Lowe’s, Madison Square Garden Sports, Nike, Salesforce and Microsoft highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 9, 2020 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW as the Bull of the Day, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. MSGS asthe Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on NIKE, Inc. NKE, salesforce.com, inc. CRM and Microsoft Corporation MSFT.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

As the Covid-19 pandemic stretches past its 200th day and Americans remain mostly in their homes as much as possible, there have been many winners and losers in the business world. The losers have been businesses that rely on in-person interactions for a significant portion of their revenues. Travel, leisure and entertainment have all suffered mightily.

Technology and technology services like video conferencing and file sharing companies that allow people to work at home more efficiently have been the obvious winners.

There have also been winners in lower-tech industries that suddenly find their goods and services in increased demand – and customers who’s lack of recent spending on recreational pursuits has left them with additional cash in their budgets.

Have you been to a home improvement store lately? With the exception of physical formats that have been tweaked to promote social distancing, you’ll probably find that it looks pretty much like business as usual.

For a huge retailer like Lowe’s Companies, a quick look at recent financials confirms that not only is it “business as usual,” in may respects, it’s better than usual. Suddenly consumers who have been confined to their homes have been embarking on a wide variety of home improvement projects.

The more time you spend in your home, the more likely you are to take on those nagging minor repairs that have been on your “to-do” list forever, as well as tackling bigger projects like painting and landscaping. Contractors have their schedules filled months into the future – and they shop at home improvement stores too – for plumbing, electrical, carpentry and concrete supplies.

With limited options for dining out, grills and other outdoor cooking equipment have been flying out of stores, along with larger appliances like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers. Though unemployment remains stubbornly above recent averages, most Americans do remain employed. With almost no money spent on things like airline tickets and restaurant meals, many are finding that they have extra cash to spend on improving their environments.

Low interest rates have kept the housing markets extraordinarily healthy, and increased spending on home improvement projects tends to accompany residential real estate transactions.

The Share Price

One possible knock on Lowe’s right now is that the shares have already seen remarkable appreciation this year. During the market panic in March, those shares traded as low as $60 – an incredible bargain!

Even at recent levels near $170/share however, Lowe’s remains quite reasonably valued at 20X forward 12-month earnings estimates. For comparison purposes, competitor Home Depot trades at 25X forward earnings.

13 recent upward earnings estimate revisions earn Lowe’s

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Bear of the Day: Madison Square Garden Company (MSGS)

It’s one of the most famous sports and entertainment venues in the world. Known colloquially as simply “The Garden” and situated right in the middle of Manhattan, Madison Square Garden is the oldest stadium in both the NBA and the NHL and has also hosted countless music, arts and comedy events over the past 52 years. For athletes and performers, “playing at the Garden” is synonymous with having reached the top of their field. It’s truly iconic.

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSGS) doesn’t own the building – the property itself belongs to a related company.*

MSGS owns the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers – two teams who play in the building and have enjoyed a huge local market and loyal fans around the country who buy up licensed merchandise and watch televised broadcasts. They also own several minor league franchises in both sports, training centers and even an esports team.

*(For clarification: Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) owns not only that notable, hulking physical facility that looms over two city blocks between 7th and 8th avenue in the low 30s; it also owns Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, the Chicago Theater, The Forum in Inglewood, CA and Boston’s Wang Theater. All those venues are currently closed. MSGE is currently a Zacks Rank #4 [Sell].)

Live sporting events are a very tough business to be in right now. The NHL cancelled the remainder of the regular season at the beginning of the outbreak in the US in March and pulled together a modified playoff format so that they could still award the Stanley Cup – which was eventually won by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most teams had played roughly 70 out of a planned 82-game regular season schedule.

It was a similar story in the NBA with the regular season cancelled and an elimination tournament held in an isolation “bubble” in Florida in which all players, coaches, staff and referees have been avoiding all contact with the outside world throughout the proceedings. (The Los Angeles Lakers will look to take the championship trophy home tonight when they take the court up 3 games to 1 against the Miami Heat.)

While sports franchises were able to salvage at least some broadcast revenue from the truncated seasons, it’s a far cry from what they’re accustomed to pulling in from a diverse set of revenue sources during a normal season.

The real concern is next season: 2020-2021.

It’s anyone’s guess when we’ll be gathering once again in public spaces. Under normal circumstances, the new seasons for professional basketball and hockey should be underway soon, but obviously that’s not going to happen. Even if the leagues are able to cobble together something, there will be a massive revenue hit for individual teams.

For MSGS – which has never made all that much in net profits – that’s a disaster. Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Earnings Estimate has fallen from a net

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Madison Square Garden extends furloughs for 1,700 workers

There’s no indication of just how long temporary will be. Despite the rest of the city reopening, performances and events have been disallowed since March. When those types of large-scale gatherings will be safe again is anyone’s guess, and the Garden’s filing shows how that prolonged uncertainty is touching even the most well-known names in the city. Madison Square Garden Entertainment Group, the Garden’s parent company, reported just $9 million in total revenue in its most recent quarterly report, a 96% decrease on the $215.2 million it brought in for the same quarter in 2019. 

Many of the city’s other venues also are in financial distress. The Metropolitan Opera House said in September that it would not reopen for at least a year, and a similar filing with the Department of Labor shows it has furloughed or laid off more than 2,000 people. Broadway’s layoffs have surpassed 1,000, and Carnegie Hall has dipped into its endowment. 

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Group owns the Beacon Theatre and Radio City Music Hall in addition to its Penn Plaza site. The extended furloughs mainly hit its Penn Plaza workforce, although they also affect 54 workers at the Beacon Theatre and 140 workers at Radio City Music Hall. 

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How Judas Priest Got a Lifetime Ban From Madison Square Garden

Rob Halford recalls how Judas Priest received a lifetime ban from Madison Square Garden in an exclusive excerpt from his memoir Confess: The Autobiography.

The British band’s performance at the legendary New York venue in 1985 was its second visit, and singer Halford hoped it wouldn’t be the last. But after fans rioted and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, they’ve never been allowed to return.

A statement by the publisher calls Confess ”the story of an extraordinary five decades in the music industry” and “the tale of unlikely encounters with everybody from Superman to Andy Warhol, Madonna, Jack Nicholson and the queen. More than anything else, it’s a celebration of the fire and power of heavy metal.” Confess: The Autobiography is on sale now.

_____

We headed back down into America. In Madison, Wisc., we had to shelter 10,000 people under the bleachers of the Dane County Coliseum as a tornado approached. Glenn [Tipton] and I snuck a peek out of a back door and boggled at the low black, blue and vivid green clouds overhead as sirens wailed and the storm raged.

Then, just over a week later, our own tornado hit New York City. A second gig at Madison Square Garden, in a way, meant even more than our first: It hadn’t been a one-off! We had become a band who could play the Garden regularly! Or so we thought. Unfortunately, this was to be our last-ever show there.

It was a great, regular gig until the encore. As we came back on and I began wailing “Living After Midnight,” I caught sight, out of the corner of my eye, of a flying object. Huh? What was that? And here came another one … and another one … . As the song ended, I glanced behind me and saw a pile of foam seat covers from the auditorium cluttering the stage. I looked out into the venue, and the air was black with more seats flying toward us. One or two of them appeared to be alight.

I ran offstage and jumped on my Harley for “Hell Bent for Leather.” By the time I rode it onstage, it was like trying to motorbike through a floor-level soft-furnishings jumble sale. There were more seat cushions on the stage than in the arena. What the fuck? Two thoughts filled my head: a) This is fantastic! Our own riot! And b) They’re never gonna let us play this place again!

Glenn, Ken [Downing] and Ian [Hill] were by now bouncing on foam to play, as there was no bare stage left. Ken later said that it had been like playing guitar on a trampoline. After a quick “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” we scarpered offstage and hid.

Madison Square Garden later said, and the press repeated with great relish, that our fans had done $250,000 worth of damage. We didn’t do a thing to instigate the riot, but we got a lifetime ban from the venue. They

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10-K: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN SPORTS CORP.

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) —
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In this MD&A, there are statements concerning the future operating and future financial performance of Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (formerly The Madison Square Garden Company) and its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”) including, the completion of the National Basketball Association (the “NBA”) and National Hockey League (the “NHL”) 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, and the impact of COVID-19 on our future operations. See “Part I – Item 1. Business” for further discussion of the MSGE Distribution (defined below). Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “potential,” “continue,” “intends,” “plans,” and similar words and terms used in the discussion of future operating and future financial performance identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, results or events and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results or developments may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that may cause such differences to occur include, but are not limited to: the duration and severity of the coronavirus pandemic and our ability to effectively manage the impacts, including the unavailability of the Madison Square Garden Arena (“The Garden”) and league decisions regarding the resumption of play;

the impact of the suspension or cancellation of the 2019-20 or 2020-21 NBA and NHL seasons on our ability to recognize revenue from national media rights fees;

the level of our revenues, which depends in part on the popularity and competitiveness of our sports teams;

costs associated with player injuries, waivers or contract terminations of players and other team personnel;

changes in professional sports teams’ compensation, including the impact of signing free agents and trades, subject to league salary caps and the impact of luxury tax;

the level of our capital expenditures and other investments;

general economic conditions, especially in the New York City;

the demand for sponsorship arrangements and for advertising;

competition, for example, from other teams, and other sports and entertainment options;

changes in laws, NBA or NHL rules, regulations, guidelines, bulletins, directives, policies and agreements, including the leagues’ respective collective bargaining agreements (each a “CBA”) with their players’ associations, salary caps, escrow requirements, revenue sharing, NBA luxury tax thresholds and media rights, or other regulations under which we operate;

any NBA, NHL or other work stoppage in addition to those related to COVID-19 impacts;

any economic, political or other actions, such as boycotts, protests, work stoppages or campaigns by labor organizations;

seasonal fluctuations and other variation in our operating results and cash flow from period to period;

the level of our expenses, including our corporate expenses;

business, reputational and litigation risk

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10-K: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ENTERTAINMENT CORP.

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) —
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In this MD&A, there are statements concerning the future operating and future financial performance of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. and its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, “we,” “us,” “our,” “MSG Entertainment,” or the “Company”), including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our future operations, our anticipated operational cash burn on a go-forward basis, cost-cutting measures the Company may or may not pursue to preserve cash and financial flexibility, the potential for future impairment charges, the timing and costs of new venue construction, our plans to pursue additional debt financing and negotiate amendments to Tao Group Hospitality’s credit facility, increased investment in personnel, content and technology for the MSG Spheres, and increased expenses of being a standalone public company. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “potential,” “continue,” “intends,” “plans,” and similar words and terms used in the discussion of future operating and future financial performance identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, results or events and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results or developments may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that may cause such differences to occur include, but are not limited to: our ability to effectively manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government actions taken in response;

the level of our expenses and our operational cash burn rate, including our corporate expenses as a stand-alone publicly traded company;

our ability to successfully design, construct, finance and operate new venues in Las Vegas, London and other markets, and the investments, costs and timing associated with those efforts, including the impact of the temporary suspension of construction and any other construction delays and/or cost overruns;

the level of our revenues, which depends in part on the popularity of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes (“Christmas Spectacular”) and other entertainment and sports events which are presented in our venues;

the level of our capital expenditures and other investments;

general economic conditions, especially in the New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago and London metropolitan areas where we have (or plan to have) business activities;

the demand for sponsorship arrangements and for advertising;

competition, for example, from other venues and other sports and entertainment options, including the construction of new competing venues;

changes in laws, guidelines, bulletins, directives, policies and agreements, and regulations under which we operate;

any economic, social or political actions, such as boycotts, protests, work stoppages or campaigns by labor organizations;

seasonal fluctuations and other variations in our operating results and cash flow from period to period;

the successful development of new

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Three Madison County businesses warned by the Kitchen Cops

MADISON CO., Ala. (WAFF) – Three Madison County spots got warnings that their licenses were in danger of being suspended this week – despite two of them having overall good scores.



a green sign with white text: Kitchen Cops - September 24, 2020


© Provided by Huntsville-Decatur WAFF
Kitchen Cops – September 24, 2020

Tailgaters on Winchester Road scores a 90, and the produce section at the Foodland grocery store in Hazel Green gets a 95. Both spots had food temperature issues though. The Sonic at Bob Wallace and Triana gets a 79. It had food temperature issues as well, and there was also a black substance in the ice machine and soda nozzles.

Some familiar faces at the bottom of the score sheet this week include the Waffle House on Shields Road. It scores a 79 because of two unlabeled chemical bottles, food temperature issues and problems with the dishwasher.

The Pine Grove Texaco makes the low performer’s list yet again. This time, it scores an 81 because of a broken hot water knob on a sink, an employee touching food barehanded and residue in the ice chute and soda nozzles. That was all fixed, but the low score stands.

Stanlieo’s on Jordan Lane was written up for roaches and a dirty ice machine and soda nozzles.

Wendy’s in Jones Valley also had a dirty ice machine along with liquid grill cleaner being stored over raw hamburger.

Galen’s in New Hope is the lowest score this week. It had multiple problems with food temperatures, flies and the dishwasher operating without sanitizer that all had to be fixed.

Top performers this week include Sushi with Gusto on Whitesburg Drive with a 99, the newest Lawler’s on Winchester Road with a 98 and the Salty Nut Tap Room can’t be salty about its score with a 97.

For a full list of the Madison County inspection notes, click here.

For a full list of the Madison County scores, click here.

WAFF 48 is reaching out to other county health departments to find out when restaurant inspections will resume.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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Madison Square Garden Sports Is Trading At Less Than 60% Of Asset Value (NYSE:MSGS)

Thesis Snapshot

With a recent decline of over 10% in the last few trading days to $148 per share, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSGS) has fallen into Buy territory and we will begin accumulating shares at this level.

MSGS is a portfolio of sports assets, including the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL).

According to Forbes, the Knicks are the most valuable NBA team, worth $4.6 billion in enterprise value. Similarly, the Rangers are the NHL’s most prized franchise with a value of $1.65 billion. In total, the two teams are worth $6.25 billion or $260 per share.

At Monday’s close, MSGS is valued at 57% of asset value, which appears to be an exciting entry point.

MSG Sports | Homepage

Company Background and Overview

In March of 2020, The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) announced the approval to spin-off its entertainment businesses from its portfolio of sports assets. Upon completion of the transaction in April 2020, MSG became a pure-play sports company and changed its name to Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. The newly formed entertainment company was named Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSGE).

MSGS is home to a collection of the most valuable franchises in professional sports, including the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL).

Other MSGS assets include two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks, which serve as the exclusive G-League affiliate of the Knicks, and the Hartford Wolf Pack, the player development team for the Rangers playing in the American Hockey League (AHL).

In addition, the Company has an established presence in the emerging world of esports through Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), a North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, an NBA 2K League franchise.

Finally, MSGS operates two state-of-the-art performance centers. The Madison Square Garden Training Center in Greenburgh, NY is a 16-acre facility that offers the Knicks, Rangers, and Westchester Knicks a specialized training environment, with dedicated equipment for each team, the latest sports technology to optimize performance, and first-class amenities.

The CLG Performance Center in Los Angeles, CA includes unique competition spaces tailored to the Company’s esports game franchises, as well as a studio and editing bay for video productions and outdoor areas that can be used to hold fan events.

Valuation

Given the challenging COVID impact on entertainment-based companies like MSGS, recent operating results are poor. However, in our view, the near-term headwinds do not impact the long-term value of the Knicks and Rangers.

Further, MSGS maintains plenty of liquidity to ride out the current storm. The company has $293 million in available liquidity, including $78 million in cash and $215 million in undrawn credit facilities.

MSGS provides an opportunity to own two of the most valuable trophy assets in the world. Forbes values the Knicks and Rangers at $6.25 billion or $260 per share.

As it relates to the appraisals of professional sports teams, Forbes’ estimates carry credibility. Last week, the owner of the New York Mets agreed to sell the team for $2.42

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Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. has changed the targets executives must meet to collect bonuses due to its spinoff and the pandemic

“Shareholders oppose ‘one-way executive pay-for-performance’: When performance is good, everyone gets paid well, and when performance is bad, boards adjust awards to protect the downside,” Semler Brossy wrote in a report last month. “They are appropriately wary of that philosophy taking hold.

There are signs that philosophy is taking hold. Some companies suffering big drops in earnings or revenue have decided to swap out those metrics for more favorable ones when tallying up bonuses.

For example, Nike’s board decided to stop basing certain payouts on earnings or revenue after profits fell by 37% last fiscal year. It instead will award those payouts on how well the company’s stock price does over three years. The shift is intended to “ensure sustained engagement and drive key business results during a dynamic and unprecedented period,” the apparel giant said in a regulatory filing.

Others are lowering bonuses to conserve cash.

Hess, the Manhattan-based energy company, changed its bonus plan because turmoil in the oil market led to an adjusted first-half net loss of a half billion dollars. Hess reduced the maximum payout allowed from 200% of “target” to 50%. It said the revised plan would continue to serve as a “performance driver” with “rigorous but obtainable goals.”

MSG Sports said its bonus plan is based on executives reaching internal goals for revenue and adjusted operating income. The company said its board “seeks to make target goals ambitious, requiring meaningful growth over the performance period, while threshold goals are expected to be achievable.”

MSG Sports reported negative revenue of $7 million and a $79 million loss from continuing operations for the quarter ending June 30. That was down from positive revenue of $68 million and a $37 million loss from continuing operations in the year-earlier period. Last month the company laid off 53 people, according to a filing with the state, or about 15% of its staff.

One goal, MSG Sports officials say, is to restore the lost jobs.

“As our business returns to normal operations, we would look to bring back many of these positions,” Chief Executive Andrew Lustgarten said.

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Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP Announces Court Approval of the Settlement in the Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. Stockholder Lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / September 15, 2020 / Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP is pleased to announce that the Delaware Court of Chancery has approved the previously announced settlement of the stockholder derivative action brought against James Dolan, the Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (“MSG Sports”) (NYSE:MSGS) and the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (“MSG Entertainment”) (NYSE:MSGE).

The settlement requires James Dolan to surrender stock awards, valued at over $30 million, he received as “special” compensation in 2018. The stock awards were originally granted by MSG Sports but were then later split between MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment following the latter’s spin-off from MSG Sports. The settlement further provides that MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment will not reinstate or recompense Mr. Dolan for the cancelled awards, and that future compensation decisions at MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment regarding Mr. Dolan will be made with the assistance of an independent compensation consultant.

“The settlement is an outstanding result for MSG Sports, MSG Entertainment, and their stockholders” said Robert H. Lefkowitz, an attorney at Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP that represented the stockholder plaintiff. “Stockholders want share prices to increase, not executive compensation. The settlement is a big step in that direction.”

The derivative lawsuit, brought by a stockholder of MSG Sports, alleged that James Dolan and various members of the Dolan family breached their fiduciary duties to MSG Sports and its stockholders by granting James Dolan over $75 million in compensation – including the “special” equity awards – between 2016 and 2018. Following the filing of the complaint, MSG Sports formed a special litigation committee to investigate the claims made by the stockholder plaintiff, and the special committee ultimately concluded that it was in the best interests of MSG Sports and its stockholders that James Dolan return the “special” awards. On September 8, 2020, the Delaware Court of Chancery approved the settlement, finding that it was an “excellent” result.

Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP is a law firm exclusively committed to representing shareholders nationwide who are victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty and other types of corporate misconduct. For more information about the firm and its attorneys, please visit https://pjlfirm.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

SOURCE: Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP

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