Author Archive for Insider Scoop

Snap’s Long-Term Growth Trajectory Is Bullish, But Near-Term Is Concerning

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Snap's Long-Term Growth Trajectory Is Bullish, But Near-Term Is Concerning

Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) has a considerably large and growing user base.

While the long-term growth prospects appear bright, Snap is still “unproven as a public company,” and the company’s key metrics may fluctuate significantly in the first few quarters, Barclays’ Ross Sandler said in a report.

Sandler initiated coverage of Snap with an Equal-Weight rating and $24 price target. He mentioned that despite being “bullish on the growth trajectory,” the neutral stance on the stock was due to:

  • The “long history of newly public internet companies going through rough patches post-IPO”
  • Snap’s stock offered little valuation support in any kind of challenging scenario


Investors can participate in the early and rapid revenue growth of Snap, even more than they could have for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) during their IPOs, Sandler mentioned.

“Management has an unmatched ability in product innovation, which should accelerate going forward & continue to drive user growth,” the analyst wrote. He expects the company to easily generate more than $3 billion in revenue mainly from higher ad load.

Related Link: Snap’s Millennial Audience, Ad Potential Drive This Bullish Outlook


Sandler expressed concern regarding the following:

“DAU growth has been driven by innovations like Stories & Lenses, and it is not clear if future product will have the same impact,” the analyst pointed out. He further mentioned that Snap’s ads were higher priced and had low completion rates.

Latest Ratings for SNAP

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2017 Barclays Initiates Coverage On Equal-Weight
Mar 2017 Loop Capital Initiates Coverage On Hold
Mar 2017 Summit Redstone Partners Initiates Coverage On Sell

View More Analyst Ratings for SNAP

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Barclays Ross Sandler SnapChatAnalyst Color Initiation Analyst Ratings Tech Best of Benzinga

Barclays On Twitter: Waiting On M&A Isn’t Much Of A Thesis

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Barclays On Twitter: Waiting On M&A Isn't Much Of A Thesis

“Despite all the execution issues over the years, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) sees continued bouts of M&A speculation, which highlights the scarcity value for independent mobile businesses with scale,” Barclays’ Ross Sandler said in a note, while initiating coverage of the company with an Underweight rating and $14 price target.

Some Positives

The analyst expects Twitter to remain “central to most news flow globally,” while viewing the recent shift to premium video as “one of the more promising ideas” for an information network like Twitter.

Sandler pointed out that the daily average users (DAUs) have been accelerating, driven by some of the “subtle product tweaks” implemented by the company in 2016. This could potentially drive a return to revenue growth for the company in the second half of this year, following the integration of programmatic.

Related Links: Don’t Look Now – Twitter Shares Approaching Rumored Potential Takeout Price


On the other hand, the analyst also noted Twitter continues to be adversely impacted by its larger network peers, which offer similar products, due to which its value proposition for advertisers has been diminishing.

In addition, the company has a long track record of execution issues and employee turnover, which appear to be worsening in 2017.

“Revenue growth has turned negative in the core owned and operated advertising business, which should weigh on profitability over time,” Sandler stated, adding that the stock remained expensive, given the lack of growth.

The analyst believes “M&A speculation is likely to happen again at some point, but we don’t think in 2017, and if fundamentals continue to erode …investors will have a chance to initiate positions at lower levels.”

Latest Ratings for TWTR

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2017 Barclays Initiates Coverage On Underweight
Feb 2017 Cowen & Co. Downgrades Market Perform Underperform
Feb 2017 Raymond James Downgrades Market Perform Underperform

View More Analyst Ratings for TWTR

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Barclays Ross SandlerAnalyst Color Short Ideas Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Leaps After Phase 3 Studies Meet Primary Endpoints

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Leaps After Phase 3 Studies Meet Primary Endpoints

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) shares are trading higher by $20.00 (22.5 percent) at $110.17 in Wednesday’s session.

The catalyst for the rally is the confirmation that two Phase 3 studies of Tezacaftor/Ivacaftor combo treatment net primary endpoints. The combo therapy significantly improved lung function in late stage trials.

Vertex’s much higher opening print of $106.21 has turned out to be one penny from the low for the day at $106.20. The continuation rally has taken the issue to $111.88, which exceeds its January 11, 2016 high of $109.94, but is well shy of its January 8, 2016 high of $117.11.

The stock hasn’t closed above $110.00 since January 8, 2016, when it ended the session at $110.71.

Posted-In: Technicals Intraday Update Movers Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

Red Hat’s Investments Begin To Bear Fruit, Q3 Billings Handily Beat Estimates

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Red Hat's Investments Begin To Bear Fruit, Q3 Billings Handily Beat Estimates

Shares of Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT) were trading higher by more than 5 percent ahead of Tuesday’s market open in reaction to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

Baird: ‘Clean Beat’

Rob Oliver of Baird commented in a research report that Red Hat provided investors with a “clean beat and raise” report in the quarter after a third-quarter rare miss. Revenue of $629 million beat the analyst’s estimate of $619 million while the company’s earnings per share of $0.61 matched estimates.

Billings of $986 million in the quarter rose 29 percent from a year ago and was “well above” both consensus estimates of $864 million and Oliver’s Street-high estimate of $899 million. The analyst noted that billings benefited by $20 million from slipped deals in the third quarter that was closed in the fourth quarter.

Oliver added that emerging products revenue also accelerated in the quarter as OpenShift and OpenStack investments “are beginning to bear fruit.”


Oliver continued that Red Hat’s off-balance sheet backlog rose 58 percent year-over-year in the quarter to $650 million and benefited from longer contract duration of 25 months versus 22 months.

More important, the short-term backlog which the analyst argues is a more accurate reflection of the strength of the business was also strong at $330 million, up 20 percent year-over-year.

The Bottom Line

Despite the company also announcing a “mega” deal of more than $100 million and billings came in well ahead of the consensus, Oliver maintained a Neutral rating on Red Hat’s stock with a $90 price target.

Bottom line, the analyst maintains a “positive bias” on the stock and investors should “become more involved” on any pullback.

Related Links:

Red Hat Pins The Blame For Disappointing Quarter On Late-Closing Deals

Weak Billings Growth Likely To Dominate The Red Hat Story Both Near And Long Term

Latest Ratings for RHT

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2017 Baird Initiates Coverage On Neutral
Jan 2017 Wells Fargo Initiates Coverage On Outperform
Dec 2016 BMO Capital Downgrades Outperform Market Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for RHT

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: BairdAnalyst Color Earnings News Guidance Analyst Ratings Movers Tech Best of Benzinga

Cara Therapeutics’ 15% Surge, Explained

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Cara Therapeutics' 15% Surge, Explained

Shares of Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CARA), a small-cap clinical-stage bio-pharmaceutical company that develops therapies to alleviate pain, gained more than 15 percent early Tuesday morning after the company announced encouraging results from Part A of a Phase 2/3 trial.

Cara has been exploring its therapy called CR845, a peripherally acting kappa opioid receptor agonist used for the treatment of acute and chronic pain and pruritus. The clinical trial consisted of patients undergoing laparoscopic hysterectomy or bunionectomy procedures.

Back in early 2016, Cara’s stock plunged nearly 50 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed the company’s pain trial exploring CR845 on clinical hold. As such, Tuesday’s announcement is a welcome development for investors and potential patients who could benefit from the company’s therapy in the future.

The Results

Cara said that top-line results from Part A of its Phase 2/3 trial showed that CR845 met both the primary and secondary endpoints for efficacy (reduced itching and improved quality of life, respectively) among people with uremic pruritus, an intractable and debilitating systemic itch condition for which there are no approved therapies.

Cara also stated it plans on meeting with the FDA for an end-of-Phase 2 meeting to review the reported results and to also determine an optimal dose to take into Part B of this Phase 2/3 study as well as defining a path toward approval.

A conference call is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the results as well as the next step for the program.

“This study demonstrated encouraging, statistically significant improvements across quality of life measures for hemodialysis patients with this condition,” said Mark Unruh, M.D., chair of the department of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. “Importantly, these improvements persisted for the entire eight-week treatment period, with the anti-itch effect apparently sustained over time, suggesting that CR845 has the potential to be an effective treatment for this difficult condition, if successfully developed and approved.”

“We are extremely pleased with these results, where I.V. CR845…
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A Peek Into The Markets: U.S. Stock Futures Edge Lower Ahead Of Economic Data

Courtesy of Benzinga.

A Peek Into The Markets: U.S. Stock Futures Edge Lower Ahead Of Economic Data

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded slightly lower in early pre-market trade. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for February will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, while the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller home price index for January will be released at 9:00 a.m. ET. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for March is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET. Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George is set to speak in Midwest City, Okla. at 12:45 p.m. ET, while Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Kaplan will speak in Dallas, Texas at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 24 points to 20,473.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures fell 2 points to 2,336.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index slipped 1.25 points to 5,379.25.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures gained 0.75 percent to trade at $51.13 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 0.84 percent to trade at $48.13 a barrel. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is schedule for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were mostly higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index gaining 0.30 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index rising 0.21 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.59 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading lower by 0.01 percent, while French CAC 40 Index slipped 0.03 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.14 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.63 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.43 percent and India’s BSE Sensex rose 0.59 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded Commercial Metals Company (NYSE: CMC) from Neutral to Outperform.

Commercial Metals shares fell 1.16 percent to close at $17.89 on Monday.

Breaking news

  • FactSet Research

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Cara Therapeutics Surrenders Some Early Gains

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CARA) shares are trading higher by only $1.00 at $19.15 in Tuesday’s session. The issue is one of the top-performing biotech stocks of 2017 climbing from 2016 year-end close ($9.29) to $20.24 earlier in today’s session.

The catalyst for the print over $20.00 was the announcement from the small-cap pharmaceutical company had encouraging results from Part A of a Phase2/3 trial for CR845, which is a therapy to alleviate pain.

Its much higher opening print of $20.24 has turned out to be the exact high for the session. That marks the highest level for Cara’s stock since it peaked on September 25, 2015 at $20.32.

The ensuing decline has come within one penny of the top of Monday’s range ($18.39) as $18.40 stands as the current low for the day.

Posted-In: Technicals Intraday Update Movers Trading Ideas

Tesaro Gets Approval For Zejula, Expect U.S. Launch Late April

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Tesaro Gets Approval For Zejula, Expect U.S. Launch Late April

TESARO Inc (NASDAQ: TSRO) announced the FDA approval of Zejula (niraparib) in recurrent ovarian cancer maintenance with a broad label. The approval came in three months ahead of schedule and the launch is expected in late April, Baird’s Michael E. Ulz said in a report.

While reiterating a Neutral rating and a price target of $165 for Tesarao, Ulz mentioned that the market was highly competitive. Two competing PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) inhibitors had already been approved, AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN)’s Lynparza and Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: CLVS)’s Rubraca, while there were several other players with PARPs in late-stage development, including Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)’s talazoparib and AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV)’s veliparib.

Zejula Approval

Zejula was approved by the FDA for “the maintenance of recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer in patients who have responded (partial or complete) to platinum-based chemotherapy,” the analyst wrote.

The label is broad and the U.S. launch is expected in late April, at which time Tesaro would provide insight into pricing. Niraparib is under regulatory review in Europe, and Ulz expects a launch by end of 2017. He estimated peak worldwide sales of $1.5 billion in ovarian cancer.

“Overall, while we are encouraged by these updates, we maintain our Neutral rating given pending competitive PARP data (mid-2017),” Ulz commented.

Related Links:

How The Market For Tesaro’s Niraparib Plays Out Following Early FDA Approval

Tesaro Announces Expanded Development Program For Cancer Drug Niraparib, Stock Spikes Higher

Latest Ratings for TSRO

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2017 Wedbush Reiterates Outperform
Mar 2017 Argus Initiates Coverage On Buy
Mar 2017 Wedbush Reiterates Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for TSRO

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Biotech News Health Care Reiteration FDA Analyst Ratings Movers Best of Benzinga

A Rare Win-Win Scenario For Weatherford And Schlumberger

Courtesy of Benzinga.

A Rare Win-Win Scenario For Weatherford And Schlumberger

Weatherford International Plc (NYSE: WFT) is forming the OneStim joint venture with Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE: SLB), which would focus on the unconventional completions market in North America. “We view the transaction as a rare win-win situation,” Deutsche Bank’s Mike Urban said in a report.

Weatherford would bring in the much-needed cash for deleveraging, “while retaining exposure to the accelerating cyclical recovery in NAM,” Schlumberger would gain scale in a critical growth market without having to add capacity, Urban pointed out.

JV Deal Is A Positive

While reiterating a Buy rating and price target of $8 for Weatherford, the analyst mentioned that the deal represented a “significant positive” for the company. He added that the deal was a “modest positive” for Buy-rated Schlumberger.

According to the deal, Weatherford would receive $535 million. This may have been disappointing for some. Urban mentioned, however, that the joint venture seems to be “the best possible outcome for the company.” He explained that Weatherford has immediate liquidity needs and the deal would help the company “retain upside to a rapidly improving market from assets that are currently sitting idle and, if sold entirely, would offer no ongoing benefit.”

The analyst further highlighted that Schlumberger had bought out most of its major joint ventures.

Related Links:

Weatherford’s Board Is Serious About Creating Value

Schlumberger CEO Greets Investors With Some Brutal Honesty On Conference Call

Latest Ratings for WFT

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2017 Wells Fargo Upgrades Market Perform Outperform
Mar 2017 Clarksons Platou Upgrades Sell Neutral
Mar 2017 Capital One Financial Upgrades Equal-Weight Overweight

View More Analyst Ratings for WFT

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Long Ideas News Commodities Contracts Reiteration Markets Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

Did Whole Foods Lose 14 Million Customers To Kroger Last Quarter?

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Did Whole Foods Lose 14 Million Customers To Kroger Last Quarter?

One man’s loss is another man’s gain — this idiom has rung true in the corporate world. Barclays’ analysis of traffic trends at Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) has shown that the company’s loss has translated to gains for Kroger Co (NYSE: KR).

Small Traffic Decline In Percent, But Huge Loss In Absolute Numbers

In a note published on Monday, Barclays said traffic at the organic food chain has fallen 3 percent, equating to 14 million customers.

And this is how Barclays arrived at the estimate. Assuming a range of baskets from $30–$50, the firm estimates that the company generated annual total comp transactions of 287 million to 479 million. A three percent decline equates to a loss of 9 million to 14 million transactions in the last six quarters, Barclays said.

“Said differently, on a per store basis, this equates to up to 105 lost/day, and 38,000 lost per year,” the firm clarified.

Traffic Declines To Hurt

Barclays sees the traffic declines as having a profound impact, as it has been the wont with retailers, once traffic has been lost, it is tough to reverse patterns. According to the firm, Whole Foods might face significant challenges to reverse behavioral changes even if execution improves, because execution at competing retailers remains very strong.

Who’s Gaining At Whole Foods’ Expense?

Analysts Karen Short, Ryan Gilligan and Sean Kras believe Kroger is the beneficiary, as 47 percent of Whole Foods stores are within three miles of a Korger. As evidenced, the analysts noted that Kroger’s natural and organic sales stood at $16 billion compared to $15.8 billion in the last twelve months for Whole Foods and that RS Metrics data showed both overlap with Kroger within various trade areas…
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Phil's Favorites

Did medical Darwinism doom the GOP health plan?


Did medical Darwinism doom the GOP health plan?

Courtesy of Michael L. MillensonNorthwestern University

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced March 24 that he was pulling his proposed health care bill from consideration. Scott Applewhite/AP

“We are now contemplating, Heaven save the mark, a bill that would tax the well for the benefit of the ill.”

Although that quote reads like ...

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Chart School

Rally Slows But Not Dead

Courtesy of Declan.

The Swing Low continues to play out with small gains in lead markets. There is still resistance in play, but this supply is been consumed by the day. Trading volume was light too.

The S&P is at resistance from the March swing low, but today's gain did little to get past this. Stochastics are bullish, but other technicals are negative and the last two days of didn't change this.  While bears may think there is an angle to work, the most likely outcome is for a gain which returns a challenge of 2,400.


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Zero Hedge

Hillary Slams Trump In First Post-Election-Loss Speech: "Resist, Insist, Persist, Enlist"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Clad in purple, Hillary Clinton took on the Trump administration Tuesday in one of her first public speeches since she devastatingly lost the presidential election.

Under the banner of hashtag-inclusion, AP reports, Clinton criticized Republ...

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Governments Can Theoretically Destroy All Wealth in the World in One Year

By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.

A recent article pointed out that Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year.

It’s also shocking that governments can theoretically destroy all wealth in one year.

That’s an unfathomable amount of wealth extraction, but it raises the question: what is the limit?

Tama66 / Pixabay

Governments are quite literally all around us, even governments within governments...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Strong markets struggling at breakout levels of late

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The S&P 500, Banks, Small Caps and Transportation indices continue to climb higher, as the long-term trend remains up. The two charts below, look at performance over the past month and how each index is testing long-term breakout levels.

The chart below looks at how the above mentioned indices have performed over the past 30-days.


These key markets are a little soft the past 30-days. The Power of the Pattern below looks at where this softness is taking pl...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Pound Pares Decline as U.K. Officially Starts Brexit Process (Bloomberg)

The pound touched a one-week low against the dollar as the U.K. prepared to start the process by which it will leave the European Union.

Double-Edged Sword: Home Prices Keep Rising, Home Inventory Keeps Falling (Forbes)

You are thinking about selling your home. A similar place nearby sells for more than you thought it would. You list your home. This is how the housing market is supposed to work. As a result, over time, pric...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of March 27th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Members' Corner

More Natterings

Courtesy of The Nattering Naybob

[Click on the titles for the full articles.]

A Quick $20 Trick?


Discussion, critique and analysis of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

  • Last time out, Sinbad The Sailor, QuickLogic.
  • GlobalFoundries, Jha, Smartron and cricket.
  • Quick money, fungible, demographics, QUIK focus.

Last Time Out

Monetary policy is just one form of policy that effects capital,...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Tumbles Below Gold As China Tightens Regulations

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.

A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...

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Mapping The Market

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

Courtesy of Jean Luc

I am trying to remember who on this board said that people wanted to Trump because they want their freedom back. Well….

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

By Daniel Cooper, Endgadget

ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.

As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene




Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from

Chart below from


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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites

About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

Learn more About Phil >>

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>