SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Bad end to a rough week. The NASDAQ closes below the key 4,000 level. And the S&P has its worst weekly drop since June 2012, leaving many investors wondering whether the bull market is still intact.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Big miss. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), the first major bank to report earnings, disappoints. What’s hurt the firm’s bottom line into the first quarter and will it continue into the second?
GHARIB: And the crisis widens. New General Motors (NYSE:GM) documents raised questions about what CEO Mary Barra may have known about some of the recalled cars.
We have all that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this Friday, April 11th.
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the support group.
We invite you to sit down, have a soft drink or something maybe a little stronger, and reflect what has happened to those lovely stocks that went up 30 percent last year. Why have those shares that loved you so much in 2013 like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), turned a fickle, cold cheek to you now? We’ll explore that in some detail tonight, though I can’t promise any definitive answers.
A few weeks ago, at least we had Crimea or China or Yellen to point to when the market wilted. But for these past several weeks including this one, the worst for the NASDAQ and S&P, in nearly two years, there has been a dearth of headlines to move stocks, maybe it is just momentum in reverse, those momentum stocks went up uninterrupted for seemingly little reason when they rose, now they’re fallen just because they can.
You are forgiven if you’d rather avert your eyes, as we look at the numbers, cover your ears, too, the Dow falling 143 points, closing just above the 16,000 mark, suffering its first weekly loss in four. The NASDAQ, which is actually higher shortly after the opening bell, fell hard, down 54 today, closing below 4,000. Tech-heavy NASDAQ now down 6 1/2 percent in three weeks, biggest three-week decline in two years. The S&P down 17 today, seeing its biggest weekly drop since June of 2012.
GHARIB: Well, our market monitor tonight is calm, and upbeat, and says investors should not be scared off by all the selling and he’s actually advising them to buy high caliber stocks. He’s Jeff Saut, chief investment strategist with Raymond James.
And we’re so happy, Jeff, that you’re here on the set with Tyler and me to talk about all of this stuff.
So, you’re in New York this week. You’ve been talking to clients, institutional clients, and you’re telling me that they’ve been pretty anxious about everything going on. And you’re so upbeat.
What’s the disconnect?
JEFF SAUT, RAYMOND JAMES CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: Well, it depends on who you talk to, if you talk to the portfolio managers who are playing the Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and some of the high beta stocks. There is some angst out there.
But if you’re talking — I wrote — I spoke at the Tiberon CEO Conference Tuesday morning, and I rode back in Ron Baron, who’s one of the veteran investors of our lifetime, in a car for an hour and a half trying to get back to midtown in the rain. He was like Warren Buffett, you know, in ’74, a kid in the candy store, a lot of stocks have come down dramatically, given you a chance to buy the dip for the first time since I’d say June of 2012.
MATHISEN: High caliber — stocks, I feel more this week like a high caliber weapon, to use myself, my portfolio taken such a hit. But there has been a move from some of the high beta stocks into let’s just say some of the bigger blue chip technology shares, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) had a multi-year high, IBM went up this week, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) doing just fine, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) — is that what you’re suggesting, those kinds of companies?
SAUT: I think some of those are OK. I think some of those are value traps over the long cycle. But in a low growth environment, I think that Wall Street will pay up for true growth. And some stocks that came down for 40 percent and 50 percent that aren’t true growth stocks I think will come back. Now, we —
MATTHEWS: Like what? Like what? The comeback, 30 percent or 40 percent —
SAUT: I mean, there’s — in the health care group, there is a company called Dexcom, that makes the best wireless glucose blood monitoring system on the market. The stock was $50 a share a month ago. And it got, it went to the low 30s. Now, it’s trading around $35, $36 right now. They just got approved for their infant product to monitor infant’s blood glucose.
GHARIB: And let’s talk about other stocks, as you have a couple. And there’s actually another health care stock, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), that you like. I mean, what is it — what’s the attraction there?
SAUT: Well, in a low growth environment, and I think the GDP is going to nestle somewhere in the couple of years between 3 percent and 4 percent, Wall Street will pay up for true growth stocks. They tend to be clustered in technology and in health care, both of which are trading one standard deviation below their historic meme valuation levels.
So, a name like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has a decent dividend. You’ve got AAA balance sheet. They’ve got a nice product portfolio. And I think at this time next year, you’ll have a 9 percent free cash flow yield on J & J. And that makes it pretty cheap.
GHARIB: Real quick follow-up on that. You know, we saw this week — a lot of health care stock, a lot of pharma companies, bio tech were being sold off. But this is different.
SAUT: This is different. This isn’t bio tech, you know, play. If you’re looking for a biotech play, you know, I would take a look at Bristol-Myers. Bristol-Myers has a very robust bio tech division. They’re one of the leaders in what’s known as PD-1 technology, or P-L-1 technology. It’s a lower conservative way to get into pretty good biotech —
GHARIB: You like a couple of mobile phone tower operators or builders, too?
SAUT: Yes, again, this is the technology them. Technology sector has a 21 percent, 22 percent ROE, whereas the S&P has a 15 percent, 16 percent return on equity. One of the big themes we’ve had for the past dozen years or so is mobile computing, in the convergence of devices, you can see it every year that your mobile devices become in your computer. And if you don’t have the connection, it doesn’t work. So, the tower stocks are second derivative play on mobile computing and the convergence of devices.
MATHISEN: All right.
GHARIB: All right. We’ll have to leave it there. Real quick, any disclosures on the stocks that you mentioned?
SAUT: I own Dexcom.
GHARIB: OK. All right. Thanks a lot.
And real quickly before we go — next week, which direction you see the market, up or down, in a few words?
SAUT: I think you’re building into a selling climax. I think it probably happens next week.
GHARIB: All right.
MATHISEN: That’s definitive.
GHARIB: Thanks so much. Have a great weekend. Jeff Fox, chief investment strategist with Raymond James.
MATHISEN: And talk about a tale of two lenders, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Chase was the first Dow component to report first quarter earnings today, and then out with results came rival banking giant Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Profits at JP fell by one-fifth, sending shares down more than 3 1/2 percent, making it the biggest decliner in the Dow. Net profit at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) topped more than $6 billion, while shares rose nearly a percent on a very down day in the markets.
Kayla Tausche has more on what’s behind those disparate earnings results.
KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Chase, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, first entered the gate with earnings, and the fortress business model showing some cracks. The bank had two distinct culprits, a sharp slowdown in mortgage under writing and an equally sharp slowdown in trading, when that could continue through part of the second quarter.
Those issues adding insult to injury in an economy with weak loan growth and less corporate activity than expected. Eventually, loans will grow and yields will rise, strengthening the financial’s foundation.
But FBR’s Miller said they counted that income too soon.
PAUL MILLER, FBR CAPITAL MARKETS MANAGING DIR: We were afraid that a lot of these banks were running up on expectations of a great economy and higher rates, now you’re seeing rates drop.
TAUSCHE: Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), one of JPMorgan’s fiercest rivals, saw its other businesses sidestepped that issue. The San Francisco-based mortgage lender relies less on trading than peers and saw better credit improvement, two facts that led Wells to beat expectations and have double digit earnings growth. A tough feat, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) aims to grow its mortgage business by moving to lower credit and higher yielding borrowers, something JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) scarred from recent legal battles refuses to do, even though the market has few options for home buyers without GSA support or sterling credit.
JAMIE DIMON, CHMN & CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: A lot of people have overlaid (ph). They are being tougher than is required by FHA, GSA, or their own rules, because of lapse of warranties and et cetera. And I don’t know when that’s going to go away. It’s not getting worse, it’s just kind of sitting there and probably holding back a little bit to purchase market.
TAUSCHE (on camera): JPMorgan’s risk aversion has affected other lines of business, as well. Its clearing house refused to process the payment from Russia’s embassy in Kazakhstan, citing sanctions and it ended management of a college fraternity’s bank account as well to guard its reputation — all of that just in the first quarter. The banks is clearly sacrificing growth for its long-term reputation.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Kayla Tausche in New York.
MATHISEN: David Hilder joins us now to discuss today’s bank earnings and what we can expect when other big banks report next week. He’s senior banking analyst at Drexel Hamilton.
David, good to have you with us.
Let’s start with JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), the two banks out today. What did you make of the results? And are they buy, sells, or holds in your book?
DAVID HILDER, DREXEL HAMILTON SENIOR BANKING ANALYST: Well, Tyler, thanks for having me on. I do have buy ratings on both Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
I think what we saw in the market today was a little bit of money flow out of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and into Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), simply because Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) reported better than consensus estimates of earnings, and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) fell a little bit short. They’re both very good banks. They’re certainly making a lot of money. They’re both in great capital positions.
I think to some extent the first quarter is viewed as a bit of a symbol of what the run rate of earnings will be for the rest of the year. And so, I think you will see on Monday that some of the annual estimates for JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) will come down as people think about more of a run rate for the rest of the year in the 130 to 140 range, not $1.42, $1.50. Whereas at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), they — Wells reported a $1.05, up from $1 in the first quarter. And I think that estimates will be going up for the remainder of the year at Wells.
GHARIB: Can I jump ahead, David, next week? Because we have Citi reporting and also Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). Both of these banks have legal and other issues for different reasons and you’re recommending that both of these companies — both of these banks as well, and tell us why. And what are you expecting in their quarterly numbers?
HILDER: My estimate for Citi is a $1.15, that excludes the most recent mortgage settlement. My estimate for Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is 25 cents. That’s a little bit below the consensus, I’m being a little more conservative on Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) again because of some of the trading issues that we saw at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
Again, I think over time, the big four banks, Citi, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Well’s Fargo and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) are slowly but surely going to take market share from smaller banks as they have national scale, a diversity of businesses and a diversity of risk. I think Citi at the moment is probably the most attractive stock in the group, simply because it’s trading at about a 20 percent discount to tangible book value.
And I think Citi will over the course of the year be able to resolve the capital plan issues that the Feds had a few weeks ago and Citi will begin — will be able to increase both its dividend and its purchase activity.
MATHISEN: So, fundamentally, you don’t think Citi’s problems will be insurmountable. That was going to be my question, but you answered it.
But let me turn it another way. Is banking the fun business that used to be, David?
HILDER: Well, I think a lot of bankers would say that it was never all that much fun. I think — look, I was at a conference this week with a number of players in a variety of financial businesses and the one thing that they all said was that their — their relationships with their regulators are very tense, almost hostile.
So, I think it is very clear that post the financial crisis, the intensity of regulation, both in terms of laws and in terms of the attitudes of the regulators has changed. Over time, I think both sides need to spend really more time talking to each other and figuring out how the banks can go forward, and provide the credit and other services that the company needs to grow faster.
MATHISEN: All right. So, banking is not as much fun as it never was. David Hilder, thank you very much.
HILDER: Good. Thank you.
MATHISEN: Senior bank analyst at Drexel Hamilton.
GHARIB: And still ahead on the program, an iconic American industry is having a hard time attracting young workers. The story of what’s being done to change that, coming up next.
GHARIB: A big development in the ignition switch crisis at General Motors (NYSE:GM). Internal GM documents released by congressional investigators today revealed an e-mail that GM’s current CEO back in 2011 that detailed steering problems in cars that are now being recalled.
Phil LeBeau joins us now from Chicago, with more on this latest development.
How damaging, Phil, are these documents especially for CEO Mary Barra?
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: On the surface, it doesn’t appear to be a smoking gun document. And in fact, here’s the email right here, Tyler. What is interesting is when you look at these emails, it does indicate that there were some discussion about steering issues that were at least e-mailed to Mary Barra. Now, whether she saw them, didn’t respond, did respond, there’s no e-mails from her.
But here’s what the e-mail says, and it was in response from one engineer outlining an article in “The New York Times (NYSE:NYT)” about steering issues for the Saturn Ion. And in the e-mail, he writes, “Mary, during the initial Cobalt case,” and again, that may be separate from the current Cobalt case, he writes, “During the Cobalt case, the Ion data did not justify being included. This situation has been evolving. We will meet and understand the latest data.”
Now this afternoon, General Motors (NYSE:GM) has come out with a response, tweeting a response about what Mary Barra may have known. And General Motors (NYSE:GM) says, “The e-mail to Mary Barra dated on October 3rd of 2011,” the one I just read, “references a Saturn Ion steering issue which is completely separate from the ignition-related GM recall.”
So that is GM’s response to this. So, Tyler look, you have to see a lot more documents to get some perspective in terms of what Mary Barra may have known. But she has made it clear here, and they stand by the fact that she has said, she did not know about this before January of this year.
MATHISEN: All right, Phil, thank you very much. Have a great weekend.
A little bit more on General Motors (NYSE:GM) now. A group of U.S. senators urging the Department of Justice to intervene in the recall. The senators are calling on the agency to require GM to establish a victim’s fund and oppose any action by the automaker to deny responsibility for damages.
Shares took a hit today, dropping 4 percent, ten-month low now, closing below the IPO price of GM of $33 a share.
GHARIB: Well, here’s some good news for the bankrupt city of Detroit. A federal judge approved the city’s latest attempt to pry itself free from some long-term financial contracts known as interest rate swaps. They’ve cost the city tens of millions of dollars to UBS and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch unit. The two banks will now be paid $85 million to terminate the deal, which was used to boost municipal pension plans.
MATHISEN: President Obama wasted no time in naming his pick to replace the embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who took a lot of heat for the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s market places. The administration nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell who now heads up the White House Budget Office, to be the next secretary of HHS. President Obama touted Burwell as someone who can handle even the toughest challenges.
GHARIB: Just four days before your taxes are due, but today, President Obama released his family’s returns. The commander-in-chief and first lady reported a total income of $481,000. They paid $98,000 in total for taxes for an effective tax rate of just over 20 percent. The Obamas donated $59,000 to charity and paid $23,000 to Illinois where they still own a home.
MATHISEN: Earlier this week, we told you about the so-called Heartbleed bug which caused chaos for some big name Web sites, potentially exposing users data to hackers. Now, the infection has gotten worse jumping from software to gadgets we use to connect to the Internet.
Josh Lipton has more on what this latest development means and what else maybe at risk.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started with Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO)!, OK Cupid, and Tumblr. Now, it’s threatening tech bellwethers and possibly even our banks. It’s called Heartbleed, a security flaw in the encryption technology used by millions of Web sites. That means usernames, passwords, credit cards and other sensitive information are vulnerable to hackers.
WILLIAM BALLENTHIN, MANDIANT: It’s almost trivial to exploit. The damage of it is very, very powerful. Attacker can compromise those private cryptographic keys which basically give them unlimited access to sensitive communication between banks and other companies and their clients. So, I think it is extremely dangerous, vulnerability out there.
LIPTON: Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Juniper now say some of their networking products are exposed to Heartbleed bug. This is a real concern since these are the companies that direct data traffic across the Internet.
(on camera): But the danger doesn’t stop in Silicon Valley. Banks are also potentially exposed to the threat. The question for consumer is how safe it is to continue online banking right now.
Smaller banks that don’t spend time and money on security, experts say, are a real worry.
AVIVAH LITAN, GARTNER: They may have one IT person who does all their IT and all their security. They rely on third-party processers to provide security, and that hasn’t worked very well.
LIPTON (voice-over): Analysts say consumers who use small banks for online banking should call the bank and find out if it is vulnerable to Heartbleed, and if so, when the bank will address the threat. Once the bank does, the consumer should then change their passwords.
Heartbleed is a manageable security issue but each company with potential exposure needs to address the threat, update their software and alert users who then need to change their passwords.
(on camera): Whether companies can react work fast enough is the open question.
Josh Lipton, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Silicon Valley.
GHARIB: Shares of Zoe’s Kitchen skyrocketed in the company’s trading debut today and that’s where we begin tonight’s “Market Focus”.
The Mediterranean-themed restaurant offered 5.8 million of its shares at $15 each. That was at the upper end of the expected price range. Investors found the new offering appetizing. And the stocks surge about — get this — 65 percent to $24.72.
China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba, has agreed to buy AutoNavi for about $1.5 billion. Alibaba already has a large stake in this mapping and navigation company. Shares of AutoNavi popped on the news, up almost 3 percent to $20.62. Alibaba isn’t a public company in the U.S. just yet. It is expected to make its Wall Street debut later this year.
MATHISEN: Shares of Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) way down on “The Financial Times” report that the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating the multi-level marketing company. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) has been accused of operating a pyramid scheme by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. The company says it has no knowledge of any ongoing investigations and denies the allegations that it is a pyramid scheme. Shares tumbled about 14 percent though to $51.48.
And Sony (NYSE:SNE) warning customers to stop using some of its Vaio laptops saying it’s possible that the non-removable battery pack could overheat and catch fire. The defective batteries are in fight, 11-A devices. Japanese electronics-maker says it is in the process of creating a program to repair or replace the products. Despite that, shares of Sony (NYSE:SNE) were up more than a percent today in a down day to $18.38.
GHARIB: Moving from new economy to old economy, there is a new push by the U.S. government to get more people interested in farming and ranching, especially young people.
Jane Wells explains.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a time, 33-year-old Daniel Sinton left the farm.
DANIEL SINTON, RANCHER: I graduated from Stanford in 2002 and most of my friends were going into high tech and things like that. So, I spent a couple of years doing that.
WELLS: But he has returned to the 18,000 acres his family has had for five generations in Shandon, California. His father and grandfather were afraid he might not.
STEVEN SINTON, DANIEL’S FATHER: Yes, sure. It is always a concern. You — time runs out and you don’t know what’s going to happen if somebody doesn’t step in as I did with my dad. And he has now done with me. And he’ll have the same worry in 30 or 40 years, as well.
WELLS: It’s a worry not just here. The average age of the American farmer is 58 and rising.
TOM VILSACK, U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: If you take a look at the numbers of recent ag census, what you see are that there are hundreds of thousands of farmers who are over the age of 75 and 65, but only tens of thousands of farmers under the age of 35.
WELLS: The USDA is trying to attract new blood with loan programs and training. But it’s a hard road to hoe if you don’t already have land in the family.
JIM SINTON, 97-YEAR-OLD CALIFORNIA RANCHER: It’s very difficult to make a living in agriculture. It’s impossible if you have to buy a ranch.
WELLS: Ryan Kirby (NYSE:KEX) was a petroleum engineer in Houston, but he, too, has come home to join the family farm in Louisiana.
RYAN KIRBY, LOUISIANA: I love what I would do, I would never do anything else unless I absolutely had to.
WELLS: In Atlanta, 34-year-old farmer Jake Carter uses agri tourism to teach a new generation about farming.
JAKE CARTER, FARMER: Even what we’re doing here, teaching small children, most of the time they’re pre-K through second grade about farming, you can just see the light bulbs in their heads come on. And, you know, that may be something they want to do one day.
WELLS: Farmers may be disappearing but farms will not. Investors are buying up property, like this land near the Sinton family ranch, which most likely be managed by outsiders who don’t live in the community. This could be the American farm of the future unless a new generation can figure out a way to buy land and make money.
(on camera): Why do it?
D. SINTON: You know, the love of the land, it is the right thing to do. It’s a wonderful place to be.
WELLS (voice-over): For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Shandon, California.
GHARIB: And to read more about what’s being done to attract the next generation of farmers, go to our Web site at NBR.com.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, a look inside Nike’s high tech lab where it’s creating the next generation of golf balls. Can the company really break through in this billion dollar business?
GHARIB: And finally tonight, it is a huge weekend for golf fans, that is because the 78th annual Master’s Golf Tournament is under way in Augusta, Georgia. And with millions tuning in to watch their pros hit the links, we took a little peek into the future of the game.
Morgan Brennan has more from Nike’s top secret lab that’s driving to make a better golf ball.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call it the oven west, Nike’s stand-alone R&D lab dedicated solely to golf balls. Here, the engineers cook up new prototypes to be used by company sponsored pro-golfers like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, and more importantly, by consumers.
New designs are shot from golf ball canons, even rolled around in sand for two days to see how they weather the elements.
CINDY DAVIS, NIKE GOLF PRESIDENT: This is the place where 40 engineers get together and talk about the next great innovation to make the golfers better. So, they hatch the ideas, they test the performance of these ideas, and ultimately, they bring great products like our new RZN golf ball to market.
BRENNAN: The RZN line started hitting store shelves this year. It has a RZN core, weighing less than the more traditional rubber and waffle like speed lock shape that its engineer say add more energy to impact. Nike (NYSE:NKE) has high hopes for its golf balls, and not just because of sales.
But while Nike (NYSE:NKE) has dominated the apparel and footwear, convincing consumers to buy golf balls hasn’t been easy.
(on camera): Golf balls are a $1.2 billion business, and the space is crowded. According to the USGA, more than 1,300 designs were tested in 2013 from 73 different companies. In fact, each year, enough golf balls are produced to circle the entire Earth.
MIKE PAI, NIKE GLOBAL CATEGORY DIRECTOR FOR GOLF BALLS: You want to be seen not just as the Nike (NYSE:NKE) brand. We want to be seen as a golf equipment company. And it is very difficult, I think in this industry to be seen as a golf equipment manufacturer, per se, unless you have got the full line.
BRENNAN: Competitors like Maxfli and Titleist have been around for decades, and golfers tend to be loyal. Not to mention Bridgestone, Adidas TaylorMade and Callaway. But Titleist owner Acushnet is, by far, the biggest, claiming an estimated 50 percent of market share. That’s one reason analyst say Nike (NYSE:NKE) golf means a little to the larger business.
SMAM POSER, STERNE AGEE: They reported sales last year, in fiscal 2013, of $791 million. It’s nice size business overall. But for them, it’s not — you know, they have a $27 billion business. So, it’s a good business but doesn’t move the needle very much.
BRENNAN: Still, the division is growing. Albeit slowly, Nike (NYSE:NKE) Golf believes the key to unlocking more market share ultimately lies in innovation, and that comes from the oven.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Morgan Brennan, in Beaverton, Oregon.
GHARIB: And that’s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I’m Susie Gharib. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend.
MATHISEN: I’m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me as well. Have a great weekend. We will see you on Monday.
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