About Knight Broadband
Knight Broadband is a provider of critical communications infrastructure services in the cable and broadband industry. It works in communications infrastructure services focused on engineering, construction, and maintenance in connection with the deployment, expansion,n or upgrade of new and existing critical communication networks. Key services include underground and aerial fiber and coaxial cable construction and maintenance.
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Apr 22, 2020
Read full article ·2 mins read Knight Broadband Adds Industry Veteran to Board of Directors to Support Continued Focus on Strategic Initiatives and Growth Knight Broadband ("Knight" or the "Company"), a leading provider of critical communications infrastructure services in the Cable and Broadband industry, announced that it has been acquired by an affiliate of Mill Point Capital, a middle-market private equity firm focused on control investments in North America and that Wayne H. Davis has joined the Board of Directors as Executive Partner. The Mill Point team employs an Executive Partner model and has extensive experience investing in transactions in the communications and business services sectors. Knight’s talented management team, including CEO Jason Welz, will continue to lead the Company and build upon its strong track record of growth and reliable customer service. Knight is a leader in communications infrastructure services focused on engineering, construction, and maintenance in connection with the deployment, expansion or upgrade of new and existing critical communication networks. Key services include underground and aerial fiber and coaxial cable construction and maintenance. The Company is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, and primarily operates in the Southeastern U.S. Jason Welz, CEO of Knight Broadband, commented, "We are pleased to have Wayne join the board of Knight Broadband as Executive Partner. His extensive experience and leadership in technology and operations in the cable industry will help guide our strategy and customer initiatives." "I am excited about being a member of the Board of Directors of Knight, and look forward to helping the company grow to a new level of delivering superior services for Broadband operators," said Wayne Davis. About Knight Broadband Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, Knight Broadband is one of the largest communication infrastructure service providers in the Southeastern U.S. Founded in 1982, Knight Broadband has been serving the largest Tier I and Tier II service providers in the cable and telecommunications industries. For more information, please visit www.knight-enterprises.com . Story continues About Mill Point Capital Mill Point Capital is a private equity firm targeting control investments in lower-middle market businesses, with a focus on industrial and business services companies in North America. Mill Point’s experienced team of investors and Executive Partners seek to enhance the value of portfolio companies by executing transformative strategic initiatives and operational improvements. Mill Point is based in New York, NY. For more information, please visit www.millpoint.com . View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200421005924/en/ Contacts MarketWatch Individual investors have never been more worried about a U.S. stock market crash. This counterintuitive reaction is because investor sentiment is a contrarian indicator. Historical data on investor beliefs about crash probabilities comes from Yale University finance professor (and Nobel laureate) Robert Shiller. 20h ago (Bloomberg) -- Investor David Einhorn said technology stocks are in an “enormous” bubble and he has added a set of short wagers to profit from it.“The question at hand is where are we in the psychology of this bubble?” the head of hedge fund Greenlight Capital wrote in an Oct. 27 note, seen by Bloomberg. “Our working hypothesis, which might be disproven, is that September 2, 2020 was the top and the bubble has already popped. If so, investor sentiment is in the process of shifting from greed to complacency.”Tech stocks have driven the market’s rally this year. The Nasdaq 100 Index is up 33% since Jan. 1, led by gains in Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Tesla Inc. By contrast, the S&P 500 has risen 5.3%.As signs of a bubble, Einhorn points to a mania in IPOs, a huge market concentration in a small group of stocks or a single sector, extraordinary valuations and “incredible” trading volumes in speculative instruments.As a result, Greenlight has adjusted the portfolio of companies its wagering against by adding a fresh so-called bubble basket of mostly “second-tier companies and recent IPOs trading at remarkable valuations,” he wrote. Einhorn has long held what he calls a bubble basket of short wagers which have included tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc.A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.This isn’t the first time Einhorn has flagged a tech bubble. In early 2016, he “prematurely identified what we thought was a bubble,” he wrote in the letter.It’s been a difficult road for Greenlight recently. The fund is down 16.1% through September, and has been trying to recoup losses that began in 2015. As of Jan. 1, the firm managed $2.6 billion, down from a peak of $12 billion.Other highlights from the letter:The coming election may rank “among the most perilous times, absent war, in modern American history.” A “tempest” of troubles related to the Covid pandemic -- including inequities, violence and calls for social change -- could explode after the election, no matter which side wins.The fund started “medium-sized” long positions in information technology company Synnex Corp., Austrian sensor maker AMS AG, and ATM-manufacturer NCR Corp.While a few Greenlight employees are working from the firm’s New York offices, which have been open since late summer, most of the staff continues to work from home, he said. (Adds additional comments on tech starting in seventh paragraph. )For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P. 11h ago It is offensive to me It is not relevant to me I keep seeing this Investor's Business Daily 4h ago Jim Cramer on Tuesday's "Mad Money" shared his thoughts on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD), Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC).On AMD: Cramer says "AMD has much more room to go" following the company's strong earnings results and acquisition of Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX). Cramer also notes AMD's CEO Lisa Su has amazing leadership and will continue to grow this company. On INO: Amid the FDA halting the company's COVID-19 vaccine trial, Cramer says "there are better fish to fry" in this industry and would get out of that company. On HMC: When Cramer was asked about his thoughts on Honda, he says he would rather have General Motors (NYSE: GM) or Ford Motor (NYSE: F).See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Jim Cramer Talks American Express Earnings * Jon Najarian Sees Unusual Options Activity In Sonos And Sabre(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved. 8h ago South China Morning Post Huachen Automotive Group Holding, the state-owned parent of BMW's main Chinese joint-venture partner, has defaulted on a bond payment, heightening fears about the debt-ridden carmaker's fate.The company was not able to repay a 1 billion yuan (US$149.1 million) corporate bond paying 5.3 per cent in annual coupon, which it sold via a private placement three years ago. The group is "working hard to raise money and discussing with investors to iron out the issue," according to a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing.Huachen is the parent of Hong Kong-listed Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, which owns 25 per cent of a venture with BMW, making Series 1, 3 and 5 passenger sedans in the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang in north-eastern China.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Its default is the latest in a long list of missed payments by China's private sector and state-owned borrowers, as the slowest economic growth pace in decades cause earnings to dwindle and make it harder to meet payment schedules in the US$15 trillion onshore bond market. "Default by a state-owned carmaker could affect bond market sentiment," said Gu Weiyong, the chief investment officer at Shanghai-based asset manager Ucon Investment. "The grim reality is that many Chinese companies have yet to entirely emerge out of the Covid-19 pandemic. "SCMP Infographics: Global carmakers and their China venture partnersChina's automotive industry, which surpassed the United States in 2009 as the world's largest automotive market, has been saddled with almost two years of declining sales, as the slowest economic growth pace in decades deterred households form big ticket purchases. Sales began to recover in the second half, but not enough to avert 2020 being the third consecutive year of declining sales.When the coronavirus pandemic was first reported in China during the first quarter, production was severely curtailed, as assemblies and parts makers were shut throughout the country, with their impact reverberating far and wide across the global industry.New cars in a parking lot of the Brilliance factory in the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang in north-eastern China on July 17, 2017. Photo: AFP alt=New cars in a parking lot of the Brilliance factory in the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang in north-eastern China on July 17, 2017. Photo: AFPBrilliance China's first-half net profit rose 25.2 per cent from last year to 4.05 billion yuan. Factoring out the net income contributed by BMW brand, the Hong Kong-listed company posted a first-half loss of 340 million yuan.The Liaoning provincial government is considering taking Brilliance China private, according to local media reports. The company's shares fell 4.8 per cent to HK$6.78 (87 US cents) in Hong Kong trading on Tuesday.Local authorities and China's financial regulators are particularly wary of defaults or any financial misadventure that could potentially set off civic unrest, in a nation faced with a dearth of investible options.They tend to step in to inject much-needed cash, or extend payment holidays, to help defaulting borrowers survive. It was not until March 2014 that the market saw its first default, when Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology failed to make an interest payment.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. 21h ago TipRanks For investors, finding the right sign is part of the game. Stocks don’t necessarily pick themselves, and the investors who do pick them need to know that they’re making the right choice. Fortunately for investors – and the safety of their portfolios – there are reliable signals that a stock is worth buying. One of the best is the insider buying.Insiders are corporate officers, deeply invested in their company’s success or failure, they are usually stockholders themselves – but they are responsible for more than just their own portfolios. Corporate officers are beholden to their Boards of Directors, to their fellow company officers, and to the stock owning public to ensure profits and returns on the shares – and so, when these insiders start buying large blocs, investors should take note.TipRanks follows the insiders’ trades, making use of the publicly published stock moves to track them. The Insiders’ Hot Stocks page provides the scoop on which stocks the market’s insiders are buying – or selling – so that you can make informed purchases. We’ve picked three stocks with recent informative buys to show how the data works for you.Agree Realty Corporation (ADC)First on the list is a major company in the REIT segment. Agree Realty, based in Metro Detroit, focuses on acquiring and developing properties for big-name retail tenants. At the end of 3Q20, Agree’s portfolio included 1,027 properties across 45 states, and totaled some 21 million square feet of leasable area. The company’s tenants include 7-Eleven, AutoZone, Dollar General, and Wendy’s franchises, among many others.Agree’s third quarter results, reported earlier this month, showed a sequential increase in EPS from 76 cents to 80 cents, and total rental income of $63.7 million. The company reported a quarterly record of $470.7 million in rental property investments, and increased its dividend. The 60 cents a share dividend offers investors a 3.67% yield.All of that comes at a time when many REITs have been reporting difficulty in collecting rents, as tenants have been coping with the financial repercussions of the corona crisis. In this area, however, Agree has been conspicuously successful. The company reported receiving 96%, 97%, and 99% of rents due in July, August, and September. Agree has deferral arrangements for another 2% of its tenants. This success in rent collection has provided the base for the solid quarterly income stream already noted.On October 22, Agree has seen one big insider trade. CEO and President Joey Agree bought up 15,293 shares, shelling out over $1 million. This brings the insider sentiment here into positive territory.Covering this stock for Raymond James, analyst RJ Milligan writes, “With rent collections at 99% for September, ADC continues to play offense while most peers are still tracking down rents. We believe the big increase in acquisition guidance will push Street estimates meaningfully higher for 2021/2022, which will likely serve as the positive catalyst ADC investors have been waiting for.”Milligan rates the stock a Strong Buy, and sets an $82 price target that indicates room for 27% upside growth in the year ahead. (To watch Milligan’s track record, click here)Overall, ADC gets a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on a unanimous 5 Buy reviews given recently. ADC shares are selling for $64.61 and their $74.38 average price target makes the one-year upside 14%. (See ADC stock analysis on TipRanks)First American Financial (FAF)Next on our list is First American Financial, a title and lenders insurance company. FAF is a staple of the mortgage industry, where its insurance products are essential to guaranteeing home loans. The company also deals in property and casualty policies, and saw $6.2 billion in total revenues last year.After seeing sharp declines at the top and bottom lines in the first quarter this year during the economic shutdown period provoked by the coronavirus pandemic, FAF has seen a clear recovery. The company saw sequential growth in revenues in Q2 and Q3, with the top line growing from $1.4 billion in the first quarter to $1.6 billion in the second and finally $1.9 billion in the third quarter. Q3 earnings grew 24% to $1.31 per share.FAF has seen one major insider buy recently. It wasn’t a million dollars, but the $191,000 purchase of 4,000 shares was still significant and gave the stock an overall positive insider sentiment. The buyer was Mark Oman, from the Board of Directors.Among FAF's fans is Mark Hughes, 5-star analyst with Truist Financial. The analyst gives the stock a Buy rating with a $66 price target to suggest an upside of 41% in the next 12 months. (To watch Hughes’ track record, click here)Backing his stance, Hughes notes the company’s steady flow of business, writing, “Purchase open orders last month equaled 2,500 per day, up 21% year over year. This compared to the July total of 2,400 per day, which was up 6% versus that same month last year. In the refi category, the daily number held steady sequentially at 3,200, up 46% compared to August 2019.”"Our price target of $66 assumes the stock trades at just under 15x our 2021 earnings estimate, at the upper end of the recent range for the title companies – we believe this is appropriate in light of healthy fundamentals in the sector – but still with a wider-than-usual discount to the S&P 500," the analyst concluded. Hughes’ review is one of two recent recommendations on record for FAF, making the analyst consensus here a Moderate Buy. The average price target is $65, giving the stock a 39% upside potential from the current share price of $46.62. (See FAF stock analysis on TipRanks)Eastern Bankshares (EBC)The last stock on our list is a new one to the market. Easter Bankshares is a holding company, the owner of Eastern Bank, a Massachusetts-based community bank – and the oldest mutual bank in the US. Earlier this month, Eastern conducted a changeover from mutual organization status to a join stock company, selling over 179 million shares of common stock. The offering price was $10 per share, and the sale grossed over $1.79 billion for the company.And this is where the insider trades come in. Eastern’s corporate officers made large stock purchases during the IPO. Company CEO and Board Chairman Robert Rivers made the largest single purchase, for $2 million, and executive VP Barbara Heinemann bought $1.02 million worth of the stock. Five Board members made purchases in excess of $1 million or more.For the most part, these buys were the company officers making their personal stakes in the company, and setting up stock holdings as part of their compensation packages. It’s a routine in the corporate world. But these large stock buys – 7 of at least $1 million, and 10 more of $200,000 or more – show confidence in the company and a willingness by the top brass to put their own skin in the game.Turning to the analyst community, analyst Laurie Havener, who covers this new stock for Compass Point, wrote: "We like the EBC story as it offers investors a unique opportunity to invest in an overly-well-capitalized, 200+ year old, Boston based bank substantially below book. Importantly, EBC has a desirable franchise footprint, ranking 5 in the Boston MSA, with a fabulous low-costing deposit base.” To this end, Havener rates EBC a Buy along with $15 price target, suggesting that this bank holding company has room for 24% upside growth in the year ahead. (To watch Hunsicker’s track record, click here)Judging from the consensus breakdown, it has been relatively quiet when it comes to other analyst activity. Over the last few weeks, only 2 analysts have reviewed the bank. Both of which, however, were bullish, making the consensus a Moderate Buy. (See EBC stock analysis on TipRanks)Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment. 13h ago Apple (AAPL) will report FQ4 earnings on Thursday evening in what will as per usual be one of earnings season’s highlights. This September quarter’s results, however, will have a different flavor, due to the well-publicized delay to the new iPhone’s release. An issue Deutsche Bank analyst Jeriel Ong believes will be on investors’ minds when Apple releases its quarterly financial results.“We expect a solid Sept-qtr report from AAPL, but see investors overlooking any recent strength/weakness and focusing on the Dec-qtr given the recent iPhone release and impact on guidance and the Mar-qtr beyond, as this is the first time that all new iPhone products are a month or more delayed. With only a week of new iPhone sales by the time earnings are reported on 10/29, we are unsure that AAPL will feel comfortable with guidance,” Ong wrote. In fact, Apple has not provided any official guidance since January, while for the December quarter, the tech giant usually has 1.5 months of sales data to base the guidance on, it is a luxury the company does not have this time around.As for the September quarter’s results, Ong expects revenue of $62.7 billion, indicating a 5% quarter-over-quarter uptick yet down by 2% year-over-year. The Street’s forecast calls for $63.8 billion. Ong’s EPS estimate stands at $0.69 compared to the Street’s $0.70 estimate.In contrast to Apple, Ong does provide guidance for the next quarter and expects revenue to increase by 9% year-over-year and 60% quarter-over-quarter to $100.1 billion, slightly below the Street’s call for $100.6 billion. On the bottom line, Ong expects EPS of $1.37, the same as the Street’s estimate.As a side note, the 5-year average quarter-over-quarter increase for revenue in the Dec Quarter stands at 52%. “Given the lack of 1 week of new iPhone revenues in the Sept-qtr due to the delayed release, we would expect AAPL to beat seasonality comfortably in the Dec-qtr,” Ong added.All in all, ahead of the print, Ong reiterates a Buy rating on AAPL shares along with a $140 price target. This figure suggests a 20% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Ong’s track record, click here)Apple has decent support on the Street with 26 Buys, 8 Holds and 1 Sell coalescing to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $125.81, the average price target suggests room for an 8% uptick. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment. 5h ago (Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. shares fell to their lowest level in more than a decade Tuesday as investors awaiting Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf’s strategy absorbed the prospect of job cuts and likely business sales.Shares declined 3.9% to their lowest since June 2009, dipping further than the 24-firm KBW Bank Index. Scharf, who took over last October, has been reviewing each of the firm’s businesses and is preparing to lay out his turnaround plan for the embattled lender. He’s said he would provide more information to investors in January.Scharf has promised a simpler structure, and is examining sales of units including the corporate-trust business, the student-lending portfolio and the asset manager. The bank has also embarked on a job-cutting initiative that could ultimately result in workforce reductions numbering in the tens of thousands.Read More on Wells Fargo:Wells Fargo Is Said to Mull $1 Billion-Plus Corporate-Trust SaleWells Fargo Cuts Dozens of Fixed-Income Research AnalystsWells Fargo Weighs Asset-Manager Sale as Sector ConsolidatesBuffett Inches Toward Wells Fargo Exit as Scharf Sets CourseWells Fargo Asset Cap Is Now One of the Costliest Bank PenaltiesWells Fargo, still under a Federal Reserve-imposed asset cap, has been the worst-performing company in the KBW Bank Index this year, with shares down more than 59%. The Fed limit has kept the bank from offsetting low rates with balance-sheet growth the way many rivals have. A Joe Biden win in the U.S. presidential election next week could prolong that timeline, according to Cowen analyst Jaret Seiberg.“We expect Wells Fargo to push the Federal Reserve to release it from the asset cap before Biden can replace top Fed officials in late 2021 and early 2022,” Seiberg wrote in a note. “We see that as an uphill fight, which is why the asset cap could stay in place into 2023.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P. 9h ago (Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest exchange-traded fund is losing cash at a faster pace than any of its peers as investors seek lower fees amid a wave of cost cutting.Traders have yanked $33 billion from SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) so far this year, the most in the industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the exodus was concentrated in February and March, when the coronavirus pandemic roiled global markets, it put the $294 billion fund tracking the U.S. stock benchmark at odds with the broader equity ETF universe -- which has lured $119 billion in 2020.As issuers race to slash costs, SPY’s relatively hefty expense-ratio could be one of the reasons limiting its rebound. The ETF carries a fee of 0.095% that’s roughly triple the cost of investing in three of its largest competitors. That means investors who are re-entering the market may be gravitating toward cheaper options, according to analysts.“As the market recovered, investors put that money back to work in lower-cost products,” said Nate Geraci, president of investment-advisory firm the ETF Store in Overland Park, Kansas. “My expectation is SPY will continue ‘bleeding’ assets, regardless of the market environment, as investors continue flocking to lower-fee competitors.”While SPY is leading outflows, the $162.8 billion Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) -- with its 0.03% expense ratio -- has taken in $23.3 billion in 2020, the most among its peers. Meanwhile, the lower-cost SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (SPLG), which has the same holdings as SPY but charges 0.03%, has lured $2.9 billion of new cash.Vanguard Group, the second-largest issuer in the $4.8 trillion ETF market, has vaulted ahead of its competitors, with $148 billion worth of inflows in 2020. BlackRock Inc. and State Street Corp. have attracted $79 billion and $19 billion, respectively. While Vanguard’s flows have been boosted by the conversion of some its mutual-fund clients to lower-cost ETF shares, that process has only been responsible for $22.8 billion worth of its inflows, according to Vanguard spokesman Freddy Martino.“Former SPY money may not have gone back to SPY, but to lower-cost equivalents or to active, thematic or ESG funds,” said Linda Zhang, chief executive officer of New York-based Purview Investments, which specializes in active-ETF research and managed solutions. “It’s probably a combination of both.”To Matt Bartolini of State Street Global Advisors, the money that left SPY during the height of the virus turmoil has rotated into sector-specific funds, such as State Street’s Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE). But with just one week until the U.S. presidential election, the flow picture could soon be upended once more, he said.“A lot of those investors have migrated to other sectors of single-stock names,” said Bartolini, SSGA’s head of SPDR Americas Research. “Who knows what’s going to happen this election, but there’s definitely going to be money in motion.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P. 13h ago South China Morning Post Digital financial services giant Ant Group is on the cusp of pulling off the world's biggest initial public offering and could be worth over US$500 billion in the near future, riding on the digitisation of financial services in the world's second-largest economy.Hangzhou-headquartered Ant's coming out parade illustrates China's lead in digital finance. Its super-slick mobile payment app, Alipay, has over 1 billion users, making it the world's most popular app outside social-media networks.Ant's payments network is just the gateway, funnelling small businesses and consumers into a broad financial ecosystem spanning lending, investment and insurance services.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The world's most valuable privately owned company is also developing services to make daily life easier. Consumers can click on the Alipay app for services ranging from food deliveries to garbage collection.The system's cogs are oiled by a trove of data gathered in China, the world's most populous country, which makes pricing more accurate and efficient than at traditional banks.Ant plans to plough the US$34.5 billion it is raising from dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai into future revenue drivers, such as blockchain, growth outside China and merchant services.In this explainer, we take a look at the growth potential of Ant's key businesses and why the company could soon be worth more than the world's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase. "We believe that if we can enable ordinary people to enjoy the same financial services as the bank CEO and help mom and pop shops to obtain growth financing as easily as big firms, then we will be a company that belongs to the future," Eric Jing, Ant's executive chairman, said in the company's prospectus.What is Ant?Ant traces its origins back to 2004, when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding created Alipay to bridge a lack of trust between buyers and sellers in the early days of online shopping in mainland China.In 2011, Alibaba, the owner of the Post, spun off Alipay, so that it could apply for a payment business licence in mainland China. That company, then known as Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Company, changed its name to Ant Financial and eventually morphed into Ant Group.Ant reported revenue of 118.19 billion yuan (US$17.7 billion) in the nine months ended September, a 43 per cent increase over the same period in 2019.It dwarfs Palo Alto-based PayPal's user base of PayPal, which had 346 million active accounts as of June 30 and is the largest digital payments platform outside China. PayPal generated revenue of US$12.8 billion in the first nine months of 2019 and US$9.88 billion in the first half of this year.Ant sees further room for growth as China's digital payments transaction volume is expected to increase to 412 trillion yuan by 2025, from 201 trillion yuan last year, according to consultancy iResearch. The compound annual growth rate in Ant's annual active users was 15 per cent between 2017 and 2019.Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is a controlling shareholder of Ant Group and will retain his voting rights after the company's IPO. Photo: AP alt=Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is a controlling shareholder of Ant Group and will retain his voting rights after the company's IPO. Photo: APWhat are Ant's key businesses?Ant is cross-selling and upselling higher-value financial products to users of its payments network and sees engagement with its customers growing tenfold in the coming five years.Ant acts as a lending, investment and insurance products platform for individuals and underserved small businesses. Its revenue per user is just 121 yuan, still small compared with traditional financial institutions.Digital financial services contributed more than half of Ant's overall revenues in the six months ended June 30.Its largest business is now what it has dubbed CreditTech, providing credit to consumers and small businesses, surpassing payments and generating 39.4 per cent of its revenue in the six months ended June 30.Ant is the largest online provider of microfinance services in China in terms of total outstanding credit balance originated through its platform, according to consultancy Oliver Wyman.Management likens China's banks to the arteries of the economy, financing growth. They see Ant as the capillaries that transmit funds to the extremities of the economy, small businesses and individuals.Ant originates loans, 98 per cent of which are then underwritten by financial institutions or securitised. As of June 30, it was working with about 100 banks, including all policy banks, large national state-owned banks, all national joint-stock banks, leading city and rural commercial banks, international banks that operate in China, as well as trust companies.Its platform takes just three minutes to process a loan and 1 second to disburse the loan, with zero human intervention.The consumer credit and small business credit balance in China could swell to 50 trillion yuan by 2025, and Ant has only tapped about 4 per cent of this huge market so far.In investment services, Ant has partnered with 170 asset managers, as well as banks and insurers, to provide wealth management products to its customers. As of June 30, the so-called InvestmentTech segment had 4.1 trillion yuan in assets under management sold through Ant's platform.The insurance business also is a growing segment, accounting for 8.4 per cent of its revenue in the six months ended June 30.Ant is the largest online insurance services platform in China in terms of premiums generated, according to Oliver Wyman. It has relationships with about 90 insurers in the mainland, representing about 52 billion yuan in premiums generated and contributions through its online mutual-aid platform Xiang Hu Bao in the twelve months ended June 30.China's online insurance premiums will hit 1.9 trillion yuan by 2025 at a CAGR of 38.1 per cent, said Oliver Wyman. Ant's premiums are still under 1 per cent of this fast-growing pie.QR codes for WeChat Pay (left) and Alipay, whcih dominate the mobile payments market in China. Photo: Reuters alt=QR codes for WeChat Pay (left) and Alipay, whcih dominate the mobile payments market in China. Photo: ReutersHow does Ant compare with Tencent Holdings?Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Pay command a virtual duopoly in China's mobile payments, which accounted for US$15.9 trillion in transactions in the second quarter, according to the most recent data from the People's Bank of China.There were 30.1 billion mobile transactions alone in the mainland in the second quarter, a 26.9 per cent increase over the year-earlier period.The two players had an aggregate market share of 90 per cent of third-party mobile payments in China at the end of last year, according to Mizuho Securities.It is difficult to directly compare Alipay to Tencent's WeChat Pay as Hong Kong-listed Tencent does not break them out separately but WeChat Pay is included in its fintech and business services division.In 2019, Alipay generated a higher average transaction size - 483 yuan versus 183 yuan at Tencent's payment affiliate Caifutong, according to Morningstar analysts. Ant also generated a gross margin nearly double that of Tencent's fintech business last year.Other differences also remain between their payments businesses. Not least, WeChat Pay is integrated into WeChat while Alipay is a stand-alone app, linked to consumers' bank accounts.A figurine of Ant's mascot sits on a desk at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: Bloomberg alt=A figurine of Ant's mascot sits on a desk at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: BloombergWhat are Ant's emerging growth drivers?Future revenue drivers include Ant's blockchain business, dubbed Antchain, as well as international expansion and merchant services.Ant started to explore blockchain's potential around six years ago and has been investing in the technology ever since. It has taken the lead globally in terms of technical capability and developed around 50 commercial applications.In March, Simon Hu, Ant's chief executive, released a three-year plan to open up Alipay as an online gateway for businesses ranging from retailers to hotels, working with 50,000 independent software vendors to digitally upgrade 40 million merchants.Ant's management predicts that the 80 million small businesses it serves today will swell to 163 million by 2025.Analysts sent research to investors on Wednesday pegging Ant's near-term valuation roughly between US$350 billion and US$450 billion on a like-for-like basis, including the money it is raising in the IPO, according to people familiar with the matter.On a different time frame, JPMorgan analysts are particularly bullish on future growth potential and estimated Ant's market capitalisation would swell to north of US$500 billion post-money.Credit Suisse analysts peg Ant's valuation between US$380 billion and US$461 billion, with a price/earnings to growth ratio between 1.2 times and 1.4 times. They forecast Ant's net profit will hit 56 billion yuan (US$8.4 billion) in 2021 and 75 billion yuan in 2022.Ant Bank is a virtual banking arm of Ant in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout alt=Ant Bank is a virtual banking arm of Ant in Hong Kong. Photo: HandoutHow big is Ant outside mainland China?Mainland China accounted for 95.6 per cent of Ant's revenue for the six months ended June 30, and most of its revenue from outside China was from cross-border payment services.But, Ant and other payment providers are seeking to expand internationally and diversify domestically as the third-party mobile payment industry has become saturated in China in terms of the number of users. "Future opportunities would lie in cross-border payment, inbound tourism and overseas markets," said Ben Huang, an analyst at Mizuho Securities.Ant has been expanding overseas for the past decade and is now present across the Asia-Pacific region and in Chinese tourist hotspots globally.It had forged partnerships with local partners in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand as of March 31.Ant also won a virtual bank license in Hong Kong and is applying for one in Singapore.Alipay's in-store payment service is in more than 50 markets globally. Alipay supports 27 currencies and works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas, and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites.Ant is seeking to expand into products beyond payments as part of its growth strategy. Photo: Reuters alt=Ant is seeking to expand into products beyond payments as part of its growth strategy. Photo: ReutersDo rising US-China tensions present a risk to Ant's business?Ant's business in the US is "negligible", but the company warned the worsening relationship between the world's biggest economies had raised concerns the US may impose "increased regulatory challenges or enhanced restrictions" on Chinese companies.Two years ago, Ant's US$1.2 billion deal to acquire money transfer firm Moneygram International fell apart after a US government panel rejected the transaction over national security concerns.Bloomberg reported this month that the US was considering potential actions against Tencent and Ant over their payment apps. Reuters also reported the US State Department submitted a proposal to blacklist Ant by adding it to the so-called entity list, which restricts the sale of certain technology.Citing potential risks to its outlook, Ant said that restricted items compromise an "immaterial" portion of its technology and software, but any such restrictions could "materially and adversely" affect its ability to acquire technologies that may be critical to its business and impede its ability to access US-based cloud services or operate in the US. "In addition, these policies and measures directed at China and Chinese companies could have the effect of discouraging US persons and organizations to work for, provide services to or cooperate with Chinese companies, which could hinder our ability to hire or retain qualified personnel and find suitable partners for our business," Ant said in its prospectus.What is the relationship between Alibaba and Ant today?Alibaba, which owns the Post, and Ant remain closely intertwined despite Alipay being spun off in 2011, a huge competitive advantage for the digital financial services group.Billionaire Jack Ma holds a controlling shareholder of Ant and the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba. Ma controls 50.52 per cent of Ant's shares.Within Alibaba's so-called walled garden, about 70 per cent of the gross merchandise volume generated by its marketplaces in China was settled through Alipay in the twelve months to March 31.Alibaba also pays Alipay a fee, on favourable terms to Alibaba, for payment services to its consumers and merchants. In the financial year 2020, those service fees were 8.7 billion yuan.In February 2018, Alibaba, through its subsidiaries, took a 33 per cent equity stake in Ant, which it still holds. Alibaba has subscribed to Ant shares to prevent the IPO from diluting its stake.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. 21h ago Many companies will be eager to put 2020 behind them and surely so will Boeing (BA). The A&D giant had issues to contend with prior to the viral outbreak, but these were exacerbated by COVID-19’s ruinous impact on the airline industry.Reduced long-term commercial jet demand, aircraft delivery cancellations, terrible earnings and a scathing verdict from Congress for the design mistakes that led to the two deadly crashes of Boeing's grounded jetliner, the 737 Max, have all been on the agenda in 2020.As a result, BA shares are down by a massive 52% so far this year.Heading into Wednesday’s Q3 earnings, RBC analyst Michael Eisen is not expecting a surprising turnaround.In fact, the analyst reduced his consolidated revenue forecast by 18%, due to a 48% cut to his Commercial Airplane estimates; In Q3, BA has already reported it made 28 commercial deliveries vs. Eisen’s prior forecast for 51 aircraft deliveries.Eisen now expects revenue of $3.3 billion compared to the $6.4 billion he previously forecasted. Street is calling for $4.3 billion.As far as gaining insights into the overall state of Boeing’s operations, Eisen believes investors will be focused on several key issues, especially “updated expectations on the MAX.”“This should include comments regarding customers’ willingness to accept the plane, how investors should think about the cadence of production ramps towards 31/month by ’22, and the cash flow profile of the growing MAX inventory,” Eisen said.Other key areas Eisen expects investors’ to home in on include how Boeing fares compared to other major defense competitors’ lowered 2021 growth expectations. Boeing, says Eisen, should “benefit from ramping development programs and improved production on the KC-46, and should be able to deliver LSD/MSD growth.”Lastly, investors will be keen to find out Boeing’s cash flow position – “when FCF could inflect positively and what “normalized” cash flows could look like beyond ’21.”All said, though, Eisen sees better days ahead. The analyst rates BA shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy), along with a $194 price target. The implication for investors? Upside of 25%. (To watch Eisen’s track record, click here)Amongst Eisen’s colleagues, BA has mixed reviews with a slightly bullish tilt. Based on 8 Buys, 9 Holds and 1 Sell, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The average price target hits $188.06 and suggests shares will rise by 21% over the coming months. (See Boeing stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment. 6h ago
Knight Broadband Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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