.94, up $0.75 or 3.54%, driven by the company’s better-than-expected Q3 results, and upbeat FY20 earnings outlook. The stock has been trading in the range of $14.08 – $31.34 for the past one year.

The company reported Q3 net income of $16.4 million or $0.17 per share compared to $13.5 million or $0.16 per share last year. On an adjusted basis, earnings rose to $0.26 per share from the previous year’s earnings of $0.20 per share.

Net sales for the quarter increased to $215.1 million from $139.5 million generated in the same period of last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.15 per share on revenue of $208.08 million for the quarter. Analysts’ estimate typically exclude certain special items.

Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal 2020 adjusted earnings in the range of $0.86 – $0.90 versus $0.77 in 2019. Nine Wall Street analysts have a consensus earnings estimate of $0.75 per share for the year 2020.

Stock Alert: Levi’s Slips 8%

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) are falling more than 8% Wednesday morning at $12.65. It has traded in the range of $9.09- $23.74 in the past 52 weeks.

Tuesday, the denim maker announced job cut of about 15% or 700 jobs in its non-retail, non-manufacturing segments as the company sees its business to continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic for the remaining of the year.

Levis had a revenue decline of 62% in the second quarter ended May 24, 2020, impacted by temporary store closures due to coronavirus pandemic. The company reported loss $364 million in the quarter compared with profit of $29 million in the year-ago period.

Global GDP Tracker Signals Rebound, Now Comes Hard Part

Bloomberg Economics’ global GDP growth tracker returned to expansion in June, posting its highest reading since early 2019, indicating official figures may begin to strengthen heading into the second half. That doesn’t mean activity has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but it does mean the easing of lockdowns has enabled a rapid recovery of some lost ground. With the coronavirus far from under control, and economic scars from the intense downturn slow to heal, the outlook remains fragile and uncertain.

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