• Barrons.com

    37 Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2020, According to Barron’s Roundtable Experts

    Near-zero interest rates have favored growth stocks this year, while leaving value names in the dust. Our 10 panelists say this has created ample opportunities to invest in good companies selling at deep discounts.

  • Pete Najarian Sees Unusual Activity In Alibaba And Cleveland-Cliffs
    Benzinga

    Pete Najarian Sees Unusual Activity In Alibaba And Cleveland-Cliffs

    On CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report," Pete Najarian spoke about Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - ADR (NYSE: BABA). He said the stock traded 20% higher in a very short time frame and yet traders are buying the July $275 calls. They're expecting even more upside.Around 6,000 contracts were traded in the first half of the trading session and traders were paying around $2.75 for them. Najarian added that buyers of these calls are hedging their positions by selling the July $290 calls. This trade is short term as calls expire next Friday.See Also: 4 Reasons Alibaba's Stock Is A Buy Right NowNajarian also noticed some bullish options activity in Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF). Around 30,000 contracts of the July $6 calls were traded early in the session. Traders paid around 20 cents for these calls.Najarian likes both trades and he decided to follow them.Image: Andy Mitchell, FlickrSee more from Benzinga * Fast Money Picks For June 1(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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  • U.S.News & World Report

    7 Best Vanguard Funds for Retirement

    A mix of choices for investors. Mutual funds can help diversify your retirement portfolio, whether you're looking for growth through equity exposure or dividend income. Vanguard has a reputation for offering ...

  • Rivian raises $2.5 billion as it pushes to bring its electric RT1 pickup, R1S SUV to market
    TechCrunch

    Rivian raises $2.5 billion as it pushes to bring its electric RT1 pickup, R1S SUV to market

    Rivian, the electric vehicle company aiming to become the first to bring an EV pickup truck to market, has raised $2.5 billion in a round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. New investors Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company and Baron Capital Group also participated. Existing shareholders Amazon and funds managed by BlackRock also joined the round.

  • U.S.News & World Report

    Analyst Picks for 7 Top 5G Stocks to Buy

    The 5G upgrade cycle is imminent. One of the biggest growth drivers in the tech world over the next couple of years will be the rollout of 5G wireless networks. The fifth generation of wireless networks will significantly ramp up global internet connectivity, producing a far faster internet connection with more capacity and less latency.

  • Barrons.com

    After 20% Plunge, REIT Dividends Appear to Have Bottomed Out. Here Are 9 JPMorgan Analysts Like.

    REITs can be attractive to income-oriented investors because they are required to pay out at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders.

  • Why a president Joe Biden would be bad for the stock market
    Yahoo Finance

    Why a president Joe Biden would be bad for the stock market

    This market pro tells Yahoo Finance Joe Biden would not be good for investors. The explanation makes sense.

  • South China Morning Post

    Grocery tycoon husband of former adult film star Veronica Yip files for bankruptcy in the US

    The husband of Veronica Yip Yuk-hing, a former Hong Kong actress best known for her roles in adult films, has filed for bankruptcy in the US where he runs a vast wholesale food and supermarket business.Grocery tycoon Jeffrey Wu made the application at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday, owing nearly US$50 million out of his own pocket, according to the filing.The 56-year-old, also known as Myint J. Kyaw, owns Mon Chong Loong Trading Corp, one of the largest oriental dry food wholesaler and distributors in the US, as well as a major Chinese grocery store, the Hong Kong Supermarket, with branches in the northeast and California. Coronavirus: Hong Kong retail sales still falling but April figures offer signs of hopeAs well as filing for personal bankruptcy with debts of US$48.5 million, Wu also applied to put three of his companies " property developers owing US$15.3 million between them " into administration, according to documents filed to the court.Wu's supermarkets were reportedly hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with shoppers confined to their homes for several months.Additionally, Hong Kong Supermarket was among three shops in New York to be fined for excessively inflating prices to cash in on the health crisis. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection fined the store US$69,500 for overcharging for supplies including face masks, gloves and tissues.There are a number of individual creditors on Wu's personal bankruptcy filing, including Bank of America, Chang & Son Enterprises, Haymarket Capital and Bluestone Group.Among them, Bank of America alone held loans worth more than US$20 million. Hong Kong bankruptcies for May the worst since 2003 Sars epidemicThe Burma-born business mogul holds a huge property portfolio in New York. The three companies for which he declared bankruptcy are developers in the retail, office, residential and industrial sectors.Apartments at one of Wu's projects, the 99-unit Victoria Towers built in 2014 in the Queens district of New York, change hands for up to US$1 million a piece, according to local property portal StreetEasy.The properties covered by the unpaid loans include a 100,000 square-foot office and retail building, 50 remaining units in Victoria Tower, a 28,000 square-foot commercial property and a 184,000 square-foot industrial complex, all in New York.Wu's lenders filed their notices of creditors' interests in his properties in January 2018, according to the court documents.He received a US$109 million refinancing loan from investment company Bluestone Group in 2018.Wu moved to the US from Myanmar when he was nine and founded the Hong Kong Supermarket in 1981.In 1996, he married former Hong Kong actress and singer Veronica Yip, sometimes referred to as Veronica Ip.Yip, now 53, was runner-up in the Miss Asia Pageant of 1985 and later starred in some critically-acclaimed hit movies, including Jeffrey Lau's The Eagle Shooting Heroes and Stanley Kwan's R ed Rose, White Rose.However, it was her roles in some sexually themed, adult films in the 1990s that made her a household name in Hong Kong.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Barrons.com

    Electric Vehicle Stocks Remain Hot. 2 That Are Making News.

    Investors can’t get enough of EV stocks these days. And the companies are obliging with more deal activity.

  • 3 “Strong Buy” Dividend Stocks With Yields of at Least 7%
    TipRanks

    3 “Strong Buy” Dividend Stocks With Yields of at Least 7%

    Let’s talk about dividend stocks. These have always been popular with income minded investors, who are attracted to the steady payments and are wiling to sacrifice some share appreciation to mitigate overall risk. That’s both a fair trade and a viable investing strategy.It should have held together during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. That is, dividend stocks should have performed their usual role for investors, helping to insulate portfolios from a larger shock during a period of recessionary pressures. But they did not. Too many companies were hurt too badly, as earnings and cash flow plummeted, and many formerly reliable dividends were reduced or even suspended during the crisis.So, 1H20 has been hard on dividend stocks, and just when investors needed them most. Some due diligence, however, can find the continuing dividend champs, those companies that have made it through the initial economic turndown while retaining their dividend policies. These companies are attracting notice for Wall Street’s analysts, as the go-to choices for dividend investors. Using the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled up some details on three of these stocks.Capital Southwest Corporation (CSWC)We’ll start in the finance industry. Capital Southwest, based in Texas, is a business development company – a BDC – with a focus on high-appreciation opportunities. The company provides specialty lending options and financings for middle market players in a variety of sectors. Some of CSWC’s methods include industry consolidations, management buyouts, and recapitalizations.The company’s strong and heavily diversified portfolio helped to insulate it from the corona-inspired economic shutdown. In fiscal Q4, the company's earnings rose sequentially, coming in at 40 cents per share.Dividend investors are more likely to be pleased by management’s announcement, in early June, that the dividend would be maintained, and that between the regular payment and a special dividend release, it would total 51 cents per share. This is the same as the previous two quarters, and comes after a solid year of slow dividend growth. At the current payment, CSWC’s dividend has an impressive yield of 12.77%Covering the stock for JMP Securities, Christopher York sees a company with room to maneuver. He writes, “Capital Southwest remains one of the most attractive ways to gain exposure to lower-middle-market direct originations. We continue to believe core and supplemental dividends remain sustainable… the company has ample liquidity to fund new investments and support portfolio companies, if needed.”In line with his comments, York reiterates his Buy rating on CSWC. His $17 price target indicates confidence in a one-year upside of 35%. (To watch York’s track record, click here)Overall, Capital Southwest has a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on a 3 to 1 split between Buy and Hold reviews. The stock is selling for $12.60, and the $14.25 average price target implies an upside of 13% for the coming year. (See CSWC stock analysis on TipRanks)Heritage Commerce Corporation (HTBK)Next up, Heritage Commerce, is a holding company whose main subsidiary, Heritage Bank of Commerce, serves customers in the San Francisco Bay area as well as Santa Clara and Alameda counties. The company offers general banking and deposit services to the public, and originates a range of consumer and commercial loans.Like most companies with direct contact customer service models, Heritage saw earnings plummet in Q1. The sequential drop was 77%; reported EPS was only 6 cents. The earnings loss came even as revenues beat the forecast. At the top line, the $41.77 million reported for Q1 was up 24% year-over-year.Strong liquidity allows Heritage to weather the corona crisis, survive a steep drop in earnings, and maintain its dividend. The company reported $443.4 million in available cash and liquid assets at the end of the first quarter, along with access to another $477.5 million through borrowing. That’s a hefty war chest for any situation.The company has kept up its dividend payments, without reductions, through the health crisis. The current payment is 13 cents per share quarterly, or 52 cents annualized. At this rate, the dividend offers a yield of 7.65%, far above the 2% average found among S&P listed companies. Better, for investors, Heritage has an 11-year history of prioritizing dividend payments.Andrew Liesch, of Piper Sandler, points out that a significant portion of Heritage’s service portfolio – upwards of 7% of the total – consists of retail and food service commercial customers, who are likely to see surge in banking needs when the epidemic fades on the West Coast. He writes, “[R]etail trade exposure includes gas stations with convenience stores while the food service portfolio is mostly QSRs, both of which have been operating while under shelter-in-place and should experience stronger customer volume as auto traffic and commuting return.”Liesch rates this stock a Buy, citing both forward prospects and current liquidity. His $9 price target suggests an upside of 36% in the coming year. (To watch Liesch’s track record, click here)Heritage gets a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, and that verdict is unanimous. The stock has 3 recent reviews, and they are all Buys. Shares are priced at $6.80, and the $9.33 average price target – slightly more bullish than Liesch’s – implies a 41% one-year upside. (See HTBK stock analysis on TipRanks)Kimbell Royalty Partners (KRP)Last on today’s list of dividend stock is Kimbell Royalty, a land company operating in oil regions across the US. Kimbell invests in mineral and royalty interests, buying up land it can leas to oil and natural gas producers. The company’s revenue is derived from royalties on hydrocarbon extraction from its properties.Kimbell owns over 38,000 active wells, with 43% of its operations in Texas’ Permian Basin. The company entered 2020 after reporting strong year-over-year gains for both Q4 and CY2019, and had also just completed the acquisition of a competing mineral rights company, Springbok, in a $175 million deal.The drop in oil prices during the bear market cycle, and overall lower demand during the coronavirus economic shutdowns, put serious pressure on Kimbell’s revenue stream. Q1 earnings fell sharply, to a net loss of $1.29 per share, and the stock price has still rebounded from the crash earlier this year. Nevertheless, Kimbell management has chosen to maintain a common stock dividend – although the payment has been cut back to 17 cents per share. This annualizes to 68 cents, and gives a robust yield of 8.2%. The company has stated its commitment to distributing up to 50% of available cash to shareholders.Stephens analyst Gail Nicholson cites the company’s dividend policy in his review of the stock, writing, “We are modeling the company’s distribution as a percent of cash flows flat with 1Q20 (~50%) for the remainder of the year and increases to ~100% during 4Q21 (distribution policy is flexible and likely adjusts based on commodity prices). We anticipate the company utilizes the non distributed cash to further improve its balance sheet.”Nicholson gives weight loss a Buy rating, and supports it by raising his price target from $3 to $11. His new target implies a 32% upside potential for the stock. (To watch Nicholson’s track record, click here)All in all, the analyst consensus rating on Kimbell Royalty is a Strong Buy; the stock has 4 Buy and 1 Hold review behind that rating. The $10.25 average price target suggests a 23% premium form the current share price of $8.28. (See KRP stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

  • Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reduces share count, suggesting possible buybacks
    Reuters

    Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reduces share count, suggesting possible buybacks

    The reduction in the conglomerate's outstanding shares was noted in a Wednesday filing concerning Buffett's $2.9 billion donation of Berkshire stock to five nonprofits, part of his pledge to give away nearly all his fortune. If Berkshire repurchased those shares, it might have conducted roughly $4.9 billion to $5.9 billion of buybacks, depending on the price, over 2-1/2 months, analysts said."It implies relatively strong buyback activity," said James Shanahan, an Edward Jones & Co analyst with a "buy" rating on Berkshire.

  • Barrons.com

    Nokia Stands to Gain From 5G Spending. And Its Stock Is Cheap.

    The struggling telecommunications maker stands to benefit as wireless operators upgrade their networks. Resistance to rival Huawei also helps.

  • Barrons.com

    The Stock Market Is Setting New Records. Here’s How to Prepare for a Plunge.

    With market volatility picking up lately, it might seem like a good idea to hedge your portfolio against another downturn. But hedging strategies come at a price.

  • Nasdaq is 'moving faster than any train we've ever seen before': veteran strategist
    Yahoo Finance

    Nasdaq is 'moving faster than any train we've ever seen before': veteran strategist

    The Nasdaq is like "a train that is moving faster than any train we've ever seen before,” says one veteran strategist.

  • Inovio Subcontractor Hits Back With Lawsuit Against Coronavirus Vaccine Developer
    Benzinga

    Inovio Subcontractor Hits Back With Lawsuit Against Coronavirus Vaccine Developer

    Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO) could be embroiled in a prolonged legal battle with its Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-headquartered subcontractor VGXI, Inc, after the subcontractor sued the pharma company. The Inovio Lawsuit: VGXI filed a lawsuit this week in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, with the plaintiff accusing Inovio of breach of contract, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and unjust enrichment, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.Inovio initiated legal proceedings against VGXI, a subsidiary of South Korea's GeneOne Life Sciences, in early June, accusing it of not transferring technical know-how to manufacture doses of INO-4800, Inovio's DNA vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.Inovio's contention was that VGXI did not possess the wherewithal to scale up manufacturing, which is essential for getting regulatory clearance.In late June, the Montgomery County Court denied Inovio's request for an injunction against VGXI."Inovio got greedy. It saw the opportunity to reap vast riches and keep its stock price soaring if it could win the race to a COVID-19 vaccine, but Inovio did not want to pay VGXI for the manufacturing," VGXI reportedly said in the lawsuit.Inovio chose to unfairly take possession of VGXI's proprietary technology and manufacturing processes and pass on to as many as 10 other manufacturers around the world, including in China and India, the lawsuit alleges. What's Next For Inovio: The lawsuit from VGXI will not impact Inovio's coronavirus vaccine development, an Inovio spokesman told Benzinga in an email Friday. "If we have an effective vaccine, manufacturing will not be an issue," he said, adding that the Phase 2/3 trail for INO-4800 is on track to begin this summer.Inovio reported June 30 with interim results from a Phase 1 study of INO-4800, which showed that 94% of Phase 1 trial participants demonstrated immune responses at week six after two doses of INO-4800.The company also announced it has been selected to take part in a non-human primate challenge study under the federal government's Operation Warp Speed..Inovio shares were down 0.67% at $23.12 at last check.Related Links:Revisiting Coronavirus Vaccine Timelines: Moderna Denies Delay, Pfizer Advances Project Lightspeed And More Moderna Analyst Says Biotech Has 'First-To-Market' Potential For Coronavirus Vaccine See more from Benzinga * The Week Ahead In Biotech: Endo, Eagle Pharma FDA Decisions, ObsEva Late-Stage Readouts In Focus * Inovio Plunges On Interim Phase 1 Coronavirus Data; DNA Vaccine Shows 94% Response Rate(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Amazon begins rolling out bigger UPS and FedEx-style delivery trucks
    Reuters

    Amazon begins rolling out bigger UPS and FedEx-style delivery trucks

    Amazon.com <AMZN.O> is launching a new fleet of bigger, boxier trucks like those favored by rival package carriers United Parcel Service Inc <UPS.N> and FedEx Corp <FDX.N>, as it fights to fix widespread pandemic-fueled delivery delays that sent customers into the arms of competitors like Walmart Inc <WMT.N>. The world's largest online retailer ordered more than 2,200 heavy-duty Utilimaster "walk-in" delivery trucks from Shyft Group <SHYF.O>, a Michigan-based specialty vehicle company, an Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters. The company declined to say how many of the vehicles have been sent to Amazon delivery contractors, or where they would be deployed.

  • Behind the Relentless Stock Rally, Waves of Anxiety Are Building
    Bloomberg

    Behind the Relentless Stock Rally, Waves of Anxiety Are Building

    (Bloomberg) -- Nerves are fraying underneath the stock market’s technology-fueled rally.Short bets against the biggest equity exchange-traded fund are stubbornly high and recently ticked up, even after the ETF’s 41% climb from March’s lows. The Cboe Volatility Index -- known as the market’s “fear gauge” -- remains elevated, while investors are piling into products that shield against losses. Meanwhile, a near-record mountain of cash seems stuck on the sidelines. All this as liquidity is in short supply.While pundits will argue forever whether any of those things are actually bad news for bulls, the stats show caution is bubbling beneath a surge that’s left behind everything but the biggest of tech companies. Heavyweights such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. hitting record highs have helped cushion the S&P 500 from a resurgence in coronavirus cases, with the gauge down about 0.2% over the past month. An equally weighted version of the index -- which gives Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. as much influence as Microsoft Corp. -- has tumbled roughly 6.4% over that same period.“It’s been a bull market that really has not been fully embraced,” said Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management. “There’s a certain amount of skepticism inherent in investors today, and it makes sense.”Stubborn ShortsSkepticism is evident in the still-sizable cohort of holdouts betting against the $278 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, ticker SPY. Short interest as a percentage of shares outstanding on SPY -- a rough indicator of bearish bets on the fund -- is currently 5.1%, according to data from IHS Markit Ltd. Short-interest reached a near-record of 7.4% on March 3, and was as low as 1.2% at the beginning of 2020.There’s “no doubt” that the Fed’s stimulus is driving the run-up in asset prices, which could explain the unloved nature of the rally, according to Penn Mutual Asset Management.“It’s harder to love a rally if it’s more of a liquidity-driven phenomenon rather than earnings just doing fantastic,” said Mark Heppenstall, the firm’s chief investment officer.Volatility JittersWhile well below March’s soaring heights, the VIX is still flashing warnings for a stock market fresh off its best quarter since 1998. The measure of implied equity swings remains elevated at about 27, roughly double its February low. The gauge spent all of 2019 below 30.Rising stocks usually imply a falling VIX, as markets price in good news on the horizon. However, the blistering speed of the equity rebound has upset that relationship, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which estimates that the gap between the gauge and S&P 500 returns is one of the largest on record.Caution is evident in ETF flows. The $1.2 billion ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF -- the largest volatility-tracking fund -- posted roughly $263 million in inflows last week for its strongest weekly showing since 2016, and is on track to absorb an additional $159 million this week.Building a BufferThe current landscape has sparked interest in so-called buffer ETFs, which cushion holders from a certain percentage of losses in exchange for a cap on gains. It’s a space pioneered by niche issuer Innovator ETFs -- whose funds have attracted over $3 billion since first launching in 2018 -- though competitors have started to launch rival defined-outcome ETFs as demand grows.“For people who have FOMO right now and they’ve been sitting on the sidelines and missed a 40% bounce, they’re saying, ‘do I get in now or are we back at a top?’” said Bruce Bond, Innovator’s chief executive officer. “It allows them to not have to time the market perfectly, but to get in and participate in the upside.”So far, the buffer funds have worked as advertised. When stocks bottomed on March 23, the $252 million Innovator S&P 500 Power Buffer ETF was nursing year-to-date losses of 17.5% versus the S&P 500’s 30% tumble. Four months later, the Innovator ETF is up about 1.3% in 2020 while the index is still down 1.4%.Cash HoardAnd then there’s the near-record levels of cash sitting on the sidelines. U.S. money-market absorbed $1 trillion during the pandemic-fueled turmoil, swelling total assets to an all-time high of roughly $4.8 trillion in late May. That stockpile has started to shrink -- barely. The total sum still sits at about $4.65 trillion, Investment Company Institute data show.“That money has to come from somewhere, and presumably it’s coming out of risk assets,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Hermes. “This extraordinary amount of cash is the one metric you can put your finger on that would suggest you’ve got some concerns.”Shallow DepthWhile massive intervention on the part of the Federal Reserve has largely restored bond market functioning, JPMorgan Chase & Co. warns that equity liquidity levels are far from normal. Market depth for E-mini S&P 500 futures -- the ability to trade without substantially impacting prices -- remains about 60% below levels seen before March’s correction, analysts wrote in a note.That “unstable equilibrium” could leave stocks exposed should turmoil descend on markets again, they wrote.“Liquidity conditions have improved considerably, though not fully, and overall functioning has mostly been restored, but markets remain in an unstable equilibrium and vulnerable to shocks,” strategists including Joyce Chang, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and Marko Kolanovic wrote in a report.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.

  • U.S.News & World Report

    8 Best Cheap Stocks to Buy Now Under $5

    Penny stocks have long been given a bad name and for good reason. Companies with shares that hover around $5 (or less) are often victims of market movements, ebbing and flowing with more volatility than higher-priced stocks. Here are eight of the best cheap stocks, with bright futures whose shares are selling for roughly $5 or less right now.

  • Electric Truck Story Stocks Drive Market Enthusiasm
    Benzinga

    Electric Truck Story Stocks Drive Market Enthusiasm

    Talk about a V-shaped recovery. Shares of electrification startup Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) experienced the bounce back this week that few still predict for the nation's economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.Storytelling, more than products and revenue, is stoking market enthusiasm for electric trucks, including Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS). The early-stage maker of electric delivery vans is attracting heady interest because of a possible windfall from startup Lordstown Motors Corp. Tortoise Acquisition (NYSE: SHLL), siring hybrid-electric truck maker Hyliion Inc. to public trading this quarter, is advancing at a turtle-like pace after an early hare-like dash following announcement of its reverse merger.Nikola bounces around Nikola expects to begin generating meaningful revenue in late 2021. That assumes a successful manufacturing launch of its battery-electric heavy-duty Tre model in a joint venture with CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI) subsidiary IVECO in Ulm, Germany. The lack of revenue, never mind profit, mattered little to investors who drove Nikola's price to almost $100 per share in the days following its June 2 emergence as a public company in a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VectoIQ. The runup proved short-lived as Nikola Executive Chairman Trevor Milton sparred on Twitter with short sellers betting the price would fall. He urges investors to get on board for the long haul and embrace his vision of zero-emission trucks contributing to a cleaner planet. Nikola shares got a brief kick June 29 from cash deposits on the Badger, a battery-electric pickup truck with a fuel cell range extender. Nikola still needs a manufacturing partner. Could Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which recently fell behind electric car maker Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) as the world's most valued automaker, be a candidate? Toyota makes the Mirai fuel cell sedan and is partnering with Kenworth Truck Co. to build a test fleet of 10 Class 8 fuel cell trucks. It also sells the market-leading Tacoma midsize pickup and the less-popular Tundra full-size pickup.Diverging target prices from analysts at J.P. Morgan and Cowen initiating Nikola coverage created an opinion gap of more than $30. Early investors headed for the exits with hefty profits. Both analysts lauded Nikola's long-term business plan – leasing fuel cell trucks with hydrogen fuel and maintenance to keep them on the road for seven years and one million miles. In setting a target of $45, J.P. Morgan said the stock, then trading around $70 a share, was fully valued. Cowen, which helped VectorIQ with its own initial public offering in 2018 and advised on the reverse merger to bring Nikola public, set an outperform target of $79 a share.Supply and demand imbalance Expiring lockups on investors who bought VectorIQ shares at $10 in a pre-merger private investment in public equity (PIPE) put up to 50 million Nikola shares in play along with warrants that would add 23 million new shares. The result: too many shares and too few buyers. The stock fell into the low $40s.Sellers included longtime Nikola supporter Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR), which disclosed on July 8 that it sold 5 million of its 19 million Nikola shares on July 6-7, reaping nearly $238 million before taxes. Current Nikola CEO Mark Russell joined the company from Worthington in February 2019.The rebound to nearly $60 coincided with J.P. Morgan moving to an "overweight" rating from "neutral." Analyst Paul Coster pointed to several catalysts strengthening Nikola's prospects. Shares fell Friday along with the overall market."In our view, [Nikola] is currently a story-stock, but we are on board as long as the company executes to plan, and providing the stock offers a favorable risk-reward trade-off," Coster wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday, July 8.Workhorse keeps borrowing Workhorse is finally building its composite body electric delivery vans – called the C-Series – in Union City, Indiana.  But with just 300 to 400 vans expected this year, investors spy the possible payday Workhorse could get if Lordstown Motors (LMC) succeeds in building electric pickups from licensed Workhorse technology. In addition to a 10% stake in the startup, Workhorse gets royalties on the first 200,000 Endurance pickups made by LMC, started by former Workhorse CEO Steve Burns. If LMC gets the $400 million it needs to retool the former General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) car plant, it plans to build 20,000 pickups in its first year. It would also be Workhorse's contract manufacturer for the next-generation United States Postal Service (USPS) delivery vehicle. Workhorse is in the running for some or all of the $6 billion contract."We see the chance of winning a material USPS contract as virtually zero," Hindenburg Research said Friday in predicting a 50% decline in Workhorse shares. It said it was shorting the shares because Workhorse's "astronomical value" is out of synch with revenue.Betting on a windfall Investors, many of whom appear to be day traders, latched onto Workhorse because of the LMC deal. They posted unceasing stock-boosting messages during the online reveal of the Endurance by Burns and Vice President Mike Pence on June 25.Workhorse has been long beset by dilution of its shares. It signed a potentially costly senior convertible note on June 30. It gets $70 million from High Trail Capital, the same hedge fund it borrowed $41 million from in November 2019. Workhorse must start repaying the note in October. "With this note in place, we have much greater financial flexibility to support our current and future production needs," CEO Duane Hughes said.The new money should allow Workhorse to build the 1,100 pending van orders from United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS) and DHL. Workhorse is still seeking a $40 million credit facility.Hyliion on a tortoise pace Hyliion Inc., which makes a hybrid diesel-electric powertrain for Class 8 trucks, will get the Nikola reverse merger treatment as soon as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission completes its review.Tortoise Acquisition announced its role as the blank check company bringing Hyliion public on June 22. That set off a runup in Tortoise shares, similar to what occurred when VectoIQ announced its plans for Nikola in March. A preorder of 1,000 trucks by logistics giant Agility on June 25  drove another surge. Shares now traded Friday in the mid $20s. Of the electric truck makers, Hyliion has the fewest obstacles to market. Its natural gas-electric ERX Hypertruck hybrid powertrain goes into test production in 2021 with deliveries in 2022. There are 700 natural gas filling stations in the U.S., freeing Hyliion of creating a fueling infrastructure. The natural gas generator makes electricity to drive the truck and charge a small electric motor capable of 25 miles of pure electric driving. That range meets expected future bans on truck emissions in urban centers,If Hyliion follows the Nikola public playbook, Tortoise shares could rise when the SEC approves the merger and again when the merger is complete. The symbol SHLL will switch to HYLN. Hyliion can swap its zero-emissions powertrain into existing heavy-duty trucks, meaning preorders like the one by Agility, which also invested in Hyliion, could follow as fleets seek to meet zero-emission quotas beginning in 2024 under the new California Clean Truck mandate.Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.Related articles:New partners Nikola Motors and IVECO target Europe with alternative propulsion truckmillion financing keeps Workhorse's share surge hummingHyliion takes reverse merger path to public tradingPhoto: HyliionSee more from Benzinga * U.S. Airlines Cancel Hong Kong Flights Over Crew Testing * What Happens In California Doesn't Stay In California * Rejections Take A Surprising Turn – FreightWaves NOW(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Look out below! Warren Buffett just dropped to his lowest ranking ever on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index
    MarketWatch

    Look out below! Warren Buffett just dropped to his lowest ranking ever on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

    Warren Buffett, after giving away a $2.9 billion gift this week, has seen his wealth drop below Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as well as former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

  • Barrons.com

    Would Tesla Stock Rise 60% If Added to the S&P 500? Please, That’s a Stretch.

    Yahoo’s stock jumped 64% after it was included in the S&P 500 back in 1999, Reuters points out. Why the same is unlikely for Tesla stock.