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Fiat Announces Earnings and Merger

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Fiat News

On October 30th, the boards of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCA) and Peugeot’s (OTC: PUGOY) parent PSA Group announced that they are in merger talks due to seeking scale in coping with costly new technologies needed to meet the electric future. And there’s also the slowing global auto demand at a saturated market. Additionally, FCA showed it is somewhat resisting this downward trend on Thursday as despite a small loss, the Italian-American manufacturer at least managed to beat third-quarter earnings forecasts thanks to record profitability in its North American segment. Fiat Chrysler shares jumped nearly 9%, just a day before it released its third-quarter earnings, following its PSA announcement earlier in the morning. Overall, they increased 8 per cent higher following the quarter earnings results.

Fiat earnings report

The company reported higher than expected operating earnings with a record €1.96 billion as opposed to expected €1.89 billion. North America is surely the company’s brightest point what triggered the boost with record profits of €2bn and record margins of 10.6 per cent due the growth of its pick-up truck line. They also managed to narrow losses in its Maserati line. On the other hand, losses in Europe increased from €30m to €55m.

The company reported a small loss in the last quarter due to writing off €1.4bn from its struggling European car business and its Alfa Romeo brand. This is the result of the company’s strategy to reposition these divisions for the future. As for Europe, the company wrote off €435m as it shifted the Fiat brand away from smallest models to more profitable vehicles. And the remaining €941m is from Maserati and Alfa Romeo due to technological alterations on its platform so it can now accommodate the production of electric vehicles.
But even when we exclude the charge, adjusted profits dropped 6 per cent at €1.3bn due to a higher US tax charge that is upon the company. The company expects a further improvement of its financial performance next year.

Stronger together

The $48 billion merger would create the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker by 8.7 million in annual vehicle sales, with a market value of around $50billion. PSA’s Carlos Tavares would be CEO of the combined group and Chairman of the board would be Fiat Chrysler’s John Elkann, who also sits on the board of the Economist’s parent company. The merged group would enable to make €3.7billion or $4.1billion of annual cost-savings in Europe’s stagnant market with rigorous environmental regulations that are making the lives of all automakers quite difficult. The combined group would include brands that serve both mass and premium markets, covering also truck and light commercial vehicles markets.

Competitors

This merger would put the company just behind Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) and the Renault (OTC:RNLSY)- Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY) combined forces.

But even the biggest players in the industry are making changes as Volkswagen and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) have combined forces to develop electric and self-driving vehicles. German carmakers BMW (OTC:BMWYY) and Daimler (OTC: DDAIF) are developing driverless technology as part of their new venture. Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) will invest $2 billion over 12 years in General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) self-driving car unit. And despite the strike that will impact even US’ GDP with the cost of $3 billion for the company, GM managed to make a profit during the last quarter.

When looking at last year and combined, Fiat Chrysler and PSA sold 8.7 million vehicles last year. This is ahead of General Motors’ 8.3 million, and not far behind Volkswagen and Toyota, which both went above 10 million.

Concerns

FCA would gain access to more modern vehicle platforms which would help the company be at more ease with emission regulations. PSA on the other hand, would benefit from FCA’s profitable U.S. business as its focus is mostly European.

But FCA has already attempted to merge with Renault earlier this year, a deal that was ruptured by the French government which is Renault’s biggest shareholder and this deal could also face regulatory scrutiny as French and Italian governments will surely worry about potential job losses. But there’s a long way to go before the deal is formalized. Also, even if achieved, this merger does not help either side in expanding its presence in China which is the world’s largest market and both of them are weak in this segment. But if the deal goes through, there’s always the power of synergy that 1+1 is always more than two and together, they would become the world’s fourth carmaker by vehicle sales and surely both companies would gain greater power to survive and hopefully, thrive, in an evolving industry.

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com
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BenzingaEditorial

Social Media Stock That Managed to Beat the Pandemic

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Facebook Earnings News

As half of the world’s population was in voluntary self-isolation, we’ve witnessed something that we thought is only possible in movies. Fortunately, we had Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Disney Plus (NYSE:DIS) to help us cope with the lockdown. But more importantly, we had social media that kept us connected during these unprecedented times of social distancing. And unlike the global economy, these companies were everything but on a virtual standstill.

Facebook

With Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO’s wealth increasing 30% during the pandemic, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO and founder’s wealth increased 45% to 80 billion amid the pandemic. Although Jeff Bezos wealth is valued at $147.6 billion, both gains are massive. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRK-A, BRK-B) Warren Buffett saw comparatively small gains of 8.2 percent and 0.8 percent. Well Buffet had the wrong bet on airlines whereas Zuckerberg introduced key new initiatives at a critical time. New program announcements such as Shops pushed Facebook’s businesses when the economy was at a virtual standstill. By launching Shops, Facebook helped many small businesses in need and this major new push into e-commerce is also helping economic recovery as we still don’t know the end of the pandemic. Etsy Inc’s (NASDAQ:ETSY) sales have doubled from three years ago and Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) which is among those of powering Shops not only became Canada’s most valuable company during the pandemic but it will only further thrive with this launch!

Facebook has taken a series of steps to ensure its user base remains intact. Although the company warned of “unprecedented uncertainty” for the future of its ad business, it witnessed a significant spike in the number of new users with nearly 3 billion people using at least one of Facebook’s apps which are mostly Instagram and WhatsApp. It comfortably surpassed estimated for its first-quarter revenues of $17.74 billion as they rose 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. Facebook delivered.

Twitter

Anyone who wants to keep up with the most recent news and tweet is active on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). The pandemic only made this need to participate in niche communities and engage in public fora even stronger. Moreover, Twitter bravely stood up for the interest of its users against President Trump after bending to his will over and over again. This move demonstrates that Twitter has learned a few things, although critics say three years too late. On Thursday, it set the model for proper “content moderation” on its platform after Donald Trump called for violence against American citizens. Twitter has covered the tweet with a warning. Furthermore, those who were determined to read it regardless could not “like” it or reply to it, thus slowing its expansion throughout the system and somewhat limiting the madness. Shares of Twitter have risen 1.7% on a year-to-date basis. On April 30, Twitter surpassed estimates by 10% when it reported first-quarter 2020 non-GAAP earnings of 11 cents per share with revenues growing 2.6% year over year to reach $807.6 million, which also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.5%. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 43.9%. The pandemic surely helped Twitter stay relevant.

Snap

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) which also enjoyed a surge in users saw its shares jump 5% last Thursday. The company’s famous app Snapchat gained as many as 11 million daily active users during first-quarter 2020, which is a 20% rise from 2019 thus taking the total user count to 229 million. The time spent on voice and video calls grew more than 50% in late March as compared to the month-ago period. The majority of the application’s users are Generation Z which includes individuals between 13 and 24 years of age. First-quarter revenues surged 44% from the year-ago quarter to $462.5 million, beating the consensus mark by 9.1%.

Don’t dismiss Pinterest Just Yet!

Although COVID-19 has been a mixed bag for social media stock with Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) stock falling 28% since the nightmare began in February, its potential remains intact. Pinterest is a unique medium.  Unlike Amazon which gives its users what they want, Pinterest helps users discover new things in the range of their interests. This unique platform is about discovering and getting inspired so this remains a powerful appeal to advertisers.

Its ad load is still significantly below peers like Facebook and the company is still in the early stages of finding ways on monetizing the relationship between pinners and advertisers. And it has a lot of room to do so. Pinterest is growing aggressively into that opportunity with 51% revenue growth last year to $1.14 billion, while monthly active users (MAUs) grew 26% to 335 million. So, despite the setback in advertising spend, the important growth objective to expand and engage users which can be later monetized on was achieved during the crisis. And don’t forget that Pinterest is growing faster than both Facebook and Twitter.

Whether you are for or against social media, no one can deny it became an integral part of our lives. With Facebook gathering the most monthly active users, 2.6 billion, to YouTube’s 2 billion, Instagram’s 1 billion and Twitter’s 330 million, social media is here to stay, unlike COVID-19.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

The First Week of June Is All About the May’s Jobs Report

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Tech Company News

The highlight of this week will be most certainly be the May unemployment report as the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to report another decrease of 8 million nonfarm payrolls, after April’s record 20.5 million decline. But several notable companies will also be releasing their earnings reports and discussing their strategies for the post-COVID-19 era.

Monday

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) is having a conference call today to discuss its portfolio of cancer drugs in clinical trials.

Tuesday

Earnings will be reported by CrowdStrike Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CRWD), Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) and Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZOOM). Expectations could hardly be higher for the digital communication specialist for which interest has soared even before the pandemic which only further skyrocketed its key engagement figures to record levels. Much of that optimism is already reflected in its stock price that has more than doubled since the start of the year.

Another video tech specialist Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) will report its earnings along with answering some big questions as it competes in quite attractive industry niches such as AI. Until now, its operating results haven’t yet demonstrated a defensible market position as sales declined in two of the last four quarters with falling gross profit.

Wednesday

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) reports quarterly results. However, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) and Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) will hold their annual shareholder meetings with Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ:ADSK) hosting an investor day.

Thursday

Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ:AVGO), The Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM) and Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) scheduled conference calls to discuss earnings. Slack had a good run even before the pandemic struck. Therefore, its offerings most likely thrived when businesses moved to home offices. Some analysts are forecasting even a 40% sales growth this quarter, with revenue expected to reach as much as $190 million. But the market still expects for the enterprise communication software to post a net loss. That is the cost of prioritizing market share in its battle against well-capitalized rivals, one such being Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Its performance during the lockdown could offer good clues for the most likely 5-year-ahead scenario.

Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG) and  T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) will hold their annual shareholder meetings. Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:AMTD) will be hosting special shareholder meetings. The purpose is to seek approval for the $26 billion acquisition that Schwab proposed in November.

Friday

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the dreaded statistics for May. The unemployment rate is expected to have risen 19.5%. in May from April’s 14.7%.

We know that the economic recovery will be slow. But, as we go through yet another week, we are getting closer to leaving COVID-19 behind us. This week will be no exception as we will learn how bad things were in May and what we can hopefully look forward to as the world slowly returns to a new normal.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

HP and Dell At Least Managed to Top Estimates

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Dell News

Computing giants Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DELL) and HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) reported their earnings this week. At the very least, they hurdled Wall Street estimates. But despite more people working from home, HP stock dropped sharply upon the results as only earnings estimates were topped. On the other hand, Dell’s results drove shares more than 7%. No financial targets for the full year were given due to uncertainty regarding the length of the pandemic and the consequent slow pace of the economic recovery.

HP’s revenue was held back

In the quarter that ended on April 30, the personal computer and printer maker achieved total revenue of $12.5 billion. Sales fell 11.2% from the same quarter a year ago. Analysts expected $12.86 billion. These are the bad news. The good news is that earnings per share of 51 cents topped estimates of 45 cents.

Compared to the prior year, sales at HP’s personal systems and printing segments dropped 7% and 19%, respectively. But the big difference is in operating profits. In the personal systems segment, profit surged 43% from the prior year, but in the printing segment, it fell 35%. The Palo Alto, California based company ended the quarter with $4.1 billion in cash. On a year-over-year basis, revenue dropped 11% with earnings dipping 4%. But what made the stock plunge 5.5%, besides the sales miss, is that the company didn’t provide a revenue target for the current quarter. It only gave an earnings expectation of 42 cents per share. By the looks of it, HP’s diverse portfolio and go-to-market capabilities are what protected its earnings. Also, HP’s financial position showed the company can weather the storm.

Dell’s business blossomed from work-from-home trends

For the quarter that ended in April, the Round Rock, Texas-based company achieved revenues of $21.90 billion. Quarterly earnings amounted to $182 million. Adjusted earnings were $1.34 per share whereas Zacks Consensus Estimate was 3.09% lower at $1.01 per share. But the actual result is lower when compared to $1.45 per share earned in the same quarter last year. On a brighter note, the quarterly report delivered an earnings surprise of 32.67% whereas in the previous quarter, there was no surprise as the estimate equaled the actual result. Moreover, Dell achieved a good track record as it surpassed both consensus EPS and revenue estimates three times over the last four quarters.

Most importantly, the tech giant said the pandemic has boosted its business in certain sectors. For example, the revenue of Dell’s Client Solutions Group rose 2% year over year to $11.1 billion. The segment saw demand for commercial laptop units surge in double-digits whereas mobile workstation saw a high-single-digit revenue growth. This is due to orders from banking and financial services, government and health care providers expanding 15% to 20% as these businesses struggled to meet immediate needs of their customers, communities and patients. Overall, despite flat sales and an earnings drop on a year-over-year basis, Dell portrayed a strong financial performance that was well beyond expectations so no wonder its shares went up.

Outlook

We know by now that the entire fiscal year will be filled with uncertainty so everyone will be eagerly waiting for estimates of the current and upcoming quarters. The good news is that customers need essential technology now more than ever before so they can restart their businesses in a COVID-19 remote working environment. One thing is certain: the current conditions will act as a strong catalyst for transformation that is upon both HP and Dell.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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