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EVs – Pulling the Plug or Building a New Future We Need?

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EV companies in stock market

What this global economic slump means for EVs?

The world and the global economy are bending under the COVID-19 pandemic, temporarily decreasing the need for oil and oil products, resulting in oil price decreases not seen in a long time. West Texas Intermediate crude prices dropped to around $23 per barrel, and Brent crude dropped below $27 (as of March 19th). This may lead to a further drop in gasoline prices in April in the U.S., below $2 per gallon to be exact. With such low prices, interest in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) and other producers of EVs may be a little shaken. While the oil price is not currently working in favor of electric cars, the coronavirus situation is generally making people not so interested in buying a car right now. So, overall auto sales are expected to be affected greatly by this economic slump, and that includes electric cars.

The economic downturn in numbers and EV launches

During the first two months of 2020, the countries with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases – China and South Korea, suffered from an overall fall in car sales of 44% and 18% respectively, compared to the same period last year. All of this will result in China having the same or decreased EV sales, without the much-wanted growth in 2020, which was China’s focus both in the past and for the coming period.

On the other hand, BloombergNEF analysts expect that Europe will still have an increase in EV sales by 50% compared to the previous year. Many new EV models are still expected in 2020, which is a logical step after automaking giants like Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) invested billions of dollars in new electric models that are planned to be revealed this year. Maybe not all planned EVs will debut as planned, but the European and Chinese EV market will keep pushing the EV industry ahead, regardless of the oil price drop.

Let’s not forget about the regulatory pressure

Even with such a hit by COVID-19 which forced auto manufacturers to stop production, many countries have to continue working on their plans to ban combustion engine vehicles as one cannot pause climate change. That includes countries like Great Britain, France, Denmark and Norway, which are all planning the mentioned ban in the next 10 to 20 years. Furthermore, the European Union is planning its own ban which will affect all of its 27 members. We will wait and see how this expected growth of EVs will be followed by the U.S. where the gasoline price drop is working against EVs.

Automakers exploring options for EV charging

One of the problems with the expected increase of EVs lies in the number and accessibility of chargers. More EVs means more and more chargers positioned in the right locations in order to provide a fast charging service. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) tried to improve the charging options with its new patent that The US Patent Office just published last week. The idea was to offer modular charging with a higher level of portability and flexibility and for multiple EVs. So, charging should be fast and available to different charging technologies. Let’s wait and see how they want to go about it.

EVs Post Coronavirus

It’s hard to tell what will happen after COVID-19 dust settles. This health threat is making severe shockwaves throughout all levels of our society as one fifth of the Earth’s population is in self-quarantine. Undoubtedly, it will depress EV sales. But how it will affect its greatest market- China and whether Europe will take over some action due to the regulation it’s working in its favour. As for the US, it won’t help that the US stimulus package provided relief for oil but not for renewables nor EVs.

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

BenzingaEditorial

Could COVID-19 End Up Being “Good” For EVs?

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Tesla Electric Vehicles

Wise people say each problem is an opportunity in disguise and crisis are no different. Those in favor of clean energy see opportunity even in the pandemic. By seeing nature blossom as half of the world’s population was kept in lockdown, more people could indeed feel more inspired to opt for EVs. But the consequent recession also implies cuts. Which vision of the post-pandemic future will prevail?

 Electrification during the pandemic

As for corona- cancellations, Lincoln/Rivian SUV is the only one so far. And to be honest, it was quite a brave R&D abstract project. On the other hand, Ford Motor Company’s (NYSE:F) far more important Mustang Mach-E still seems to be headed for production, although deliveries may be delayed. Over at General Motors (NYSE:GM), early May prognosis is that it may have to work harder and put more resources on these programs to keep them on time, but there’s no slowdown. And despite several launches being delayed or even cancelled, GM clearly stated that production remained intact.

Volkswagen’s (OTC:VWAGY) new ID.3 is rolling off the assembly line in Zwickau, Germany, and YouTuber nextmove, who recently toured the facility, said he also saw another, newer model on the production line—the ID.4, an electric crossover that’s expected to be similar in size and range to the Tesla Inc’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model Y and, unlike the ID.3, will be sold in the US.

Even before the lockdown eased, Tesla was well-positioned. Moreover, recent events have only made it crystal clear that Musk plans to bring production back up to speed as quickly as possible. And he will use whatever means necessary, even if it involves getting himself arrested.

The situation in the U.S. varies greatly by state

So, the short-term production picture looks solid. But the long-term outlook greatly depends on government regulation. The Trump Administration is not letting fossil fuels die but its hostility to all things green is nothing new.

But things are more optimistic when looked at a state-level, especially when looking at California and Colorado. Despite the trucking industry attempting to play to COVID card, zero-emission and EV policies are being put forward.

Global direction

Out of all coronavirus-related stimulus programs, US and China governments have been by far in favor of polluting industries. Two of the world’s biggest economies have turned their back to environmental improvement.

Brighter skies in Europe

Despite Germany also not getting a very good score, Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted that Europe’s economic recovery plan needs to be based on the European Green Deal to keep a close eye on climate protection.

Enlightened governments are opting out from investing in dead-end internal combustion technologies. Even the severely hit Spain’s government looks set to approve a package of climate-related measures that includes investment in EV charging infrastructure and the establishment of low-emission zones.

France Made EVs central

French President Emmanuel Macron announced an $8.8 billion plan last Tuesday to rescue the country’s auto industry as auto sales fell 90% in April compared to last year. And boosting both production and sales of EVs is the main action of the strategy.

Macron wants France to become the leading producer of clean cars in Europe and compete fiercely with Germany for that leadership role. Consumer incentives to buy an electric car will also be increased from €6,000to €7,000. There will also be incentives for people to switch their old vehicles for a lower-emission model upgrade. The message is clear: the government is ready to ready to support the demand for vehicles as long as they are clean vehicles that emit less CO2, like EVs.

The figure does not include a €5 billion government loan guarantee under discussion for struggling Renault (OTC:RNLSY) which shuffled its short-term strategy with Nissan Motor Co (OTC:NSANY) to survive the coronavirus earthquake. It also does not include the millions the government has already spent on temporary unemployment payments to auto workers.

The French government owns a 12% stake in Peugeot’s (OTC:PUGOY) maker PSA through the state investment bank. PSA might have reported record profits last year but its sales plunged with the lockdown. Its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) to create the world’s fourth-largest automaker is very much on as the two companies will be sharing electric vehicle platforms.

Electrification is gaining momentum at ‘enlightened’ countries

The pandemic and the resulting economic damage that’s just beginning to be felt has hurt auto sales across the board will surely impact electrification plans. But the technology as well as global demand for EVs have evolved too far to turn back. Odds are that electrification will only go faster, at least in the countries not willing to turn their back on climate change such as France. Like every other crisis, the pandemic will create winners and losers for years to come.

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

Pharma Large and Mid-Caps in the Race Against COVID-19

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Global economy corona virus

If COVID-19 has done something, it has made us realize that health should always be our top priority. No one knows when will the pandemic end, but we are counting on the pharmaceutical industry to win this battle for us. And while the world has stood still, the companies kept going full speed ahead.

AbbVie Inc – Botox to the rescue

With unappreciated potential, the stock of this big drug maker has stellar fundamentals. AbbVie’s (NYSE:ABBV) acquisition of Allergan that was finally summarized on May 8, almost one year after the announcement, brought the company more than 120 additional products that generated more than $16 billion in revenues last year.

There were a few bumps along the way but AbbVie now has Botox. And its sales are growing both as a cosmetic and in treating various therapeutic conditions including chronic migraine and overactive bladder.

J&J – active on all fronts

Although Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)’s share price is nearly where it was at the start of the year, there are many reasons why this stock is an ‘evergreen’ favorite. To start with, it is the largest healthcare company in the world with tremendous resources.

In March, it committed to invest more than $1 billion to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. And it is doing much more than that. It is also setting up a manufacturing capacity to produce the vaccine even before clinical trials take place by September. The vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization by 2021, if all goes well. But its scientists are exploring the potential for existing drugs to treat COVID-19. And we haven’t even mentioned the company’s activities besides its coronavirus efforts.

One of the main reasons that this stock has been a favorite among investors is its diversification across the healthcare sector with three business segments. The company’s pharmaceutical segment is its biggest growth driver but other two segments, consumer health and medical devices, are also multibillion-dollar businesses.

Merck- entering the COVID-19 arena

A buzzing hot stock as Merck& Co (NYSE:MRK) announced three deals to find new medicines and vaccines to help combat the coronavirus. Merck uses debt in its business but it is no more threatened by its debt than an elephant is by a mouse. What is also positive is that Merck grew its EBIT by 29% in the last year, and that should make it easier to pay down debt. Only profitability can strengthen its balance sheet over time but Merck showed it is using debt quite reasonably. Consequently, investors gave it the nod it needed so the company is all set to enter the race!

Novartis – vaccine it is!

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) re-entered the vaccine area on Thursday. Its US teammate relies on technology similar to its $2.1 million-per-patient gene therapy, Zolgensma so hopefully they will together exploit the power of synergy.

Roche- combining drugs to fight COVID-19

Moving on to mid-caps which are just as active, another Swiss contender, Roche Holding AG (OTC:RHHBY) had an announcement of its own on Thursday.  Roche plans to test if mixing its anti-inflammation drug Actemra with Gilead Sciences Inc’s anti-viral treatment remdesivir might give better results in treating severe cases of COVID-19 pneumonia than remdesivir alone.

Roche is hoping that by combining the two in a global study of 450 hospitalized patients worldwide, it will be able to offer doctors a one-two punch against the enemy that took 360,000 lives as it quickly contaminated 5.8 million people.

Everyone is fighting for the same goal – and the world is cheering for them to reach the finish line as soon as possible!

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

4 Blue Chips That Lived Up to Their Title During the Pandemic

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A blue chip is stock in a corporation that enjoys a wide reputation for the value it contributes to the world and its ability to do well even during downturns. This pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has put the economy into a virtual standstill. These companies showed tenacity to survive the storm.

BAT

A London-based company that took the second position in the US cigarette market with the acquisition of Reynolds American in 2017. British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) is surely among the highest yielding picks. But its investors were not pleased even before the pandemic. The company is facing several challenges, the greatest one being the tough trend in declining cigarette sales. The number of smokers has fallen, and that’s forced BAT to use its pricing power to boost profits and maintain revenue growth. But the company remains excited for its shift towards alternatives such as tobacco heating products and vapors. The new segment has shown results but it has been followed by regulatory difficulties. Due to FDA’s slow approval, it is still falling short of its potential. And there is the issue of controversy as the company is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Yet, BAT is also one of the more surprising players who are working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Early signs of plant-based biotech development have been promising, but it’s far from certain if BAT can indeed provide the first solution to the coronavirus battle. And there is also the question if it this could be the most effective vaccine in the long run.

But the bottom line is that BAT shares demonstrated tenacity over the long run. Despite the challenges, it has a solid dividend that now yields almost 7% and an abundant cash flow. Fortunately, the decline in smoking has been a gradual one so its main business cannot evaporate into thin air just like that. So even if alternative don’t pan out as well as hoped, things are surely not bad!

Alibaba

Speaking of being at the right place at the right time Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) is the one as the pandemic give wings to e-commerce that generated 82% of its revenue. But despite reporting amazing earnings recently, its stock dropped. But the culprit is a bill that the US Senate passed last week that raised the question whether some Chinese companies would be delisted from the US exchanges. Yet, the Chinese giant has not much to fear as investors over the globe are becoming increasingly dependent on Alibaba’s marketplaces to reach Chinese consumers. Moreover, despite the majority of its businesses being based in China, AliExpress is a leading marketplace in Europe.

Alibaba is also expanding its cloud platform overseas with significant investment, where it faces intense competition from Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS.

J&J

The allure of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is its predictability and impressive insulation from recession conditions. It is a true stock from the ‘grandparents’ era. Although we are not speaking of a blockbuster growth, its 2.5% dividend and cash cow status are what make it an evergreen jewel. It is also preparing its own runner for the SARS-CoV-2 race as the first phase of human clinical trials is planned to begin in September 2020.

McDonald’s

Even during the pandemic, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) shares have managed to hold up all right as its drive-thru business and high-quality, financially sound franchisees give shares some resiliency. And this is not the first test that McDonalds passed. During the 2008 crisis, when others such as General Electric (NYSE:GE) were on the verge of slashing its dividend, McDonald’s was increasing its payout which is an annual ritual it has successfully maintained for 43 years. That year alone, it outperformed the S&P 500 by 46 percentage points. Its stock has what it takes to do the same.

Although tech has made the history of blue chips debatable with young companies such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) receiving the status simply due to their enormous impact, one thing has remained the same. Even these four companies come from a variety of industries, but they all have one thing in common: tenacity.

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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