Capital Gold Corporation (NYSE AMEX:  CGC; TSX: CGC)Reports 95% Cash Flow Increase

Capital Gold Corporation (NYSE AMEX: CGC; TSX: CGC)Reports 95% Cash Flow Increase-Image by hto2008 via Flickr

Capital Gold Corporation (NYSE AMEX: CGC; TSX: CGC) (“Capital Gold” or the “Company”) reported today approximately a 42%  increase in revenue for fiscal 2010 and a 95% increase in cash flow from operations for fiscal 2010 compared to the previous year.  The Company recorded gold sales of 54,304 ounces for fiscal year end July 31, 2010, and expects to produce between 65,000-70,000 gold ounces in fiscal 2011.

Below is a table comparing both fiscal 2009 and 2008 performance to fiscal 2010.

For the year

ended

July 31,

2010

For the year

ended

July 31,

2009

For the year

ended

July 31,

2008

Summary of Annual Results

(000’s except per share data and ounces sold)

Revenues 60,645 42,757 33,104
Net Income 11,994 10,407 6,364
Basic net income per share 0.25 0.22 0.15
Diluted net income per share 0.25 0.21 0.13
Gold ounces sold 54,304 48,418 39,102
Average price received $1,117 $883 $847
Cash cost per ounce sold(1) $391 $271 $276
Total cost per ounce sold(1) $444 $314 $335
(1) “Cash costs per ounce sold” is a Non-GAAP measure, which includes all direct mining costs, refining and transportation costs, by-product credits and royalties as reported in the Company’s financial statements.  It also excludes intercompany management fees.  “Total cost per ounce sold” is a Non-GAAP measure which includes “cash costs per ounce sold” as well as depreciation and amortization as reported in the Company’s financial statements.

The following table reconciles the Non-GAAP measure “Cash costs per ounce sold” to the GAAP measure of “Costs applicable to sales per ounce sold”:

Reconciliation from non-GAAP measure to US GAAP For the year

ended

July 31,

2010

For the year

ended

July 31,

2009

For the year

ended

July 31,

2008

Cash cost per ounce sold $391 $271 $276
Intercompany management fee 12 14 10
Other 2 2 (13)
Costs applicable to sales per ounce sold(2) $405 $287 $273
(2)  This measurement excludes depreciation and amortization

“This has been an exceptionally productive year for Capital Gold,” said Company President Colin Sutherland.  “We continue to develop the Orion and Saric exploration projects and optimize operations at our El Chanate open pit mine as we increase production in order to achieve our fiscal year 2011 goal of producing 65,000 to 70,000 ounces of gold.”

Highlights from the year ended July 31, 2010, as compared to the prior year include:

  • Cash flow from operations increased 95%
  • Revenue increased 42%
  • Net income increased 15%
  • Basic net income per share increased 14%
  • Gold ounces sold increased 12%

Outlook and Strategy

  • The Company expects fiscal 2011 gold sales of 65,000 to 70,000 ounces;
  • Cash costs per ounce sold for fiscal 2011 are expected to be approximately $485 per ounce;
  • We anticipate capital expenditures of approximately $12,500 in fiscal 2011 with $7,200 being allocated to leach pad expansion, $1,500 for the addition of agglomeration equipment, $750 in property interest payments; and $600 for additional conveyors; (3)
  • Repayments on Credit Facility of approximately $3,600 during fiscal 2011. (3)

(3)  These amounts are in the 000’s.

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS) Show Foreclosures Higher in September

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS) Show Foreclosures Higher in September-Image via CrunchBase

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries reports the following “first look” at September month-end mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgage loans.

Total U.S. loan delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure): 9.27%
Month-over-month change in delinquency rate: 0.6%
Year-over-year change in delinquency rate: -7.8%
Total U.S foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: 3.84%
Month-over-month change in foreclosure presale inventory rate: 1.1%
Year-over-year change in foreclosure presale inventory rate: 3.6%
Number of properties that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure: (A) 4,963,000
Number of properties that are 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure: 2,319,000
Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory: (B) 2,055,000
Number of properties that are 30 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure:  (A+B) 7,018,000
States with highest percentage of non-current* loans: FL, NV, MS, GA, LA
States with the lowest percentage of non-current* loans: MT, WY, AK, SD, ND

*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.

Notes:

  1. Totals are extrapolated based on LPS Applied Analytics’ loan-level database of mortgage assets
  2. All whole numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand

The company will provide a more in-depth review of this data in its monthly Mortgage Monitor report, which includes an analysis of data supplemented by in-depth charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations. The Mortgage Monitor report will be available on LPS’ Web site, http://www.lpsvcs.com/NEWSROOM/INDUSTRYDATA/Pages/default.aspx, on October 29, 2010.

For more information about gaining access to LPS’ loan-level database, please send an e-mail to LPSAAsales@lpsvcs.com.

About Lender Processing Services

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of integrated technology, services and mortgage performance data and analytics, to the mortgage and real estate industries. LPS offers solutions that span the mortgage continuum, including lead generation, origination, servicing, workflow automation (Desktop), portfolio retention and default, augmented by the company’s award-winning customer support and professional services. Approximately 50 percent of all U.S. mortgages by dollar volume are serviced using LPS’ Mortgage Servicing Package (MSP). LPS also offers proprietary mortgage and real estate data and analytics for the mortgage and capital markets industries. For more information about LPS, visit www.lpsvcs.com.

SOURCE Lender Processing Services, Inc.

Commercial Real Estate Forecast Brighter

Commercial Real Estate Forecast Brighter

Commercial Real Estate Forecast BrighterImage via Wikipedia

After three years of dislocation and unprecedented loss, commercial real estate industry investors and professionals hint at hopeful signs of tempered commercial real estate market improvements, according to respondents of the Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2011 report, released today by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Survey respondents indicate a lowering of performance expectations, anticipating high single digit returns for core properties and mid-teen returns for higher risk investments.  Without ample leverage and attendant risk, real estate assets cannot sustain higher performance, according to survey respondents.  The survey finds that lenders with strengthening balance sheets finally step up foreclosure activity and dispositions of properties during 2011 and 2012, helping values reset 30-40 percent below 2007 peaks.

“The market is predicting extreme bifurcation as the capital flight to quality creates a greater separation between the trophy and less desirable assets,” said Mitch Roschelle, partner, U.S. real estate advisory practice leader, PwC.  “Well-located and well-tenanted properties that can generative strong cash flow over the next several years are exactly what buyers and lenders want, according to survey respondents.  As a result, prime apartments and office buildings in gateway cities are generating the most attention from the increasing pent-up sidelined capital.”

Debt Market Loosens Further in 2011

The report indicates debt markets thawing further in 2011 as banks continue to strengthen balance sheets, take their losses and step up lending, resulting in higher transaction volumes.  Borrowers are expected to have improved chances to obtain refinancing if they own relatively well-leased cash flowing properties.  But overleveraged owners dealing with high vacancies and rolling down rents may face more uncertain prospects in the credit markets, including the increasing likelihood of foreclosure.

Real Estate market participants continue to see a gulf between buyers and sellers, however, there is an expectation that the ‘bid-ask’ spread will begin to close in 2011 as selling sentiment improves dramatically from last year’s all time survey lows and buyers temper expectations for giant discounts,” said ULI Senior Resident Fellow for Real Estate Finance Stephen Blank.  “Investors with cash could have excellent opportunities to seize market bottom plays by recapitalizing cash-starved owners or buying foreclosed assets.”

Respondents to the Emerging Trends cite the best investor bets for 2011 which include:

  • Temper expectations – Buy well-leased core assets and look for 6 to 7% cash flows.
  • Lock-in leverage – Mortgage rates can’t get much lower and cyclical bottom is the optimum time to leverage properties in order to magnify future value gains as property fundamentals ameliorate.
  • Provide debt and recap equity – Players who fill the gap on assets with lowered cost bases can obtain excellent risk-adjusted returns up and down the capital stack, including mezzanine debt and preferred equity, if not loan to own opportunities.
  • Focus on global gateways, 24-hour markets – Everybody wants to be in the primary coastal cities with international airport hubs.
  • Favor infill over fringe – The ‘move back in’ trend gains force as twenty-something Echo Boomers want to experience more vibrant urban areas and aging Baby Boomer parents look for greater convenience in downscaled lifestyles.
  • Patience is a virtue – Transaction activity will increase and more value add and distressed deals will appear.
  • Buy or hold REIT – Survey respondents expect solid cash flowing returns.
  • Buy land – It won’t get any cheaper than now, but prepare to wait for the right development opportunity.
  • Exercise caution on distressed loan pools – They could be a recipe for disaster if you don’t underwrite the assets properly.

Markets to Watch

Survey participants believe the 24-hour cities will always dominate and outshine secondary markets.  This year, the top Emerging Trends markets selected by survey respondents offer no surprises – Washington D.C. pulls away from the pack, followed by San Francisco, Boston and Seattle, as the pre-eminent gateway cities.  Houston and Denver solidify rankings and respondents show faith in South California’s resiliency, despite recent setbacks.  While ratings improved for markets from coast to coast over 2010’s results, the gap between top and bottom continues to widen, and more than 60 percent of surveyed cities still fall below “fair” ratings for commercial and multifamily investment prospects.

A snapshot of the top five markets ranked by survey respondents:

Washington D.C. Never far from the top, the nation’s capital will hold onto its top ranking as long as the economy labors. The federal government never downsizes while lobbyists and consultants swarm legislators and agencies hoping to influence or stop regulatory changes.  All the activity cushions property markets and attracts investors and no market benefits more from core buyers’ recent flight to quality, driving prices back up.

New York. TARP and Fed funds directed at banks helped financial markets and eased job cuts, triggering the biggest ratings jump for New York.  As major financial employers enjoy record profits, ramp hiring and foreign investors remaining active, lenders are loosening purse strings for trophy office owners.  Apartment rents rebound along with coop/condo prices, which registered only minor drops in top neighborhoods, and retailers begin to fill in gaps in empty streetscape storefronts.  New hotel completions could temper a recovery in occupancies and room rates, but tourists and business travelers are back in droves.

San Francisco. The country’s most volatile 24-hour market, the City by the Bay now offers investors excellent near-market bottom buying opportunities, particularly in apartments and hotels (ET survey #1 buy), office (ET #2), and retail (ET #3).  The market also sidesteps some of its state’s fiscal mess, performing better than Southern California.  Tech and life science industries flourish around top flight universities (Stanford, UC Berkeley), help attract brainpower, and sustain expensive regional living standards.

Austin. A smaller Texas market that scores highest ratings and survey participants note “everyone wants to live in Austin.”  As the state capital and home to a major university (hook ’em, Horns), Austin is one of the few cities in the Sunbelt with growth restrictions.

Boston. This venerable 24-hour city registers high marks for livability, controlled development, and a highly educated labor force, but lacks economic vibrancy.  Office rents didn’t drop precipitously off pre-crash 2007 highs, but remain well below 2000 peaks, and local brokers predict only a slight turnaround in 2011. Apartment rents will track back up as expensive for sale housing keeps tenant demand high for multifamily units, and hotels show life.

Rounding out the top ten markets to watch:

  • Seattle gets a boost from in-migration to the area adding 160,000 new residents since the recession.
  • San Jose aligns with San Francisco gateway benefits, including a flourishing tech and life sciences industry.
  • Houston is expected to come out stronger from the recession than most states, creating more real estate demand.
  • Los Angeles remains an attractive location with Southern California serving as the most important gateway to the Pacific Rim and Latin America.
  • San Diego tracks closely to Los Angeles with its desirable climate albeit the gateway status.

Among property sectors, the survey finds that apartments outrank all other sectors—favorable demographics and the housing bust should increase renter demand and some interviewees forecast rent spikes by 2012 in some infill markets where development activity has ground to a halt.  Readily available financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bolsters buying activity.  Core players also like warehouses and infill grocery anchored retail, while full service center city hotels remain the top choice for opportunity investors.  Suburban office gets the cold shoulder in the survey.

Now in its 32nd year, Emerging Trends is the oldest, most highly regarded annual industry outlook for the real estate and land use industry and includes interviews and survey responses from more than 1000 leading real estate experts, including investors, developers, property company representatives, lenders, brokers and consultants.

A copy of Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2011 is available at www.uli.org/emergingtrends or www.pwc.com/us/realestate.

Mortgage Rates Slip Lower

Mortgage Rates Slip Lower

Mortgage Rates Slip Lower

Rates for most mortgage products fell to new lows, but the average rate on the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched higher to 4.47 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.35 discount and origination points.

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 3.85 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate retreated to 5.10 percent, both record lows. Adjustable rate mortgages hit new lows also, with the average 5-year ARM declining to 3.62 percent and the average 7-year ARM backpedalling to 3.86 percent.

Mortgage rates were mostly lower this week, for both fixed and adjustable rate loans. While the Federal Reserve is likely to resume a bond purchase program designed to push interest rates lower, don’t assume this will automatically translate into lower mortgage rates. Why? For starters, the current foreclosure moratorium mess raises both the cost and the amount of time involved in foreclosure, factors that could ultimately be passed along to future borrowers through higher mortgage rates.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At that time, the average rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 4.47 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,009.81, a savings of $232 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 4.47% — up from 4.45% last week (avg. points: 0.35)

15-year fixed: 3.85% — down from 3.87% last week (avg. points: 0.33)

5/1 ARM: 3.62% — down from 3.64% last week (avg. points: 0.33)

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.

For a full analysis of this week’s move in mortgage rates, go to http://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx.

The survey is complemented by Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. More than half of the panelists, 59 percent, say mortgage rates aren’t headed much of anywhere and will remain more or less unchanged. More than one in four respondents, 29 percent, expect mortgage rates to move higher while just 12 percent predict further declines over the next week.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI.

US-Poland Business Council to Focus on Growing Opportunities

US-Poland Business Council to Focus on Growing Opportunities

The US-Poland Business Council announced today their plan to lead a foundational Business Mission to Poland from October 18th-19th, 2010 in the capital city of Warsaw.  The mission will mark the official launch of the US-Poland Business Council with the intent to further develop the bilateral economic and commercial relationship between the United States and Poland.  The Business Council was founded in the summer of 2010 by 17  US multinational companies including: The AES Corporation, The Boeing Company, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Fluor Corporation, International Paper, Marathon Oil, Owens-Illinois, Inc., PHRMA, Raytheon Company, The Shaw Group Inc., Smithfield Foods, Inc., The Timken Company, US Steel and Westinghouse Electric Co.

The mission will focus on the growing opportunities and potential offered by conducting business in Poland and emphasize areas of mutual benefit and interest.  Meetings during the two day mission will include discussions of bilateral market access restrictions and European Commission regulations and policies.  The purpose of the meetings is to cultivate strategic alliances with key interlocutors in the Government of Poland, the US Embassy, as well as the private sector business associations based in Warsaw.  The business delegation will be received and hosted by Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister, Waldemar Pawlak, and Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski.

“Poland was the only country in the European Union to experience positive economic growth in the past year and is well positioned to take the helm of the Presidency of the European Council beginning in July 2011,” said Eric Stewart, President of the US-Poland Business Council.  “This trip provides a unique opportunity to learn directly from the Polish leadership their plans for guiding Europe through these tough economic times,” added Stewart.  “This mission will establish that the commercial relationship between the US and Poland is important for the mutual economic success of both countries.”

The US-Poland Business Council is a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that promotes commercial relations between the United States and Poland. The mission of the Council is to enhance US-Poland trade and investment, advance the US-Poland bilateral relationship, and educate the public about its importance.  To achieve its mission, the Council will sponsor policy conferences, briefing sessions and major events featuring senior US and Polish officials, academic and business leaders.

FTC Enforces New Rules for Debt Relief

FTC Enforces New Rules for Debt Relief

FTC Enforces New Rules for Debt Relief-Image via Wikipedia

A new ruling takes effect this month to protect consumers seeking debt relief services. The new Federal Trade Commission rule bans for-profit debt settlement companies from charging for services before they deliver – but even with the rule change, consumers need to find the right company for them.

Prestige Financial Solutions, which offers the Pay As You Settle® (PAYS) program, has created a list of tips to help consumers. “It can be a highly emotional situation, and people need to be sure they’re working with a reputable, established company,” said Amy Thompson, who for four years has run Prestige. PAYS is a program that provides debt settlement services to consumers around the country.

Since launching PAYS, Prestige has operated in the spirit of the 2010 ruling, unlike most for-profit debt settlement companies. “We felt it was the right thing to do all along,” Thompson said.

Tips for Choosing a Debt Settlement Company

  1. Choose a company that is accredited with The Association of Settlement Companies and the United States Organization for Bankruptcy Alternatives. Both organizations perform audits of their accredited members to make sure they perform ethically and appropriately.
  2. Check the company’s rating with the local Better Business Bureau – choose one with at least an A rating.
  3. Choose a firm that is full-service and who will do all the work on your account – including negotiate on your behalf with your creditors – as opposed to a company that outsources any part of the program. This ensures your financial information is secure with one company.
  4. You don’t need an attorney to settle your debt – they often charge more because they don’t do the work themselves. Also, they are not subject to the FTC ruling and so will be able to continue charging upfront fees.
  5. Make sure the company can actually help you with your particular situation before you sign up. A reputable company will listen to your story and, if they can’t help you, will give you other options.
  6. Choose a company that’s been in business long enough to have a solid track record of success and a good reputation.

“Too many people don’t ask for help when they’re in debt. The right debt settlement company advocates for you to help you get a new start,” Thompson said.

Pay as You Settle® (PAYS®) is one of the nation’s leading and only industry accredited pay-as-you-go debt settlement program. The program was designed by long-time debt settlement industry professionals at Prestige Financial Solutions and can be found online at www.payasyousettle.com or by calling 800.441.7297.

Real Estate Decline Blamed on Industry Professionals

Real Estate Decline Blamed on Industry Professionals

Real Estate Decline Blamed on Industry Professionals-Image via Wikipedia

The real estate industry must accept its “proper share of the blame” in the series of missteps leading to the global economic recession and the housing and commercial property decline, according to Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chairman Jeremy Newsum.

“There were many keys to this bomb and we held one,” said Newsum, executive trustee of U.K.-based Grosvenor Estate. The role of real estate in the downturn, and the repositioning necessary for companies to survive the remainder of the fallout and be poised for growth were discussed by Newsum today at a media briefing at ULI’s 2010 Fall Meeting in Washington.

“The fact is, we (real estate industry professionals) lost control of the agenda. Real estate is about buildings and the people who occupy them, collectively forming an urban community,” he said. “Real estate is not primarily about money, and we should not have allowed real estate to become just another playground for financial engineers.”

According to Newsum, the “new normal” for the industry is one that is focused on the operators – the creators and owners of real estate who view their businesses as a long-term investment. The “old abnormal” was real estate being the “puppet of finance,” he said, with real estate viewed more as an investment opportunity than a building for occupation.

During the boom leading to the bust, it became increasingly common for large financial institutions to hold direct portfolios of real estate – a mistake, Newsum said, because those managing the portfolios are, by the nature of their business, more apt to give far greater priority to “collecting the rent checks” than analyzing real estate fundamentals or ensuring the well-being of building users. “All those involved in restructuring portfolios – holders of equity and debt, plus the managers – must use the real estate business model as the right long-term structure for the industry.”

Newsum pointed to closed-ended real estate funds (generally unlisted private real estate funds with a fixed fund size and a limited term, typically 5-10 years) as being “inherently unstable,” in that they “blithely ignore” the long-term nature of the underlying assets. For the industry to restabilize, such opportunity funds should “always be a sideshow, rather than the main event,” and not become the industry norm for how and when properties are bought and sold, he said. “The era when funds predominated is over. I want to see many more new property companies,” Newsum said.

He pointed to the Hong Kong real estate industry – which is now dominated by companies focused on the long term – as an example of what the industry should strive for in the United States and Europe.

A company-specific example: Almacantar in London, an investment and development firm formed by two executives from the Almacantar fund. “They have spotted the future,” Newsum said. Another example: New York City-based Vornado Realty Trust, a company Newsum said “saw the light and came over to the operating side,” and which now owns and manages more than 100 million square feet of commercial real estate in the United States. “Vornado is not a ‘vehicle.’ It’s a business with a mission,” Newsum said.

To attract the best and brightest to the real estate industry, Newsum suggested that seasoned professionals must put more effort into “selling the slow buck” and emphasizing the value of long-term thinking to the next generation of younger practitioners, whose penchant for instant gratification will not serve them well in real estate.

The Grosvenor Estate includes Grosvenor, an international property group of privately owned property development, investment and fund management businesses. From 1989 through June 2008, Newsum served as group chief executive of Grosvenor, which, with property assets under management of $20 billion, has interests in Central London, other areas of the UK, continental Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and North America. The entire organization was founded more than 330 years ago, a model of longevity that has guided Newsum’s approach to real estate throughout his career.

“No matter how badly you want to do something, and you think you have only one chance to do it, that is rarely true. So, being patient and having the ability to stay focused on the long term are very important,” he said. “Understanding timing and time scales is absolutely critical (to being successful) in land use. The business of community building is a business that spans decades. Each of us is adding something to what is ultimately a continuous process.”

One of the most important real estate lessons from the recession, Newsum said, is the near-certain formula for failure caused by over-extension. “In the future, real estate business leaders and shareholders must take more responsibility for the way their businesses are financed. The bust will come again, and just as before, those fixated by the short term will have too much leverage and will fail.”

Newsum’s message reinforced the theme of the “era of less” in the 2011 Emerging Trends in Real Estate: The Americas report, released today by ULI and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report discusses how the industry is now defined by lower real estate returns, limited new development prospects, reduced credit availability and curbed profits. It notes that conditions in the commercial sector are expected to improve moderately over the next year, which will position real estate as offering attractive, but not double-digit investment potential. According to the report, “this reconstituted marketplace should reposition real estate as an attractive yield-producing asset class for those investors who recalibrate investment expectations on a long-term horizon.”

Fannie Mae Endorses New Foreclosure Procedures

Fannie Mae Endorses New Foreclosure Procedures

Fannie Mae Endorses New Foreclosure Procedures-Image by futureatlas.com via Flickr

Fannie Mae fully endorses the Policy Outline for Dealing with Possible Foreclosure Process Deficiencies released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. These principles reinforce the directive issued by Fannie Mae last week, requiring our servicers to undertake a review of their policies and procedures relating to the execution of affidavits, verifications, and other legal documents in connection with the default process.

We continue to expect prompt execution of our directive. A servicer’s failure to comply with any provision of law, or any provision of our servicing requirements, constitutes a breach of the servicer’s contractual agreements with Fannie Mae. Our servicers are obligated to adhere to all legal requirements as part of the foreclosure process. They must inform us of and rectify any issues that may arise in this regard.

Fannie Mae recognizes that foreclosure is an extremely difficult experience for affected homeowners and we are working to ensure borrowers are treated fairly and respectfully.  Fannie Mae has halted foreclosures, evictions, and REO sale closings when necessary for a servicer to perform required remediation.  Our actions are intended to protect the rights of borrowers facing foreclosure, enable a fair and equitable legal process for all impacted parties and allow new homebuyers to close on their transactions in a timely manner.  These steps will also help ensure the proper functioning of the mortgage market overall so as to meet our goals of maintaining liquidity in the market and minimizing taxpayer exposure.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers.  Our job is to help those who house America.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Lowers Capital Spending

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Lowers Capital Spending

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Lowers Capital Spending-Image via Wikipedia

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today presented its global plans for growth of its operating segments for the current and next fiscal year at its annual conference for the investment community.

The company lowered the high end of its range for the current fiscal year 2011 forecast for capital spending by $1 billion.  Total capital spending for the current fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2011 now is projected to range from $13 to $14 billion, down from the previous range of $13 to $15 billion.  Last fiscal year, the company spent $12.2 billion on capital projects.  Total capital spending for next fiscal year, ending Jan. 31, 2012, is projected to range from $13.5 to $14.5 billion, an increase of approximately 3.7 percent based on the midpoint of the two ranges.

“Our financial priorities of growth, leverage and returns drive our decisions on capital investment,” said Charles Holley, executive vice president, finance and treasurer.  “We are positioning our company for the next generation Walmart, which means that we will grow internationally and in the United States.  We believe our capital strategy strikes the right balance between growth and return on investment.

“We expect to grow total company square footage between three and four percent next fiscal year, which means that square footage and capital spending will grow at approximately the same rate.  Overall sales growth is forecasted between four and six percent,” Holley said.  “In the United States, we will shift more capital toward new stores, including supercenters and smaller formats.  We are lowering remodeling costs through greater efficiencies, so the total capital commitment for Walmart U.S. next year will be flat with the current fiscal year.

“Because of Walmart International’s concentration on growth in emerging markets, capital expenditures for the segment will increase slightly more than 13 percent next year compared to the current fiscal year,” Holley added.  “Capital for the other operating segments, and corporate overhead, are projected to be flat next year compared to this year.”

Majority in U.S. Prefer More Wind Farms and Bio-Fuels-New Detailss

Majority in U.S. Prefer More Wind Farms and Bio-Fuels-New Details-Image via Wikipedia

A new Financial Times/Harris poll in the U.S. and the five largest European countries finds strong public support for increasing some renewable energy sources, particularly wind farms, provided that they are not asked to pay much more for it. However there is strong resistance to using more renewable energy if it leads to a substantial increase in costs.  The public is much more evenly split on whether to build more nuclear power plants, except in Germany and Spain where substantial majorities oppose any expansion of nuclear power.

These are some of the findings of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 6,255 adults aged 16-64 within France (1,102), Germany (1,029), Great Britain (1,056), Spain (1,006), U.S. (1,002) and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (1,060) between September 15 and 21, 2010.

The main findings of this new poll include:

  • Big majorities of the public in all six countries favor the building of more wind farms in their countries, varying from 90% in Spain and 87% in the U.S. to 77% in France.  And large numbers of them favor it “strongly”;
  • Majorities in all six countries, from 77% in Italy and 76% in Spain to 60% in the U.S. favor governments giving financial subsidies for the use of bio-fuels. However, only between 13% in Britain and 34% in Spain favor this “strongly”;
  • Opinions on building more nuclear power plants are more mixed and vary by country. The public is more or less equally divided in the U.S., Britain and France but clear majorities are opposed in Italy (60%), Spain (63%) and even more strongly in Germany (77%);
  • When those who pay energy bills were asked how much more they would be willing to pay for renewable energy, most people in all countries said either no more or only 5% more.  Those willing to pay more than 5% varied from 32% in the U.S. and 31% in Italy to only 17% in Spain and 20% in France;
  • When asked if they would be willing to pay $220 more each month — the amount estimated by the European Union as needed to cut greenhouse emissions and use more renewable energy — large majorities in all the countries except Italy said they would not pay — from 77% in France and 76% in Britain to 65% in Germany who said so.

These answers are broadly similar to the results of an earlier FT/Harris poll conducted in 2008 using the same questions. However support for nuclear power plants has decreased somewhat in both Italy and Germany, over the last 2 years.

So What?

This new poll confirms the conclusions from other Harris surveys:  there is strong support for using more “clean” sources of renewable energy, such as wind farms, but little appetite for paying significantly more for it, and that the public is still very divided in most of these countries on whether or not to rely more on nuclear power.

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