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Pickups, SUVs and CUVs – The Bright Future of the Specialized Equipment Market

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Worksport

Pickups form the largest share of the specialty equipment industry because they are simply a great platform for modification. The Specialized Equipment Market Association (SEMA) rated Ford Motor’s (NYSE:F) F Series as the most customizable truck and its majesty, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (NYSE:FCAU) Jeep Wrangler as the winner of the SUV category. And besides providing valuable opportunities for customization, pickups have taken the throne from traditional passenger cars and they show no signs of stopping.

Pickups are on the throne – and they are bringing Workhorse Group Inc along!

There are 55.9 million registered pickups in the United States, making 20% of all vehicles on the road. Led by Ford F-150, there’s also quite a bit of Toyota Motor’s (NYSE:TM) Toyota Tundra. As for a snapshot of the accesorization subsegment, total specialty-equipment sales in 2018 amounted to $12.03 billion and made 27% of the specialty-equipment retail market. These products include, maintenance oil, wax and cleaning products, trailer and towing accessories but also exterior appearance upgrades, batteries and truck bed liners. People love to add big wheels to their pickups, enhance exterior appearance so those products also always tend to do well and logically, trailer and towing products are most commonly purchased by pickup owners. But it is truck beds that provide valuable opportunities that aren’t present with other vehicle segments for utility products, such as racks and toolboxes, plus liners and bed covers.

Speaking of truck beds, no wonder Workhorse Group Inc (NASDAQ:WKHS) has its hands full with the electric start-up company occupying its strongest position to-date, both operationally and financially. During its third quarter, the company signed several partnership deals to leverage its intellectual property while more than doubling its loss of a year ago from $5.5 million to $11.5 million due to higher interest expense.
The company recorded sales of $4,000 which is quite down from $11,000 in the same period last year, however despite the fact that the company delivered fewer trucks, it did so at higher prices due to making a transition to a new generation, causing its R&D prices to increase 13%. Workhorse received a non-dilutive 10% stake in Lordstown Motors which purchased the 6.2-million-square-foot plant from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Nov. 7. Also on a brighter note, the company’s balance sheet of September 30th shows cash and cash-equivalents amounting to $9.3 million compared to only $1.5 million on December 31, 2018.

Franchise Holdings International

Meanwhile, Franchise Holdings International Inc (OTC:FNHI)’ Worksport was granted this year a third U.S. patent protecting its innovative covers that provide unique full-bed access for light trucks such as Ford F series from Ford (NYSE: F), it announced last week that it will sell their products on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and they announced today that they will invest in a productivity company that has created a calendar app. Previous companies to invest in calendars are Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), also Microsoft  (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) are active in the calendar space.  In September last year, the company received its second U.S. Patent Office trademark allowance, so now they have four in 2019 that add protection to its brand strategy. This innovative company is also looking to complete its Helios line with complimentary truck accessories able to transform sunlight into storable energy so that they can extend the driving range of forthcoming electric trucks. Worksport’s proprietary solar technology infused with its most advanced truck bed covers is more than a major breakthrough innovation, it represents an endless opportunity for future growth.

Pickup market outlook

The top pickups as far as accesorization goes are GM’s full-size pickups and surprise, Ford’s F series. But Toyota’s Tacoma and Tundra are on the list as well as Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY)’s Nissan Frontier. Of the roughly 56 million pickups in the United States today, nearly 60% of them are either GM Full-Size or Ford F-Series as these two models combined account for almost 12% of all vehicles on the road. GM and Ford’s market dominance is expected to continue with estimated additional 12 million trucks for 2026- speaking for a safe haven for the specialized car equipment industry! GM has 17.6 registered vehicles on the road with Ford following with 15.6 million. But, the rebirth of several mid-size models are also expected to provide an additional boost by bringing in new buyers, with Toyota and Nissan having quite a number of enthusiastic owners, creating a strong market for their specialty equipment. Great news for Toyota that is struggling to adapt to the ‘electrification’ era.

SUVs

With 36.7 million registered vehicles in the United States making 13% of all vehicles on US roads, top models are again led by Ford, and Ford Explorer to be exact. But then there’s Jeep taking second and third place, GM’s Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota’s Toyota 4Runner, with Hyundai Motor Company (OTC:HYMTF) Kia Sorento taking 8th place and FCA’s Dodge Durango taking 9th place. But don’t worry about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, as despite a miss on revenue targets, its stock gained 17.3% in October, mostly due to the good merger news with France’s Peugeout SA (OTC:PUGOY) which was announced on the same day of the earnings release.
The specialty equipment sales for the SUV segment amounted to $5.93 billion in sales in 2018, making 13% share of the market. While SUVs are not as versatile as pickups for accessorization, many owners upgrade their SUVs with utility parts and for off-roading as many SUVs topping the list are in fact often used to go off-the road.
But it is Jeep that dominates the after-market. The Jeep Wrangler is widely considered to be one of the most modified and versatile vehicles on the road today as nearly 40% of Jeep Wranglers are accessorized in some way, be it shape or form.

Crossovers are becoming more popular

Although a crossover (CUVs) are becoming more and more popular and their distinction is not always clear, they are a separate segment because SUVs are built on truck platforms whereas CUVs are built with unibody construction. With SUVs showing a long tenure, consumer interest is expected to continue in the coming years. They are more profitable for auto-manufacturers to make but there are economic factors like increased gas prices and uncertain economy could decrease consumer buying power. But when it comes to accessories, they will persevere for all those who wish to optimize their utility with a lot of specialty after-market upgrades.

CUVs

The fastest developing segment makes 17% of all vehicles on US roads amounting to 48.3 Million registered CUVs are being led with Honda Motor Co (NYSE:HMC)’s CR-V, the one and only model that crosses in between not being a true pickup nor an SUV, a true jewel for this ever evolving company. Then there’s of course, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet, Nissan, Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee. CUVs created 11% share of the specialized equipment market. Having outpaced even pickups, it is logical to assume consumers will turn to accessorizing CUVs like they do with SUVs. That being said, there are obstacles. The segment is fragmented as there are 120 models in operation and just as many models are expected to be sold in the future. As a consequence, it will be difficult to create products that will function across all platforms. The large number of platforms limits the opportunity for companies seeking to sell specialty parts as there is no clear single model that dominates the market. The Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 lead the pack in terms of registrations having been out longer. However, there are many other CUVs close behind and all this diversity makes it challenging to focus on to a single model. The popularity of CUVs is not expected to subside soon but, many CUV models are relatively new and have little history with the accessorization market so there will be a challenge to decide which models to focus on. But one thing is certain, while the conventional car market continues showing signs of fatigue, pickups, SUVs and crossovers are booming- and show no signs of stopping. And even if this wasn’t case, there’s so still so much room in upgrading older models so all is bright for the specialized equipment industry when it comes to this segment. Worksport has its future guaranteed with its breakthrough solar technology that can surely disrupt the truck accessories market but Workhorse Group is also in for the ride once the company finishes its transition to the new generation as pickups are definitely here to stay.

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.

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BenzingaEditorial

This Week’s IPOs

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This week has eight scheduled IPOs with three billion-dollar deals coming from bio tech, diagnostics, software and solar equipment, among others.

Biotech

The US biotechnology company that received emergency approval from the FDA for its COVID-19 antibody and antigen tests, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (NASDAQ: OCDX), plans to raise $1.5 billion at a $4.9 billion market cap. This pure-play in vitro diagnostics business provides diagnostic testing solutions. It is profitable on an EBIT basis, with a revenue retention rate of 99% in 2019.

Customer-survey software

Qualtrics International (NASDAQ: XM) seeks to raise as much as $1.46 billion. It provides a customer and employee experience management platform to over 12,000 organizations. But, despite its sticky customers, it operates in a highly competitive environment with low barriers to entry.

Solar equipment supplier

Shoals Technologies Group (NASDAQ: SHLS) designs and manufactures products used in large solar energy projects. It is a profitable and growing company that plans to raise $1.0 billion at a $3.6 billion market cap. However, its growth depends on international growth and its track record abroad is not impressive.

Asset-light container liner shipping company

Israel-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (NYSE: ZIM) plans to raise $306 million at a $2.1 billion market cap. This company positions itself as a global leader in niche markets with competitive advantages that allow it to maximize its profitability.

Mortgage

Residential mortgage producer Home Point Capital (NASDAQ: HMPT) plans to raise $250 million at a $3.0 billion market cap. It utilizes a wholesale mortgage origination channel to connect with nearly broker partners, which allows it to serve roughly 300,000 customers.

Asset management

Brazilian asset manager Vinci Partners Investments (NASDAQ: VINP) plans to raise $236 million at a $944 million market cap. Its portfolio includes private equity, public equities, real estate, credit, infrastructure, hedge funds, and investment products.

Supermarket portfolio

Southeastern Grocers (NYSE: SEGR) plans to raise $134 million (100% secondary) at a $725 million market cap. The company itself won’t sell any shares as part of the offering and will not receive any net proceeds from its public debut.

Agriculture

Agricultural technology company Agrify (NASDAQ: AGFY) plans to raise $25 million at a $115 million market cap. This company is highly unprofitable but fast growing. It aims to differentiate itself with a bundled solution of equipment, software, and services that is optimized for growth.

By the looks of it, the 2021 IPO market seems to be continuing 2020’s momentum.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire 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

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FbMagazine

IBM Is Not Out of the Woods Yet

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On Thursday afternoon, International Business Corporation (NYSE: IBM) reported its weaker than expected fourth quarter, showing that its transformation struggles continue. The large software acquisition  of Red Hat that helps customers manage a growing hybrid cloud world while using AI to drive efficiency did not manage to bring the desired improvement. The pandemic led to an entirely different scenario and adjusted profits declined by nearly a third in 2020. Upon the results, stock fell more than 6% in after-hours trading. For the past year, Big Blue’s shares have declined 5.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average to which it is a member of, gained 6.8% with the S&P gaining 16% during the same period.

Q4 earnings

Net income was $1.36 billion, or $1.51 a share, which is significantly less than $4.11 a share in the same quarter last year and less than the $1.81 a share that analysts had expected. After taking away significant restructuring charges and similar effects, earnings amount to $2.07 a share, down from $4.79 a share in 2019’s quarter.

Analysts expected sales of $20.7 billion, but they shrank from $21.78 billion the year before to $20.37 billion. This is IBM’s lowest quarterly revenue since 1997. Looking at YoY figures, revenue has fallen 30 of the past 34 quarters. The only solace investors could possibly find is in the fact that Red Hat’s revenue increased 18% compared to last year’s quarter, but this wasn’t enough to move the needle.

2020 figures

Revenue dropped from $77.15 billion in 2019 to $73.62 billion, pulling down adjusted earnings from $12.81 a share to $8.67. Before COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe, analysts expected adjusted earnings of $13.30 a share on sales of $79.4 billion, according to FactSet, but expectations took a sharp dive afterwards. The delivered results were even weaker. At the end of the day, companies are what their figures say they are and right now IBM’s record continues to trend in the wrong direction with shrinking earnings and sales.

2021 outlook

Although Big Blue will be getting smaller on purpose, the planned spinoff of the managed infrastructure business at the end of the year is expected to result in sustainable mid-single-digit revenue growth and a strong free cash flow. The spin-off, along with the $34 billion 2018 Red Hat acquisition and new Chief Executive Arvind Krishna are all parts of an effort to better position IBM in the cloud space which is ran by no other than Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL). As if things weren’t hard enough.

IBM expects to grow revenue this year, but the story is more complicated than that. It will take a while before its strategic acquisition makes its way to improved top and bottom lines. Unfortunately, the overall picture is that revenue shrank for the fourth straight quarter, leaving the new executive sitting in the same chair as his predecessor who had 22 straight quarters of revenue losses under his watch. Despite Krishna’s sound approach, IBM’s efforts are simply not generating the expected growth, for now. But it is certainly too soon to say his transformation strategy has failed. However, something needs to change and as soon as possible.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire 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

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FbMagazine

EV Efforts Needs to Catch Up to the Pace of Vaccine Development

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Science has done the impossible in an effort to combat COVID-19. But there is another technological challenge that is also vital to the planet’s health and it is to make better and more affordable batteries that will enable a wider EV adoption. Batteries need to become cheaper, they need to recharge faster, they need to adjust to a variety of temperatures and they need to last. There are many challenges but more than $300bn has been committed to EV efforts, according to Financial Times.

2020 was brilliant for EVs, despite the pandemic

The Guardian reported that sales of electric cars rose by 43% to more than 3 million, while overall car sales slumped by a fifth last year. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), whose market capitalization of around $805 billion this week was higher than most of its rivals put together, led the race by selling almost half a million EVs. It was followed by Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) who sold more electric vehicles in western Europe last year than Tesla, despite VW’s struggles with the technology in recent years. In fact, sales of electric cars more than doubled in Europe, pushing the region past China as the world’s biggest market for them, according to Swedish-based firm, EV-volumes.com. December 2020’s sales were double compared to December 2019.

The equation is simple, EVs are better technology-wise than ICEs because there is no noise, no pollution, but there is better acceleration, and they are cheaper to run without running the environment. But, to truly replace traditional vehicles, more innovation is needed.

Innovations ahead

Worksport Ltd (OTC: WKSP) has recently added another trademark protection to its rich intellectual asset portfolio for TerraVis COR™. This innovative mobile battery system that is soon-to-be-launched is an extension to its TerraVis™ innovative truck tonneau cover system that brought solar-power to the EV equation. Another disruptive EV player is Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX) which has a unique business model tailored to support a wider EV adoption. Its MEG segment effectively utilizes the S2F2C model in facilitating the switch for fleet operators to EVs. The company earns its revenue through a transaction fee for its holistic service that covers procurement, financing, and charging requirements. This is just one of several services that makes this company into a one-stop-shop for those looking to switch to EVs.

2021 – expectations are high

There is little time left to replace internal combustion engines. The UK aims to achieve this goal by 2030. The actual science behind EVs is very different from revolutionary mRNA technology used by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to develop their vaccines. Yet they have both one thing in common and that is the human brain that developed them. By successfully developing the vaccine to combat COVID-19 in less than a year, we won an even greater battle. People showed how far they can go when they come together to respond to an urging need. There’s no reason why developments battery technology won’t benefit from this same kind of synergy that is created when brilliant minds join forces. The money and enthusiasm are there to make yet another global public-private effort a success.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire 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

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