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Coca-Cola’s stock is only now starting to rally.

“We see the firm going into FY22 stronger for the following four reasons: 1) the strong emerging markets even with the low vaccination rates, 2) on-premise recovering more quickly than was originally forecasted, 3) portfolio rationalization and restructuring led to a more agile and focused organization, and 4) gross margin is benefiting from the incidence model. Also, the valuation is pretty compelling in light of enhanced fundamentals with a great line of sight for the company’s EPS to see a 12% CAGR growth through FY23 hitting $2.71 that year, with possible divestiture of bottling assets,” explained Guggenheim’s Laurent Grandet.

Grandet increased his rating for Coca-Cola to Buy from his previous Neutral rating with a new price target of $66. He also raised his earnings predictions on Coke for the next few fiscal years.

Coke’s shares increased 1% to $59.86 this week.

The analyst’s call has come as Coke has surprised as one of the top performing stocks these last few months.

Coca-Cola — along with its rivals within the food industry— continue to fight higher levels of inflation that’s weighing on its profit margin potential. And as for Coke in particular, 40% of its sales in the U.S. are on-premise and about 30% is overseas, which is not a great place to be during the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Shares of Coke have increased to around 12% in the last three-months. The S&P 500 has gained 9.4% during the same time period.

But Grandet thinks now is the best time to play Coca-Cola’s stock, citing a better management of expenses while under CEO James Quincey, a return to some normalcy in people being allows to go out and its recent purchase of the sports beverage brand BodyArmor.

Adds Grandet, “We think that Coca-Cola is emerging more agile and leaner with a portfolio that’s focused on bigger and more profitable companies that will drive more efficiency. The savings will help aid investments this year back to 2019 levels which should help the company’s top line.”

Author: Steven Sinclaire

If you have been undecided about investing in Ethereum, right now might be the best time to buy. But can it make you a millionaire?

Where will Ethereum end up in 2022?

While 2021 was a great year for Ethereum (ETH), 2022 might be even better. With ETH 2.0, the network will transform from a POW protocol to a faster POS protocol, which will give it a leg up over its competition.

Under a PoW protocol, miners use powerful computers to verify transactions. Not only does this process require large amounts of energy, but it is also very slow. Currently, Ethereum is able to process around 14 transactions each second, and Bitcoin can only handle seven transactions each second.

Once ETH moves to the PoS system, it might potentially be able to process around 100,000 transactions each second. This will provide Ethereum with a significant advantage over rival Bitcoin. Also, it might help it keep up with newer cryptos such as Cardano that are using the PoS protocol already.

Also, this upgrade will make it easier for Ethereum’s decentralized apps (dApps) to scale. The ETH blockchain is home to numerous projects ranging from non-fungible token marketplaces to decentralized finance and more, but its slow transaction speeds are holding it back. Once it finishes its upgrade, however, it will be ready to handle more users and expand even faster.

Could Ethereum give you millionaire status?

Ethereum has had an excellent year, but the best might be yet to come. However, it is important to be cautious when trading any cryptocurrency.

Crypto is still a highly risky investment. Although ETH is one of the top players in the crypto world, nobody really knows for sure whether it will succeed or not over the long term. Despite the many advantages it has, Ethereum might struggle if decentralized applications and cryptocurrency do not become widely accepted.

It is also likely that Ethereum will go through more volatility in 2022, especially as it is rolling out its upgrade. If you want to invest, be ready for a rollercoaster ride.

Finally, do not go into this investment thinking you will get rich overnight. The best investments are slow-but-steady performers that have long-term growth. Even if 2022 is a good year for crypto, expect to hold your investment for a few years or even decades to make the most out of your earnings potential.

Ethereum might be a strong crypto, but there aren’t any guarantees it will succeed in the future. However, if you have a higher tolerance for risk and you are willing invest and hold for many years despite near-term volatility, you might make a lot of money.

Author: Scott Dowdy

One popular retail trend recently has been the buy now, pay later (BNPL) option, which is changing up how companies and consumers, view credit. Among the top players in this industry is Affirm Holdings, and it has seen big revenue growth ever since it took the company public in early 2021. It is also just getting started.

Here is why Affirm is a growth stock to think about for the long term.

A leader in buy now, pay later

Affirm’s app lets users pay for their items they purchase from participating businesses in payments. It instantly assesses each person’s credit and rejects or approves a specific purchase via BPNL in seconds. If you are approved, Affirm provides various fixed-installment payment options that are based on cost and any interest that’s charged.

Affirm does not always charge interest on Buy now pay later purchases but when it does charge interest, that cost is put into the fixed payments upfront, providing users a better understanding of what their total purchase cost is. Affirm’s service could be used for both in-person and online transactions, and it has been put into the payment systems of a lot of major retailers, including Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, as well as over 2,000 retail partners. The company charges neither late fees nor yearly fees.

Affirm produces its revenue by charging merchants fees for every transaction, as well as by charging interest.

Founded in 2012, the company went public in Jan. 2021 at about $90 a share, and ever since, the stock has had a roller coaster ride. Its price reached as high as $176.65 a share in Nov., only to fall about 54% the following two months. As of this Tuesday, it was trading under its IPO price at about $81 a share. On January 3, it dropped about 10% in a sell-off and is now down about 14% year-to-date.

Explosive growth

Investors should not be too worried about that swoon. In fact, the price decrease makes it a great time to purchase the stock. The earnings growth for Affirm continue to be great, and the company has strong tailwinds that should drive its stock higher in the future.

In its first quarter, which ended September 30, the company produced $269.4 million in earnings, up 55% year over year, with around $112 million coming directly from fees and $117 million coming from interest. Gross merchandise volume increased 84% to $2.7 billion while its active users rose 124% to 8.7 million. The number of its active merchants soared from 6,500 to over 102,000, which was in large part to Shopify adding Affirm to its platform. Affirm is still operating with net losses, though, as its operating costs have been rising due to expenses associated with acquisitions as well as other investments in marketing, technology and overall operations.

Overall, BNPL is an industry that is destined to take off. Around 55% of Americans have used the buy now pay later option, up from 37% in 2020.

With its current fall in valuation, the price-to-sales ratio has come decreased to about 22, which is about 50% of what it once was when it spiked over 40 in oct. and Nov. This stock might continue to see short-term volatility, specifically with the CFPB inquiry right around the corner, but long-term, as one of the leaders in the industry, is in an excellent position to ride the BNPL wave.

Author: Scott Dowdy

2021 was a great year for a lot of cryptos, but Shiba Inu (SHIB) was the big winner. Shib was launched in Aug. 2020 and joined the leading 10 cryptos by market cap in Oct. 2021. The crypto was initially said to be a “Dogecoin killer” and briefly overtook Dogecoin before once again falling below the top dog.

Both Shiba Inu and Dogecoin are meme coins that are themed around a Japanese dog breed. Shiba Inu is just one of the many pet coins from Dogecoin’s litter — Doge has also spawned crypto coins like Floki Inu, Baby Doge Coin, and Husky Coin (HUSKY).

But Shiba Inu has been the most successful. It increased over 800% in Oct. on the back of Musk’s Shiba Inu dog he got and a petition for Robinhood to list the coin on its exchange. With a market capitalization of $18 billion, it is now in 13th place on the crypto charts.

The problem with meme coins is that they are a lot less predictable than most of the crypto market. A coin might skyrocket on the back of a tweet — but that is not something you could predict or control. Coins that have solid fundamentals are a lot safer to invest in. And we have got three amazing cryptocurrencies that might overtake Shiba Inu this year.

1. Elrond

Elrond is an Ethereum (ETH) alternative that is well positioned for this year. It might not sound as good as Shiba Inu, but try to remember that Solana was one of the leading performers of 2021.

Smart contracts are little pieces of self-executing code that are on the blockchain. ETH was the original smart contract cryptocurrency but is now having a hard time with network congestion and higher fees. As a result of this, platforms that are cheaper and faster are taking market share.

Elrond is still in the early stages and there are a lot of contenders in this race. But if it manages to attract some developers, this cryptocurrency might surpass Shib.

2. Serum

One reason that smart contract platforms are so high in demand is that they help power the booming decentralized finance (DeFi) space. There are two caveats to purchasing DeFi coins: the first is we don’t know what might happen in DeFi in 2022– regulation might have a huge impact on this industry. The second is that the decentralized finance space changes extremely fast. A coin that is successful today might fall out of favor tomorrow.

That said, Serum seems to be a good option because it is the utility coin for a decentralized exchange that was created on Solana’s network. This means that users could benefit from Solana’s quick, low fee transactions.

3. Livepeer

Decentralization — removing the middleman from the transaction– is one of the most exciting things about blockchain tech. It does not only apply to finance. Livepeer brings a decentralized approach to video streaming as well. Its website states that 80% of the internet bandwidth is being taken up by video streaming.

The part of video streaming that is the most costly is the process of reformatting videos for different bandwidths and devices, called transcoding. Instead of investing in costly hardware, Livepeer lets people contribute their extra bandwidth to the transcoding processes. They earn LPT coins and Livepeer can transcode videos for less costs.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Bitcoin (BTC) currently makes up about a 20% share of the total store of value market.

Despite BTC’s flows and ebbs, the crypto might reach $100,000 — according to an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group, it has been steadily driving out gold’s place within the store of value market.

After almost topping $70,000 in Nov., bitcoin has been decreasing in value steadily and dropped by almost 30% in the past month. But as crypto in general gains a broader acceptance, many expect that BTC will continue to soar in the future— in the past five years, it skyrocketed by almost 5,000%.

Goldman Sachs, puts BTC’s float-adjusted market cap at just under $700 billion or 20% of store of value market (assets that increase or remain stable over time). Gold is currently at $2.6 trillion.

The investment company raised the possibility of, within the next five years, BTC making up as much as half of the total store of value market. This will put its value at about $100,000 and a yearly return of between 17% to 18%.

Over the last several decades, the value of gold has been influenced by a lot of different factors. Gold’s price history has gone through some significant ups and downs, and big changes in price might be fueled by such issues as geopolitics, inflation, monetary policy equity markets and more. Gold has decreased 3.6% in 2021 as part of the largest annual drop since 2015 but it has recently been on a rebound with a six-week high. And While gold has long been seen as a much safer investment when compared to crypto, the coming years might start to forge a different path for these two assets.

“Crypto and gold, when you start to think about the two, they have a lot of the same attributes in common,” David Schassler, who is a portfolio manager of the Inflation Allocation ETF, said in a video interview in Nov. “There is a finite supply of coins. There are only 21 million crypto coins that can be made, so you have got this finite supply, just as you do with gold.”

Author: Scott Dowdy

If you think these trading apps that are free can only draw speculators to the most risky stocks, think again. Two well known holdings among investors on Robinhood happen to be solid longer-term picks. Let us look a little closer at these two Robinhood stocks.

1. Snap

The company is called Snap, Better known as Snapchat. While the instant messaging and social networking platform hasn’t come close to upending the more established platforms like Meta Platform’s Facebook or Twitter, Snap reported 306 million daily users in Sept. That number was 23% better than Snap’s headcount at the same time period in 2020, marking the fourth consecutive quarter the service has generated yearly user growth of over 20%.

As good as Snap is at bringing in new users, however, it is even better at upgrading its ad-supported product. Earnings is up 77% through the first few quarters of FY2021, and while Snap continues to be in the red, it is making excellent progress. It is even thought to swing to an entire-year operating profits of $0.36 a share for 2021 after having lost $0.06 in 2020, on its way to earnings of $0.57 a share in 2022. It all points to the ongoing upgrades put in place that make Snap more engaging, like paying developers a total of more than $250 million this past year to generate and release content that draws digital crowds.

And yet, somehow, traders as a group are not stoked about the Snap stock. Snap’s Shares are currently trading at $46 apiece, down almost 40% from its Oct. high and close to new lows. However, its weakness is rooted deep in shorter-term difficulties related to some changes in operating systems to provide users with a little more privacy over ads. The analyst community that is looking further into the future feels the stock is actually worth about $73 a share.

2. NIO

Tesla might be the biggest name in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. But it is not the only name. China’s NIO is also a contender as well, delivering a record-shattering 25,034 electric vehicles in the last quarter of 2021. For the whole year, it shipped out 91,429 EVs. Although that is less than one tenth of the 936,172 electric vehicles Tesla shipped out in 2021, NIO is younger and is only about a tenth as old as Tesla is. Given 2018’s more modest deliveries of about 11,348 EVs, the car manufacturer is actually expanding quite nicely.

Regardless, the entire electric vehicle industry has only touched the surface of its future potential. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the total number of electric vehicles that will be on the roads around the world will increase from less than 10 million currently to over 672 million by 2050. That is a huge amount of potential for Tesla, and NIO, and a lot of other auto makers that plan on diving all the way into EV waters.

It seems Investors do not see it. After an amazing year in 2020, NIO shares have lost half their value from the high it last saw in Jan. The global chip shortage has not helped, and might in fact be the largest driver of its profit-taking. Think about the bigger picture, and longer-term. The supply shortage will end eventually. The need for EVs won’t.

Author: Scott Dowdy

It’s too late for anyone who didn’t invest in Shiba Inu before the fall of 2021 to reap massive returns. Sure, the crypto has a few potential catalysts in 2022 that might cause it to go higher. But do not expect seven or eight digit returns in the future.

Is there good news? Yes. If you missed out on the Shiba Inu craze, here is another crypto to buy now.

Going against the grain

Kadena may seem like a surprising choice as a potential next breakout crypto at first glance. Its blockchain is using the POW protocol, which isn’t very energy efficient, is painfully slow, and has high transaction fees.

However, Kadena’s creators knew the downsides to using the PoW protocol from the beginning. They created the blockchain in an innovative way, by using a “chainweb” that helps address many limitations of PoW architectures.

The Developers are Will Martino and Stuart Popejoy and they built JPMorgan’s first blockchain. Popejoy led the company’s rising Blockchain group, while Martino was employed as the top tech position for the Crypto Steering Committee of the SEC. They released Kadena in 2016.

Why Kadena

Kadena is not going to increase in value because of the caliber of the people that are involved with its creation, though. However, there are some reasons why the crypto should have huge prospects.

Put speed and scalability at the top of the list. Kadena (the firm behind the crypto) maintains that its platform is able process 480,000 transactions each second with 20 chains within its Chainweb architecture. Those speeds might even increase as additional chains are added to its network. Kadena’s energy efficiency is increased as it scales up as well.

Transaction costs are also very low. Businesses that use Kadena could eliminate transaction fees altogether by using its cryptocurrency gas station.

The use of the PoW protocol provides a more proven level of security to Kadena than most newer cryptos that use the PoS protocol. Any of the high-profile security problems with PoS-based coins may work to Kadena’s benefit.

The PoW protocol gives Kadena the security that Bitcoin has. But Kadena’s unique architecture also gives it impressive speed and scalability with low costs.

Another Shiba Inu?

Is Kadena really another Shiba Inu? There is no way to be certain. Kadena has been winning big (up over 8,600% in the past 12 months) but it has not come close to delivering the massive gains that Shiba Inu has so far.

However, Kadena clearly has many advantages to offer developers of decentralized applications. It Plans to boost the number of chains on its network to 100 which would most certainly attract even more developers.

Perhaps there won’t be any cryptocurrencies that will skyrocket this year like Shiba Inu did in 2021. Kadena, though, seems to be an intriguing option for any investors who missed out on those impressive gains.

Author: Blake Ambrose

Troy Aikman, the Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback is ready to go up against Big Beer names such as Molson Coors and Budweiser with the same high intensity as he did when he faced long-time rivals the New York Giants during a Sunday primetime matchup.

Well kind of, but you get the point.

Troy Aikman, 55, said he will launch EIGHT beer after just two years of creating the product alongside Phil Leinhart, who is a beer industry veteran. Billed as beer for the modern consumer— in this case meaning it is made from organic grains, has zero sugar and contains “antioxidant-rich” hops known as Hallertau Taurus. The beer will be released first at restaurants and bars in Aikman’s home field of Texas. In March, EIGHT will make its way onto retail shelves throughout the Lone Star state.

Aikman, who is known for his savvy investments in the restaurant chain WingStop and car dealerships — says he has enjoyed beer for a long time, but it is time for something even better, ingredient wise, for people who lead active lifestyles.

“There is over 8,000 breweries throughout America and the space that we have entered is as competitive as any of them. But when I looked at the beer category, I just felt that it could be even better. My thinking was that what’s on the shelf has been on the market for a while now. I believe it was time for a newcomer and quite simply, I really felt that we would be able to do a better job and I think we have succeeded. So that was where the motivation came from to get behind this project,” Aikman said.

It seems Aikman’s “better beer” is hitting the shelves at the right time.

According to a new poll of retailers from the alcohol delivery service Drizly, 60% said “natural and organic” are non-price-related attributes that is influencing their buying decisions more and more, especially for wine. While half of the retailers that were surveyed have plans to carry more hard seltzer in 2022, 57% plan to devote additional shelf space to craft beer.

Added Aikman, “There is a lot of people just like me that are highly conscious of what they put into their bodies. They work hard all week, and when it’s time to celebrate, they do not want to compromise all that hard work they put in during the week.”

Author: Blake Ambrose

Virtual real estate in the metaverse that’s sold in the form of non-fungible coins is growing in popularity.

You cannot physically visit any of these properties, however the allure of this type of investment lies in the assets being supported by forgery-proof certificates that are stored on the blockchain.

This trend has been getting the attention of those trying to deploy money into new methods of investing in real estate. Some investors are paying six figures for some of the virtual real estate, betting that they will make a fortune. Some predict triple-digit growth within the next 16 months.

Virtual real estate is not really a new idea. Metaverse Group was One of the first businesses that entered the space, which manages the virtual ‘Decentraland’ platform. However, ever since Facebook changed its name to Meta, the idea has gotten immense interest.

Real Estate in the NFT-based worlds of Decentraland, the sandbox and Axie Infinity are especially popular. Corresponding crypto prices of these projects have jumped as well, with Decentraland’s MANA coin up about 4,258% in the past year. Google results reveal search volumes for those terms jumped in just a short period, with public interest increasing only in recent months.

Sales of virtual land was great at the start of Dec., with just four metaverse projects bringing in over $105 million in sales, according to DappRadar. Of those sales, the gaming platform Sandbox was in the lead with about $86.56 million in NFT sales and Decentraland came in second place.

The decision to pick which metaverse coin to buy depends on which platform you want to explore. Each of these virtual worlds have its own unique tokens allowing its users to purchase digital land.

To access the metaverse, you’ll most likely have to set up a crypto wallet to keep your digital assets in. This lets you convert fiat money into crypto via an online payment system. These coins can be found on some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, Gemini and Coinbase.

The six most popular tokens you could use to purchase a plot of land in the metaverse are Ether, Axie Infinity, Sandbox, Decentraland, Gala, Enjin Coin.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

Every stock has at least one potential challenge that might limit its success. However, some stocks have so much going for them that they are likely to run over anything that’s in their way. Here are two such unstoppable stocks that you may want to buy in 2022.

1. Innovative Industrial Properties

Innovative Industrial Properties keeps it simple. The real estate investment trust (REIT) purchases properties from licensed cannabis growers that are needing more cash. It then leases those same properties back to the cannabis growers. And then it uses the cash flow from that to repeat the process over and over again.

This model has worked quiet well for IIP so far. Over the last three years, its earnings have jumped more than 15X, respectively. Its share price has increased over 470% higher during the period.

But IIP is only touching the surface of its opportunity. The business still owns only 103 properties that are located in 19 states. There are well over 28,700 cannabis operators in the United States. And 36 states have legalized recreational and/or medical cannabis.

Federal cannabis reform is the largest threat to IIP and it might lead to an increase in competition. However, such a reform would also grow the U.S. cannabis market. It is likely the overall impact on IIP would be a positive one. With a lot of uncertainty about when and if federal cannabis laws may be changed, IIP seems to be in an excellent position to continue having success in the future.

2. Intuitive Surgical

Manufacturing companies use robots to perform repetitive processes with a high level of precision. Intuitive Surgical has achieved these same goals with its own robotic surgical systems.

The company is the leader in the robotic surgical system space with a market share of almost 80%. Over 6,500 of its da Vinci systems have been installed in 67 nations. Intuitive recently struck a major milestone, recently reaching 10 million surgical procedures that were performed by its robotic systems.

Do not think that Intuitive Surgical’s higher-growth days are in the past, though. The company could grow its market by about 4X with its current regulatory clearances and products. And it is currently creating new products and seeking other regulatory clearances that may more than triple its market opportunity.

Sure, Intuitive has more competitors now than it had in the past. However, no rival has the ecosystem, analytics and the track record, that Intuitive has. This growth stock truly seems like one you could buy and hold forever.

Author: Scott Dowdy

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