Tag Archives: Sales
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc is launching its long-awaited in-house fulfillment and delivery network in Brazil after months of delays caused by complicated logistics and a highly complex tax system in the largest Latin American economy.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the web service Amazon is pictured in this June 8, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/Illustration/File Photo
Amazon, which some rivals had expected to kick off direct sales of items beyond books as soon as the Christmas selling season, said it will directly sell 11 categories of merchandise from over 800 suppliers from L’Oreal to Black & Decker as of Tuesday.
Its shift to stocking and delivering goods itself from acting mostly as a marketplace is expected to intensify competition for fast delivery of goods in Latin America’s largest economy as it exits a painful recession.
“We are launching (our direct sales platform) with 320,000 different products in stock, including 200,000 books… Our obsession is always to increase this catalog and to have everything Brazilian consumers seek and want to buy on the internet”, Amazon’s Brazilian country manager Alex Szapiro told Reuters.
In November, Reuters reported that Amazon’s attempt to advance with its so-called Fulfillment by Amazon program in Brazil had run into difficulties such as the nations’s tangled tax system, complicated logistics and testy relations with some prominent vendors.
“As in every negotiation, you take a seat at a table and you want to agree on the best possible terms”, said Szapiro when asked on the tone of conversations with suppliers, without entering in details.
Amazon entered Brazil quietly in 2012, selling e-readers, books and then streaming movies in the fast-growing Brazilian market. The company made its first big move into merchandise in October 2017, when it began offering the use of its Brazilian website to third-party merchants to sell electronics.
The company does not reveal the number of sellers in its marketplace, which it has slowly expanded over the past year, adding new categories while laying the ground for a direct sales platform.
As part of the fulfillment program, Amazon leased a 47,000 square-meter (505,904-square-foot) warehouse just outside of Sao Paulo, as first reported by Reuters almost a year ago.
Szapiro, who previously worked as Brazil country manager for Apple Inc, declined to say how much the company is spending on the new distribution center or how many people it is hiring, but said Amazon employs directly and indirectly over 1,400 people in Brazil.
In a report published on Monday, analysts at investment bank BTG Pactual said the expected direct sales launch signaled the company was ready “to strengthen investments, potentially via more partnerships with fulfillment operators and last-mile carriers.”
Even though the bank predicted Amazon would take a “gradual approach” and was likely to vye for a “low double-digit market share,” shares of Brazilian retailers reacted negatively to BTG’s report, with B2W, Magazine Luiza e Lojas Americanas among the biggest losers in Monday’s session.
Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Sandra Maler
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc said on Monday it swung to a net profit in the third quarter, beating analyst estimates, driven by robust sales in India and Europe.
Xiaomi branding is seen at a UK launch event in London, Britain, November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Profit for the three months through September reached 2.48 billion yuan ($ 357.23 million), versus an 11 billion yuan loss in the same period a year earlier. That compared with a 1.92 billion yuan average of five analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv Eikon.
Xiaomi also said operating profit sank 38.4 percent to 3.59 billion yuan in the third quarter. Revenue rose 49.1 percent to 50.85 billion yuan.
The mixed results come amid a slowdown in smartphone purchases both in China, where Xiaomi once was the top-selling handset brand, and overseas.
Nevertheless Xiaomi, along with fellow low-cost handset makers Oppo and Vivo, accounted for around a quarter of the global smartphone market in the first half of 2018, showed data from researcher IDC.
Xiaomi’s fastest-growing markets are India, where it has had success with its budget Redmi phone series, and Europe, where it entered in 2017 with launches in Russia and Spain. Earlier this month it released its flagship Mi 8 Pro device in Britain.
But to weather the global market slowdown, analysts said Xiaomi needs to expand to new markets and also sell more higher-priced devices with wider profit margins.
The firm has been adding new brands to its smartphone portfolio to target niche consumers. Concurrent with today’s earnings, it announced a partnership with Meitu Inc, a maker of a photo app popular with young women, to sell phones under its brand. Earlier this year it launched Black Shark, a phone targeted at gamers, and Poco, a value-for-money device aimed at India.
Mo Jia, who tracks China’s smartphone makers at research firm Canalys, said attempts to sell more expensive devices requires changing its brand perception.
“It’s still very hard for Xiaomi to change its perception of being a low-end device manufacturer as the majority of its smartphone shipments are the Redmi series.”
Xiaomi also aims to transform itself from a smartphone firm into a software company. As the firm prepared for its IPO, founder Lei Jun touted internet services – namely advertisements placed on the firm’s in-house apps – as its future and key differentiator from other handset brands.
In the third quarter, Xiaomi’s smartphone division grew revenue by 36.1 percent while its internet service division grew 85.5 percent. But phones made up 64.6 percent of total sales, while internet services made up 9.3 percent.
The results are the second set released by Xiaomi since the smartphone maker raised $ 4.72 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) in June, valuing the firm at about $ 54 billion – around half of some earlier industry estimates of $ 100 billion.
Its shares have fallen roughly 20 percent since they started trading in July amid a broader Chinese stock market sell-off and concern about a slowdown in China’s tech industry.
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Christopher Cushing
Sales to healthcare plans helped wearable maker Fitbit surprise Wall Street in the latest quarter and lift its shares from the basement.
Revenue from healthcare customers, which the company has yet to disclose by dollar amount, grew 26% in the third quarter from the same period a year ago. The business includes sales of Fitbit’s wearable devices, as well as software and services, to health plan providers and directly to some employers.
But overall revenue rose a mere 0.3%, as the company is still working to get back on track after sales of its main product, simple fitness trackers, stalled out over the past few years.
Nevertheless, investors were pleased that the company’s sales were at least stable after declining in the first half of the year. Fitbit’s (fit) shares, which hit an all-time low of $ 4.23 earlier this week, gained 7% in Wednesday’s regular trading and another 10% in extended trading after the earnings report, to $ 5.18.
Fitbit CEO James Park tells Fortune that the company will offer more details about its healthcare segment in coming quarters. “We’re calling it out now because it’s demonstrating a lot of traction and growth,” he said. Many plans use the fitness trackers to help users who have chronic diseases stay on top of their health and medication, he explained. “We’re really capitalizing on that growing need.”
About 1,600 health plans and other organizations are buying Fitbit products already. Last month, Humana (hum) expanded a partnership with Fitbit to include Fitbit Care, the company’s new virtual health coaching service built off of technology it acquired by buying Twine Health in February. Coaches can offer users health advice via an app, on the phone, and in person.
Still sales of simple fitness trackers, Fitbit’s original business, peaked several years ago. The drop has pummeled the company’s revenue.
Although the extra growth from healthcare helped Fitbit’s overall third quarter sales, they remained essentially flat at $ 394 million. But that was enough to beat the $ 381 million that analysts had expected as did adjusted profits of 4 cents per share, which were modestly higher than the 1 cent loss that had been expected.
In terms of profit on the basis of generally accepted accounting principles, Fitbit lost 1 cent per share, or $ 2.1 million.
Fitbit’s healthcare effort comes as some studies have recognized that wearables and the “gamification” of wellness can prompt people to exercise more and live healthier lives. That in turn has prompted some health plans and large employers to partner with the company and buy fitness trackers for workers along with software and services to track their progress. Apple (aapl) is also aiming at that segment with its Apple Watch.
Park’s decision to get Fitbit into the smartwatch market last year also paid big dividends. The company’s strong-selling Versa smartwatch, along with its less popular Ionic watch, grabbed $ 193 million of revenue, almost half of the total for the quarter and up from $ 165 million in the second quarter. Fitbit smartwatches outsold all other vendors except Apple in the U.S. market in the quarter, Park said.
Apple this year added several new health features, including an EKG reader and a fall detection system, to its smartwatch. Park wouldn’t say exactly how Fitbit would match Apple’s moves, but hinted the company had some new healthcare features of its own, coming soon.
“We are very focused on adding more advanced health capability to our products over time,” he said. “We are in clinical studies and validation for a few deeper health conditions such as sleep apnea and (Atrial fibrillation) and we’re working with the proper regulatory agencies to get that into the hands of consumers. as soon as we can.”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Twitter Inc posted revenue and profit ahead of Wall Street estimates on Thursday, as higher advertising sales offset a drop in monthly users to push the company’s shares up nearly 12 percent before the opening bell.
People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo
Quarterly advertising revenue jumped 29 percent from a year earlier to $ 650 million, boosted by advertiser interest in broadcasts from media companies including Live Nation Entertainment, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.
That drove a similar rise in overall revenue from a year earlier to $ 758 million, beating an average analyst estimate of $ 702.6 million, according to Refinitiv data. The company reported adjusted profit of 21 cents per share, well above an average forecast of 14 cents.
However, Twitter posted a larger-than-expected decline in monthly active users in the third quarter, its second straight quarterly drop, and predicted the figure would fall again in the fourth quarter.
It blamed the declines in users on efforts to clean up the site from suspicious users, including accounts used in political influence operations, as well as its response to new privacy regulations in the European Union.
Monthly active users fell to 326 million in the third quarter, below the average analyst forecast of 331.5 million, according to FactSet. Twitter said it expects them to drop below 326 million in the current quarter, missing the average forecast of 333.4 million.
Twitter is fighting for its reputation by cutting and blocking fake users, but the toll on traffic is undermining faith in is ability to grow. Recent business progress has focused on getting current users to click on more ads, which has helped Twitter turn to a profit.
Analysts have warned that Twitter needs to stem declines in user growth so it can better compete for ad spending with rivals including Alphabet Inc’s Google, and Facebook Inc. Investors pay close attention to monthly user data because it is seen as a key indicator of future revenue, the bulk of which comes from ad sales.
Twitter’s usage has been stagnant for more than a year, causing analysts to worry that growth may have peaked.
Those concerns have been somewhat offset by increases in advertising sales from video which suggest the company is succeeding in efforts to generate more cash from each user.
Investors are looking to understand the financial impact of Twitter’s moves to clean up its platform by deleting accounts used for fraud, hate speech and election interference.
Twitter has removed millions of suspicious accounts this year including those that belong to Alex Jones and his conspiracy site Infowars.
“We’re doing a better job detecting and removing spammy and suspicious accounts at sign-up,” Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in a statement.
Twitter said the number of its daily active users rose by 9 percent year-on-year, weaker than an 11 percent jump in the previous quarter and its slowest growth rate in two years. The company does not disclose the total number of daily users.
Twitter shares tumbled 19 percent when the company reported quarterly results on July 27. Its stock has fallen 36 percent since that earnings report, compared to a 6.4 percent decline in the S&P 500 index.
Of the 40 analysts polled by FactSet, 10 have a buy rating on the stock while 24 have a hold rating. Six have a sell rating. The average target price is at $ 32.91, about 16 percent higher Tuesday’s close of $ 27.54.
Reporting by Angela Moon and Munsif Vengattil; Editing by Jim Finkle and Patrick Graham
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BEIJING (Reuters) – Washington and Beijing are nearing a deal that would remove an existing U.S. order banning American firms from supplying Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp, two people briefed on the talks told Reuters.
The people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations were confidential, also said the deal could include China removing tariffs on imported U.S. agricultural products, as well as buying more American farm goods.
ZTE, hit by a seven-year ban in April which effectively crippled its operations, would gain a major reprieve after the world’s two largest economies stepped back from the brink of a fully blown trade war following talks last week.
The company did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
White House advisors have said publicly that the ban against ZTE is being reexamined, but that the firm would still face “harsh” punishment, including enforced changes of management and at board level.
One person told Reuters there was a “handshake deal” on ZTE between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He during talks in Washington last week that would remove the U.S. Commerce Department’s ban on American companies selling to ZTE in exchange for the purchase of more U.S. agricultural products.
The second person said China may also eliminate tariffs on U.S. agriculture products it assessed in response to U.S. steel duties as a part of the deal, and that ZTE could still be forced to replace its corporate leadership, among other penalties.
Both sources said the deal, while not yet cemented, was likely to be finalised before or during a planned trip by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Beijing next week to help finalize a broader trade agreement to avert a trade war.
The company, publicly traded but whose largest shareholder is a Chinese state-owned enterprise, had been hit with penalties for breaking a 2017 agreement after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran and North Korea, in an investigation dating to the Obama administration.
Reporting by Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Se Young Lee and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman
Bullish expectations for Q3
This article explores the bullish projection that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is about to become profitable in Q3.
Among the expectations discussed below are that Tesla Model 3 sales in Q2 will be 20,000 cars fewer than production due to federal tax credit rules. This will appear to be poor sales, but in reality will be due to stockpiling cars for sale in Q3 due to the way the tax rules are written.
While this means Q2 revenue will be reduced, it also means Q3 revenue will be increased. As a result, Model 3 should become a top 20 selling vehicle in the US in Q3 with a potential of 80,000 units sold into the US.
This is an average per month sales of about 27,000 Model 3 cars, making it the 12th best selling vehicle in the US ahead of the Nissan Altima (see list below).
Tesla Q3 sales will match the total number of cars sold by Tesla in all of 2017.
Elon Musk has adopted “profits” as his current goal. This replaces his previous goal of fast expansion of the product lineup. The former goal required capital input to fund rapid expansion. The new goal will flip the losses upside down and generate profits now that the bottlenecks are being eliminated one after another.
Most authors write that Tesla is shutting the production line down to “fix problems”. I suggest that Tesla is shutting the production line down to install new machinery that will increase the production speed. Increased production speed means increased gross margin, and if the increase is large enough, net profits.
Showing profits will potentially increase stock price and eliminate the potential for bankruptcy. This in turn will eliminate the bear thesis that Tesla is about to go under and is therefore a good stock to short.
With the short thesis proven wrong, I expect the stock to increase to a new plateau above $ 400 per share. This was my expectation a year ago, but the bottlenecks delayed the realization until now.
However, sales will likely remain low for May and June. I don’t expect this share price increase to be realized until after a barrage of sales in July make what I’m suggesting here obvious.
Let’s now explore why I’ve come to the above conclusions.
Model 3 may enter top 20 selling US cars in Q3
This week, Tesla has reached 500 cars per day, or, 3,500 cars per week. Bloomberg just increased their production estimate to 3,523/wk.
According to Electrek, Tesla is well on its way to reaching 5,000 cars per week by the start of Q3 in July.
If Tesla reaches this target for next quarter, the Model 3 will enter the top 20 list of US vehicles sold. A rate of 5,000 cars per week means an annual rate of 250,000 cars and a monthly rate around 20,000 cars. I expect Tesla will sell 80,000 Model 3 cars in Q3 so look for 27,000 or so cars per month on the list below.
That rate is between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Toyota Tacoma. If realized, the Model 3 will become a top 20 selling car in the US, next quarter.
This data was published by Focus2move here:
Today, the Model 3 is the best selling EV, but it isn’t on the top 100 list. Neither is any other EV. Every one of the top 100 selling cars in the US have an internal combustion engine. And while Tesla is now projected to be building more than 3,000 cars per week, which is to say over 12,000 cars per month (which would place the Model 3 around the #40 position of vehicles sold in the US), I expect this will not happen in May or June.
The reason? The federal tax credit.
It is beneficial for any company to cross the 200,000th car sold into the US threshold, early in a new quarter. Doing so wins that company an extra quarter of sales where customers receive the full tax credit.
Tesla would likely cross that mark this quarter if it sold all the cars it builds, as soon as they are built. To avoid this, Tesla is likely already stockpiling vehicles for a blow out delivery rush starting in July.
Several authors have noticed that the production figures are higher than reported sales figures. Tesla should have built over 6,500 cars in April, but sold fewer than 4,000. That’s a 2,500 or so discrepancy.
There are articles projecting that the discrepancy results from poor build quality and cars piling up for re-work and being stored in parking lots until Tesla can get around to fixing them.
I contend that thesis is wrong, and instead, Tesla is piling up a tsunami of cars for sale in Q3. Here’s why.
How the Federal Tax Credit works
The federal tax credit phases out over a 4-quarter (1-year) period beginning the second quarter after a company sells their 200,000th car.
If Tesla actually sold the cars produced, I expect the company would cross the threshold this quarter. By delaying the 200,000th US sale until after July 1, Tesla adds nearly an entire extra quarter of sales to the program, benefiting their customers. Tesla will sell nearly 60,000 more cars under full tax credit.
For this reason, I think one should expect sales to be flat this month and next (in Q2), while a 20,000 car stockpile ready for Q3 sales is accumulated.
Musk’s Increased Confidence
Elon Musk has stated several times that Tesla will not need to raise money this year. During the recent earnings call, he explicitly stated Tesla will not raise money this year.
Much was written about Musk’s behavior on that call. Most articles in one fashion or another, assert that Musk is cracking under the pressure. If so, Tesla may be headed for a crash near term.
So many people bought into that notion that 400,000 new shares sold short overnight after the earnings call. The stock price dropped 10% in one day.
Since then, however, the stock price has fully recovered and the divide between the bullish and bearish theses has widened.
Listening to the call, it made perfect sense to me that Elon was annoyed by the callers who had read the release and yet asked questions about things specifically stated in that paper. It was as if the callers were saying they knew the paper said they would be profitable, but they don’t believe it and so are trying to figure out what Elon is lying about. Feeling like he was being called a liar, I believe, is why he lost his cool.
But that isn’t what’s interesting. What’s interesting is that he is so confident that he will not need to raise funds that he didn’t bite his tongue.
What this means is that for the first time, Musk is placing profits ahead of expansion and rapid growth. And what’s more, he fully expects to reach profitability.
Bloomberg’s Model 3 Tracker diverging from reality
Bloomberg’s Model 3 Tracker website has been excellent at following the ramp up in Model 3, until April. The analysis has a flaw that doesn’t account for the federal tax credit deviation from business as usual.
The Tracker assumes that when a car is built and ready for sale, that Tesla will sell it as quickly as possible. This has been true, until this past month. Now, and until the end of June, Tesla can benefit its customers best by holding back about 20,000 (total) cars built in Q2 and then selling them in Q3.
Here’s the VIN data from the wild, plotted as yellow dots. Notice the gap in the numbers from about 23,000 to 25,500 representing about 2,500 cars that are absent from the public. Where did they go? Were they built?
Tesla should have built around 6,500 Model 3 cars in April. This is based on Tesla statements that they built 2,000+ cars per week for 3 weeks in a row (2 in April), and then shut down the line to add improvements and further speed the line production. April production should have been ~6,500 cars.
Instead of 6,500 Model 3 cars sold in April, Tesla only sold 3,875 M3 cars according to InsideEVs here.
We know Tesla built over 4,000 Model 3 cars in the first 2 weeks of April and would have needed to shut the line down for the rest of the month if cars produced were the same as cars sold. That makes no sense.
One logical explanation is that Tesla “sold” fewer cars than it “produced” by around 2,500. If these cars are being stockpiled, then in May and June this discrepancy should get much worse.
Tesla should build around 10,000 Model 3 cars in May and around 18,000 cars in June. But Tesla will likely sell just 5,000 per month for those two months to remain below 200,000 cars sold into the US. That means Tesla may accumulate 2,500 + 5,000 + 13,000 = 20,500 cars more than it sells in Q2.
Bloomberg’s model averages the estimates of cars produced with cars sold. But that’s averaging apples and oranges, it doesn’t work.
Last week the production estimate was 1,752 and this week it is 3,523.
Bloomberg needs to separate the sales and production projections into two different values. Otherwise they are trying to average apples and oranges. This would be fine any other time except now, where unusual strategy makes sense to benefit customers who desire to receive the federal tax credit.
Potential Q3 Sales
This brings us to estimate potential Q3 sales based on these optimistic expectations.
First, if Tesla succeeds at ramping to 5k/wk by the beginning of Q3, then it should have produced about 30,000 M3 cars in May and June. If it sells 10k of those to hold #1 BEV position for those months, there would remain 20,000 cars in stock.
Second, Tesla should pass 5k/wk build rate and increase to higher than that during the middle of Q3. That means Tesla should build more than 60,000 cars in Q3. VIN filings must significantly increase to meet that pace, and those filings will be public information.
For the past month, VIN filings are about 3,800 cars per week. This is well on its way to 5,000 per week by the end of the quarter. Tesla should also build about 25,000 of Models S and X in Q3.
Tesla will be coming out with the dual motor and possibly also ludicrous mode variants of the Model 3 in Q3. Tesla is taking orders for the higher cost variants of Model 3 first, so I expect the average price to remain high and will use $ 50k for these estimates.
The total M3 cars sold in Q2 should be around (20k + 60k) * $ 50k = $ 4B.
The total MS and MX sold should be around 25k * $ 100k = $ 2.5B.
The total revenue from cars should be in the range of $ 6.5B with a gross profit of $ 1.3B if they make the 20% margin figure claimed. I’ll ignore the energy side for this treatise as small by comparison.
Given that Musk has firmly asserted the company will not need cash, and also that it will be profitable and cash flow positive, I suspect that Musk is thinking Tesla will manage something like the above.
Model 3 is about to enter the US Top 20 list
The Model 3 is about to climb the ranks of other vehicles, and if the above figures are met, it will pass Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord, landing in a tie with the Jeep Grand Cherokee for top selling vehicles in the US for Q3.
I admit that this comparison is, and isn’t, fair. The Model 3 is an EV whereas all of the top 100 cars sold in the US today have internal combustion engines, ICE.
The Model 3 is the best selling EV and the only mass produced EV. In this regard, the comparison is NOT fair since it is different from all of the rest of the cars on that top 100 list.
However, any other car company could have launched an EV instead of their ICE models. And, they could have built their own equivalent of the Supercharger Network instead of relying on other businesses to do so for them. So in this regard, the comparison IS fair and demonstrates that people want electric cars with good range and a fast charging system that is already deployed.
That this is so is confirmed by a recent Consumer Reports article about a AAA survey showing that 20% of Americans expect their next vehicle purchase to be an EV. US car sales dropped by 2% in 2017 according to JDPowers. That marked the end of a 7-year run of steady sales growth. Given the AAA survey of intentions combined with blooming sales of Model 3, I expect we will see US sales of internal combustion engine cars drop by a larger figure in 2018.
There are not enough good EVs to replace the drop in ICE vehicle sales.
Jaguar I-Pace, for example, claims 350kW charging capability. But the claim is a farce. Today, no 350kW chargers exist out on the open road and it will likely be several years (if ever) before a network of charging stations is built. It isn’t clear yet that the 350kW charging standard will even work.
Upon introduction this summer, anyone that purchases an I-Pace will be forced to use the only chargers actually deployed… the same ones used by the Bolt and Leaf that only charge at 50kW instead of Tesla’s 120kW. Charging an I-Pace will take more than double the time to charge a Tesla.
What this means is that counter to claims that Tesla is about to face a swarm of new contenders, the fact is that none of them can hold a candle to the charging speed of the Supercharger Network. Ironically, all of the contenders should increase Tesla sales, as once anyone reviews charging infrastructure, Tesla is the only logical brand choice.
Introduction of the competition should further increase Model 3 sales until such time as a new charging infrastructure is actually in place, and, assuming Tesla is unable to use that new infrastructure. If Tesla CAN use that new infrastructure, then Tesla remains the best EV choice bar none, simply for its enhanced number of charging stations.
Tesla is building more cars than it is selling. This may indicate that Tesla is accumulating cars to be sold in Q3 due to tax phase out rules.
If Tesla makes the production targets it has disclosed, it would generate approximately $ 6.5B in Q3 gross sales with around $ 1.3B in gross margin. Even without cutting back on spending, that much extra gross margin should yield net profits.
The Model 3 may rise from below rank #100 for sales into the US now, to above position #20 next quarter. That is, the Model 3 appears poised to jump 80 positions in the US top 100 vehicle sales list, beginning in July.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German premium brand Audi on Tuesday said it plans to sell about 800,000 battery-electric and hybrid powered cars in 2025, as it seeks to catch up with electric car rival Tesla and emerge from a damaging emissions-cheating scandal.
Audi’s image has been tarnished by regulatory probes investigating what role its engineers may have played in designing engine management software to cheat modern emissions tests.
Audi will launch more than 20 electrified vehicles by 2025 thanks to an ability for using parent Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) new MEB modular platform and vehicle underpinnings jointly developed with premium sibling Porsche, it said.
That’s slightly more ambitious than the 20 electrified vehicles Audi had previously guided for. Audi said it would launch the cars without undermining its 8-10 percent operating margin target.
Audi declined to provide details about how many fully battery electric, and how many hybrid cars it will sell by 2025. Last year, it sold about 16,000 semi-electric vehicles and it still lacks a fully electric model in its lineup.
The Ingolstadt, Germany-based brand, which delivered 1.88 million cars globally in 2017 currently offers three plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In August, Audi will launch the e-tron sport utility vehicle, its first serial all-electric model.
Demand for large sports utility vehicles has helped make Audi Volkswagen’s main profit driver.
On Tuesday Germany’s Transport Ministry said the KBA vehicle authority was investigating a further 60,000 diesel-engined Audi cars for suspected illegal manipulation software which may have helped the carmaker cheat emissions tests.
To fund its electric-vehicle offensive through to the middle of the next decade, Audi has extended by three years until 2025, an investment program worth about 40 billion euros ($ 47.42 billion), it said.
To free up funds for its electric-car push Audi is ceasing production of some models, including two-door versions of its A1 and A3 vehicle lines, as well as cutting component and administration costs. It now aims to save at least 10 billion euros by 2022.
($ 1 = 0.8435 euros)
Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Edward Taylor
(Reuters) – Qualcomm Technologies Inc has signed memorandums of understanding for sales worth at least $ 2 billion with Lenovo Group, Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp, vivo Communication Technology and Xiaomi Communications.
The Chinese firms expressed an interest in buying Qualcomm components with a total value of no less than $ 2 billion over three years, the U.S. chip maker said on Thursday.
The non-binding agreement will be subject to further agreements and covers technology related to RF Front-End components, it said in a statement.
The companies unveiled the multi-year agreement at a Qualcomm-hosted event in Beijing, attended by the U.S. firm’s chairman and its chief executive.
Reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar
By G C Mays
The USDA released its export sales report for the period November 10-November 16, 2017. After the previous week’s dismal sales, futures prices dropped across the board. The price declines were not enough to stimulate sales as discussed below.
Wheat sales declined for the second straight week to 199,800 metric tons. This was 72 percent below the same week a year ago. The USDA recently raised its estimate of global wheat exports to 182.2 million metric tons. Russia is clearly capturing the expanding market share so far. I discuss Russia’s emerging dominance in a recent analysis entitled “Wheat Exports From Russia May Dominate In 2017/18 While U.S. Market Little Changed“. One of the factors contributing to Russia’s market share grab is its decision in October to offer a transportation discount on grain exports. U.S. exporters will have to decide if they want to counter with similar transportation discounts, further price reductions, or simply stand pat.
December wheat futures continue to move in sync with cash prices. Futures and cash prices ended the week down 1.7 percent. Prices in the Gulf diverged slightly, falling only 1.3 percent. The Teucrium Wheat ETF (WEAT) declined 1.4 percent over the same period.
While corn export sales of 1.08 million metric tons were up just under 14 percent during the week ending November 16, they were below their four-week average of 1.3 million metric tons and 36 percent below the same week a year ago. Japan (289,000), Mexico (139,100), and Peru (207,000) accounted for nearly 59 percent of net sales. Accumulated marketing year-to-date net sales are down 15 percent.
Corn futures dipped $ 0.05 cents or 1.4 percent during the week, moving mostly in line with cash prices. Prices in Chicago and the Gulf decreased 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Price movement in Toledo was more subdued, falling just 0.3%. The Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN) plunged $ 0.31 cents, or 1.8%. The reason for this decline is unclear. However, the ETF did rebound the day after the end of the measurement period, recovering $ 0.28 cents of the original decline.
Soybean (SOYB) export sales are down for the fourth week in a row, dropping to 869,100 metric tons, a marketing year low. Accumulated net sales had trended from flat to slightly down year over year. Over the last two weeks, year-over-year accumulated net sales have moved solidly into negative territory and are now down 7.9 percent. As previously discussed, competition from Brazil is pressuring sales. According to the USDA, Brazil is continuing to dispose of inventories from its large 2016/17 harvest.
Since last week’s sales failed to rebound, soybean futures continued to decline. January futures were down $ 0.15 cents, or 1.5%. Cash prices in Toledo and Chicago lost 0.8% and 1.1%, respectively. However, prices in the Gulf were firm, rising just under a penny.
Notably, China backed away from the market. China made net purchases of only 407,100 metric tons. This includes sales to the U.S. of 129,000 metric tons and cancellations of 205,500 tons. From China’s perspective, this makes good business sense in my opinion given the higher prices. Given that prices have risen by nearly $ 0.20 cents at the Gulf during the current week, it will be interesting to see export sales numbers for soybeans next week. Stay tuned.
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