Privacy.com, a virtual payment card startup, raises $10.2M in Series A

Virtual card payment startup Privacy.com has raised $10.2 million in a Series A fundraise, the company announced Wednesday.

The round was led by Teamworthy Ventures, with participation from Tusk Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Quiet Capital, Exor Seeds, and Rainfall Ventures.

The startup, if you’re unfamiliar, lets anyone generate virtual and disposable payment card numbers for free, allowing those users to keep their actual credit card number safe while allowing the option to cut off companies from your bank account. In an age of near-constant data breaches and credit card skimmers targeting unsuspecting websites, Privacy.com makes it harder for hackers to get your real credit card details.

It’s a popular idea. In the past three years, Privacy.com has issued 5 million virtual card numbers using its

Privacy.com’s chief executive Bo Jiang told TechCrunch that the new funds will help the company launch its new Card Issuing API — in beta testing for the past year — allowing corporate customers to issue virtual cards and manage expenses for their employees in their own back-end systems.

“We’re the first company that allows developers to see upfront, transparent revenue sharing and sign up and create cards programmatically the same day,” he said.

Privacy.com will primarily serve early-stage enterprise companies, which “traditionally need a lighter weight solution for their online payments,” said Jiang. “It’s an underserved market, because most incumbents focus on the larger enterprise with monthly minimums and long timeframes.”

Jiang also said the round will help the company “hire and ramp up product development at a much faster pace” as part of its push to serve more enterprise customers.

Apple and Ireland win appeal against the European Commission’s $15 billion tax ruling

The General Court of the European Court of Justice has annulled an EU decision that involved Apple’s subsidiaries in Ireland. Four years ago, the European Commission said that Ireland had failed to collect €13 billion in taxes from Apple — roughly $15 billion.

According to the press statement, “the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage for the purposes of Article 107(1) TFEU [Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union].”

Back in 2017, the Commission said Apple received illegal state aid and should have paid more taxes. But the General Court, Europe’s first instance court, says that this argument doesn’t represent a legal basis.

“According to the General Court, the Commission was wrong to declare that [Apple Sales International] and [Apple Operations Europe] had been granted a selective economic advantage and, by extension, State aid,” the court wrote in a statement.

Today’s decision represents a blow to the European Commission’s strategy to track down multinational corporations that have been optimizing their tax structure in order to lower their effective tax rate across Europe — a strategy that was mostly incarnated by then Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

Between 2003 and 2014, Apple operated with two main subsidiaries in Europe — Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe. Back then, the Commission said those subsidiaries attributed the vast majority of their profit to a head office that only exists on paper. “This selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014,” Vestager wrote in 2016.

Apple’s arguments have always been quite straightforward. According to the company, Ireland never cut a deal with Apple. “The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in 2016.

While Apple has continuously maintained that it complies with tax laws in Europe, it took advantage of favorable tax laws in Ireland and the so-called Double Irish tax structure.

As tax optimization schemes come and go, Apple changed its European structure in 2014. Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International moved its cash stockpile to the tiny island of Jersey.

In 2018, Apple started allocating money in case it had to pay back €13 billion to Ireland. Everything is currently sitting in an escrow account. The defeated side can still appeal the decision on points of law, so the money might remain in the escrow account a little longer.

Update: The Commission sent the following statement to the Financial Times:

Revolut partners with Paxos to bring cryptocurrency trading to the US

Neobank Revolut launched in the U.S. a couple of months ago. The startup is slowly catching up with features that are available in the U.K. and Europe. This time, Revolut is adding cryptocurrency trading through a partnership with Paxos.

Users in the U.S. can now buy, hold and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum from the Revolut app. The feature is going to be available in 49 states as there are some regulatory issues in Tennessee. If you have USD or other currencies in your Revolut account, you can exchange manually whenever you want.

You can also set up alerts in case there are some important price changes happening. Optionally, users can also round up card payments to the nearest whole dollar and convert spare change into crypto assets.

If you’re familiar with Revolut’s cryptocurrency feature, you know that the company gives you access to more cryptocurrencies in Europe, such as Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and XRP. The company says it is starting with BTC and ETH in the U.S. but is already working on bringing more cryptocurrencies.

When it comes to fees, users with a free Revolut account will pay 2.5% in conversion fees. Users with a Premium and Metal subscription will pay 1.5% in fees. Revolut is waving fees for the first 30 days.

This is in line with the company’s current fees in Europe. Revolut also has some monthly limits on currency exchange in general for free users as well — it can be fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies. You have to pay a 0.5% fee above that limit or pay for a subscription.

Revolut made some changes to its cryptocurrency feature recently. While you now technically own your cryptocurrencies, you can’t send and receive cryptocurrencies from third-party wallets. The feature is all about trading — buying, holding and selling.

In the U.S., Square’s Cash App and Robinhood also let you buy cryptocurrencies in their respective app. While those features don’t offer the same flexibility as a full-fledged cryptocurrency exchange, it makes it easy to get started with cryptocurrencies.

Google invests $4.5 billion in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms

Google has become the latest high-profile firm to back India’s Reliance Jio Platforms. The search giant is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the top Indian telecom network, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Wednesday.

The investment today from Google is one of the rare instances where the Android-maker has joined its global rival Facebook in backing a firm. Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, which has amassed over 400 million subscribers, in April this year for a 9.99% stake in it. Facebook is the largest minority stakeholder in Jio Platforms.

Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (India’s most valued firm) has raised over $20.6 billion in the past four months from 13 investors by selling about 33% stake in the firm.

Google’s new investment gives Jio Platforms an equity valuation of $58 billion — the same valuation implied by Facebook. Every other investor including General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Qualcomm, Intel, and Vista have paid a 12.5% premium for their stake in Jio Platforms.

As part of Wednesday’s strategic announcement, Google and Reliance Jio Platforms will work on a customized-version of Android operating system to develop low-cost, entry-level smartphones to serve the next hundreds of millions of users, said Ambani.

“Getting technology into the hand of more people is a big mission at Google,” said Sundar Pichai, chief executive at Google via a video chat on Wednesday. “Together we are excited to rethink, from the ground up, how millions of users in India can become owners of smartphones. This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy,” he said.

The new deal further illustrates the opportunities foreign investors see in Jio Platforms that has upended the telecommunications market in India with cut-rate voice calls and mobile data tariffs.

Analysts at Bernstein said last month that they expect Jio Platforms to reach 500 million customers by 2023, and control half of the market by 2025. Jio Platforms competes with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, a joint venture between British giant Vodafone and Indian tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Aditya Birla Group.

Google, which like Facebook reaches nearly every online user in India, said on Monday that it planned to invest $10 billion in Asia’s third largest economy over the next five to seven years.

Jio Platforms also operates a range of digital services including a music streaming player and a video conferencing app. On Wednesday, Jio Platforms unveiled its newest offering: the Jio Glass.

Jio Platforms executives said users will be able to perform video calls and access more than two dozen apps while wearing the Jio Glass. No word on when Jio Platforms plans to make this available to consumers and what it would cost.

Some investors have told TechCrunch in recent months that Reliance Jio Platforms’ owner — India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani — and his closeness to the ruling political party in India are also crucial to why the digital unit of Reliance Industries is so attractive to many.

They believe that buying a stake in Jio Platforms would lower the regulatory burden they currently face in India. The investors requested anonymity as they did not wish to talk about the political tie ups publicly.

A person familiar with the matter at one of the 13 firms that has backed Reliance Jio Platforms said that the Indian firm is also enticing as globally companies are trying to cut down their reliance and exposure on China.

India, and the U.S., in recent months have taken actions to limit their reliance on Chinese firms. New Delhi last month banned 59 apps and services including TikTok that are developed by Chinese firms. Reliance Jio Platforms has interestingly yet to raise capital from any Chinese investor.

More to follow…

Graphcore unveils new GC200 chip and the expandable M2000 IPU Machine that runs on them

There is a lot riding on the use of artificial intelligence technology to help us take giant leaps ahead in solving complex challenges — whether it’s medical breakthroughs, building better cybersecurity, or better navigation systems for cars and other moving objects. But the more advanced the application, the bigger the need for hardware that can handle the calculations and processing; and that means the race is on for ever-more powerful processing. Now, the UK startup Graphcore is announcing its latest contribution to that effort.

Today, it is announcing a new chip, the GC200, and a new IPU Machine that runs on it, the M2000, which Graphcore says is the first AI computer to achieve a petaflop of processing power “in the size of a pizza box.”

Graphcore says that there are no plans for the GC200 to be sold separately, and it will come only in the M2000. Nigel Toon, the CEO and co-founder, said the M2000 is now shipping to early access customers and will be more widely by the end of this year to customers in applications in areas like financial services, healthcare, technology and more, “wherever AI is used.”

This is the second generation of Graphcore’s hardware to be released, and its first in just under two years, Toon notes.

The IPU Machine uses four of the 7nm GC200 IPU chips, with the GC200 featuring 59.4 billion transistors on each chip. Potentially, Graphcore says that up to 64,000 IPUs can be connected together to create a vast parallel processor of up to 16 exaflops of computing power and petabytes of memory to support models with trillions of parameters. The idea is that these can be scaled up as necessary.

The moves come at a key moment both for Graphcore and the AI hardware industry. The UK upstart  competes against leviathans in the world of processors like Nvidia and Intel — Graphcore raised a further $150 million in May at a nearly $2 billion valuation to compete against them, and Toon says the $450 million it’s raised so far is enough for now, with customers like Microsoft and others already on its books — but also a plethora of other companies building AI chips. And it was only in May that Nvidia unveiled its own latest chip, the A100, its first Ampere-based GPU that promises 5 petaflops of performance.

Graphcore and its leader Toon — who, with his co-founder Simon Knowles, had sold a previous startup called Icera to Nvidia — argue that its IPU approach is more efficient and advanced than the GPU route that Nvidia is taking.

“We are trying to build products that are easy to put into your existing compute infrastructure,” he said. “It means you can scale up to thousands of IPU processors.” And, he added, that means that the cost of ownership can be 10-20 times lower for the IPU approach, which in turn translates to faster take-up of the hardware.

Toon says that while other chipmakers continue to work on a number of other processing applications in parallel with AI — for example for mobile devices, or quantum chips — Graphcore is remaining firmly focused on AI applications, which he says remains a “massive opportunity for us to grow our business and add more customers.”

We’re 100% focused on silicon processors for AI, and on building systems that can plug into existing centers. Why would we want to build CPUs or GPUs if those already work well? This is just a different toolbox.” He said he believes it will be a 10-15 year window before quantum or molecular computing to come along, a trajectory that might pose a lot of challenges for smaller startups trying to build in that area against biggies like IBM. 

Toon noted that AI stands among the trends that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated — not just  around the many applications being pursued around the health crisis and fighting the virus itself, but also around working and improving processes for other services resulting from that.

“We’ll probably burn $100 million more investing in technology and people” — the company now has 450 employees, Toon noted, “but our revenues are also ramping, and the $300 million in cash we have today should be sufficient to get us to a a fast and profitable business.”

Stocks Climb, Dollar Falls on Vaccine Progress: Markets Wrap

Stocks Climb, Dollar Falls on Vaccine Progress: Markets Wrap(Bloomberg) -- Stocks and U.S. equity futures rose, while the dollar weakened to a one-month low as progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine crossed a key milestone.European stocks staged a broad advance, with travel shares leading gains. Atlantia SpA surged 20% as Italy’s government moved to resolve a long-running dispute linked to a 2018 bridge collapse. Treasuries and gold were steady. Oil gained after a report pointed to a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.The vaccine developments brought optimism to financial markets that have been struggled to make headway recently in the face of new outbreaks across the U.S. and Asia. U.S. stocks had a late session surge on Tuesday after news that Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine produced antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients tested in an initial safety trial. Betting on Value Recovery Is Proving a Long Wait: Taking Stock“The vaccine news is clearly a positive development,” said Mark Nash, head of global fixed income at Merian Global Investors. “But it’s still long way off. The fear of the W-shaped recovery is probably very high at the moment. Good news is that markets still have a chance to ride it out because the Fed has bought time, so financial conditions can stay easy until growth kicks in.”In Asia, shares in Hong Kong underperformed, while those in Shanghai fell amid signs policy makers are uneasy over the pace of recent gains.Here are some key events coming up:The EIA crude oil inventory report is due Wednesday.China releases second-quarter GDP on Thursday as well as key economic indicators for June.The European Central Bank meets to set monetary policy on Thursday, with President Christine Lagarde holding a virtual press conference afterward.These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 Index increased 0.7% as of 9:12 a.m. London time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.8%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.1%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 0.6%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4%.The euro gained 0.4% to $1.144.The British pound gained 0.4% to $1.2606.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.2% to 106.98 per dollar.The offshore yuan strengthened 0.2% to 6.9939 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped less than one basis point to 0.62%.The yield on two-year Treasuries dipped less than one basis point to 0.16%.Germany’s 10-year yield sank one basis point to -0.46%.Britain’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 0.156%.Japan’s 10-year yield increased less than one basis point to 0.035%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude gained 1% to $40.83 a barrel.Brent crude increased 0.7% to $43.42 a barrel.Gold strengthened 0.2% to $1,812.37 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Fraud detection startup Ravelin secures $20M Series C

Ravelin, the London-based company using machine learning to help companies fight fraud when accepting online payments, has raised $20 million in new funding.

The Series C round is led by Draper Esprit, with participation from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, BlackFin Tech, and Passion Capital. Ravelin disclosed $10 million in Series B funding in September 2018.

Launched in 2016, Ravelin utilises machine learning and graph network technologies to help online businesses reduce losses to fraud and improve acceptance rates of orders. The idea is to do away with cruder, rule-based systems and use machine learning to negate false positives and give merchants more confidence accepting customers/transactions.

With regards to product-market fit, Ravelin says it first found success with large-scale food and cab-ride marketplaces, but has since expanded into travel, ticketing, entertainment, gaming, gambling, and retail. In addition to identifying card fraud, Ravelin also works with clients to find compromised accounts (referred to as “account takeover”), spot incentive abuse and tackle supplier fraud in marketplaces.

Account takeover is where fraudsters use credentials that have been exposed in data breaches to take over an individual’s online account for their own use or to sell on the dark web. “We have a product that helps secure accounts in the first place, identify at risk accounts and help the merchant reclaim the account for the original user,” explains Ravelin’s chief marketing officerGerry Carr. “It’s a complex problem and due to the ease that it can be done, a fast growing issue”.

Incentive abuse sees users re-using and/or sharing vouchers and sign-up incentives to defraud a merchant. To prevent this, Ravelin is able to map out the network of users and their associated voucher codes to spot if a voucher is already used by another user and block it.

Supplier fraud typically affects marketplaces where the customer, the courier or the product supplier is working to defraud the marketplace. “There are many ways this can happen,” says Carr, “a simple example might be a supplier uses a fake account to place an order with cash delivery. In this scenario the marketplace advances the restaurant the payment. Once they receive the payment, the restaurant cancels the order and keeps the payment. We can help a marketplace identify anomalous activity in the network and put a stop to fraudulent behaviour”.

Ravelin is also developing “Ravelin Accept,” a product aimed at helping businesses navigate PDS2 and confidently accept rather than reject more transactions. PSD2 means there will be a lot more authentication required for transactions.

“This risks a lot of failed transactions as consumers struggle with the step-up authentication and merchants are unsure about how to get exemptions to the secure authentication,” explains Carr. “Ravelin Accept will have built-in intelligence about how the major issuers like to manage transactions. It will route a transaction to an exemption to authentication where possible, and where it is not, [it] will manage that step-up dynamically to give it the best chance of acceptance. The hard deadline of PSD2 at the end of this year should see significant demand for Ravelin Accept to help with acceptance rates”.

Meanwhile, Ravelin says it will use its Series C round to further invest in these innovations, and to reach more markets and industries globally.

Comments Draper Esprit’s Vinoth Jayakumar: “Our model is to invest in innovation over the long term. Ravelin perfectly aligns with that thesis. The team at Ravelin are world-class and continue to work to push the boundaries of their products… What got us really excited was the range of problems they solve for clients and the suite of products they are developing”.

OPEC+ May Temper Output Rise With Extra Oil Cuts From Cheats

OPEC+ May Temper Output Rise With Extra Oil Cuts From Cheats(Bloomberg) -- OPEC+ is seeking extra production cuts from members that have missed their targets again in June, potentially tempering the impact of the supply resumption planned by the wider coalition next month.A technical committee that met online on Tuesday outlined plans for countries including Iraq, Nigeria and Kazakhstan to make an additional 842,000 barrels a day of compensatory cuts in August and September, according to delegates.The proposal will be discussed on Wednesday by a ministerial monitoring committee led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the delegates said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public. They’re expected to announce that the group’s overall curbs of 9.6 million barrels a day -- about 10% of global supplies -- will be relaxed in August as global fuel demand recovers.To prevent the supply increase destabilizing a still-fragile market, Riyadh and Moscow are keen for the cartel’s laggards to make up for earlier cheating. On paper, full delivery of the compensation cuts could shrink the scheduled 2 million-barrel-a-day supply increase by almost half.Iraq’s state oil-marketing company has told at least four Asian refiners it will supply less crude to them next month as it seeks to comply with its OPEC+ commitment, according to people with knowledge of the matter. SOMO, as the company is known, told some buyers it would try to meet their full needs after August, the people said.It’s still unclear how much of the reparations will delivered by those countries that still haven’t fully met their original pledges.“With Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Angola all under-complying in May and June, these guys now need to over-comply to make up for the lost cuts,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd., said in a Bloomberg television interview on Tuesday.Last month, stragglers across the alliance agreed to make good on their lapses in May, which amounted to 1.26 million barrels a day.But the technical committee found that, while several had stepped up their efforts in June, they still missed the mark. Overproduction within the OPEC cartel amounted to a further 380,000 barrels a day last month, its data showed.With a second wave of coronavirus infections hitting the U.S., signs of a renewed economic slowdown and oil-storage tanks still brimming, it’s no surprise that the cartel might want to act gradually.“The transition to higher production coincides with a move back to movement restrictions in populous U.S. states and other countries around the world,” said Louise Dickson, an analyst at consulting firm Rystad Energy A/S. “Where will the extra oil go now if people are ordered back to their homes to reduce the spread?”A monthly report published by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Tuesday gives an insight into why, despite the ongoing economic slump, the cartel believes the easing is justified. Demand for OPEC’s crude is forecast to climb from here, and even surpass pre-virus levels in 2021.During the second quarter, when lockdowns aimed at containing the pandemic were at their height, demand for OPEC crude was barely half the level seen the previous year, at just 15.87 million barrels a day. But the group expects it will be back at prior levels above 30 million in the fourth quarter.“They are seeing the demand recovery that we all are,” said Sen of Energy Aspects. “It is the right time to start increasing production -- gradually, of course.”(Updates fifth paragraph with Iraqi oil-shipment cuts.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Boeing Reports 60 Canceled Orders For The 737 Max In June

Boeing Reports 60 Canceled Orders For The 737 Max In JuneBoeing (BA) has revealed that a further 60 737 MAX orders were canceled in the month of June due to the fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total 737 cancellations this year to 373. The troubled planemaker had already announced 47 of the June cancellations.According to Bloomberg, this figure did not account for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA’s cancellation of all 97 of its remaining Boeing jets on order, as the deals have not yet been officially terminated. But the order backlog did exclude an additional 123 ‘orders in peril’ which could be called off.During June, Boeing delivered just 10 aircrafts- which was nevertheless an improvement on May’s 4 deliveries. The company also announced that it delivered a total of 20 commercial airplanes for the second quarter of 2020, vs 90 in the same period last year. Net orders also remained negative with 182 net cancellations, bringing Q2 to 477, up from 307 in Q1.For the second quarter, Boeing delivered seven of the 787 planes, 4 each of the 777, 767 and 737 and one 747. Year-to-date, Boeing has now delivered a total of 36 787 planes.“Our commercial airplane deliveries in the second quarter reflect the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our customers and our operations that included a shutdown of our commercial airplane production for several weeks,” commented Greg Smith, Boeing exec VP of Enterprise Operations.“The diversity of our portfolio including our government services, defense and space programs will continue to provide some stability as we navigate through the pandemic and rebuild stronger on the other side” Smith added.Shares in Boeing have plunged 45% year-to-date, but analysts have a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus on the stock. That’s with a $192 average analyst price target (6% upside potential). (See BA stock analysis on TipRanks).For now Cowen & Co’s Cai Rumohr is sitting on the sidelines. “BA delivered only ten aircraft in June vs. four in May and our June est. of 28. The primary shortfall was in the 787, where BA delivered three 787’s vs. our est. of 16” he commented.“We attribute the weak sequential lift to partial COVID-19 related reopenings, although flight restrictions and customer deferrals remain key issues” the analyst told investors on July 14. He has a bearish $150 price target on BA stock (17% downside potential).Related News: Airbus First-Half Deliveries Drop 49% Amid Covid-19 Aviation Crisis Avolon Cancels 27 Of Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Order Boeing: Don’t Expect a Recovery Anytime Soon, Says Analyst More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Delta Posts $2.8B Quarterly Loss, Cuts Summer Flights Amid Rise In Covid-19 Cases * Moderna Soars 16% As Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Strong Immune Response * Google Cloud To Use AI Technology In Fox Sports Deal * Google Fined Record 600,000 Euros By Belgian Authority


Delta Posts $2.8B Quarterly Loss, Cuts Summer Flights Amid Rise In Covid-19 Cases

Delta Posts $2.8B Quarterly Loss, Cuts Summer Flights Amid Rise In Covid-19 CasesDelta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) reported its second consecutive quarterly loss as the U.S. airline pared back its flight capacity plans for August by 50% with demand stalling again amid a renewed rise in Covid-19 cases.Delta ended the second quarter with an adjusted $2.8 billion net loss, or a $4.43 loss per share, as total adjusted revenue, which excludes refinery sales, plunged 91% to $1.2 billion year-on-year.Looking ahead, the U.S. airline expects overall revenue for the September quarter will be only 20% to 25% of last summer, as demand growth flattened recently with the rise in Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, business travel, which typically provides 50% of Delta’s revenue, has not yet returned in any meaningful way, the company added.The “decline in revenue over last year, illustrates the truly staggering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business. In the face of this challenge, our people have acted quickly and decisively reducing our average daily cash burn by more than 70% since late March to $27 million in the month of June,” said Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian. “Given the combined effects of the pandemic and associated financial impact on the global economy, we continue to believe that it will be more than two years before we see a sustainable recovery.”Delta ended the June quarter with $15.7 billion in liquidity. The U.S. carrier had total debt and finance lease obligations of $24.6 billion with adjusted net debt of $13.9 billion. During the June quarter it recorded a write-down of $1.1 billion in its investment in LATAM Airlines and a $770 million write-down in its investment in AeroMexico following their financial losses and separate Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.The bleak outlook for a recovery of the aviation crisis pushed Delta shares down 2.7% to close at $26.11 on Tuesday. The stock plunged 55% this year as the steep plunge in passenger traffic fueled by the coronavirus-related travel restrictions has forced many global airlines, including Delta to park their planes, streamline operations and cut costs, as well as raise debt to boost liquidity.Delta rose 5.3% in Tuesday’s after-market trading as Citigroup analyst Stephen Trent maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a $38 price target, saying that the airline’s liquidity “looks strong”.“On the back of what was the most difficult quarter in aviation history, Buy-rated Delta’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic looks about as good as any global network carrier could have managed under the circumstances,” Trent wrote in a note to investors.In line with Trent, the rest of the Street has a bullish rating outlook on the stock. The Strong Buy consensus breaks down into 9 Buys versus 3 Holds. What’s more, the $38 average price target implies investors may come home with a return of 46%, should the target be met in the next 12 months. (See Delta stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Airbus First-Half Deliveries Drop 49% Amid Covid-19 Aviation Crisis Avolon Cancels 27 Of Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Order Boeing: Don’t Expect a Recovery Anytime Soon, Says Analyst More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Moderna Soars 16% As Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Strong Immune Response * Google Cloud To Use AI Technology In Fox Sports Deal * Google Fined Record 600,000 Euros By Belgian Authority * 3M, MIT Researchers Team Up To Develop Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Test