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CUI acquisition, jobs, ABB dividend & Vodafone towers official & more ?3
CUI Global has announced the acquisition of Reach, a solar construction company in North Carolina, for $37M in debt and equity, and expects to close the deal within 20 days. Management touts the 2020 backlog in excess of $100M, but obviously all bets are off for fulfilling plans this year. Longer term, the plan seems to be to simultaneously diversify CUI into utility solar and Reach into other energy infrastructure. The main immediate change for me is that I will now definitely cover Monday's call.
This comes as new jobless claims surge to 3.283M, multiplying the prior week's total almost a dozen times over, and more than doubling estimates. It's by far the worst figure in history for this statistic, exceeding the previous peaks by almost 5x. Although some experts have reinforced my reasons for hope, it seems likely that the jobs situation will get worse before it gets better.
All of this also reinforces my investment stance; many segments of the market have under-priced the negative impact, but others have over-priced it. ABB's annual dividend is now official, and Vodafone will receive the proceeds from its tower deal on March 31st, though that could be the last of Vodafone's good news for a while. Fitbit is participating with other wearables in a study by Scripps Research for potential early identification of viral infections. In the avoid category, Westport is getting support from Canada to maintain its liquidity. The roller coaster ride continues, but it contains opportunity as well as danger.