|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||42.12 - 43.08|
|52 Week Range||22.75 - 60.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.69|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||4.29|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.97 (2.34%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr 02, 2020|
|1y Target Est||42.99|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It doesn’t take much imagination to see the Federal Reserve supporting the stock price of Apple Inc.The central bank’s Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility recently released details about its “Broad Market Index,” which is a roadmap for which individual bonds it will buy for its portfolio after changing the rules to avoid forcing issuers to certify they’re in compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Just looking at the 13 companies with weightings of at least 1%,(2)which collectively make up almost one-fifth of the index, a few things stand out. First, there are six automobile companies, with subsidiaries of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. and Germany’s Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG as the three largest issuers overall. In fourth is AT&T Inc., the largest nonfinancial borrower due in no small part to its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. Then there’s Apple. As a reminder, it’s the largest U.S. company by market capitalization at $1.57 trillion, edging out Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Its shares have easily rebounded from the selloff caused by the coronavirus pandemic, rallying 24% so far in 2020. Yes, Apple has about $100 billion of debt outstanding, but it’s also known for having one of the largest cash piles in the world. It’s so big, in fact, that the company could repay all its obligations and still have roughly $83 billion left over.With so much cash, that naturally raises the question: Why does Apple take on debt in the first place?In each of Apple’s past three dollar-bond sales, in November 2017, September 2019 and May, the company said it would use proceeds at least in part to repurchase common stock and pay dividends under its program to return capital to shareholders. In total, the company has doled out more than $200 billion since the start of 2018. It’s easy to see why company leadership would see it as too cheap not to borrow. Apple has the second-highest investment-grade credit ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, allowing it to issue $2.5 billion of 30-year bonds in May that yielded just 2.72%. Its $2 billion of three-year debt, within the Fed’s maturity range, priced to yield less than 0.85%.Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said during the last quarter’s earnings call that the company has more than $90 billion in stock buyback authorization left, adding that it plans to continue the same capital allocation policy going forward.Obviously, cash is mostly fungible for large enterprises, and any number of American companies in recent years surely issued bonds for reasons other than buybacks and also repurchased shares. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimated some $700 billion of shares were acquired by U.S. companies in 2019, which would make them the biggest net buyer of equities.Still, Apple openly using debt sales to help finance share repurchases puts the Fed in a somewhat awkward position. Chair Jerome Powell has consistently framed questions about its secondary-market facility in the context of supporting the central bank’s full employment mandate. Workers are “the intended beneficiaries of all of our programs,” he said in a hearing last month. It’s possible Americans “are able to keep their jobs because companies can finance themselves.”And yet, the Fed’s secondary-market facility comes with no strings attached. In fact, as I noted last month, its maneuver to create Broad Market Index Bonds circumvented the CARES Act requirement that any company must have “significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States.” Rather than focus on the American worker, the stated goal is to “support market liquidity for corporate debt,” and, by extension, keep borrowing costs down for creditworthy firms. So there’s every reason to expect that Apple can and will issue bonds again in the near future, at an even cheaper rate, to fund stock buybacks and dividends. That, in turn, would most likely support share prices.That shouldn’t sit well with many people. Even President Donald Trump, who has used the stock market as a barometer of his economic policies, has signaled a preference for capital projects over buybacks. On March 20, just before the S&P 500 Index fell to its lowest level of the Covid-19 selloff, he lamented that companies used the money saved from his 2017 tax cut to repurchase shares rather than build factories. He said at the time that he would support a prohibition on buybacks for companies that receive government aid.“When we did a big tax cut and when they took the money and did buybacks, that’s not building a hangar, that’s not buying aircraft, that’s not doing the kind of things that I want them to do,” Trump said. “We didn’t think we would have had to restrict it because we thought they would have known better. But they didn’t know better, in some cases.” The Fed’s strategy for buying corporate bonds is passive enough that few would equate it to receiving direct assistance from the federal government. The same can’t be said about the central bank’s Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, which as of last week is open for business. Companies that want to place bonds directly with the Fed must certify that they have “not received specific support pursuant to the CARES Act or any subsequent federal legislation” and “satisfy the conflicts-of-interest requirements of section 4019 of the CARES Act.” As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Matt Levine described in detail last week, there’s a huge amount of paperwork for issuers, and the Fed has the right to demand its money back if the forms are wrong and companies use funds for unapproved reasons.In all likelihood, these constraints will turn almost every company away from the Fed’s primary-market facility. Instead, finance officers will reap the benefits of the central bank’s broad secondary-market interventions to issue new debt to private investors at rock-bottom rates and with no such rules, as they have for the past three months. And Wall Streeters will be happy with business-as-usual in the credit markets.To put it plainly one more time: The Fed didn’t have to loosely interpret the law to create this index of corporate debt. It was already following through on its pledge to buy exchange-traded funds and had a system in place for companies to become eligible for individual purchases. It chose this third route, encouraging headlines like “Buying Corporate Bonds Is Almost Easy Money, Strategists Say.” What could go wrong?Now that it’s scooping up individual bonds issued for share buybacks without any stipulations, policy makers should be asked again why this program is the right way to go about supporting the recovery. The truth is likely that corporate America needs low-cost debt to survive. Apple and its shareholders are more than happy to tag along for the ride.(1) The Fed's facility has not yet purchased debt from all the companies in the index, at least according to its disclosure, which only covers the$429 million in bonds it bought on June 16 and 17. Its largest purchases were Comcast Corp., AbbVie Inc. and AT&T Inc.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Daimler will seek to sell its factory in Hambach, France, as part of an overhaul of its production system, the German carmaker said on Friday, prompting France's finance minister to urge the company to reconsider. It will also lead Daimler to take a restructuring charge of hundreds of millions of euros in its second quarter, the company said. Daimler, which owns the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, had used the Hambach factory to produces electric and combustion-engined variants of its two-seater Smart vehicles, making more than 80,000 cars in 2017.
Daimler is to take a 3 per cent stake in Farasis, the Chinese battery cell maker, as the German carmaker ramps up its electric vehicle production. Daimler’s investment in Farasis, which plans to float, comes as European automakers, which are largely reliant on Asian battery manufacturers for their electric car ambitions, seek a foothold in the new auto supply chain. The Wolfsburg-based group has also joined forces with Sweden’s Northvolt to build a battery cell factory in the German city of Salzgitter.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Back when Tesla Inc. delivered 95,000 cars to customers during the spring quarter of 2019, the stock price was languishing at about $235 and Elon Musk’s electric car company was valued at “only” $40 billion. Fast forward a year and the shares are now priced at more than $1,200. With a market capitalization of $224 billion, Tesla has surpassed Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s most valuable automaker.Yet in the second quarter of 2020, Tesla delivered 91,000 vehicles — about 5% fewer than the same period last year. That’s pretty underwhelming for a company whose fans view it as a fast-growing technology company in the mold of Amazon.com Inc., rather than a sluggish metal-bashing carmaker. So how is the massive recent jump in its market value justified?In fairness, it shows resilience to sell this many cars when the company’s main California plant was shut by the pandemic for much of the spring period. Doubtless, Tesla’s new Shanghai plant picked up the production slack, which suggests the expense and effort of getting that China factory up and running was worth it. The launch of Tesla’s new Model Y crossover vehicle will have helped. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both saw their U.S. deliveries decline by a third in the same quarter. Nevertheless, Tesla’s stock market acolytes pushed the shares up another 8% on Thursday, adding $16.5 billion to the market value. Such exuberance is hard to understand. Musk’s company sold 7,650 more vehicles than analysts expected during the second quarter, and the stock price jump equates to about $2 million of added shareholder value for each of those additional sales. This seems a little excessive given that a Tesla Model 3 sells for less than $40,000, and the profit margin on those cars is pretty slim. The shareholder reaction makes even less sense when you consider that Tesla investors aren’t really meant to buying the stock because of the company’s current sales, which are less than 4% of Volkswagen AG’s. Rather, the investment case is a long-term one: that it will come to occupy a dominant position in clean transport and energy in the years ahead. That explains why the shares trade at 320 times its analyst-estimated earnings this year. Viewed through this lens, Tesla’s ability to shift a few thousand extra cars in recent weeks shouldn’t matter so much for the valuation. Investors’ tendency to overreact to Tesla news made more sense when its survival was open to doubt. A year ago it was laying off workers, U.S. sales were slowing and its retail strategy was confused. Senior staff kept heading for the exit. The company was burning through cash and ran pretty low on financial fuel. It had just $2.2 billion of cash in March 2019, compared with more than $8 billion now.But subsequent evidence that Tesla can sell cars for more than it costs to produce them has transformed the mood — and with it Tesla’s stock price.Instead of “killing” off Tesla, the tepid electric offerings of established carmakers such as Audi and Mercedes have only underscored the quality of their rival’s battery and powertrain technology (the same can’t be said of Tesla’s build quality). Volkswagen’s software problems with its forthcoming ID.3 electric vehicle suggest catching Tesla won’t be straightforward, even with the Germans’ vast resources.Tesla’s stratospheric valuation appears to have become self-reinforcing. Should it require more money to fund its roughly $9 billion of capital expenditure over the next three years, it can raise it from shareholders without worrying about diluting them too much.Similarly, holders of more than $4 billion of convertible bonds that Tesla issued to fund its expansion should be happy to convert them into stock, rather than demand cash repayment, taking some of the pressure off the company and its balance sheet. Still, Tesla’s valuation remains impossible to justify by any standard metrics. Analysts’ average price target is more than 40% below the current level. Even Musk has suggested that the share price, which has almost trebled since the start of 2020, is too high — although, as with his taunting of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and his comments about “fascist” lockdowns, it’s usually better to tune out what Musk says and focus on his actions instead. The skeptics might have more faith in Tesla’s new position as the leader of the automaker pack when Musk stops his provocations and his shareholders stop getting giddy over modest good news.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Here’s a list of companies that are planning to halt spending on social media. Some have joined a boycott of Facebook Inc. after critics accused the social network of inadequately policing hateful and misleading content on its platform:Harley Davidson Inc. -- The motorcycle maker said in an email it was pausing Facebook ads in July “to stand in support of efforts to stop the spread of hateful content.”Pernod Ricard SA -- The French distiller of Jameson whiskey and Absolut Vodka, which spends more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.69 billion) on advertising annually, is boycotting Facebook and some other U.S. sites through July 31 and working with partners on an app to help victims of online abuse.Daimler AG -- The Mercedes-Benz maker is pausing its paid advertising on Facebook platforms in July, while adding that it expects to the relationship to resume because it’s confident the social-media company will take “necessary steps.”Molson Coors Beverage Co. -- The brewer is choosing to pause advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter while it reviews its own standards and ways to protect the brands and guard against hate speech, Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques said in an internal email.Constellation Brands -- The maker of Corona beer and Kim Crawford wines is pausing Facebook ads for the month of July.Dunkin’ Brands Group -- The donut chain is temporarily pausing its paid media on Facebook and Instagram, a spokesperson says, adding that it’s in discussions with Facebook about efforts to stop hate speech and thwart “the spread of “racist rhetoric and false information.”Lego A/S -- Stopping all advertising on social media for at least 30 days to review its standards and will “invest in other channels” during that time.The Body Shop -- The beauty chain says it’s halting paid activity on all Facebook channels and asking the social-media company to enhance and enforce its content-moderation policies.Starbucks Corp. -- Pausing advertising on all social media platforms. Will post on social media without paid promotion.Microsoft Corp. -- Paused global advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram because of concerns about ads appearing next to inappropriate content, according to a person familiar with the matter.Unilever Plc -- Halting advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. through Dec. 31.Volkswagen AG -- The ad stop on Facebook affects the direct ad accounts of the German manufacturer’s brands, including Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini. VW, its ad agencies and the Anti Defamation League will enter talks with Facebook over how to deal with hate speech, discrimination and false information, according to an emailed statement.Mars -- Starting in July, a pause on paid advertising globally across social-media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.Target Corp. -- Pausing ads on Facebook in July.Coca-Cola Co. -- Pausing advertising on all social media platforms.Clorox Co. -- Will stop advertising spending with Facebook through December.Conagra Brands Inc. -- Will stop advertising in U.S. on Facebook and Instagram through the rest of the year.Ford Motor Co. -- Halting U.S. social media for 30 days, won’t purchase social media ads for Bronco unveiling.Honda Motor Co. -- “For the month of July, Honda will withhold its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism.” Acura, a Honda brand, said in a tweet that it was “choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism.”Hershey Co. -- Will halt spending on Facebook in July and cut its spend on the platform by a third for the remainder of the year, according to Business Insider.Diageo Plc -- Pausing paid advertising globally on major social media platforms beginning in July.PepsiCo Inc. -- Pulling ads on Facebook from July through August.Verizon Communications Inc. -- “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with we’ve done with YouTube and other partners,” said John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon.SAP SE -- “We will suspend all paid advertisements across Facebook and Instagram until the company signals a significant, action-driven commitment to combatting the spread of hate speech and racism on its platforms.”Levi Strauss & Co. -- Pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising globally and across all brands through July.Diamond Foundry Inc. -- Pulling all of advertising from Facebook, including Instagram, for the month of July.Patagonia Inc. -- Will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from Facebook.Viber Media Inc. -- The messaging service, owned by Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, plans to cut ties with the social network entirely, according to the Guardian.VF Corp. -- The North Face will pause ads on Facebook for the month of July. Vans, another VF brand, will also pull ad dollars from Facebook and Instagram next month, and said it will use the money to support Black communities through empowerment and education programs.REI -- “For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.”Upwork Inc. -- No Facebook advertising in July.Eileen Fisher Inc. -- Pulling ads from Facebook through July.Adidas AG -- Will stop ads on Facebook and Instagram internationally through July, according to Adweek.Puma SE -- Will stop all advertisements on Facebook and Instagram throughout July.Madewell Inc. -- Will pause ads on Facebook and Instagram through July.Pfizer Inc. -- Removing all advertising from Facebook and Instagram in July, calls on Facebook to heed the concerns of the StopHateForProfit boycott campaign “and take action.”Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. -- To pause Facebook advertising beginning July 1, according to an email.Chobani -- The Greek-yogurt company paused all paid social-media advertising.Peet’s Coffee -- Paused advertising on Facebook.Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. -- ”In support of the StopHateForProfit campaign, we have globally suspended our Facebook and Instagram activity, including advertising and non-paid content, until the end of July.”(Updates with Sony Interactive Entertainment)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.
(Bloomberg) -- TDK Corp. sees a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic in a boost to demand for its batteries and sensors in electronic gadgets and a long-term push toward greater use of tech in the auto industry.Once ubiquitous across cassette tapes and compact discs, the Japanese household name now provides batteries for one in three phones globally. Though TDK has seen revenue fall as U.S.-China trade tensions weighed on auto sales, the outbreak should quicken digitization across the home and industry and propel imminent demand for batteries in personal devices and long-term demand for sensors in connected cars, Chief Executive Officer Shigenao Ishiguro said in an interview.“Digital transformation is a huge opportunity for us and I have no doubt that the coronavirus will push the world to go that direction at a faster pace,” Ishiguro said.The CEO, who witnessed first-hand how the Thai floods of 2011 disrupted supply chains and quickened a transition from hard disk drives to solid-state storage, sees in the coronavirus outbreak a similar catalyst for change.TDK over the past decade and a half has reinvented itself as a purveyor of batteries for smartphones, but the global car market slump hurt its overall business. The company is coming off its first revenue decline since 2012, even though it remains a leader in compact power cells. TDK’s lithium-ion cells earned 600 billion yen ($5.6 billion) in the fiscal year ended March, having powered close to a quarter of all laptops, 43% of game console hardware and more than half of all tablets sold in 2019, according to Techno Systems Research. Demand for these device categories surged around the virus outbreak, according to IDC market researchers.For TDK’s battery division, “business opportunity can be found around every corner of the tech industry in a world with the coronavirus and 5G,” said Morningstar Research analyst Kazunori Ito. Growing product categories include drones, wireless earphones and smartphones with fifth-generation networking -- all of which require small-sized batteries that can provide reliable power for many hours. TDK’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary Amperex Technology Ltd. is widely recognized for having a technological lead on this front, said Ito, calling it “the absolute battery king.”Read more: Investors Are Favoring Firms That Let People Work From HomeBut TDK faces much more skepticism with the other wing of its business: sensors. The company offers magnetic sensors to aid stabilization of mobile cameras and MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) sensors used in noise-canceling headphones. Neither has managed to stand out in a fiercely competitive components market, said Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda.Acknowledging the charge, Ishiguro said his most urgent task now is to bring that business up to speed before looking at additional M&A deals.“I moved things around to beef up our sensor business, and my top priority is to generate convincing returns from it,” he said. Ishiguro, who took the top job in 2016, oversaw the acquisition of U.S.-based MEMS specialist InvenSense Inc. the year after and is keen to prove that division’s worth.The auto industry presents another potent opportunity, as TDK’s magnetic sensors can be used at multiple spots around a car, from power-steering to windshield wipers. The Tokyo-based company’s technology is “already in a lot of car pipelines, including ones awaiting approval and ones waiting for mass production,” Ishiguro said. “In a not so distant future, our sensors will be the de facto standard in the car industry.”TDK in May forecast a 14% drop in its production for the auto market this fiscal year, as the industry battles the effects of Covid-19 and lingering trade tensions. But Ishiguro’s belief, shared by SMBC Nikko Securities analyst Hiroharu Watanabe, is that the upheaval is more likely to hasten automakers’ transition to smart electric vehicles and thus expand the market for component makers.“Tesla has adopted an upgradeable computer platform for its Model 3, which we can almost call a smartphone in terms of the semiconductor chips it equips,” Watanabe said. Daimler AG last week announced it will use Nvidia Corp.’s similar smart car technology in all its vehicles starting with 2024 models.Read more: Mercedes Will Use Nvidia Technology in All Cars From 2024For 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.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) and the Mercedes-Benz division of Daimler AG (OTC: DMLRY) (OTC: DDAIF) are teaming up to truly build a computer on wheels. The two companies recently announced a collaboration to build a new computing system for cars, powered by NVIDIA's DRIVE AGX Orin technology. This new high-performance car computer will be used in new vehicles from Mercedes-Benz starting in 2024.
I don't have to tell you how well Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock has performed these past few months. The novel coronavirus wound up being a tailwind, not a headwind, for the chip giant. Shares more than doubled off their March sell-off lows. But that's just the start.Source: Hairem / Shutterstock.com Why? Valuation may be rich. But it's more than justified. With so many growth catalysts in motion and "megatrends" on its side, this powerhouse remains "best in class." As the pandemic continues to linger, hard-hit stocks like airlines, cruise lines, and retail could continue to be challenged.Strong growth stories like Nvidia? It's going to be different. Sure, there may be some hiccups in the near-term. But don't expect this company's growth trajectory to change course anytime soon. Demand in the company's existing end markets (cloud computing, data center, video games) continues to grow. To top it all off, their exposure to emerging technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) and AVs (autonomous vehicles) helps to bolster long-term growth as well.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn short, this remains one of the best long-term investment ideas out there. Don't let valuation scare you off this opportunity. Even as shares makes new highs, there's much more left on the table. How the 'New Normal' Will Send NVDA Stock HigherThe pandemic has brought many new buzzwords into the public lexicon. A good example is the phrase "new normal." For hard hit industries, "new normal" is a bad thing. It means continued challenges as they attempt to bounce back to profitability. * 7 Utilities Stocks to Buy With Reassuring Dividends But for names like Nvidia? "New normal" may be a good thing. The coronavirus further accelerated long-term changes in our economy. Be it cloud computing, whose growth was bolstered by large-scale "working from home," or video games, which have seen tremendous growth as of late, as state-mandated lockdowns made most outside leisure activities off-limits.In short, recent events have helped, not hurt, this company's high levels of projected growth. As I said last month, the company now expects sales to grow 34% this year, with earnings seeing a 40% jump as well.Put it all together, and it's no wonder this high-flyer as flown even higher these past few months. Not only has NVDA stock passed its pre-pandemic high-water mark. Shares today trade over 20% higher than where they were back in February.Granted, this stock's recent strong performance may make you concerned it's ready to "top out" sometime soon. With shares trading at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 47, I don't blame you. But you can't let valuation scare you off this opportunity.Yes, shares change hands at a premium valuation. But that rich multiple is more than justified. Not just due to continued cloud, data center, and video game end-user demand cementing growth. New technologies quickly gaining critical mass means an even longer growth runway. Why Future Technologies Extend the Runway FurtherThe coronavirus may have put many things on hold, but one area it hasn't put on hiatus is emerging technologies. I'm talking about game-changers like artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. In both areas, Nvidia continues charging ahead, opening the door to potential above-average growth through the next decade.When you hear "GPU," you probably think of video games, and perhaps other applications like data centers. But, they're also the backbone for AI applications. While rival Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is catching up fast, this company remains the top dog in the GPU game, with about 69% market share.In short, this company's dominant position in the GPU space means heavy exposure to AI secular growth trends.With AVs, the chip powerhouse also continues to make big moves. Take, for example, their recent partnership deal with Mercedes-Benz (OTCMKTS:DMLRY). Nvidia CEO called it "a transformative moment" for the company. With this deal, the company is completing its metamorphosis from video game chip provider, to purveyor of chips for multiple verticals.In other words, after conquering several end-user markets (video games, data centers), the company is tackling new frontiers. And, with past as prelude, expect them to "crush it" again in these new arenas. Buy NVDA Stock Now Before It Heads Even HigherThe novel coronavirus did little to derail the growth train for Nvidia. With the "new normal" a tailwind, not a headwind, the company expects another year of above-average growth. But that's just the start. They're already crushed it in cloud computing, data centers, and video games.Now, with growth opportunities in AI and AVs in motion, expect continued blockbuster growth this coming decade. Don't let a rich valuation make you miss out on this opportunity.With its premium multiple more than justified, NVDA stock is far from "topping out." Grab it before it makes new highs.Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors -- by getting them into the world's biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being "first" gave Matt's readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. Matt does not directly own the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America's 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post Despite Hitting New Highs, Nvidia Stock Can Keep Climbing Higher appeared first on InvestorPlace.
IBM's public cloud gets adopted by Daimler to drive digital transformation journey and enhance business operations with robust security capabilities.
(Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius said the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and the industry as a whole face painful cutbacks to overcome the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.The virus outbreak will force manufacturers to do more significant restructuring than they had planned before the crisis erupted, Kallenius said Wednesday during a webcast hosted by Germany’s largest labor union, IG Metall.The “significantly harsher reality” for the industry following Covid-19 will necessitate “drastic” salary cuts, with Daimler executives facing bigger reductions than rank-and-file workers, he said. The adjustments are necessary to protect Daimler’s financial condition and safeguard investments in future technologies, according to the CEO.The virus outbreak shuttered factories and showrooms across the globe, exacerbating Daimler’s struggle to execute a deep restructuring announced last year. Kallenius indicated in April that the planned measures might not be enough in light of the dramatic market contraction. The company and its German peers Volkswagen AG and BMW AG are bracing for second-quarter losses.While the German auto industry’s prospects are slowly starting to improve, with demand recovering in markets including China and France, companies still rate the current situation as “very pessimistic,” Munich-based Ifo Institut said Thursday in a statement. The group’s employment indicator fell four points to minus 54.4 points in June -- worse than during the 2009 financial crisis.Daimler’s restructuring plan, issued in November, called for cutting its workforce by more than 10,000 to slash 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) off personnel spending by 2022. Another 10,000 jobs could be axed through 2025, trade magazine Automobilwoche reported last month, citing unidentified company sources. Daimler, which had about 299,000 employees at the end of 2019, called the report “speculation.”Daimler shares rose as much as 2.3% in early trading in Frankfurt on Thursday.Kallenius must brace for critical questions from investors at Daimler’s annual general meeting next week, his first one as CEO after succeeding veteran leader Dieter Zetsche last year. The stock is down 26% this year, giving Daimler a market value of about 39 billion euros -- less than a quarter of Tesla Inc.(Adds Ifo Institut data in fifth paragraph.)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.
“The best or nothing” was the motto coined by Gottlieb Daimler, founding father of the eponymous carmaker. The Mercedes-Benz owner is still the world’s top-selling premium carmaker. The resulting market contraction will result in deeper restructuring than already planned, according to boss Ola Källenius, in a webcast hosted by Daimler’s main labour union.
Barron’s spoke with Jensen Huang, chief executive and co-founder of Nvidia, about its new partnership with Mercedes-Benz, software, and services.
In China and the U.S., there's much debate about when and how humans will achieve fully autonomous robotaxis at scale -- cars that chauffeur passengers under complex road conditions without safety drivers behind the wheel. One recent pledge came from Momenta, one of Asia's most valuable artificial intelligence startups and the country's first autonomous driving company to reach the $1 billion unicorn valuation back in 2018. The four-year-old startup, which specializes in software solutions for autonomous vehicles (AVs), told TechCrunch recently that its entire robotaxi fleet will operate without safety drivers in 2024, while some of its vehicles will already be driverless by 2022.
This means Marin County's Transportation Authority will next month allow passengers in the San Francisco Bay area to book a trip through the Uber app, but rather than someone's private car they will ride wheelchair-accessible public vans. From the streets of Utah's Salt Lake City to Missouri's St. Louis and New Jersey's Jersey City, more than 120 U.S. transit agencies have launched collaborations with ride-hail firms in the past two years, data analyzed by Reuters shows.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. campaign to hamstring China’s Huawei Technologies Co. is gaining fresh impetus as the Trump administration chokes off supplies of vital microchips and Beijing causes dismay on both sides of the Atlantic with its stance on Hong Kong and the coronavirus.The U.K. is reconsidering its embrace of Huawei while carriers in Denmark and Singapore have chosen other providers for their telecommunications networks. Meanwhile, Germany and France are reassessing the role of the company that the U.S. accuses of theft, sanctions busting and providing an avenue for espionage.Only months ago, the U.S. was struggling to persuade its allies not to use Huawei’s equipment. But in May, Washington moved to handcuff Huawei to outdated technology by denying it chips made with U.S. techniques. The change could turn Huawei into a permanent laggard, unable to update and maintain cutting-edge 5G networks that will be communications backbones for decades to come.At the same time, politics have been unkind to Huawei’s ambitions. Officials in Europe and the U.S. have criticized China over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. And Beijing drew condemnation for preparing national security laws for Hong Kong, a step seen as a threat to the city’s autonomy.“Two years ago no one worried about buying Huawei - that’s not true any more,” said James Lewis, director of the technology policy program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. He sees “some progress,” in swaying other countries to ban Huawei “although well short of a total ban.”President Donald Trump is boasting of success, saying in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, “Look how tough I’ve been on Huawei. Nobody has been tougher than me.”The U.S. says Huawei is a threat to security for the fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless systems that are beginning to be deployed around the world. The networks promise speed and ubiquity: a thick forest of always-on links to billions of devices in homes, factories, surgical suites and autonomous vehicles. As more and more devices and networks are connected, vulnerability to hacking or espionage grows apace.Because Huawei is subject to control by China’s ruling Communist Party, it can be compelled by law to cooperate with the country’s security apparatus, and has been implicated in espionage, according to the State Department. The Pentagon chimed in Wednesday, sticking Huawei on a list of 20 companies it says are owned or controlled by China’s military, opening them up to potential new US. sanctions.Rob Manfredo, a U.S.-based spokesman for Huawei, didn’t respond to a request for comment.Huawei has denied allegations of spying, saying it would lose customers if it weren’t trustworthy. The Shenzhen-based company says it’s a private business that can’t be directed by Beijing, and that no Chinese law requires private national companies to engage in cyber-espionage.Chip BanThe Commerce Department’s ban in May of the sale of any silicon made with U.S. know-how was a potentially crippling blow to China’s tech champion. Huawei’s stockpiles of certain self-designed chips essential to telecom equipment will run out by early 2021, people familiar with the matter have said. While Huawei can buy off-the-shelf or commodity mobile chips from a third party like Samsung Electronics Co., it couldn’t possibly get enough and may have to make costly compromises on performance in basic products, they added.The chip restrictions add “uncertainty and potential costs” that could leave Huawei unable to meet commitments to build and maintain networks, said Robert Williams, executive director of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School. “The trade-offs between cost and security risks may look different now than they once did to the U.K.”Huawei’s position is sharply contested in Britain.The U.K. in January barred Huawei from sensitive core network components and high-risk areas like nuclear-power sites, but said the Chinese company could still constitute as much as 35% of networks’ 5G and fiber equipment elsewhere.That prompted an angry phone call from Trump to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Trump administration has said any country that uses an “untrustworthy” 5G vendor jeopardizes intelligence sharing with the U.S. That would strike at the heart of the traditional “Five Eyes” security alliance linking the U.S. and U.K., along with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to cooperate on espionage.The U.K.’s January decision also triggered a rebellion of junior lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party. Since then, Hong Kong and Covid-19 have helped to harden their stance.U.K. government officials now are seeking ways to phase the company out in as little as three years.“There’s been a pretty effective relentless American campaign,” said Sam Armstrong, spokesman for the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based policy group that has argued for blocking Huawei from the U.K.’s 5G networks. “The evidence in Parliament and the threats to Five Eyes intelligence-sharing arrangements have all contributed to a sense that this has had a seriously undermining effect on our trans-Atlantic relationship.”Despite the storm clouds obscuring its future in the U.K., Huawei committed Thursday to invest $1.2 billion in a research and development center near the English city of Cambridge, drawing criticism from a former leader of the ruling Conservative party. It said the timing was coincidental and the plans had been in the works for years. Growing TensionThe issue is fraught in other European countries, too. The company is losing luster in Europe after winning contracts across the continent, said John Strand, a consultant based in Copenhagen.“Around Europe, there is a growing focus on the use of Chinese equipment including Huawei,” Strand said in an interview. “When it comes to Hong Kong, it obviously has an impact.”Strand predicted other countries would follow paths such as those taken by Denmark, where the biggest phone company TDC A/S in March chose Stockholm-based Ericsson AB to build its 5G network, rather that its existing supplier Huawei. Earlier, Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt highlighted security considerations for 5G, without mentioning Huawei.Such moves would represent a change of momentum for a beleaguered U.S. campaign, said Justin Sherman, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s cyber-statecraft initiative.“There are many countries that have not done what the U.S. wanted,” including Germany, France and Italy, Sherman said. “There’s legitimate reason to be concerned about Huawei’s position on the 5G networks,” he said.U.S. diplomats say Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Oyj build 5G gear and can be alternatives to Huawei. The European providers have struggled to compete with Huawei and ZTE Corp. equipment that’s often cheaper and at least as capable.“5G systems carry the most private information and intellectual property. It comes down to one question: Who do you trust?” Keith Krach, the U.S. undersecretary of state for economic affairs, said in an interview. “People are realizing that Huawei’s 5G is the backbone of that surveillance state.”U.S. officials point to progress in persuading allies, citing the European Union’s January adoption of a policy that said companies based in non-democratic countries could be excluded from parts of the network. The EU stopped short of an outright ban on Huawei.The German government is struggling to settle on rules that would require security certification for vendors in the 5G network. Earlier senior Chinese officials highlighted German car companies – the crown jewel of Europe’s biggest economy – as a potential target for retaliation if Huawei is banned from their markets. China is the biggest single market for Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has resisted a blanket ban on Huawei from 5G networks.France won’t ban any equipment maker from its 5G network, but will seek to protect critical infrastructure, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said earlier this year. With a spectrum auction set for September, carriers including Bouygues SA await a decision from the French cyber security agency Anssi on whether Huawei can be part of their plans. In a tweet earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised France’s leading phone company Orange SA, calling it a “clean” telecom carrier after it picked “trusted” 5G equipment suppliers Nokia and Ericsson in January.Italy hasn’t moved against Huawei, though it has adopted rules to closely monitor telecommunications equipment suppliers, and scrutinize gear that comes from outside Europe. Italy has pursued a friendly approach with Chinese investors and especially with Huawei, which has poured money into the country, financing research centers, universities and schools.In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been stalling a decision on whether to ban Huawei from 5G wireless networks. Tensions between the two countries have been rising since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition request in late 2018. After her arrest, China put two Canadian citizens in jail, halted billions of dollars in Canadian imports and put two other Canadians on death row. On June 2, two major Canadian wireless companies -- BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. -- said they’d build out their 5G wireless networks with equipment from Ericsson and Nokia.India has allowed Huawei to participate in trials, but the company’s entry into the country’s 5G commercial network could be blocked as tensions persist following border clashes with China. India is the largest wireless market outside China by number of subscribers, and has been a focus for investment by Huawei.“The tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state,” Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday.(Updates to add reference to U.K. development site in 19th paragraph. An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix the spelling of Huawei in fourth paragraph)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.
Proxy advisor Glass Lewis on Thursday recommended Daimler shareholders abstain from this year's vote over the business conduct of the carmaker's executive and non-executive boards, citing ongoing investigations. In an excerpt of a report made available to Reuters, weekly WirtschaftsWoche earlier erroneously said that Glass Lewis had recommended to vote no. Daimler, which is due to hold its annual general meeting on July 8, earlier this year said 2019 earnings were hurt by 4.2 billion euros ($4.72 billion) in charges related to diesel-related probes and legal proceedings over emissions.
Having pulled ahead in the race to develop a software-based vehicle operating system, U.S. electric car pioneer Tesla faces a new challenge from an alliance of German luxury carmaker Daimler and U.S. computer graphics specialist Nvidia. Daimler and Nvidia unveiled a deal on Tuesday to develop and equip the German company's Mercedes-Benz cars with a next-generation chip and software platform that could eventually be used to help vehicles drive by themselves. The move is a response to Tesla's ability to integrate custom designed chips with thousands of lines of code, which has allowed the Silicon Valley-based company to develop new features faster than its competitors.
'Nvidia would capture revenues for both the software application sale and a recurring subscription for upgrades,' wrote Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis.
Mercedes, owned by Daimler AG (OTC: DDAIF), will work on creating an automated driving system with Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), a chipmaker, after a similar joint agreement with fellow German auto giant Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (OTC: BMWYY) was suspended.What Happened Nvidia announced Tuesday that the artificial intelligence-based automated driving system would be ready in 2024. According to the chipmaker's statement, the main feature of the system would be the ability to automate the driving of regular routes from address to address.The system will be used in the next generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.Why It Matters According to Nvidia, the focus of the system is safety. Each vehicle that uses the automated driving system can be updated over the air and enhanced with new driving functions.The Nvidia-Mercedes partnership comes a mere four days after Mercedes and BMW announced they had halted a joint deal to develop an autonomous driving system citing lack of opportune timing. Price Action Nvidia shares traded 0.3% higher at $379 in the pre-market session on Tuesday. The shares had closed the regular session 0.81% lower at $378.On Tuesday, Daimler OTC shares closed 0.12% higher at $41.62. See more from Benzinga * Ford's Latest F-150 Pickup Debuts Thursday With Sleeper Seat, Optional Onboard Generator * Chinese Are Buying Fewer iPhones But Growth In App Store Signals Rebound For Apple: Report * Johnson & Johnson Damages Halved To .12B By Court In Missouri But Verdict Stands(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Four days after shelving an autonomous vehicle agreement with BMW, Mercedes has announced a deal to work with chip and software maker Nvidia.
Dig into the guts of a 2020 Mercedes-Benz — or just about any modern luxury vehicle — and dozens of electronic control units (ECU) will appear. Today, Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia announced a partnership aimed at eliminating the complexity while boosting the performance and automated driving capabilities of a new generation of vehicles. The upshot is a software-centric computing architecture based on Nvidia's Drive AGX Orin computer system-on-a-chip.
(Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG unit Mercedes-Benz said it will use Nvidia Corp. technology in all vehicles starting with the 2024 models, part of a push toward automated cars.Nvidia’s Drive software and chips will give Mercedes-Benz cars the most “sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever used in an automobile,” the companies said Tuesday in a statement.Automakers and semiconductor companies are increasingly joining forces as the car industry tries to progress rapidly from adding electronics that help drivers to vehicles that don’t need a human behind the wheel. Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, and led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang, is looking to parlay its dominance of computer graphics into a leading position in the market for automotive silicon.Unlike other cars that require physical upgrades, the companies said the new systems will feature updates through software. That may allow owners to configure their vehicles in the way that smartphone users customize their handsets, will provide remote safety and maintenance updates and give manufacturers a way to sell services after the car has been purchased.Huang said in a statement that the companies share a vision of the “automobile of the future” that “will come with a team of expert AI and software engineers continuously developing, refining and enhancing the car over its lifetime.”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.
The alliance between a deep-pocketed tech player and the world's oldest carmaker allows Mercedes to jointly develop new automated driving capabilities and software applications at a time when the auto industry is struggling to generate profits. "We want to launch a ground-breaking software-defined computer architecture for driving assistance and autonomous drive," Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said during a joint presentation by the two companies on Tuesday. The Nvidia Drive AGX Orin Platform, an autonomous vehicle processor, will be rolled out starting in 2024, allowing Mercedes to update a car's software the same way that smartphones are updated today.