WHO calls particular assembly to debate new Covid variant from South Africa with ‘giant variety of mutations’

RT: Maria Van Kerkhove, Head ai Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis at the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks during a press conference on the situation of the coronavirus at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2020.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

The World Health Organization is monitoring a new variant with numerous mutations in the spike protein and is planning a special meeting on Friday to discuss what that could mean for vaccines and treatments, officials said Thursday.

According to the WHO, the variant with the designation B.1.1.529 was found in small numbers in South Africa.

“We don’t know much about it yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. “Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director on Covid-19, said in a question-and-answer session that was broadcast live on the organization’s social media channels.

The new variant is monitored as a Covid cases are increasing worldwide on the way to the Christmas season, with WHO reporting on hotspots in all regions and particularly in Europe.

South African scientists have discovered more than 30 mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that attaches to cells in the body, said South African scientist Tulio de Oliveira in a media briefing hosted by the South African Ministry of Health on Thursday.

Variant B.1.1.529 contains several mutations associated with increased antibody resistance that can decrease the effectiveness of vaccines, as well as mutations that generally make them more contagious, according to the slides he presented at the meeting. No other mutations have been seen in the new variant so far, so scientists don’t yet know whether they’re significant or will change the behavior of the virus, the presentation said.

The variant has spread rapidly in Gauteng Province, which is home to the country’s largest city, Johannesburg.

“Especially when the ascent occurs in Gauteng, everyone travels in and out of Gauteng from all corners of South Africa. So it goes without saying that in the next few days the start of an increasing positivity rate and increasing numbers will take place a matter of days and weeks until we see that, “said South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla during the briefing.

The variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong, said Phaahla.

“Right now, researchers are coming together to understand where these mutations are in the spike protein and the furin cleavage site and what this could potentially mean for our diagnostics or therapeutics and vaccines,” said Van Kerkhove. She said there are fewer than 100 complete genomic sequences of the new mutation.

The virus development working group will decide whether B.1.1.529 will be an interesting or worrying variant, after which the WHO would assign a Greek name to the variant, Van Kerkhove said.

“It is really important that there are no knee-jerk reactions here, especially with regard to South Africa,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Emergency Program.

FDA assembly places Biden’s plan to fight virus in danger

An important part of the president Joe BidenCovid-19’s plan to fight Covid-19 is in jeopardy as a Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee meets on Friday to debate and vote Pfizer and BioNTech‘s application to offer booster shots to the general public.

The vote by the Agency’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products – scheduled for about 2:30 p.m. ET – comes as some scientists, including at least two to the FDA, say they are not entirely convinced that every American who has received the Pfizer vaccine is currently in need of additional doses.

In documents released prior to the advisory committee meeting, FDA scientists have refused to take a stand on whether to support third shots, saying US regulators have not independently reviewed or verified all available data to support use of boosters. They also appeared to be skeptical of some of the data provided, including frequently quoted effectiveness figures from Israelwhere researchers have published observational studies showing that the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness against infections has waned over time.

It sets the stage for a tense meeting on Friday as the Biden government has announced that it will offer booster injections to the public as early as next week pending FDA approval. The move is part of the administration wider plan to counter a higher number of Covid cases in the USA, which is fueled by the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

The country’s leading health authorities, including CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and White House Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, approved Biden’s booster plan back in August. While the FDA has not always followed its committee’s advice, it often does. The agency surprised investors and the public earlier this year when it abandoned the recommendation of its independent panel of external experts to approve Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug.

If the committee doesn’t pass a positive vote, it could force the Biden administration to postpone its plan and potentially restrict third shots to certain groups of Americans, including disease, said Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and International Global Health Law.

The FDA group could give Biden’s booster plan a “cool reception,” Gostin said. “While there is good evidence that vaccine immunity may decline, two doses of mRNA hold up robust by preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death.”

The vote puts the committee in an “uncomfortable position” as the government has already announced that it would start distributing boosters in the week of September 20, said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at Northwell Health.

“I’m sure they will disagree at all on what they said because we already know they are not unanimous,” he said.

Scientists and other health experts had already expressed their criticism Biden’s move to boost all Americans 16 and older when senior health officials outlined the plan last month. The scientists and other experts said the data cited by federal health officials are not compelling and characterize government pressure on boosters as premature.

In the outlines of the plans for launch Distribute booster next week, administrative officials cited three CDC studies showing that vaccines protection against Covid has waned over several months. The government’s plan is for people to receive or a third dose of Pfizer Modern Vaccination eight months after the second vaccination. Biden has since said that scientists are considering whether to postpone the third shot up by three months. US health officials said they needed more data Johnson & Johnsons Vaccine before they can recommend boosters of these shots.

Pfizer and Moderna each have theirs too own analyzes The incidence of breakthrough Covid cases – which occur in fully vaccinated people – was less common in clinical trial participants who were recently vaccinated, suggesting that the protection of Covid vaccines wears off over time. In separate documents released Wednesday, Pfizer said an observational study in Israel showed that a third dose of the Covid vaccine restored infection protection to 95% six months after a second shot.

Still, some scientists argue that booster vaccinations are not currently required for the general public.

A leading group of scientists published a paper Monday in the medical journal The Lancet, which said that available data shows that vaccination protection against serious illnesses remains in place even as efficacy against minor illness wears off over time. The authors, including two outgoing senior FDA officials and several World Health Organization scientists, said the widespread distribution of booster syringes to the general public is “not appropriate” at this time.

There is currently no consensus in the biomedical community on boosters for the general public, said Harvard Medical School immunologist Dan Barouch. “There are high-level experts who fall on different sides of the debate.”

Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, supports boosters for the general public.

He said a third shot would boost immunity and reduce the chance of breakthrough infections, including the variant strains. “With all vaccines, immunity degrades over time, and Covid-19 vaccines are no different.”

Yale School of Medicine immunologist Akiko Iwasaki contradicts the widespread distribution of boosters in the United States.

Still, she said, booster shots are currently needed for some more vulnerable people as breakthrough cases lead to serious illness and hospitalizations.

These severe cases “mostly occur in older people and older adults such as 65 years of age and older,” she said. “I think it really makes sense now to give it to the seniors.”

Riley Keough’s remorse from final assembly with brother. | Leisure

Riley Keough wished she had hugged her brother the last time she saw him.

The sibling of 32-year-old actress Benjamin Keough committed suicide in July 2020 at the age of 27 and the ‘Runaways’ star has pondered the last time together before his tragic death a year ago Monday (7/5/21).

She shared a retrospective photo of her and her brother on her Instagram story and wrote, “I last saw you a year ago today.

“I didn’t hug you properly because I thought you had COVID. I wish I had hugged you right. I miss you every day.”

Riley recently admitted that she still has “tough days” grieving for her brother, but she is doing her best to live in the moment and appreciate the good things in her life.

She said, “I am trying to be really conscious and using nothing but some kind of escape and being aware of myself when I do that.

“At the moment I’m just trying to be grateful for everything, try to act in love, keep my heart open and give and receive love.

“And not in a woo-woo way, because I definitely have tough days and all kinds of aches and pains and so on.

“But I think when you realize that this is part of it and you don’t just expect to feel joy, that’s a real change for me to find those moments and things to smile about.”

The ‘Devil All the Time’ star recently received a death doula training which has helped her in her own grieving process and hopes she can prove to be a source of support for people at the end of their lives, as well as their families.

She said, “We’re taught that it’s a morbid topic to talk about. Or we’re so scared that we can’t talk about it … then of course it happens to us and we are very ill-prepared.” .

“I think it is as important to be educated about conscious dying and death as we educate ourselves about birth and conscious birth.

“We are preparing so rigorously for entry and have no preparation for our exit. That is why I am so grateful for this community and for the fact that I can contribute what I can.”

Leisure district activity power invitations companies to their second assembly for perspective | KTAB

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) –The Entertainment District Task Force, looking at the pros and cons of enabling older adults to walk from the restaurant to the downtown venue with beer or wine in hand, met for the second time today.

They invited two business owners, one from the north and one from the south side, to get their perspective.

George Levesque, executive director of the Paramount Theater, says as more restaurants opened in downtown Abilene, he saw crowded parking lots and long waits for dinner.

“And then all of a sudden they deflate around 7 am, they all come to the top, come to a movie, and when they leave, guess what they’re doing? You keep going, ”said Levesque.

And they go to other bars and restaurants.

“I want to see one downtown and I want entertainment, restaurants and culture on both sides of the route,” said local developer Tim Smith.

Task force members asked Smith many questions about driver safety.

“My concern is to get back there safely so we don’t increase our DUI rates and DWI rates,” said a member of the task force.

They also raised concerns about underage alcohol consumption and excessive consumption.

“The cocktails are $ 10-14 a cocktail,” said Smith.

In Smith’s cocktail lounge, he says people aren’t there to get drunk.

“If you want the 99-cent booze, you’re in a different part of town and going to a different place,” Levesque said.

And since opening, Smith hasn’t had any major problems with over-consuming customers.

For this reason, he believes an open container rule is appropriate to meet the city’s long-term goals of promoting downtown businesses.

“If more happens downtown, more happens,” Levesque said.

Mayor Professional Tem Johnson Runs Assembly With Distinctive Model

Mayor Nancy Vaughan virtually attended the city council meeting on Tuesday, May 18, and Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson chaired the meeting.

Johnson, who was mayor from 2007 to 2009 and has been mayor since the 1990s, has a style of holding meetings of her own.

Johnson began the meeting by saying, “The mayor is on Zoom. She has a little stomach problem which is why she is not here. “This statement sparked a lot of laughter from their fellow councilors and the few staff members in the audience and set the tone for the meeting.

Johnson also began the meeting by asking Councilor Michelle Kennedy to lead the council on pledge of allegiance. Kennedy refuses to make the promise of allegiance even though it stands. So Kennedy refused, and Councilor Justin Outling led the pledge.

This meeting was hybrid, meaning that some, but not necessarily all of the council members are in the chamber and the public is attending Zoom. Vaughan and Councilor Marikay Abuzuaiter attended this meeting virtually. However, as it was a hybrid meeting, all votes cast by the Council should be roll-call votes, which are lengthy and time-consuming. Johnson, who likes to keep the meetings moving, decided that they could vote by show of hands on some items and by voting on others.

Johnson also throws much of the formalities of meetings out the window. When calling for votes, Johnson usually asked for a vote from “Mayor Vaughan” followed by “Abuzuaiter”, not “Councilor Abuzuaiter” or “Ms. Abuzuaiter” or even “Marikay Abuzuaiter”, but simply “Abuzuaiter”. For one vote, Johnson called all council members by their first names, with the exception of Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who had to be distinguished from council member Nancy Hoffmann.

Johnson, who, as noted, likes to keep the meeting moving, also voted on items 24 and 25 before hosting the public hearing, which confused everyone for a while. City Manager David Parrish eventually stepped in and set things up again. The public hearing took place after the vote.

The city council also voted to continue a point setting the date for the city council elections on November 2, 2021, and then heard the two speakers who had signed up to address the point.

On a routine item that was $ 2,551,355.68, Johnson said, “Can we just round this to 70 cents?” . If you can’t laugh, you’re in bad shape. “

Courtney Stodden contemplating assembly with Chrissy Teigen | Leisure

Courtney Stodden would meet Chrissy Teigen in person based on previous comments she made about the model on social media.

A source told TMZ that Courtney was considering meeting the Sports Illustrated model to discuss their differences after the 26-year-old star accused them of telling them to join previous social media exchanges take their lives, for which Chrissy later apologized.

Meanwhile, Courtney previously announced that she “accepted her apology,” but insisted that her words didn’t feel sincere because the “Lip Sync Battle” star blocked her.

Chrissy’s tweets wrote, “Not many people are fortunate enough to be held accountable in front of the world for all of their past cops ***. I’m ashamed and saddened for who I used to be.

“I was an insecure, attention-grabbing troll. I am ashamed and utterly ashamed of my behavior, but that is nothing compared to Courtney’s feeling.

“I’ve worked so hard to bring you joy and to be loved, and the feeling of abandoning you is really almost unbearable. These weren’t my only mistakes and certainly won’t be my last, as hard as I do try, but god I’ll do it. ” I tried to get in touch with Courtney privately, but having fueled all of this publicly, I also want to apologize publicly. I’m sorry, Courtney. Hope you can heal now knowing how sorry I am. And so am I. I’m sorry that I let you down. I will work forever to be better than 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago. (sic) “

In response, Courtney posted a screenshot proving they were blocked by Chrissy.

They wrote next to it: “I accept her apology and forgive her. But the truth remains the same, I have never heard of her or her camp privately.

“In fact, she blocked me on Twitter. I want everyone to believe this is a sincere apology, but it seems like a public attempt to save their partnerships with Target and other brands that realize their” alertness “is a broken one Record is. (Sic) “

In concession to COVID, Lovell voters prove for drive-in-style city assembly

Lovell’s town meeting was held in a drive-in style recreation area on Smart Hill Road. Voters could turn on their car radios to hear the moderator and selection panel members and then vote by lifting green or red paddles to indicate their positions on the warrant articles. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

Phoebe Monteith is voting on an article at Lovell’s drive-in style town get-together on Saturday. Voters were given green and red paddles to signal their approval or disapproval of the warrant articles. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal Buy this photo

LOVELL – In a COVID-related twist on the traditional annual city get-together, voters here on Saturday approved a municipal budget of $ 1.1 million for their cars and trucks and listened to what was going on on their radios.

Selected Ms. Janice Arsenault said all 85 items on the warrant were approved at the meeting as voters, parked in the recreation field on Smart Hill Road, listening from the comfort of their vehicles, and then voting by lifting either green or red paddles to signal their voice.

The budget of $ 1.1 million was roughly $ 150,000 less than last year.

Among the larger items approved at the city meeting were $ 330,000 for various city fees, $ 139,000 for maintenance of the city’s roads and bridges, and $ 110,000 for snow removal and maintenance of winter roads.

Selectman Robert Drew, who ran for another term unopposed, was re-elected to the board for a further three-year term.

The moderator of the Lovell city meeting, Jon Bliss, contacted Selectboard members Robert Drew and Janice Arsenault during the city meeting on Saturday. The meeting took place in a drive-through style in a recreation area on Smart Hill Road. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

Eric Gulbrandsen holds his green paddle out of the car window to endorse an arrest warrant article during Lovell’s town meeting on Saturday. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

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Native “Shark Tank”-style pitch assembly held by small enterprise homeowners | WDVM25 & DCW50

Posted: Feb 26, 2021 / 11:28 PM EST
Updated: February 26, 2021 / 11:29 PM EST

WINCHESTER, VA. (WDVM) – Three people had the opportunity to attend a “Shark Tank” -style event to win prizes on Friday.

“Pitch Night 2021” is the creation of two small business owners – Crystel Smith and Alex Skinner – who wanted to encourage young business people, especially after all the adversity of the pandemic.

“Pitch Night was my chance to give them the opportunity to be around people who believed in them, create a little confidence in themselves, and be around business professionals to offer this business advice, right? And to give them the resources to raise capital to grow their business, ”said Smith.

Before the event began, the finalists were trained by Skinner, the owner of InnoVault in Winchester, where Pitch Night 2021 was taking place.

“He gave some really good tips on how to pitch in general. And especially how to summarize a lot of information in 10 minutes, ”said Dustyn Vallies, a finalist who served.LocalFood network“A company focused on connecting farmers with truck drivers and moving local food.

Finalist awards included $ 1,000 for growing their business, one to two months of personal coaching from Smith, a copy of Smith’s book, Business 101, and months of use of the InnoVault space. Only three finalists were selected from a pool of people who applied to participate.

“I was really excited – and actually surprised – that I was selected just because I had never done anything like this before,” said Paulius Mui, finalist and co-founder of “Table rounds“A word association game that focuses on improving people’s understanding of medical terminology. “And so my team and I decided to apply and then we heard back that I could do the pitch.”

In the end, Kelly Botta won the event for her company “SMARTYPANTS MEDICINE“That was created to transform primary health care – for people with or without health insurance – to make it more affordable and accessible.

“I am very surprised. I am really relieved. I was very nervous. It’s a whole different and new idea so I was excited but nervous. I’m glad I decided to do it and I’m very grateful, ”said Botta.

And the pitch nights are not over yet. Smith has already planned the second part of the pitch night, which is scheduled for May 28, 2021. And prices will stay the same, according to Smith.

“This is your opportunity to share your idea with a panel of experts, a community of people who believe in you and investors who want to invest,” said Smith.

For more information on LocalFood Network, see Here.

For more information on table rounds, see Here.

More information about SMARTYPANTSMEDICINE can be found at Here.

This March, most city assembly ballots will forgo big-money requests

A sign in Brattleboro advertises the upcoming local elections on March 2nd. Photo by Kevin O’Connor / VTDigger

Last March, Vermont’s 28 communities with residents of 5,000 or more voted on special one-time spending requests – from new schools to infrastructure improvements to public swimming pools $ 250 million.

In this pandemic year, the same communities that are now proposing less than a tenth of that amount for anything beyond their regular budget are focusing on issues without high prices.

Eight of the state’s most populous hubs – Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Lyndon, Middlebury, Montpelier, Waterbury and Winooski – will vote on March 2nd to allow local recreational marijuana sales from 2022.

Vermont became the eleventh state to legalize such business last fall the law requires Municipalities must “sign up” before retailers can obtain the permits they need to operate.

“To start a retail cannabis business, people will have to make significant investments in time, effort and money, and people will be reluctant to make these types of investments in a city unless they can be confident that I am allowed open, ”Middlebury attorney Dave Silberman recently told the website Heady Vermont.

The question will also appear in the smaller communities of Barton, Berlin, Brandon, Brownington, Danby, Danville, Duxbury, Lyndon, Newport City, Pawlet, Pownal, Randolph, Richmond, Salisbury, and Waitsfield, according to a VTDigger survey.

In other matters, Vermont’s largest city, Burlington will consider whether the charter should be amended to protect tenants of residential buildings from evictions without “just cause”, to make a ranking vote for the election of their council members and to regulate the thermal energy systems in residential and commercial buildings.

The nearby town of Essex and its village of Essex Junction will decide whether merge into one community with a common governance structure that supporters say would reduce costs. About 70% of the village voters approved the plan last November, which resulted in the election in the larger city.

Winooski will consider an advisory article on asking the state to suspend Vermont Air National Guard F-35 training flights, which have since been causing a high level of noise from 2019.

VTDigger is drawn by:

Barre City that has faced controversial debate Calls to raise the Black Lives Matter and police-friendly “Thin Blue Line” flags will vote on whether to limit selection of public property to banners from the community, state, state and National League of Prisoner of War / MIA families .

In southern Vermont, Bennington will think again A proposal that was rejected in 2018 and 2019 to replace the current city government system with a mayor and consider a new “Penny for Parks” reserve fund that adds a cent to the property tax rate to generate $ 100,000 annually for recreational improvements.

For its part, Brattleboro will decide whether to join a growing number of communities asking lawmakers to allow them Adopt local charter regulations approved by the state for other communities.

Several cities propose special one-time expenditure claims, but they are not as costly as in the recent past.

South BurlingtonThe company, which last year turned down a $ 210 million plan to build a new middle and high school and sports center, is targeting $ 4 million for a series of highway improvements and another $ 2.5 million -Dollars for the replacement of a school roof and associated construction work.

St. Albans CityThe company, which unsuccessfully proposed a community pool with the neighboring city of St. Albans last year, will consider tackling the $ 5 million project on its own. She will also vote on a $ 1.5 million street image improvement plan and $ 2.3 million drinking water reservoir – all from other sources, including the local option tax.

St. Albans citywill, in turn, vote on the construction of a new $ 4.5 million town hall Shelburne will decide whether to spend $ 1.12 million to buy land for a potential fire and rescue station.

The March polls in 27 of the state’s 28 largest parishes (St. Johnsbury won’t vote until April 6th) also elects local leaders like the Mayor, with incumbents Miro Weinberger in Burlington and David Allaire in Rutland City facing challengers .

And several communities will be considering moving on with federated school districts formed as part of the State Act 46 consolidation effort.

Brattleboro and the other towns in the Windham Southeast School District, Dummerston, Guilford and Putney, for example, will decide whether to dissolve the union that was formed two years ago. The question is asked less because of specific problems than to give residents the opportunity to weigh up whether they want a continuation or a change.

“This is like looking back at us,” said Kelly Young, director of Windham Southeast, at a recent meeting.

Middlebury and other towns in the Addison Central School District in Bridport, Cornwall, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge will vote on whether neighboring Ripton can be eliminated from their ranks. That idea got good words from an unlikely source: the district itself.
“A possible Ripton retreat”, be Impact assessment Says: “could result in a small saving in education spending per balanced student for the remaining cities.”

Are you missing out on the newest bullet? Subscribe here to receive a weekly email with all of VTDigger’s political reports. And in case you can’t get enough of the statehouse, sign up for the final reading for an overview of the day’s news in the legislature.

Starstream Leisure Coordinating Huge Consumer Advertising Campaigns In Addition To Welcoming Shareholders To Firm’s Annual Shareholder Assembly in Daytona Seashore Throughout Bike Week March Fifth-14th 2021

TipRanks

3 ‘Strong Buy’ stocks with an 8% dividend yield

Let’s talk about portfolio defense. After manipulating the Social Flash Mob Market for the past week, this topic should not be ignored. That doesn’t mean the markets will collapse. After falling 2% at the close of last week’s Friday session, this week’s trading started on a positive tone as the S&P 500 rose 1.5% and the Nasdaq rose 2.5%. The underlying bullish factors – a more stable political scene that steadily drives COVID vaccination programs – still play a role, even if not quite as strong as investors had hoped. While heightened volatility might linger with us for a while, it’s time to consider defensive stocks. And that will bring us to dividends. By providing a steady stream of income regardless of market conditions, a reliable dividend stock provides a pad for your investment portfolio when the stock ceases to appreciate. With that in mind, we used the TipRanks database to get three dividend stocks that yield 8%. However, that’s not all they offer. Each of these stocks received enough street praise to earn a consensus rating of “Strong Buy”. New Residential Investment (NRZ) First we examine the REIT sector, Real Estate Investment Trusts. These companies have long been known for dividends that are both high-yielding and reliable. Due to the company’s tax compliance, REITs are required to return a certain percentage of profits directly to shareholders. NRZ, a medium-sized company with a market capitalization of $ 3.9 billion, has a diverse portfolio of residential mortgages, original loans and mortgage loan service rights. The company is based in New York City. NRZ has a $ 20 billion investment portfolio that has generated dividends of $ 3.4 billion since its inception. The portfolio has proven resilient in the face of the corona crisis, and after a difficult first quarter last year, NRZ posted rising gains in the second and third quarters. The most recently reported third quarter showed GAAP earnings of $ 77 million, or 19 cents per share. This EPS was lower than in the previous year, but a strong trend reversal compared to the 21-cent loss reported in the previous quarter. The rising income has enabled NRZ to raise the dividend. The Q3 payment was 15 cents per common share; The dividend for the fourth quarter was increased to 20 cents per common share. At this rate, the dividend annualizes to 80 cents, making an impressive 8.5%. In a further move to return profits to investors, the company announced in November that it had approved $ 100 million in share buybacks. BTIG analyst Eric Hagen is impressed with New Residential – especially the company’s solid balance sheet and liquidity. “[We] like the ability to potentially build capital through retained earnings while maintaining a competitive payout. We believe the dividend increase will underscore the company’s liquidity position. We believe NRZ has been able to release capital because it has raised approximately $ 1 billion in securitized debt for its MSR portfolio through two separate transactions since September, ”said Hagen. In line with his comments, Hagen rates NRZ with a buy and its target price of $ 11 implies an upward movement of 17% for the coming year. (To see Hagen’s track record, click here.) It’s not often that all analysts agree on a stock. When this happens, take note of it. NRZ’s consensus rating for strong buy is based on unanimous 7 purchases. The stock’s average target price of $ 11.25 indicates an upward movement of ~ 20% from the current stock price of $ 9.44. (See NRZ stock analysis on TipRanks) Saratoga Investment Corporation (SAR) With the next stock we switch to the investment management area. Saratoga specializes in mid-market debt, capital appreciation and equity, with over $ 546 million in assets under management. Saratoga’s portfolio is broad, including industry, software, waste disposal and home security. Saratoga has seen a slow but steady recovery from the corona crisis. The company’s sales declined in the first quarter of 20 and have grown slowly since then. The third quarter fiscal year report released in early January contained $ 14.3 million. Adjusted for pre-tax taxes, Saratoga’s net investment income of 50 cents per share exceeded the 47-cents forecast by 6%. They say the race is slowly and steadily winning, and Saratoga has shown investors a generally stable hand over the past year. The stock has rallied 163% from its low after the corona last March. And the dividend, which the company cut in the second quarter, has increased twice since then. The current dividend of 42 cents per common share was declared for payment on February 10 last month. The annualized payment of $ 1.68 gives a return of 8.1%. The analyst Mickey Schleien from Ladenburg Thalmann is optimistic about Saratoga and writes: “We believe that the SAR portfolio is relatively defensive and focuses on software, IT services, education services and the CLO. SAR’s CLO remains up-to-date and the company is seeking refinancing / appreciation that we believe could positively affect our outlook. “The analyst continued,” Our model assumes that SAR will use cash and SBA debt to fund net portfolio growth. We believe the Board of Directors will continue to increase the dividend given the performance of the portfolio, the existence of undistributed taxable income and the economic benefits of the Covid-19 immunization program. “To this end, Schleien rates SAR a Buy along with a price target of USD 25. This number implies an upward trend of 20% from the current level. (To see Schleien’s track record, click here.) Wall Street analysts approve of Schleien on this stock. The other three registered ratings are buys and the analysts’ consensus rating is a strong buy. Saratoga’s shares trade for $ 20.87 with an average price target of $ 25.50, indicating an upward movement of 22% over the next 12 months. (See SAR stock analysis on TipRanks) Hercules Capital (HTGC) Last but not least, Hercules Capital is a venture capital company. Hercules provides early stage funding support to small client businesses with a scientific background. Hercules customers are life sciences, technology, and financial SaaS. Since its inception in 2003, Hercules has invested over $ 11 billion in more than 500 companies. The quality of the Hercules portfolio is evident from the company’s recent performance. The stock has fully rebounded from last winter’s corona crisis, rebounding 140% from its low last April. The result has also recovered. For the first nine months of 2020, HTGC posted net investment income of $ 115 million, or 11% more than the same period in 2019. For dividend investors, the key point is that net investment income covered the distribution – in fact, it was 106% of the Base distribution. The company was confident enough to kickstart sales with an additional 2 cents payment. The combined payout results in an annualized payment of $ 1.28 per common share and a return of 8.7%. In yet another vote of confidence, Hercules completed a $ 100 million investment-grade bond offering in November, raising capital for debt repayments, new investments and corporate purposes. The bonds were offered in two tranches, each valued at $ 50 million. The bonds mature in March 2026. Analyst Crispin Love covers Piper Sandler’s stock and sees plenty to love in HTGC. “We continue to believe that HTGC’s focus on fast-growing technology and life science companies positions the company well in the current environment. In addition, Hercules is not dependent on a COVID recovery as it does not invest in “vulnerable” sectors. Hercules also has a strong liquidity position which should allow the company to act quickly when it finds attractive investment opportunities, “commented Love. All of the above convinced Love to rate HTGC as an outperform (i.e. buy). In addition to the call, he set a price target of $ 16, indicating upside potential of 9%. (To see Love’s track record, click here.) The stock’s recent appreciation has pushed Hercules stock up to its average target price of $ 15.21 and up only ~ 4% above the trading price of $ 14.67 calmly. Wall Street doesn’t seem to mind, however, as the analyst consensus rating is a unanimous strong buy based on 6 recent buy-side ratings. (See HTGC stock analysis on TipRanks.) To find great ideas for trading dividend stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, ‘a newly launched tool that brings together all of TipRanks’ stock insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the presented analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important that you do your own analysis before making any investment.