Two US athletes allegedly used cocaine before Rio Olympics, a cyber-espionage group Fancy Bears has revealed.The group leaked the information by hacking into senior World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officials’ confidential emails, reports Sputnik.WADA emails include conversations with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) about two US athletes taking cocaine to lose weight before the Rio Games, held in August.The group also leaked details of a non-US sportsman, who avoided a ban despite having a blood transfusion before a major race, The Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.Previously Fancy Bears published WADA documents, which confirmed many prominent athletes including Rafael Nadal, Simone Biles, Serena and Venus Williams using banned drugs.WADA’s Medical Director Alan Vernec said on November 20 the hackers had released fake documents.
Atlanta is the mirror-image Vikings: Whereas Minnesota ranks first in defensive EPA and 28th in offensive EPA, the Falcons are first in offensive EPA and 28th in defensive EPA. But the Falcons are trending in the wrong direction, making it fair to question them. Atlanta began last year 5-0 yet managed to finish 8-8, and after starting this year 4-1, Neil Paine asked if the Falcons were going to screw it up again. Since then, Atlanta is 0-2.Perhaps if Tom Brady had never been suspended, the 2016 season would be thought of as a year highlighted (again) by a dominant Patriots team. But through seven weeks, there are no longer any undefeated teams, and no teams that looked great on both sides of the ball. Parity may be a selling point for the league, but that doesn’t make it pretty. If you take the average of each team’s offensive and defensive EPA as a rough measure of aggregate strength, the highest-ranked team in 2016 is the Eagles at 28.0. However, of the 353 teams from ’06 to ’16 through seven weeks, that ranks as just the 33rd-best score. In other words, over the previous 10 years, there was an average of 3.2 teams per season that fared better than 2016’s top team. On the other hand, there are no truly dreadful teams, either. The Browns have the worst average EPA this year (-35.0), among teams that have negative grades on both offense and defense. Over the same span, there was an average of 2.5 teams worse than this season’s worst squad.Eight teams form this season’s vanguard2What we refer to as Pareto Efficient, from the Vikings in the upper left on down to the Falcons in the lower right. That means that despite differences in how their strengths are distributed between offense and defense, there is no team in the league that has more EPA on offense than any of these teams and also has more EPA on defense than that same team. And the fact that there are eight of those teams is a good sign that there are no dominant teams this year. Each of these teams has its flaws, and many are similarly constructed, with solid defenses and sputtering offenses:Minnesota boasts the top defense in the NFL, but an offense that is far below average. The Vikings rank dead last in yards per carry, and prior to this season Sam Bradford had been one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL. And while Bradford had played well this year, he finished with the lowest QBR of any passer in week seven. Given the significant concerns on the offensive line, this figures to be a problem all season for the Vikings. The opening week of this NFL season featured a record number of close games that provided more than a hint of things to come. Because after Minnesota’s loss on Sunday to Philadelphia, there are no remaining undefeated teams. For reference, this time last year, there were five undefeated teams.Sharon Katz at ESPN Analytics wrote Monday that every NFL team is flawed. Using Expected Points Added1As Katz wrote, EPA accounts for the context of every play and how each play contributes to the unit’s ultimate goal of scoring (on offense) or limiting opponents’ points (on defense). Read more about EPA here. as her preferred measure of offensive and defensive efficiency, she showed that no team is excelling on both sides of the ball this season.How does that fit into the league’s recent history? ESPN’s EPA data goes back to 2006, and the chart below shows the EPA for each team in each season since then. The top teams would be expected to occupy the far upper-right portion of the upper-right quadrant — those teams would have the most EPA on both offense and defense. But this year, no team is occupying that upper corner. New England? Well, no argument here. Expect the Patriots to be on top of just about every set of power rankings this week, including ours. Denver, like the Vikings and Eagles, is trying to ride a strong defense to a Super Bowl title. Unlike those teams, the Broncos have some precedent for it: the 2015 season. Denver remains a Super Bowl contender, but the team is hardly balanced. In fact, the Broncos are averaging just 5.2 yards per play this year, down from 5.4 on last year’s hard-to-watch offense. Dallas, like Philadelphia, is a surprise behind a rookie quarterback. And while the Cowboys rank seventh in points allowed per game, the defense is below average, as its EPA rating indicates. Dallas leads the NFL in time of possession, which helps keep the raw numbers down, and the Cowboys defense ranks fourth in percentage of drives ending in turnovers, which is unlikely to continue. More worrisome? Dallas ranks 29th in third-down defense and is below-average against the pass. Arizona has a similar statistical profile to the Eagles, but the Cardinals are 3-3-1 against a schedule that has been below average. And while the Cardinals were a top team last year, it’s hard to be impressed by a team that has lost to the Patriots without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the 3-4 Rams and the 4-3 Bills. Buffalo is another team that is hard to take seriously as a contender: The Bills are 4-3, with losses to the 3-4 Ravens, 3-4 Dolphins, and 2-5 Jets. The team will live and die with its rushing game: Buffalo has averaged 73 rushing yards in its three losses, and 212 in its four wins. Philadelphia presents a similar story: The defense looks great, but how far can the team go with a rookie quarterback and rookie head coach? Like the Vikings, Philadelphia also lacks a top-notch playmaker on offense to carry the team. Jordan Matthews is the team leader in yards from scrimmage, but leaguewide he ranks just 75th in that metric this year. Darren Sproles, at age 33, is second on the team and 77th overall.
Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard has urged his team-mates to replicate their last season victory at the Etihad by claiming all three points in Sunday’s Manchester derby.Jesse Lingard is fired up and ready for the Manchester derby, challenging his United teammates to produce another classic performance at the Etihad.In recent years, United have a strong record at City. They have won 7 of their last 15 away games and they have not lost there since November 2014.Jose Mourinho’s side pulled off an incredible comeback victory at the Etihad last season after trailing 2-0 at half-time, to win 3-2 at fulltime.“The win last season there was a mad feeling and, hopefully, we can do it again,” Lingard told MUTV.“We’ve done well there and it’s just about fine margins sometimes. We kept our mental state last season and got the win in the end.Report: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“The way the fans were supporting us, even at 2-0 down, they stayed with us and backed us throughout the game and that spurred us on.”“I think these big games are what you play for.“The more pressure there is, you fire off that pressure. They’re the games you want to be involved in, like everyone else.“The most important thing is to believe, in ourselves, that we can do it. I believe in this team.”
KUSI Newsroom February 1, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Posted: February 1, 2019 Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Increased Super Bowl Sunday DUI patrols 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – No matter who you’re rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind everyone about the dangers of impaired driving.Deputies say watch for increased DUI patrols across the county beginning on Sunday, February 3rd at 3:00 p.m. and lasting through 5:00 a.m. the following day.Remember: impaired driving doesn’t just refer to alcohol. It can also include marijuana and prescription drugs.“There is simply no excuse for impaired driving,” said Sheriff Bill Gore. “One bad decision can end in tragedy.”The Sheriff’s Department has these tips for a safe Super Bowl Sunday:• Plan a safe way home before the game begins• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, ride sharing service, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation• If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 9-1-1 immediatelyIn 2018, 1,183 people were arrested for impaired driving by Sheriff’s Deputies in San Diego County. That’s down from 1,225 arrests in 2017.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are real estate transactions in Wilmington during the week of March 25, 2018:57 Ashwood Avenue — Sale Price: $860,000 — Buyer: Todd Kaylor & Alicia Raus — Seller: Brookfield Estates LLC — Sale Date: 3/27/18 — Use: Res. Dev. Land — Lot Size: 57,499sf21 Beech Street — Sale Price: $257,786 — Buyer: James Mangano — Seller: Deutsche Bank — Sale Date: 3/28/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 14,375sf11 Cleveland Avenue — Sale Price: $680,000 — Buyer: Sean Daniely & Deanna Matos — Seller: Michael Tkachuk Trustee — Sale Date: 3/29/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 16,553sf62 Glen Road — Sale Price: $490,000 — Buyer: Michael B. Kessman & Elise M. Lherault — Seller: Philip C. Ball — Sale Date: 3/28/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 27,007sf4 Lloyd Road — Sale Price: $280,000 — Buyer: Patrick Walsh — Seller: Richard F. Walsh, Trustee — Sale Date: 3/29/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 4,792sf9 Loumac Road — Sale Price: $474,000 — Buyer: Dominic Mao & Hanan Dahche — Seller: Dwight Maxwell — Sale Date: 3/29/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 20,038sf168 Lowell Street — Sale Price: $1.2 million — Buyer: 168 Lowell Street LLC — Seller: Walpole Woodworkers Inc. — Sale Date: 3/30/18 — Use: Retail Store — Lot Size: 140,699sf27 Oakdale Road — Sale Price: $697,250 — Buyer: Pavlos V. Meimaris & Eleni A. Meimaris — Seller: 3 Holly Street LLC — Sale Date: 3/30/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 10,019sf18 Seneca Lane — Sale Price: $652,000 — Buyer: Ryan J. Pavlica & Jennifer M. Pavlica — Seller: John F. Ohearn & Eileen F. Doody — Sale Date: 3/28/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 29,185sf4 Sparhawk Drive — Sale Price: $540,000 — Buyer: Mina Cho & Jiyoung Lee — Seller: Maurice Coughlan Jr. & Carolyn M. Viverios — Sale Date: 3/30/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 23,522sf8 West Jamaica Avenue — Sale Price: $699,900 — Buyer: Maurice Coughlan & Carolyn M. Coughlan — Seller: David M. McCue, Trustee — Sale Date: 3/30/18 — Use: 1-Family Residence — Lot Size: 10,019sfLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRecent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”Recent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”Recent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”
TEWKSBURY, MA — Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury), candidate for State Representative in the 19th Middlesex District, has announced she’s been named a featured candidate at a GOP Meet and Rally on August 1 from 6pm to 8pm in Lowell. The event is being held at Athenian Corner and is being hosted by United States Veteran and 1st Middlesex State Senate candidate John MacDonald.“I’m a big supporter of Pina and I’m excited to have her be a part of this event because she’s running for all of the right reasons,” said MacDonald, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served in the Persian Gulf War. “Pina and I jumped into our respective races early on to challenge two long time incumbents. Now both of our races are for open seats. Pina had the courage to run when no one else was willing to do so. She will bring that same courage to Beacon Hill where she will be a bold voice and a fearless advocate for the taxpayers. Pina is truly running to put the taxpayers first.”The event will feature other area and statewide Republican candidates including Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate, Rick Green for Congress (District 3), Jay McMahon for Attorney General, Anthony Amore for Secretary of State, Joe Espinola for State Senate (2nd Middlesex & Essex), Kathy Lynch for State Rep (2nd Middlesex) and Rich Baker for Governor’s Council (5th District).“I can’t thank John enough, first for his service to our country and second for the support he has shown me,” said Prinzivalli, who announced her candidacy last October. “John has done so much great work for our veterans with ‘Veterans Assisting Veterans.’ I can’t wait to work with him on Beacon Hill on the issues that matter most to the people of the Commonwealth. It’s going to be a great night with great Republican candidates who are committed to bringing balance to Massachusetts.”The August 1 event is free, donations to the candidates are welcome. Athenian Corner is located at 207 Market Street. MacDonald says the event will allow people in the area to meet great candidates all in one place that are standing up against politics as usual.“These are the candidates I personally endorse,” said MacDonald. “They are offering the people a true and positive choice in the upcoming election and Pina has clearly shown herself to be just that.”Since announcing her candidacy last fall, Prinzivalli has been the only candidate in the 19th Middlesex working to lower the tax burden by collecting over 800 signatures for a ballot question to reduce the sales tax. Prinzivalli is also the only candidate who has signed the ‘Taxpayers Protection Pledge’ and has been steadfast in her opposition and commitment to saying “NO” to Massachusetts becoming a Sanctuary State for illegal immigrants.“I’m not a career politician, nor am I running to become one,” said Prinzivalli. “I’m a career professional, a hardworking taxpayer just like you. It’s time for Tewksbury and Wilmington to have a bold Republican voice that isn’t going to be afraid to stand up against the status quo and put the taxpayers first.”Prinzivalli has been endorsed by the Tewksbury Republican Town Committee, Representative Geoff Diehl, Representative Shaunna O’Connell, and Republican State Committeewoman Ruth Chou.The Republican primary will be held on Tuesday, September 4. The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 6.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Prinzivalli campaign.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Pina Prinzivalli Speaks At Large GOP Rally, Shares Message On TaxesIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Voting Records Show Prinzivalli Voted Only Once Before Launching Candidacy; Campaign DisputesIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Prinzivalli Pledges To Opt Out Of Pension SystemIn “Government”
DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Comments Read DJI Osmo Action preview 3 HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Sarah Tew/CNET Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Read the AirPods review $210 at Best Buy See It Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). See at Amazon Read Lenovo Smart Clock review $60 at Best Buy 7 Sprint Tags Turo Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $59 at eBay Amazon Read Google Home Hub review Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Sarah Tew/CNET $6 at Tidal Share your voice Apple iPhone XS Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See at Turo Share your voice I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. See it Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. There is no Dana, there is only Zuul. Oh, wait. There IS a Dana, and she’s coming back to the Ghostbusters universe.Sigourney Weaver, who starred as Dana Barrett in the original 1984 version of Ghostbusters, told Parade magazine in an interview published Friday that she’s excited to reprise that role.”It’s going to be crazy working with the guys again!” Weaver said.The interview is pretty cagey about revealing much, but it does say Weaver will be back as Dana, and that Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd will also return. Harold Ramis, who played Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, died in 2014.The new film is due out July 2020. Chris Monroe/CNET $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express TV and Movies,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. The Cheapskate Sarah Tew/CNET Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Rylo $520 at HP TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $999 $299 at Amazon Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $155 at Google Express Boost Mobile 2019 movies to geek out over Tags The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Best Buy See It $999 $999 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) $999 Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Sarah Tew/CNET Angela Lang/CNET DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) See It Read the Rylo camera preview What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) 77 Photos Comments
Japanese auto maker Honda is set to launch its highly applauded City sedan in India on 7 January 2014, an unconfirmed media report suggests.The auto blog CarToq reported citing its sources that the latest avatar of Honda City is coming to India on 7 January and the delivery of the car will commence in India soon after the official launch of the vehicle in the domestic market. The car which received global unveiling in India in November has been anticipated for quite a while now. However, the company is yet to confirm the date. According to reports, the Honda dealerships across the country have started accepting the booking for the new City with an advance of ₹ 50,000.The new City is same as its current City model in terms of its dimension, but its wheelbase has been increased by 50mm. Also, the leg room and height have been raised by 60mm and 10mm, respectively. Inside the cabin, the car is expected to feature a new touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth telephone connectivity and USB/Bluetooth and rear-parking camera support, steering mounted audio controls, sun roof, touch-screen AC panel, start/stop function, rear AC vents, eight speakers, four charging points, and cruise control.The 2014 City follows Honda’s new design philosophy – “EXCITING H DESIGN!!!” and is based on the 2014 Jazz/Fit. On the mechanical front, the petrol version of the City sedan packs a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine which generates a power of 119 PS @ 6600 rpm and 145 Nm torque @ 4600 rpm. The diesel variant draws its power from the 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine, which is also used in the Honda Amaze. It is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and pumps in 100 PS power @ 3600 rpm and 200 Nm torque @ 1750 rpm.
Kingfisher (UK code KGF), the owner of DIY businesses B and Q and Screwfix, has been taking flight over recent months, climbing from 286p in November 2014 to 374p today.But what you may not realise is that Kingfishers biggest business geographically is in fact not in the UK, but actually in France with the Castorama and Brico Depot Do-It-Yourself chains of stores. The companys chief executive, Véronique Laury, is also based in France and took the reins in January after previous boss Sir Ian Cheshire stepped down.Kingfishers performance of late can be best described as somewhat schizophrenic. On the one hand, its two UK businesses have been performing well, in particular the Screwfix catalogue/online building supplies division, which posted 25% year-on-year total sales growth in the third quarter (to end-September 2014).However, on the other hand, the French Castorama and Brico Depot DIY chains of stores have suffered from a weak French DIY market, hit by a triple whammy of fragile consumer confidence, higher taxes and declining house prices. These factors have led to an 8% fall in French retail profit in the third quarter (adjusted for currency movements).The good news for Kingfisher is French consumer confidence is now in fact surging and has touched a three-year high, due to falling petrol prices (boosting purchasing power) and unemployment that has finally started to decline (Figure 1).Mr BricolageWith some of these gains in French purchasing power likely to be found in better home improvement sales going forwards, combined with the ongoing restructuring programme (Creating the Leader self-help initiatives), Kingfishers French profitability should turn around sooner rather than later.Helping this rebound in French profitability is the recent acquisition of smaller French DIY retail chain Mr Bricolage, which should result in further cost savings across the groups three French operations from enhanced purchasing power and closing of weaker stores to focus on the most profitable sites. Kingfishers management has already indicated this acquisition should boost the groups earnings per share, delivering welcome profit growth from the other side of the Channel.UK DIY market looking sturdyAt the same time, the buoyant nature of the UK housing market and record high UK consumer confidence (at its highest level in 10 years) should continue to propel continued growth in the UK B and Q and Screwfix divisions, after strong 11% UK retail profit growth in the third quarter.Up to now, the push-pull effects of weak French performance and strong UK performance have seen Kingfishers share price go on a rollercoaster ride, falling from a 2014 high of 440p to a September-October low under 300p, before recovering of late to 374p (Figure 2). While it has lagged the FTSE 100 index over this period, it is catching up fast.As part of ongoing restructuring, Kingfisher has already taken action to curb its money-losing operations outside of Europe, agreeing late in 2014 to sell 70% of its China operations (including 39 B and Q home improvement stores) to local supermarket giant Wumei for £140m. This sale has allowed Kingfisher to launch a £200m dividend and share buyback program spanning fiscal year 2014-15, with £180m already spent in 2014, and more to be spent going forwards.Key to Kingfishers fortunes going forwards will be the strategy update that Laury is to deliver in a month – this could prove a true catalyst for further upside in Kingfishers shares, should her vision for Kingfisher, as DIY shopping habits change, prove revolutionary.Takeover target?The final wildcard that could play out in Kingfishers favour is that it could become a takeover target (according to the Evening Standard), given its dominant position in European DIY retail, with private equity groups holding record amounts of cash and looking for potential companies to buy. All in all, Kingfisher shares may prove more alluring than the challenge of some weekend DIY.Edmund Shing is the author of The Idle Investor (Harriman House), an expert columnist and a global equity fund manager at BCS AM. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. Close
Indian equities opened Monday’s trade on a weak note with major indices trading with about quarter of a percent of losses. Lack of strong global and domestic cues was attributed as the reasons behind such a lacklustre trade.While the 30-share index Sensex was trading 0.27 percent lower at 26,417.61, the 50-share index Nifty was at 8,120.95, down 0.23 percent in the early morning trade. Overall market breadth was negative with 749 advances and 873 declines.Most sectoral indices were trading in the red with auto, banking, capital goods, FMCG and IT stocks dragging the indices. However, metals and oil and gas stocks were providing some support to the market, capping the overall fall.Asian Paints was the major loser in the morning trade with its shares falling 1.20 percent to trade at Rs 889.10. Eicher Motors, Sun Pharma, Adani Ports and Bharti Airtel also saw selling pressure in the early morning trade.Meanwhile, Aurobindo Pharma gained the most on Monday with its shares trading 2.58 percent higher at Rs 708.50. GAIL, Tata Power, BPCL and Idea Cellular were the other major gainers on Monday.On the global front, Asian markets were trading with marginal losses with Japan’s Nikkei, China’s Shanghai Composite and South Korea’s Kospi in the red. Importantly, US stocks fell on Friday, driven by nearly 4 percent drop in Oracle shares. Analysts said that the fall in global indices weighed on investors’ sentiments in the domestic market.On the domestic front, the tepid performance of market was attributed to lack of active participation by investors. Last fortnight of December generally sees a thin trading volume with a dip in foreign institutional investor (FII) participation due to the Christmas holidays.The Indian rupee was trading 0.01 percent lower at 67.75 against the dollar on Monday. Among commodities, crude oil prices in the international market were trading at $55.64 per barrel, up 43 cents from their previous close.