Could the GSK share price and dividend be sunk by debt?

first_img GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) is one of the five biggest companies in the FTSE 100 and pays generous dividends. As such, it’s long been a core holding in the portfolios of many investors.However, its debt has increased dramatically over the last decade or two. Could this now pose a threat to its share price and dividend?5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Ballooning debtBack in the mid-2000s, GSK had net debt of less than £2bn. By the end of the decade this had risen to £9.4bn. Currently, it stands at £25.2bn.Despite the ballooning debt, the company has continued to pay shareholders an 80p annual dividend since 2014. This payout amounts to nearly £4bn a year. Clearly, borrowing more and more money in order to maintain a dividend can’t continue indefinitely.Prudent peersIn its annual results, released last week, GSK reported shareholders’ equity of £12m against the aforementioned net debt of £25.2m. This gives net gearing of 210% (net debt divided by shareholders’ equity multiplied by 100). Put another way, for every £1 of shareholders’ equity, GSK has £2.10 of debt.This is very high compared with its global big pharma peers. Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer and Sanofi all had net gearing of below 50% at their last reported year ends. I’d describe this as a prudent level of gearing. GSK hasn’t been in this club for over a decade.Heading in the right directionThe good news for the Footsie firm’s shareholders is that while current net gearing of 210% is high, it’s come down from 491% at the end of 2018 when shareholders’ equity was £4.4bn against net debt of £21.6bn. The year before that (2017) shareholders’ equity was minus £68m against net debt of £13.2bn, meaning gearing was off the scale.During these years, some analysts and investors feared the company would cut the dividend. Indeed, some urged it to do so. They argued GSK should allocate more capital to refreshing its pharmaceuticals pipeline.However, management stuck to its guns. It was able to do this because lenders remained supportive. With net gearing now falling, and other ratios — such as net debt/EBITDA and interest cover — also heading in the right direction, GSK’s dividend looks more secure.Buy, sell or hold?I’m confident GSK’s business and balance sheet are on a stronger footing. But would I buy the stock today?My Motley Fool colleague Michael Baxter described the company’s latest results as lacklustre. That’s a fair assessment, in my opinion. Earnings per share (EPS) of 123.9p came in slightly below a company-compiled consensus of 125p. Furthermore, for 2020, management has guided on a decline in EPS of between 1% and 4%.On the face of it, this doesn’t seem particularly inspiring. However, I think the prospects for the business and the current valuation of the stock are attractive.Management is increasing R&D investment in biopharma, and preparing its consumer healthcare business for a future demerger. I think its strategy has every prospect of creating significant value for buyers of the shares at a current price of 1,700p.Trading at around 14 times forecast 2020 EPS of 119p-123p, and with the 80p dividend giving a yield of 4.7%, I rate the stock a ‘buy’. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Could the GSK share price and dividend be sunk by debt? See all posts by G A Chestercenter_img G A Chester has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Johnson & Johnson. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” G A Chester | Monday, 10th February, 2020 | More on: GSK Image source: Getty Images Enter Your Email Address Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.last_img read more

B House / Damilano Studio Architects

first_imgB House / Damilano Studio ArchitectsSave this projectSaveB House / Damilano Studio Architects CopyAbout this officeDamilano Studio ArchitectsOfficeFollow#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesHousesItalyPublished on July 02, 2011Cite: “B House / Damilano Studio Architects” 02 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Read commentsBrowse the CatalogPartitionsSkyfoldIntegrating Operable Walls in a SpaceGlass3MSafety Window Films in Associated Watch and Jewelry BuyersFaucetshansgroheKitchen Mixers – Talis MWindowsAir-LuxSliding Windows for High-Rise BuildingsSignage / Display SystemsGoppionDisplay Case – B-ClassGlassLAMILUXGlass Roof PR60Manuals & AdviceSikaFirestop SystemsMetal PanelsAmerican MetalcraftRainscreen – RS300Curtain WallsRabel Aluminium SystemsMinimal Curtain Wall – Rabel 35000 Slim Super ThermalWaste Containers / Recycling BinsPunto DesignLitter Bin – PapilonSound BoothsFramerySoundproof Phone Booths – Framery OneCarpetsnanimarquinaRugs – ShadeMore products »Read commentsSave想阅读文章的中文版本吗?B住宅 / Damilano Studio Architects是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream Italy ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/146874/b-house-damilano-studio-architects Clipboard ArchDaily Photographs:   Andrea MartiradonnaText description provided by the architects. The house extends horizontally with a row of premises that end up with the kitchen, real field glasses pointed to the village.  Save this picture!©  Andrea MartiradonnaRecommended ProductsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesIsland Exterior FabricatorsCurtain Wall Facade SystemsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesAlucoilStructural Honeycomb Panels – LarcoreEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesFranken-SchotterFacade System –  LINEAEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesRodecaRound Facade at Omnisport Arena ApeldoornThe above mentioned volume dominates the access to the garage and controls the entrance to the property. In opposite directions, this house develops northwards with the body of the rooms more intimate and intimist and southward with the swimming pool, a wide sheet of water, reflections and light. Save this picture!©  Andrea MartiradonnaThe living floor is a spotless space, corrupt by the materiality of a fossil stone wall and by blobs of colour of some furniture. The first floor is reserved to landlords and hosts a wide room, the wardrobe box and the bathroom. The roofs are wide terraces, alternatives hanging by relaxation of the garden. In the night come out the depth of volumes and leaks highlighted by luminous cuts and clear/dark contrasts.Save this picture!©  Andrea MartiradonnaProject gallerySee allShow lessThe Third Open Colosseum / Nabito ArquitecturaArticlesIn Progress: Prague National Gallery Entrance Hall / Mateo ArquitecturaArticles Share Year:  ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/146874/b-house-damilano-studio-architects Clipboard Save this picture!©  Andrea Martiradonna+ 23 Share Projects Architects: Damilano Studio Architects Area Area of this architecture project B House / Damilano Studio Architects Photographs 2000 Houses “COPY” “COPY” Area:  355 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project CopyHouses•Italylast_img read more

PatientFi® Enters Partnership with Allergan Aesthetics to Provide Natrelle® Breast Implant Financing Options to…

first_img Previous articleDental 3D Printing Market by Product, Technology, Application, End-user, and Region – Global Forecast to 2025 – ResearchAndMarkets.comNext articleCommunity Reinvestment Fund, USA Names Three to Board of Trustees Digital AIM Web Support Local NewsBusiness Pinterest PatientFi® Enters Partnership with Allergan Aesthetics to Provide Natrelle® Breast Implant Financing Options to Patients By Digital AIM Web Support – February 8, 2021 Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsAppcenter_img Twitter Facebook TAGS  Facebook IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 8, 2021– PatientFi ®, a point of sale financing company that helps make elective procedures more affordable for patients, announces it has entered into a co-marketing agreement with Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, to provide financing options for patients interested in breast augmentation with Natrelle® Breast Implants. According to 117 of prospective breast augmentation patients, 85% agreed that a monthly payment plan would motivate them to schedule a surgery sooner. By way of this partnership, Natrelle® breast augmentation patients will be able to finance their surgery via a monthly payment plan. PatientFi ® is ranked highly amongst patients, most notably for its high approval rates, soft credit check application, friendly 0% APR promotional financing plans ranging from 6 to 24 months and its 5-star rated customer service. For medical providers, PatientFi ® offers a 100% digital, point of sale platform which allows provider staff to quickly process financing applications start to finish in just a few clicks. With highly competitive merchant processing fees and a quick and easy transaction portal, PatientFi ® helps medical providers promote and convert more elective procedures like breast augmentation by increasing patients’ ability to afford treatment and achieve the outcome they desire. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Allergan Aesthetics to help provide a new approach to patient financing for women seeking Natrelle® breast augmentation. Breast augmentation continues to see the highest demand among all surgical procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Removing the barrier of affordability for patients with our unique financing alternative creates a ‘win-win’ for medical providers and patients. Our partnership allows practices to address the unmet financial needs of many patients and in turn, grow their case volume,” says Todd Watts, PatientFi ® CEO & Co-Founder. Richard Egan, Vice President, Marketing, Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine at Allergan Aesthetics, comments, “We know that over 5 million women are considering elective breast augmentation in the next two years, and yet 75% of patients are unable to pay cash for their procedure. Allergan Aesthetics is committed to providing patients access to the treatments and procedures they are seeking, which is why partnering with PatientFi ® was a clear choice to fulfill this need in the marketplace.” If you are a medical provider and would like to begin offering PatientFi ® in your practice, complete their online merchant application through the link below. http://signup.PatientFi.com About PatientFi PatientFi ® is a technology based, point of sale financing company that partners with medical providers to offer their patients personalized payment plans to pay for elective procedures. Serving a broad network of medical specialties, including but not limited to plastic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, dentistry and fertility, PatientFi’s goal is to expand patient access to elective healthcare treatments & procedures by helping remove the barrier of affordability. For more information, visit www.patientfi.com. About Allergan Aesthetics At Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, we develop, manufacture, and market a portfolio of leading aesthetics brands and products. Our aesthetics portfolio includes facial injectables, body contouring, plastics, skin care, and more. Our goal is to consistently provide our customers with innovation, education, exceptional service, and a commitment to excellence, all with a personal touch. For more information, visit www.AllerganAesthetics.com. About AbbVie AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Natrelle® Breast Implants Important Information INDICATIONS Natrelle® Breast Implants are indicated for women for the following:Breast augmentation for women at least 22 years old for silicone-filled implants. Breast augmentation for women at least 18 years old for saline-filled implants. Breast augmentation includes primary breast augmentation to increase breast size, as well as revision surgery to correct or improve the result of a primary breast augmentation surgery. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION CONTRAINDICATIONS Breast implant surgery should not be performed in:Women with active infection anywhere in their body.Women with existing cancer or precancer of their breast who have not received adequate treatment for those conditions.Women who are currently pregnant or nursing. WARNINGSBreast implants are not lifetime devices or necessarily a one-time surgery.Avoid damage during surgery: Care should be taken to avoid the use of excessive force and to minimize handling of the implant. Use care when using surgical instruments in proximity with the breast implant. For more information, please see the full Directions for Use. PRECAUTIONS Safety and effectiveness have not been established in patients with the following:Autoimmune diseases (eg, lupus and scleroderma).A compromised immune system (eg, currently receiving immunosuppressive therapy).Planned chemotherapy following breast implant placement.Planned radiation therapy to the breast following breast implant placement.Conditions or medications that interfere with wound healing and blood clotting.Reduced blood supply to breast tissue.Clinical diagnosis of depression or other mental health disorders, including body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders. Please discuss any history of mental health disorders prior to surgery. Patients with a diagnosis of depression, or other mental health disorders, should wait until resolution or stabilization of these conditions prior to undergoing breast implantation surgery. ADVERSE EVENTS Key adverse events are reoperation, implant removal with or without replacement, implant rupture with silicone-filled implants, implant deflation with saline-filled implants, and capsular contracture Baker Grade III/IV. Other potential adverse events that may occur with breast implant surgery include: asymmetry, breast pain, breast/skin sensation changes, capsular calcification, delayed wound healing, hematoma, hypertrophic scarring/scarring, implant extrusion, implant malposition, implant palpability/visibility, infection, nipple complications, redness, seroma, swelling, tissue/skin necrosis, wrinkling/rippling. For more information see the full Directions for Use at www.allergan.com/products. To report a problem with Natrelle® Breast Implants, please call Allergan at 1-800-433-8871. Natrelle® Breast Implants are available by prescription only. View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210208005163/en/ CONTACT: Albert Bonitzer [email protected] (866) 734-5979 KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TECHNOLOGY COSMETICS RETAIL HEALTH FINANCE CONSUMER OTHER HEALTH SURGERY PROFESSIONAL SERVICES PRACTICE MANAGEMENT MARKETING SOFTWARE COMMUNICATIONS WOMEN SOURCE: PatientFi Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 02/08/2021 01:00 PM/DISC: 02/08/2021 01:01 PM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210208005163/en Twitterlast_img read more

Boat towed to safety off South Donegal Coast

first_imgHomepage BannerNews Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Google+ Pinterest By News Highland – August 2, 2020 WhatsApp Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Google+ Twitter Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows center_img Twitter WhatsApp Boat towed to safety off South Donegal Coast Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Previous articleNorth West Senior T20 Results 01/08/2020Next articleDoctors urge those with Covid-19 symptoms to contact immediately News Highland RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Pinterest Bundoran RNLI and Killybegs Coast Guard were involved in assisting a broken down vessel off the coast of South Donegal yesterday afternoon.The alert was raised after 12 noon when a vessel got into difficulty near Rossnowlagh.Volunteers from Bundoran RNLI towed the boat back to Bundoran Pier, assisted by Killybegs Coast Guard Crew.The successful mission was stood down a short time later. Community Enhancement Programme open for applicationslast_img read more

Alleged Chinese Mar-a-Lago intruder had cash, technical equipment in hotel room: Prosecutors

first_imgZolnierek/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Yujing Zhang, the Chinese national who sparked security concerns after she allegedly talked her way into the president’s Mar-a-Lago country club, had in her hotel room thousands of dollars in cash, multiple sim cards and a device used to detect hidden cameras, prosecutors alleged Monday.At a detention hearing in a Florida federal court, prosecutors said nine USB drives and several credit cards were also found in Zhang’s hotel room.The government is still investigating whether Zhang was involved in espionage activity, prosecutors said.A public defender for Zhang, Robert Adler, pushed back in court against the idea Zhang was a spy and said she did not have the type of tools “associated with espionage activities” like lock-picking devices or Wi-Fi interception equipment.The prosecutor, Ronaldo Garcia, reminded the court that Zhang has not been accused of espionage.Rather, he attempted to paint Zhang as a liar, in part because she told the court last week that she “maybe” had more than $5,000 if she combined some money she had in cash with the small amount in an American bank account. But Monday, Garcia said she had $7,500 in U.S. cash alone and another $600 in Chinese currency.“She lies to everyone she encounters,” Garcia said.Zhang’s attorney countered that his client “made no direct misrepresentations” to agents during the incident at Mar-a-Lago, and said she cooperated with all instructions.Zhang is currently facing a count of lying to federal agents and a count of entering a restricted area stemming from the Saturday March 30 incident.According to a criminal complaint filed against Zhang, at around noon on that Saturday, she appeared at a Secret Service checkpoint outside the president’s country club and presented two Chinese passports. There was some confusion over whether she was a relative of a club member, and Mar-a-Lago staff cleared her through the checkpoint, the complaint says.She went through a second Secret Service checkpoint, this one where she was screened by a magnetometer for weapons or explosives, before making her way to the club’s reception area. Only there did a receptionist discover Zhang was not on the club’s access list and called the Secret Service back.When questioned by the Secret Service, Zhang said she had been told to attend a United Nations Chinese American Association event – also referred to as a “United Nations Friendship Event” — that night at Mar-a-Lago by a Chinese friend named “Charles.” The event was not on the club’s schedule. President Donald Trump was in Florida at the time, but was off-site at a nearby golf course during the incident.On Monday, the defense indicated that Zhang was attempting to attend an event advertised in China by an event promoter named Charles Lee and had paid an organization purportedly linked to Lee some $20,000 in February. ABC News previously reported that Lee was listed as an officer on a now-defunct website for a group called the “United Nations Chinese Friendship Association.” No such organization appears in an online official database of U.N.-affiliated groups. ABC News has been unable to reach Lee for comment.The complaint said that when Zhang was detained she had other electronics on her, including four cell phones, a laptop and a thumb drive that the Secret Service said a preliminary analysis showed contained some kind of malware.On Monday, a Secret Service agent said that the malware was invasive and when it was plugged into an investigator’s computer for analysis, it automatically started downloading a suspected malicious program and the analyst had to abort the technical probe.Asked about the Mar-a-Lago incident last week, Trump called it a “fluke.” But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Friday linked the breach to a broader “threat” he said China poses to the U.S.James Mulvenon, a Chinese espionage expert, said the counter-surveillance equipment that prosecutors allege was found in Zhang’s hotel room make her “certainly more suspicious” as a potential counter-intelligence threat, but he said he was still skeptical of her connection to a professional espionage operation, considering what he called terrible tradecraft.Don Mihalek, a former senior Secret Service agent, shared the skepticism.“Clearly you have to figure out what’s on all this stuff, but I don’t see too many professional spies doing what she did and getting caught,” said Mihalek, an ABC News contributor. “This doesn’t sound professional to me.”A law enforcement source told ABC News the hidden camera detector is one that is commercially available.Mulvenon told ABC News the developments have left him with more questions than answers, the most important being, “Ultimately, what was her endgame?”Former senior Department of Homeland Security official John Cohen, however, said the incident highlights a larger concern.“While we have wait to learn the specifics regarding Zhang, the bigger issue is — and what concerns counter-intelligence professionals is — that this case illustrates the vulnerability that arises because of the president’s regular use of Mar-a-Lago,” said Cohen, also an ABC News contributor. “While this person may have been easy to detect, intelligence operatives using good tradecraft will be less so.”In an initial court appearance last week, Zhang said she worked as a consultant to a Chinese investment firm. The Chinese government said last week that it had been notified of Zhang’s arrest and is providing consular assistance to her.Prosecutors said Monday Zhang came to the U.S. on a tourist visa, which has been revoked.At the end of the hearing, Magistrate Judge William Matthewman said he needed more time to decide whether Zhang will be held in detention before trial and ordered the hearing be continued next Monday.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Britvic revenue jumps ahead

first_imgBritvic has seen its revenue increase 29.3% to £926.5m for the 52 weeks to 28 September 2008, compared with the same 07/08 period. The figures incorporate a full 52-week contribution from Britvic Ireland of £200.7m.The sales in its Great Britain & International division represent a 4.8% increase over the 52 weeks, which has been put down to the growth in stills and carbonates in the GB market.A downturn in consumer spending, continued challenges in the licensed on-premise market and the poor summer weather have been noted as barriers to sales growth over the last year.Despite an overall decline in volume in the GB stills market of 2.7%, Britvic saw strong volume growth of 8.1%. Within the GB carbonates market, it increased its sales volume by 4.3%.Paul Moody, chief executive, commented that the business has delivered a strong performance despite the challenges of current market conditions and rising raw material and energy costs. “The business has achieved good revenue growth, increased market volume and value share with tight cost control helping to deliver our target of increasing GB & International operating profit margin by at least 10-15 basis points,” said Moody. “Consequently, we expect to deliver earnings for the year in line with expectations.”last_img read more

Dark Star Orchestra To Offer Live Webcast Of Tonight’s Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas Show

first_imgTonight, seasoned Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra will continue their ongoing winter 2018 tour with a performance at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, the Sin City offshoot of the fan-favorite venue/bowling alley/restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. The webcast will be provided in pay-per-view format via Nugs.tv and will be streamed in both SD and HD formats. You can pre-order your Dark Star Orchestra Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas webcast here. The band will hit the stage at roughly 8 p.m. PST (11 p.m. EST).Following their performance at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, Dark Star Orchestra will close out their 2018 winter tour with shows at The Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California, and the House of Blues in San Diego, California. After a brief break, the band will once again get back on the road for an extended spring tour stretching from the end of March through the end of May, when the band is set to host its annual Dark Star Jubilee festival over Memorial Day Weekend (May 25th–27th) at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio.The seventh annual edition of Dark Star Orchestra’s annual gathering will feature performances from Los Lobos, Hot Tuna, The Infamous Stringdusters, Melvin Seals & DSO playing a Jerry Garcia Band set, The Nth Power, Rumpke Mountain Boys, California Kind, Jeff Mattson & Friends, The Lil’ Smokies, Holly Bowling, Dino English Quintet featuring James Poole, and more. In July, the band will debut at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where they will recreate the Grateful Dead’s own storied Red Rocks show from July 8th, 1978—exactly 40 years later to the day.For more information on the band’s remaining winter or spring shows or to check out Dark Star Orchestra’s full list of upcoming tour dates for this year, head on over to the band’s website.[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

Controlling Fire Ants

first_imgFall is perfect for playing football, picking pumpkins and killing fire ants. Tackling the stinging pests now will cut down on the number you encounter next spring and summer, according to entomologists with the University of Georgia.“When fire ants sting, they release toxins that cause blisters, prolonged agony and even possible allergic reactions,” said Wayne Gardner, a research entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Gardner, and his colleague UGA Extension entomologist Dan Suiter, should know. They study fire ants and ways to control the pests as part of the urban entomology research program on the UGA campus in Griffin, Ga.They know, for instance, that the easiest time for homeowners to go after fire ant colonies is in the fall.Treat in the fallFire ant colonies reach their peak in the fall having grown throughout the summer months, Suiter said.The ants tend to be most active in the spring and fall, when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 85 degrees. In the fall, they spend a lot of time foraging for food. Actively foraging ants will pick up bait and carry it into the nest within the first hour or two.Another reason to treat the pests in the fall is their location.“The ants aren’t too deep in the ground and this makes it easier to kill with a mound-drench, granular or dust,” Suiter said. “When using these products it’s critical to treat when the queen and brood are close to the surface.”Broadcast baitUGA specialists recommend treating fire ants by first broadcasting a fire ant bait.“Follow the product label carefully,” Suiter said. “When properly applied, this should suppress about 90 percent of the ants.”Apply the bait either across the home lawn or in a 4-foot circle around each fire ant mound. Use care not to disturb the mounds.Fire ants can smell smokeNever apply bait using a spreader that’s been used to spread fertilizer. The bait’s scent can be altered by the fertilizer residue.“If you smoke and get smoke smell on the bait, the ants won’t touch it. Or if you have gasoline on your hands, the ants won’t touch it,” Suiter said.Wear gloves and use only a new spreader dedicated to treating fire ants, he said.Bait products do not protect against reinvasion by ant colonies from surrounding land or by newly mated queens. Ant populations can fully recover within 12 to 18 months of the last bait treatment, Suiter said. Low-lying, moist and flood-prone areas are more prone to reinfestation.Hit them with a second treatmentAfter a week to 10 days, kick the ant mounds or poke them with a stick and step back quickly. If there is any ant activity, apply a contact insecticide to target the mounds.“Get a long stick and run it down through the center of the mound,” Suiter said. “It should push like a hot knife through butter. Pull the stick out quickly and pour in the premixed insecticide.”Be prepared to pour the insecticide quickly as the ants will scatter once the mound is disturbed. A premixed gallon or two of insecticide should fill the mound from the bottom up.Gardner says dusts or powders can also be sprinkled on the surface of the mound if you prefer dry treatments.“One really excellent one is Orthene (acephate) which is actually packaged and sold for fire ant control,” he said. “For those colonies that might survive the bait treatment, a second treatment of the mound with this material is an excellent idea.”The Texas Two-Step MethodThe worker ants find the powder, carry it into the mound and expose their nest mates and food supply, he said. This method is called the Texas Two-Step Method and was developed by urban entomologist Mike Merchant of Texas A&M University.“It’s basically Amdro followed by Orthene,” Gardner said.Fire ants were first reported in Georgia in the 1950s. Their mating-flights have taken them as far east as North Carolina and as far west as Texas. The ants have also spread through nursery plant material to states like Arizona and California.For more advice on controlling household pests, contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or search “fire ants” at extension.uga.edu/publications/.last_img read more

The Credit Unions Same Old Lang Syne: Part 2

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Dan Fogelberg song “Same Old Auld Syne” seems to be a pretty accurate description of the relationship between credit unions and their members today. If you’re not familiar, here’s a link to Part One of this series.One way in which credit unions are missing opportunities is by holding onto staff for all the wrong reasons. One great thing about our industry is that we’re very kind natured, but it’s also one of the worst things about our industry.“I know he/she isn’t embracing our new culture, but they’ve been with us for 25 years and will be retiring soon. We can wait it out…”It seems like the easy right thing to do. They’ve paid their dues, and it just seems wrong to send them out of the door after so many years of service. But have you thought about the impact it has on your members and your credit union as a whole?I’ve seen this scenario happen over and over and in many credit unions. You begin hiring into your new culture. You spend time and money on training and making sure that the new team members are saying and doing the right things and understand the vision of the credit union, only to be undone when they’re let loose and encounter the heritage employee. He/she complains, “This just isn’t the same credit union it used to be,” along with a myriad of other negative comments. All of the time and money spent on training your new team members on the culture is undone when this negativity is introduced, bringing any progress you may have made to a grinding halt.So how does this impact your members? I can always smell a disgruntled employee at any store or business from a mile away. They don’t smile, they aren’t excited about the product or service they represent, and they do the bare minimum needed. If you’re promising a great service experience at your credit union, you can’t make that promise with only a percentage of your team following through on that brand promise. Members don’t necessarily know what the issue might be, but they sure can tell that something just isn’t right. They may stay for the rate or the product they need, but they’re certainly not going to give great reviews about your brand to their friends and family. Did you know that 9 out of 10 purchasing decisions are made based on offline recommendations made by friends and family? continue reading »last_img read more

Contactless payments: The new normal and how to offset the costs

first_imgHave you had upgrading to contactless payment cards and other digital wallet services on your wish list but haven’t made the move yet? Put those at the top of your priority list, stat. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has seen a seismic shift over the past six months in the way consumers pay.What used to be “nice to have” features that would draw in younger account holders are now table stakes requirements across the board, and those who haven’t upgraded yet are missing the boat in more ways than one. Discover why it’s imperative to get in on the contactless card/digital payment trend now, and an easy trick for offsetting some or all of the costs of doing so.What’s in a name?“Contactless” is the name of the game right now and for the foreseeable future, as people avoid germ-heavy cash and touching of payment terminals. With contactless debit and credit cards, often referred to as “tap to pay,” no tapping is actually required—just a placement of the card within a few inches of the payment terminal. The “digital wallet” (or “e-wallet”) is another type of contactless payment option; it refers to a mobile phone app or other service that stores payment information in the cloud so consumers can pay via their smart phone or wearable device. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more