Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Trump Administration Sues To Block Release Of Bolton Book

Oil Futures Close Higher On Demand Growth Hopes

Crude oil prices surged higher on Tuesday, buoyed by an upward revision in the oil demand forecast for the year by International Energy Agency, or IEA.

Optimism about production cuts and increased demand for energy amid the reopening of businesses across the globe also contributed to oil’s sharp increase.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to expand its asset buying program and reports that the Trump administration is planning to increase infrastructure spending by pumping in about $1 trillion helped raise hopes about energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $1.26 or about 3.4% at $38.38 a barrel.

Brent Crude futures were up by about $1.20 or 3% at $40.92 a barrel.

The IEA’s report said it expects energy demand to be at 91.7 million barrels per day this year, which is higher by about 50,000 barrels per day compared to its estimate a month ago.

The agency, however warned that pre-pandemic level demand is unlikely as consumption by the aviation sector is not likely to see a significant surge in the near term.

The EIA report said oil supplies dropped by almost 12 million barrels per day in May thanks to output cuts by OPEC and allies.

Oil was also supported by the Energy Information Administration’s report on Monday that said production from U.S. shale formations is likely to drop to a nearly two-year low of 7.63 million barrels per day by next month.

H&R Block Inc. Q4 adjusted earnings Beat Estimates

H&R Block Inc. (HRB) revealed earnings for fourth quarter that decreased from last year.

The company’s earnings came in at $463.46 million, or $2.39 per share. This compares with $884.77 million, or $4.32 per share, in last year’s fourth quarter.

Excluding items, H&R Block Inc. reported adjusted earnings of $583.57 million or $3.01 per share for the period.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $2.61 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company’s revenue for the quarter fell 22.3% to $1.81 billion from $2.33 billion last year.

H&R Block Inc. earnings at a glance:

-Earnings (Q4): $583.57 Mln. vs. $897.29 Mln. last year.
-EPS (Q4): $3.01 vs. $4.39 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $2.61
-Revenue (Q4): $1.81 Bln vs. $2.33 Bln last year.

PG&E Prosecutor Ties 84 Deaths to Broken 97-Year-Old Metal Hook

To the California prosecutor who nabbed PG&E Corp. for the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history, the age of the utility’s equipment says a lot about its failure to prevent massive death and destruction.

Hours after the bankrupt company pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing 84 people, Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey released a 92-page report of his investigation finding that a broken metal hook supporting a high-voltage power line that started the 2018 Camp Fire was at least 97 years old. The tower that held pieces of PG&E’s equipment was about 100 years old, Ramsey concluded. The utility didn’t build the tower, and didn’t have records of the hook.

In essence, the prosecutor said, “PG&E blindly bought a used car. PG&E drove that car until it fell apart.”

Read More: PG&E Pleads Guilty to Killing 84 People in 2018 Camp Fire

— With assistance by Mark Chediak

Oracle Q4 Earnings Beats View; But Revenue Misses

Business software giant Oracle Corp. (ORCL), Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates, however, revenues fell short of expectations due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle reported fourth-quarter profit of $3.12 billion or $0.99 per share, compared to $3.74 billion or $1.07 per share last year.

On an adjusted basis, earnings for the quarter $3.78 billion or $1.20 per share for the period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.16 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenues for the quarter slipped 6.3% to $10.44 billion from $11.14 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $10.67 billion.

“Our overall business did remarkably well considering the pandemic, but our results would have been even better except for customers in the hardest-hit industries that we serve such as hospitality, retail, and transportation postponing some of their purchases. Still, for the third year in a row, we delivered double-digit constant currency earnings per share growth in FY20,” said Oracle CEO, Safra Catz.

ORCL closed Tuesday’s trading at $54.59, up $1.34 or 2.52%, on the Nasdaq. The stock, however, slipped $2.30 or 4.21% in the after-hours trade.

Trump Administration Sues To Block Release Of Bolton Book

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration sued former national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday to block the publication of a book that the White House says contains classified information.

The suit in Washington’s federal court follows warnings from President Donald Trump that Bolton could face a “criminal problem” if he doesn’t halt plans to publish the book. The administration has also said the former adviser did not complete a pre-publication review to ensure that the manuscript did not contain classified material.

Bolton’s attorney, Chuck Cooper, has said Bolton worked for months with classification specialists to avoid releasing classified material. He has accused the White House of using national security information as a pretext to censor Bolton.

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