The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, Deutsche Bank, Freddie Mac, HSBC Holdings and Fannie Mae

Zacks

For Immediate Release
 
Chicago, IL – April 14, 2014 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA-Free Report), Deutsche Bank AG (DB-Free Report), Freddie Mac (FMCC-Free Report), HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC-Free Report) and Fannie Mae (FNMA-Free Report).
 
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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Tesla Hit Back at “Lemon Lawyer”

Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA-Free Report) has hit back at a lemon law claim filed by a lawyer against it for allegedly ignoring his client’s three requests to buy back the car. The client reportedly faced problems with the door handle and fuse of his Model S multiple times. He claims that Tesla failed to address the problems and hence he wants to return his car.

Tesla however contends that it only received one request for buying back the car. Moreover, the automaker claims that it did everything possible to redress the customer’s grievances and is still striving to do so.

Tesla replaced the door handles of the car even though it failed to recreate the alleged problem in them. Even that did not solve the problem according to the customer.

Regarding the problem with the fuse, Tesla detected that the front trunk of the car, which provides access to the fuse, had been opened each time before the fuse blew. This indicates the possibility of fuse tampering. In fact, the electric carmaker revealed that the fuse problem was solved once its service team put a non-tamper tape on the fuse switch. Moreover, Tesla’s engineers did not find any problem with the car that might have caused the fuse to blow.

Tesla also mentioned that the same customer and the same lawyer had filed a lemon lawsuit against Volvo last year. While this does not prove anything, it is definitely cause for suspicion.

It is worth noting that Model S scored 99 out of 100 in a consumer satisfaction survey by the Consumer Reports magazine. This is the highest score in the last few years. Results are based on the response of 350,000 Consumer Reports subscribers who own a car. More than 600 of them were owners of the 2012 or 2013 versions of Model S.

Tesla currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Deutsche Bank Mortgage Case Dismissed

As per a Reuters report, Deutsche Bank AG (DB-Free Report) has won a dismissal of the case filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (:FHFA) on behalf of Freddie Mac (FMCC-Free Report). The suit had demanded compensation from the bank for losses incurred by Freddie Mac on faulty mortgage-backed securities (:MBS) purchased by the latter in 2006.

While dismissing the case, Justice Eileen Bransten in New York State Supreme Court stated that lawsuit was barred by the state’s six-year statute of limitations. The FHFA had begun filing cases in 2012, which was just within the six-year limitation. However, the FHFA did not have authority to sue.

Further, HSBC Bank USA, National Association, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC-Free Report), which was the trustee for the MBS, was allowed to include some of the claims filed in the case in Jan 2013. Notably, by then, it was too late as the six-year limit had lapsed.

The FHFA accused Deutsche Bank of misrepresenting the quality and underwriting of home loans underlying MBS in the trust worth more than $1.4 billion. Freddie Mac had purchased securities valued at nearly $460 million, which lost most of its value in the wake of the housing bubble burst and subsequent financial crisis.

We believe that dismissal of the above-mentioned case removes a legal headwind for Deutsche Bank. Of late, the bank has been actively resolving mortgage-related lawsuits. In Dec 2013, it reached a settlement of $1.9 billion with the FHFA. The FHFA had accused the company of misrepresenting documents related to MBS to Fannie Mae (FNMA-Free Report) and Freddie Mac.

Further, all these litigation issues have been adversely impacting Deutsche Bank’s performance. The company has to keep aside a significant legal reserve to meet these expenses.

Additionally, the present volatile economic conditions, interest rate uncertainty and stringent regulations are exerting pressure on Deutsche Bank’s top line.  To mitigate this, the company is resorting to cost control measures comprising layoffs and closures of business units worldwide.

Currently, Deutsche Bank has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Read the analyst report on TSLA

Read the analyst report on DB

Read the analyst report on FMCC

Read the analyst report on HSBC

Read the analyst report on FNMA


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