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Fundamental Analysis

A Contrarian Call on General Electric

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The General Electric (NYSE: GE) stock has been a huge under performer in 2017. It has fallen more than 43%, year to date while the S&P 500 is up about 15%. That says the kind of negativity surrounding the stock.

Important points

  1. GE stock is being clobbered after it slashed its dividend by 50%
  2. The company will sell $20 billion of assets
  3. CEO John Flannery has laid out plans to turnaround the company
  4. We like GE as a contrarian bet

On Monday, during an investor day presentation, the new CEO of the company John Flannery outlined plans to turnaround the company. The stock reacted by falling more than 7% on the same day. If that was not enough, it was followed by another 5.89% drop on Tuesday.

The investors are bailing out of their positions in a hurry, plunging the stock below $18 levels. We, however, would like to go contrarian here and add GE to our portfolio. We believe that at the current prices, the downside risk is minimum while the upside potential is huge, if the management can walk the talk.

What are the reasons for our optimism, especially when others are in a hurry to sell their holdings.

GE is the original Dow stock

The company was originally established by the great Thomas Alva Edison in 1890. A company that has survived for the past 127 odd years certainly deserves credit for its resilience. From the first light bulb to the age of super computers, the company has seen it all.

It has been able to reinvent itself and survive all the technological changes. It is the only original surviving Dow stock that was first included in the index in 1896.

However, we have seen many erstwhile companies flounder and go bankrupt. Is there a chance that GE will also follow suit? Let’s look at GE’s results and analyze how bad is the situation.

GE’s financial performance

The company’s performance has been sluggish in the past five years, which shows that the management did not take the necessary steps to overcome the plaguing issues.

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 YTD 5-Yr Growth
Revenue in billions 146.68 113.25 117.18 117.39 123.69 90.69 -3.33
Operating Margin % 20.31 13.65 14.19 14.36 14.42 11.9 -9.38
Diluted Earnings Per Share 1.29 1.27 1.5 -0.62 0.89 0.41 -0.06

Source: Morningstar

The above figures show that if the management doesn’t take the corrective steps soon, the company is unlikely to emerge from its downward spiral.

However, though the results are poor, GE is unlikely to go out of business anytime soon. It still has leadership position in its niche sectors. It only has to reorganize itself to emerge stronger.

What are some of the steps announced by the new CEO

We like a company’s CEO who accepts that there is a problem, which needs to be addressed. If the CEO backs his words with some unpopular measures for the long-term betterment of the company, we start to believe in the turnaround story.

Flannery did just that. He slashed GE’s dividend by 50%, from 24 cents quarterly to 12 cents, a move that is likely to hurt a lot of investors who had bought the stock for its dividend yield. This explains the plunge of the past two days.

However, the dividend cut will save the company $4 billion annually, which can be put to use for the turnaround.

Recent history shows that a dividend cut has been positive in the long-term

The S&P Global points to four companies – Pfizer, Abbott Labs, Kinder Morgan and Conoco Phillips – that have seen the largest dividend cuts since the financial crisis. A year after cutting their dividends, Pfizer rose 28%, Abbott 44% and Conoco Phillips 49%. The only laggard was Kinder Morgan, which was lower by about 4%.

Though this is not a very dependable reason to buy GE, it certainly shows that the companies that have used the money saved from dividend cuts smartly have rewarded the long-term investors.

What else does Flannery plan to do other than cutting its dividend?

Many analysts have said that GE had become unmanageable. On that front, Flannery has said that GE will be “more focused” and will shed assets worth about $20 billion. This is in contrast to the earlier two CEO’s Jeff Immelt and Jack Welch, but this is what the company needs at the moment. Power, aviation and health care are going to be the main area of focus.

GE will induct three new members into the board of directors, but will reduce the board’s size from 18 to 12. The board has also given a seat to Ed Garden, co-founder with Nelson Peltz of the $13 billion Trian Partners hedge fund. Peltz has taken more than a billion-dollar hit on his GE stake of about 70.9 million shares, disclosed in October 2015.

The lower guidance for 2018 is a welcome reset

Few analysts are negative following GE’s dismal guidance for the next year. The company cut its 2018 EPS guidance to $1.00-$1.07, well below the consensus street expectation of $1.28. However, we view this as a positive.

By doing this, Flannery has given himself enough room to maneuver without having to worry about disappointing the street. Also, he would want to start his innings at GE on a positive note, therefore, he is likely to give a guidance that he can easily beat. Hence, unlike others, we are not downbeat after seeing the lower guidance.

Shouldn’t we buy after the turnaround happens?

GE is looking to undo its previous mistakes and work towards a turnaround. Though turning a $155 billion behemoth is unlikely to happen quickly, we believe that positive indications can be seen within a year. As the stock markets are forward-looking, the stock price will start to recover well before the results turn positive.

What does the chart forecast?

GE has been in a long-term downtrend. With the plunge of the past two days, price has reached the downtrend line, which is likely to act as a support. Additionally, the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level of the rise from the lows of 2009 to the highs in 2016 is at $17.17. As these two supports are close by, we expect the stock to find some support at the $17 levels. The RSI has also fallen into the oversold zone. Previous oversold readings on the RSI have led to a recovery in price. However, if the support breaks, the stock is likely to slide to its next major support of $14.

As the stock is currently in a downward momentum, we recommend buying GE in batches, instead of buying it all at once. The first lot of about 2% of the portfolio can be bought at the current levels. We, eventually, want to increase the stake to about 5% of our portfolio. Sharp intraday dips can be used to accumulate positions on the long side in the next few days or weeks.

For ease of calculation, we shall consider the purchase price as $18. This is the second stock in our portfolio, after the purchase of AT&T a couple of days back.

Risks

GE’s turnaround will suffer if the world economy slows down. The Chinese slowdown, the middle east unrest, the Brexit issues and other geopolitical issues can put brakes on the already anemic global recovery.

Flannery has a tough job at hand. Any misstep in the execution of the turnaround plan can sink the stock further.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 9 rated postsRakesh Upadhyay is a Technical Analyst and Portfolio Consultant for The Summit Group. He has more than a decade of experience as a private trader. His philosophy is to use technical analysis for momentum trading and fundamental analysis for long-term positions. Rakesh likes to keep himself fit by lifting weights and considers himself to be a spiritual person.




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2 Comments

  1. emceeanders

    November 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    What’s the profit target?

    • Rakesh Upadhyay

      November 16, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Hello emceanders,

      If CEO Flannery is able to pull off the turnaround, a move to $33 and higher is certainly possible within 2-3 years.

      With warm regards
      Rakesh Upadhyay

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Analysis

Tesla: A Good Option to Invest

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By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboMarkets

Not so long ago, people only had landline phones that you couldn’t take anywhere, which now looks very inconvenient to modern people. Then, mobile phones appeared, and while you can take them anywhere, you must not forget to charge them regularly. However, charging your mobile has already become as usual as, for example, brushing your teeth.

When it comes to automobiles, modern fuel cars are like landline phones, as you can’t go anywhere without fueling them at a gas station, spending your time and money and planning your day depending on how much fuel you’ve got in your car tank. Electric cars are certainly cars of the future, and charging them would be something modern people are already much used to, as natural as fueling them now. It’s not the question of how much crude oil we still have on Earth; the point is that the progress is moving forward, and combustion engines, which are complex and expensive to maintain, will sooner or later become obsolete. Electric cars, where you don’t have to constantly watch how much engine oil or coolant remains inside, are about to replace the traditional fuel cars.

Tesla, a company founded in 2003, is by far the leader in electric cars production. One of its founders is the famous Elon Musk, an engineer and inventor.

Tesla presented its first electric car concept called Tesla Model S on March 26, 2009, in Hawthorne, CA. On June 22, 2012, after all R&D was completed, it was launched in the market and cost $112,000.

A few months later, the second prototype came in: this time, it was a crossover, Tesla Model X. According to Musk, Model X serial production would start in 2013, and the car would be available in late 2014. These plans proved to be too optimistic, though.

The supply start date was only announced in February 2014, but then postponed to Q2 and Q3 2015, and it fact the first supply was completed In September 2015. By the end of Q3, only 6 Model X cars were sold, each for $80,000.

In 2016, a new car, Tesla Model 3, was announced, and the sales were scheduled for the same year, but then the start date was postponed to 2017. The first Model 3 was actually sold in June 2017, at $35,000.

Since the first model sales start and up to now, the company has been unable to reach any net profit, with all earnings reports showing losses. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy as long ago as in 2008, and only a NASA contract saved it.

Perhaps the famous April 1 joke posted then by Musk was based on this very event.

However, it’s all quite different now.

Looking at the financial indicators of the company over the last 4 years, one can easily see where those losses come from. In 2014, Tesla invested $464M on R&D, while in 2015 they invested $717M, in 2016, $834M, and, finally, in 2017, the R&D cost Tesla $1.378B.

The losses were growing in proportion, but were cut in 2016 thanks to Model X sales. In 2018, the same may occur, as Model 3 is going to be quite popular, so the company may even start receiving profits.

Before 2015, the revenue came from a single model, which was Model S. In 2015, 50,446 cars were sold, with the total gross income of $5.649B.

In 2016, they started to sell Model X, which boosted the total year revenue to $7.728B.

If the company did not invest so much into R&D, perhaps, Tesla Inc. reports would now look far better than they are, but this would not last long, as the competition is also doing something.

When Model S sales started, it cost $112,000, while the average US citizen monthly income was $4,121. While not everyone could afford such a car, the sales went on rising, as Model S targeted mostly the luxury segment.

The next model cost $30,000 less, but was still inaccessible for an average consumer. This is why Tesla decided to release Model 3 at $35,000, much cheaper than the previous models. However, a bad surprise was expecting the company afterwards.

When Model 3 was presented, people could start applying for it with a deposit of just $1,000. By the end of the day, there were already 180,000 applications; three days later, the number already reached 272,000, and by May 2016, it went on rising to reach 373,000.

However, this only led to more expenses, as the company had to upgrade its production infrastructure in order to meet all those applications (the number of those exceeded the total number of cars sold since start).

When Tesla allowed its customers to apply for the new model, its production capacity was just 120 cars per week, while in order to meet all the needs Tesla had to boost it by 60 times, to 7,200 per week. Elon Musk is a go-getter, but this was crazy even for him.

Both investors and customers are already used to Musk not fulfilling his promises on time; this already happened with both Model S and Model X, where the supply date was postponed multiple times. It has not changed much now. By the end of Q1, Musk promised to reach 2,500 cars per week, but in fact was only able to boost it to 1,987. After breaking this promise, Musk said he was going to get 5,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of Q2, and, curiously enough, this target was reached, according to the report as of July 2.

This news made the stock price go up, but right at the end of the trading session it was again down by 2.3%, as many investors just did not believe the report was true.

With the past experience of Musk’s promises being quite negative, Bloomberg developed an online tool where everyone can track the Model 3 production process by VIN. The news agency sends a request to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website which sends a response on the number of VIN’s registered for Model 3.

However, car manufacturers usually register VIN’s for the whole batch, so the values Bloomberg gets may be a bit higher than they in fact are. Still, according to these stats, the company reached 4,395 cars per week by July 2.

So, in fact, Musk did not fulfill his promise again, and the market reaction was of course negative. However, the key point here is not fulfilling promises but the overall progress that was made over such a short period of time. Just 6 months ago, Tesla produced around 200 Model 3 cars per week, while now this figure is over 4,000. Tesla market cap is already higher than the one of Ford Motor Company and nearly in line with that of General Motors, while those too have over 100 years of experience in car production and sales.

If Tesla is able to maintain the same progress as before, it will produce over 52,000 Model 3 cars by late Q3, which will lead to good Q3 and Q4 reports, while all negative effects of the trade war against China will be void.

Besides, if we also take Model S and Model X sales into account, chances for good reports get even higher.

Reaching 5,000 cars per week is a very difficult task: Tesla even had to place its new assembly line in a tent.

This GA4 (general assembly) allowed the company to boost the production by 20%, and it actually proved to be one of the key decisions.

Meanwhile, Musk says GA3 will be well enough to maintain the production capacity at 5,000 cars per week, while GA4 will help to reach the further target of 6,000 cars. With Tesla products being in demand, investors can be quite optimistic regarding the future of the company and invest more, although they do have some risks.

Tesla is now a leading electric cars producer with relatively accessible prices, but the competition are also looking towards electric car production, which may of course shrink the demand. Other risks include emergencies coming from the autopilot mode Tesla is quite fond of. There is no law regulating the driver responsibility in such cases yet, so the company has to face claims against itself, which lead to Tesla recommending using autopilot only as an additional feature that does not allow the driver to stop watching the road.

Doug Field, a talented engineer, leaving the company after working with it for 5 years is also an important negative factor. Elon Musk says this should not have any influence on the indicators coming in the following quarters, or on the new Tesla cars production.

Technically, there is a clear ascending trend on W1, with the price using the 200-day SMA as a support and constantly bouncing off it. The price has also managed to stay above $300, which may help it go further up, too.

There is no MACD divergence that could stop this growth for now.

Just like before, Tesla looks like a very good option for an investment. Elon Musk may set too ambitious goals, but he achieves them sooner or later. The demand for Model 3 still exceeds the production capacities, with over 400,000 cars pre-ordered, but this will also allow the company to develop new models. As such, the 40-ton truck, Tesla Semi, was already announced to the public in November 2017, and its serial production is scheduled for 2019.

According to some sources, there have already been 1,000 pre-orders, with the deposit increased from $5,000 to $20,000.

Thus, Tesla may become the first company to produce an electric truck in 2019.

 

Disclaimer

Any forecasts contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis may not be treated as trading advice. RoboMarkets shall not be held liable for trading results based on recommendations and reviews contained herein.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 4 rated postsHaving majored in both Social Psychology and Economics, Dmitry went on to continue his education in post graduate. He then worked as a team lead of a tech and fundamental analysis lab in the Applied System Analysis Research Institute. This helped him to acquire all necessary skills and experience to become a successful trader and analyst, as well as a portfolio manager in an investment company. Dmitry is a pro in the financial field who authors articles for various international media. He also holds the position of Chief Analyst at RoboForex.




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Altcoins

Second Half Cryptocurrency Market Outlook: Why You Must Own Them

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By now we all know the unwelcome statistics. In the first half of the year, cryptocurrencies have been awful investments. The big guys like bitcoin lost 60% while Etheeum  owners suffered just as much. Ripple that wants to call itself anything but a crypto security gets the award for the biggest loser, having fallen 86%, If you are a believer in so called Gen III projects, you were lucky to have escaped with minimal damage.  Two of the so-called Ethereum killers NEO (-68%) and EOS (-15%) showed that when it comes to Ethereum, it is kill or be killed.

So, why is that going to change anytime soon?  An honest answer is that no-one can predict the next move.  Since the spring rally in April, psychology toward cryptocurrencies has been horrible.  Technical patterns have confirmed this over and over. Whenever signs of a market rally appear, sellers come into to quash your enthusiasm.

The Bullish Case Based On Value

Crypto prices may have taken it on the chin so far this year but they are entirely alone. Conventional investors that have been accustomed to double digit stock and bond market gains for years now are having their woos in 2018. If you played it safe in Dow Jones or S&P 500 stocks, you basically have made no money while taking on the risk of holding highly valued securities.  

There was one group of stocks that stood out in this dismal period: technology. As a whole the gang was up over 10%. Interestinglym companies like AMD (up 50%) and Nvidia (up 22%) were among the star performers.  The fact the both design and forge ASIS chips for high speed cryptocurrency processing didn’t hurt them a bit.

As for the rest of the year, today MarketWatch carried the following headline: Brace For A Lost Decade For U.S. Stocks. The story centers on a forecast by Morningstar analyst Dan Kemp.  Here is a quote from Kemp: “Our expectation at the moment is that you won’t have any real return from U.S. equities over the next 10 years”. “The U.S. equity market looks both extremely expensive and very unattractive relative to other markets”.

The key to Morningstar thinking is not just the ogur of higher interest rates but the record high market valuation.  Of course, this is just one opinion in a field where everybody holds their own ideas. Nevertheless, the fact is, Kemp is absolutely correct.  The U.S., and for that matter global markets, are very expensive.

Investors are constantly seeking the best returns and there is no question that cryptocurrencies are at the low end of the price spectrum. But does price alone define value? The answer is no, of course not. What is creating value is the ever growing respect for blockchain technology and the progress of crypto project participants.

The Fundamental Case

Let’s start with the case of mass market appeal for blockchain technology.  In recent days news outlets have reported how Mastercard, the mammoth payment processor, has been filing patent applications left and right for “anonymous distributed ledger transactions via a third party processor.” Skeptics will point out that Mastercard doesn’t need bitcoin or Ethereum to develop its own blockchain.

Absolutely true, but there is one important thing to remember.  Not all blockchain applications are created equal. The moves by Mastercard as well as Visa are designed to preempt competition from cryptocurrencies.  Nevertheless, Mastercard with over $13 billion in revenues from transaction processing fees is not going to start giving away their services just because it is on a highly secure blockchain.

Promising Rookies

For all of the criticism lately of the ICO class of 2017,  some are beginning to justify their existence. Why is it that EOS was one of the better performing crypto assets in the first half of the year? In June version 1.0 of the EOSio blockchain open source software was released.

Among the long list of virtues, EOS offers block confirmations in less than 0.5 seconds.  In today’s world, that is smokin’ fast.

This is just one of many and their progress is attracting a huge increase in capital.

ICOs Are Alive And Growing

So far, 2018 is shaping up as a banner year for ICOs.  Estimates vary as to the exact amounts of capital raised. The figures range between $12-$14 billion based on about 900 offerings.  This is more than twice the amount raised for all of last year. All this in spite of all of the regulatory uncertainty.

It would be easy to dismiss the huge increase as the result of more offerings but the truth is the average amount of capital raised has doubled so big institutional money is finding its way into crypto and recent depressed prices have to be taken into consideration.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

It is getting easier to point out encouraging news favoring the long term mass acceptance of crypto.  But the truth is the whole group needs to demonstrate lots more of this sort of progress to overcome the negative psychology that has crushed prices so far this year. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt that stock and bond prices are finally hitting a wall of resistance. This is why crypto is so likely to be the asset class of choice at least for the balance of this year.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 87 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Altcoins

Cardano Price Drops in Rankings After 11% Loss

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Cardano’s upward momentum from this time yesterday has almost completely reversed, wiping out recent gains and returning ADA to the price it opened at on Tuesday.

ADA was one of the best performers in the Top-10 yesterday, and it briefly managed to push Stellar out of 7th spot in market cap rankings. Now ADA and XLM are taking turns pushing each other up and down between 7th and 8th, with only a few million separating their valuations at this point.

ADA coins started the day at $0.166, before some hectic movements saw its price fall to $0.147 – an 11.4% loss. This is almost an exact inversion of yesterday’s growth, and is a harsh reminder that the market is not ready for the bulls just yet.

Month on Month Decline

But when are the bulls coming? Well we’ve just witnessed almost five days of steady growth across the entire market, and that’s something that hasn’t been said in months. So unless the whales are merely trying to flush out more of the weak hands, there’s a case to be made that we’re on the very edges of an imminent climb.

As an example of how bad the month of June has been, consider that Cardano started June with a valuation of $0.22, before falling to $0.11 by June 29th.

The same trend was witnessed in the previous month, with ADA coins going from $0.38 at the start of the May, before sinking to $0.17 by May 29th. Here’s hoping that by the 29th of July we’re not examining the same pattern.

Hoskinson at Google HQ

Today’s price movements won’t be a source of encouragement to Charles Hoskinson, creator of Cardano, and blockchain development group – IOHK. But Hoskinson did appear at Google HQ in London earlier this week, where he took part in a question and answer session, a transcript of which was posted to the IOHK blog shortly afterwards.

One of the questioners posed a challenge to Hoskinson, asking what makes Cardano likely to push Ethereum off its throne. Hoskinson responded:

“So tell me how many Java, C++ or Go developers are writing code on Ethereum? You can’t, Ethereum doesn’t support any of these languages. They can’t even run a single viral app on the platform. If you look at the top 10 languages, none of them works on the system, so, by definition, all those developers aren’t developing for the system, they have to go and learn new tools and new stuff.”

One question revolved around Cardano’s focus on its platform, without necessarily the same amount of focus on apps, partnerships and real-world use cases. Hoskinson agreed with the point, and described it as:

“Yeah. It’s kind of like we’re building the Xbox. So the question is, what’s our Halo?”

Cardano isn’t the only one looking for its Halo. The ever elusive real-world use case is something that almost every coin and token needs if they’re going to last into the future.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 23 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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