Auto stocks gained by the Fiat-Renault news (updated)

The auto stocks gained on Monday trading in Europe after the confirmation of the Italian-French car manufacturing merger proposal. Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Renault (RNO) said that they are planning a 35 billion euros merger, which would make the new company the world’s third largest auto manufacturer. The planning of the merger was published on Saturday evening.

Fiat´s stock price jumped by 7,98 % to 12,37 euros and Renault´s 12,09 % to 56,03 euros. The Stoxx Europe 600 Automobiles & Parts index ended up 1,43 % to 473 points.

The idea of the auto merger is to get synergies, estimated of 5 billion euros, in the R&D related to electric cars and lower emissions, and in the purhasing power. The new company, owned by 50-50 % by a Dutch holding company, would have production of 8,7 million cars annually. Brands like Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo would be part of the merger.

The Japan alliance partner Nissan Motor & Mitsubishi might join the new group later on. In order to proceed the Italian and French Governments will comment the merger in details during the next week.

Otherwise the German DAX-index gained 0,5 % to 12071 points and the French CAC 40 0,37 % to 5336 points. The shares of Volkswagen, the world´s largest car manufacturer, (VOW) ended up 0,55 % to 145,25 euros in Frankfurt.

In London the trading was closed due to the Spring Bank Holiday.

In the US, the stocks markets were closed while having Memorial Day holiday.

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UK to target net zero emissions by 2050? FT

The UK is targeting to set a new goal for carbon emissions. According to the report from Committee on Climate Change, UK should be net zero emissions country by 2050. This would equate to 1-2 % of the 2050 GDP, says Financial Times.

FT says that the report, which will be published on Thursday, will guide Scotland to be net zero already in 2045 and Wales 95 %zero in 2050 due to its sheep-farming industry.

The UK Parliament is expected to discuss about the Climate Change updates on Wednesday,when the House of Commons will have this topic on its agenda.The target would be reached by using more renewable energy sources, increasing the electric vehicles in transportation and for example capturing carbon from the air.

In 2018 the UK carbon emissions fell by 2,5 % sixth straight years in row.About 80 % of the UK homes are warmed by using natural gas.

If this new target would pass the Parliament,it would mean that the UK would be among the leading G7 countries to set this kind of target.  It is good to remember that the UK will leave also the EU Emissions Trading System as part of the Brexit deal.

In London there have been several climate activists protests during the last two weeks in order to speed the decision making on Climate Change.

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Tesla Q1 revenue 4,5 billion dollars – profitable again in Q3

The SUV cars manufacturer Tesla (TSLA)  published its Q1 figures and according to the release, the Q1 revenue was 4,5 billion dollars during the period. The Refinitiv estimate was 5,2 billion dollars. The interim report was published after the trading closing in Wall Street on Wednesday evening.

– We expect Tesla to return to profitability in Q3 and significantly reduce our loss in Q2, said the CEO Elon Musk in the release.

The company operating loss was 522 million dollars during the quarter and net loss 702 million dollars, which include 188 million dollars of non/recurring charges. The loss per share was 4,10 dollars compared a profit of 0,81 dollars at the year end and loss of 4,19 dollars a year ago.

The company ended the quarter wiht 2,2 billion of cash, which shows  a 1,5 billion dollars reduction the the year end situation. The reason behind was the 920 million convertible bond repayment and the increase of number of vehicles in transit to customers.

The company has announced earlier that the Q1 deliveries were 63.000 vehicles, when the market estimates were 76.000 vehicles. These  challenges have caused vehicle deliveries to shift into Q2.

Tesla started  production and delievires of Model 3 vehicles for overseas markets during the first quarter. And this was also one of the reasons for delays in deliveries and shifts to the Q2. Tesla said it will focus further to improve operations, cost efficiency and customer experience globally.

– If our Gigafactory Shanghai is able to reach volume production early in Q4 this year, we may be able to produce as many as 500 000 vehicles globally in 2019. This is an aggressive schedule, but it is what we are targeting. However, based on what we know today, being able to produce over 500 000 vehicles globally in the 12/month period ending June 30, 2020 does not appear very likely, he said in the release.

According to Musk, the company operating cash flow less capex should be positive in every quarter, including the Q2. And due to the cost reduction and higher deliveries, the company should return to profitability in Q3.

Tesla shares closed down nearly 2 percent today in Wall Street. The stock closed -1,99 % to 257,85 dollars.

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Tesla: Q4 operating income stable – positive cash flow beyond Q1 2019

According to the Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk last year was the most pivotal year in Tesla’s history. Mr Musk commented the year in the shareholder letter conserning 2018 and Q4 figures.

– During our Model 3 production ramp, we went through significant challenges with the battery module line at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, and later with our general
assembly line in Fremont. Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of our
manufacturing teams, by mid-2018 we successfully overcame these
challenges and stabilized Model 3 production at high volumes, he said on Wednesday.

Tesla´s  Q4 figures:

– Q4 operating income stable compared to Q3 at $414M, operating margin of 5.7%
– Operating cash flow less capex improved from Q3 to $910M in Q4
– Cash and cash equivalents of $3.7B at Q4-end, increased by $718M in Q4
– Q4 GAAP net income of $139M impacted by $54M non-cash charge
– Model 3 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin remained stable at >20% in Q4

Elon made his estimates of the Model 3 production this year and commented the production shift.

– Model 3’s production rate progressively improved through Q4, with December 2018 being our highest volume month ever. In our Fremont facility, we are now past the steep portion of the production S-curve, and we expect our production rate to continue to
gradually improve. Every part of the Model 3 production process has demonstrated over a 24-hour period the ability to produce at an extrapolated rate of 7,000 vehicles per week. By the end of this year, we expect to be able to produce Model 3 at this rate on a
sustained basis, he stated.

– In Q4, we delivered 27,607 Model S and Model X vehicles to customers. For the full year, we delivered 99,475 Model S and Model X vehicles, which was in line with our guidance. We recently stopped taking orders for the 75 kWh versions of Model S and Model X and
will focus on the longer-range versions of these flagship products instead, with the recent introduction of a 310 mile range base Model S and 270 mile range base Model X, he reminded.

– In total, we are expecting to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, representing a growth of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018. In this range, we are expecting to have positive GAAP net income and to generate positive free cash flow
(operating cash flow less capex) in every quarter beyond Q1 2019. We believe these results will be substantially driven by our restructuring action and the ongoing financial discipline with which we are managing the business, Elon said.

– Our 2019 capex, the vast majority of which will be to grow our capacity and develop new vehicles, is expected to be about $2.5 billion. We believe this amount should be sufficient to continue to develop our main projects, such as Gigafactory Shanghai, Model Y and Tesla Semi, as well as for the further expansion of our Supercharger, service and retail networks. We expect to arrange financing through local banks in China to fund most of the capex for Gigafactory Shanghai, he said.

Tesla published its figures after the Wall Street trading, but the company shares closed higher to 302 dollars, up 3,80 %.

 

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Stocks started up in Wall Street – Tesla and Apple in headlines

The financial markets ended slightly up on Wednesday trading in Wall Street. The year´s first trading day started with a small downside, but at the end of the day, the direction was positive with all the major Wall Street indices.

The electric car manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) announced its production figures from the fourth quarter and according to the information, the company produced 63.150 Model 3 Sedans during that period. Totally the company annual electric car production was about 245.200 in 2018. The official quarter figures are still to be published, the day is not yet confirmed. Tesla shares fell sharply first, but ended down 6,81 % to 305,50 dollars due to the published price cuts. The company informed that the car prices will be lowered by 2000 dollars in the US markets.

The second surprice for the markets was the mobile phone manufacturer Apple (AAPL), who said that the revenue forecast will be lower due to the economy situation in China. According to CEO Tim Cook, the China economy slowdown has been greater than earlier expected. Apple´s announcement sent the stock price to about 7 % decline.

Apple´s announcement was the first big information about the China economy and the trade talks situation. The President Donald Trump and his Chinese collaque President Xi Jinping are expected to continue the talks next week. During the holiday weekend president Trump indicated that the US and China trade talks have had positive signs.

In the US markets, the goverment shutdowns have continued and after the political leaders meeting the outcome was, that the shutdowns are expected to continue.

In the UK, The Brexit situation is the same as Prime Minister Theresa May said that the situation is not changed. According to Financial Times, PM May is going to have discussions with some of the European leaders during this week.  The UK Goverment has urged pharma companies and supermarkets to reserve enough drug and food stock in the case of no-Brexit. The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in the middle of January.

Dow Jones -index ended up 0,08 % to 2344 points, S&P 500 -index ended up 0,12 % to 2509 points and Nasdaq-index ended up 0,46 % to 6665 points. In London the FTSE 100 -index was up 0,09 % to 6734 points and in Germany the DAX-index ended up 0,20 % to 10580 points.

In Asia the Wednesday trading was on negative side, while in Tokyo the stocks fell and Nikkei-index ended down 0,31 % to 20014 points and in Hong Kong  the Hang Seng index declined 2,77 % to 25 130 points.

Euro declined 1,04 % to 1,13 dollars as did the UK sterling, 1 % to 1,26 dollars.

Business Finance

Highlights of the year 2018 – Brexit, trade talks and green finance

The year 2018 was a year of Brexit, electric cars and trade talks. It included special moments in the financial markets and in the company side. Green Bonds and Green Finance were getting more attention in the markets and trade talks and Brexit were the topics during the year 2018 along. Climate Change and low carbon landed also in the agenda of central banks.

Investors were also asking what is the role of the City as a global financial hub. Should it have its own rules in spite of the Brexit? In the financial hub competition, Frankfurt and Paris were the European cities to get more new financial offices as financial companies were moving some operations to the EU side.

The UK Parliament is expected to vote of the Brexit during Janury 2019 after very intensive debate about the deal during the year.

Climate Change has become part of the everyday life in the financial markets and for example one of the biggest insurance companies in the US, Berskhire Hathaway informed in February 2018, that it has got 3 billion dollars losses of the natural catastrophies, the hurricances in the US. Several central banks, including the European Central Bank and some Asian ones, have also agreed about the co-operation in the climate issues and how to monitor the impact on the markets.

In the tech-side augmented reality and ioT were the themes for the year. Apple, Amazon, Google, Tesla, Intel  and Samsung  were one of the tech-companies to deliver new services related to the new technology. On the other side of the topic, Facebook was dealing with the privacy issues globally. New tech- companies listed in the markets were for example Spotify and Xiaomi.

Year 2018 was a year of electric cars in many countries. The e-cars breakthrough with charging issues was one of the tech topics as well. Telsa founder Elon Musk was the leading industry sector figure as he estimated that Tesla would make one million cars by 2020 in February 2018.

Also the German automakers announced new investments and concept cars. For example the BMW Group launched an autonomous driving campus in Munich in March 2018.

Year 2018 was also a year for luxury goods and services. The Basel World 2018 -fair announced its good selling and for example the CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe,  told ComteamPUB+ that the company expects double digit growth for the year and that the Chinese customers will be the leading segment.

In the debt markets the US Uber and Netflix issued their junk bonds to investors. Uber, the ride-sharing company, is said to plan an IPO for the year 2019 according to the secret filings to the SEC.

One of the biggest infrastructure projects ever, the China Silk Road, is getting more attention from the green investors side, while the organization made its first announcement of the green principles for the project co-operation and operators. The ancient Silk Road is expected to rise the GDP growth by 4 % or 240 billion dollars in the countries invlolved according to Credit Suisse analysis.

The aim of the Roman time Silk Road is to connect the western Europe with the eastern coast of China and to renew the infrasturcture in between. This means also that the 10 world largest container ports are located along the route.

Trade talks between different countries have continued lively during the year. US and China have been in the headlines, but also the EU with its agreement with Japan.  The political situation and rising volatility in the financial markets tell the direction for the next year. Geopolitical easing is needed.

Päivi Härkönen, co-founder, ComteamPUB+

 

 

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