first_img continue reading » “It was the best of the times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens in one of the more famous openings to a novel in history. It was a fairly good description of life in Europe on the eve of the French Revolution and, as it turns out, a reasonably good synopsis for the recent rush of earnings reports in the era of COVID-19.  For many firms, the last two months have represented the absolute worst of times as social distancing and forced closures have ground their businesses to a halt. Disney, for example, reported earlier this week that it has lost roughly $1 billion each day since the start of the shutdown.But many firms and all firms are two different things, and while from a humanitarian perspective PayPal clearly wishes COVID-19 never happened, by the numbers it is undeniable that it has boosted its business. Almost a week ago, May 1, PayPal experienced the largest single day of transactions in the company’s history — bigger than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2019.April 2020 was also a record-breaking month for PayPal in terms of enrollment and use. PayPal added 7.4 million net new active accounts. PayPal also hit a record in Q1, CEO Dan Schulman noted, adding 10 million net new accounts — though that pick-up was rapidly outshined in April, when its daily net new customer rate averaged roughly 250,000 per day and counting.  Answering an analyst’s question, Schulman noted the previous day PayPal had added 295,000 net new active users, and that on the whole they anticipate adding 15 million to 20 million net new active accounts in Q2.The first quarter of 2020 also saw payment transactions pickup by 20 percent to 1.2 billion and its total payments volume (TPV) increase by roughly $68 billion, a roughly 22 percent year-on-year increase. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgApparently in Wisconsin, it takes a lot to carry regular-season memories into March.The Badgers entered last weekend’s Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis riding a four-game winning streak that saw them play their best offensive ball, which began with a rousing road upset of Ohio State. In their opening round game of the tourney, previously unheralded bench player Rob Wilson scored 30 points on an electric 11-for-16 shooting performance (7-for-10 from 3-point range).Collectively, the Badgers’ late-season efforts seemed to set them up perfectly for a strong finish to the year. But then Wisconsin met Michigan State in the tournament semifinals and fell 65-52.In their first game of the NCAA tournament, the fourth-seeded Badgers (24-9) will face the 13th-seeded Montana Grizzlies (25-6) Thursday afternoon in Albuquerque, N.M. The Grizzlies most recently won the Big Sky conference tournament with an 85-66 win over Weber State March 4.“You’ve just got to take it game by game and all the hoopla, all the media talk really, at this point, is just out the window,” point guard Jordan Taylor said. “People are obviously going to pick who they want; that’s the fun of March Madness.”While the Badgers have the higher-profile resume after finishing with a 12-6 record in the Big Ten – arguably the nation’s deepest conference this season – the Grizzlies enter the NCAA tournament having won their last 14 games, a stretch that dates back to Jan. 19. Their last loss came five days earlier at Weber State, a game that Montana entered on a six-game winning streak.The Grizzlies heavily rely on their starting five, each of which averages at least 26 minutes per game. Three players average at least 10 points per game – junior point guard Will Cherry (16.0), sophomore guard/forward Kareem Jamar (13.8) and junior forward Mathias Ward (11.1). Montana’s two other starters, senior forwards Art Steward and Derek Selvig, each average 9.2 points per game.“You look at stat sheets, they’re the iron five,” UW assistant coach Greg Gard said of Montana’s starting lineup. “They play a couple of other guys off the bench, but those five that start have really done a lot for them, carried them. … They’ve had different guys step up at different times throughout the year.”According to Gard, Wisconsin scouted Selvig before he opted to stay in his home state. The 7-foot, 230-pound forward isn’t Montana’s only connection to Wisconsin, however.Montana assistant coach Freddie Owens played four years for Wisconsin and two under current head coach Bo Ryan from 2001-04 and was a two-year starter.Although Owens sports familiarity with Ryan’s system, Wisconsin’s head coach hardly seemed concerned on Selection Sunday.“Look at the Big Ten, how much we know about each other,” Ryan said in Sunday’s post-selection show press conference. “But you expect that. Out of league, it’s a little different. So Freddie might be the most popular guy with [Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle] right now.”Regardless, Wisconsin appears focused solely on its own game entering its 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th under Ryan. Although the Badgers’ offense seemed to be clicking at the end of the season, the loss to the Spartans in Indianapolis highlighted a season-long issue – prolonged, ill-timed scoring droughts.Against Michigan State, Wisconsin opened the game on a 14-5 run. Over the next 13 minutes, though, the Spartans built a 26-5 run to close out the half and lead 35-25.MSU’s advantage blossomed to as many as 19 points little more than four minutes into the second half, but UW was able to bring it down to six points another four minutes later with a 13-0 run. That was the closest the Badgers came, however, as they ultimately lost by 13 points.Entering the NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin believes it will be able to return to more fundamental scoring.“Just moving without the ball, and maybe pushing it a little more, trying to get more easy baskets, whether it’s off the defense or just transition, stuff like that,” Taylor said when asked for the key to avoiding those droughts. “Most teams are better when they can play 5-on-5 defense the whole game, so just trying to put them at a disadvantage.”last_img read more