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BenzingaEditorial

COVID-19 Crisis Could Make Big Tech Even Stronger!

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As the economy is plunging into recession, Big Tech is not only doing well but thriving. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is hiring aggressively to meet the surging demand. YouTube has soaring traffic. Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of a world community on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is coming true as traffic for video calling and messaging has exploded. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw a 40% increase in demand in its online software that is used for working from home. Netflix (NASDAQ:NLFX) is also gaining a new audience. Even Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) who suffered a hit to its supply chain when China was on lockdown is already back on track with factories open and users spending more money on its service segment.

What about ads?

Now this is the part where all of the above companies should be worried as ads are the lifeblood of Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook as well. And advertising always ends up being the collateral during times of economic downturns. Microsoft and Apple have already cut their financial outlook due to lower consumer spending as this scenario will most likely be present with everyone else. When combined, stocks of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet collectively lost more than $1 trillion in market value compared to when U.S. stocks traded at record highs only a month ago.

What about small companies?

Communication tools such as Zoom are hanging in there as they have become essential. Ride hailing giants such as Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NYSE:LYFT) have to deal with the fact their customers have vanished as people are in self-quarantine. The $3.9 trillion global technology industry will suffer but we don’t know how much just yet.

Cloud is among clouds

The three major cloud providers, namely Amazon, Microsoft and Google are swimming in cash to say the least. They have never been more popular as corporations find it cheaper to rely on their services than to change their infrastructure. Number of users using Microsoft Teams is now 44 million which is a 37 percent increase in only a week resulting in at least 900 million minutes spent in meetings and calls. When the dust settles, will the workers want to go back to their regular jobs after the comfort of doing it from home?

Streaming is exploding

Although Netflix did not report on the number of subscribers, downloads of its app increased 66 percent in Italy, 35 percent in Spain and 9 percent in the US. The explosion of popularity made Europe’s officials ask them to reduce the video quality to lighten the strain – and they agreed to do so for 30 days with YouTube also agreeing to suspend streaming of high-definition video for the same period. So well done Apple for trying to move away from its device sales to ‘services-revenue’ as app sales and subscription to TV and music content is surely now softening the blow to the company’s supply chain from only a month ago. Apple and Google also get their own cut in most app sales.

But Big Tech hasn’t officially yet joined the battle against COVID-19

Governments want them to do more as they are increasingly desperate- they need their data. And Big Tech wants to anonymise that data first but this takes time – and we don’t have time. Microsoft has joined the White House’s consortium dedicated to fight the virus as part of its AI Health program. And there are several smaller initiatives as Google and Facebook are looking for ways to tackle the issue as the location data they collect is beyond valuable at this point.

How far will they go?

So despite more than 18 months of criticism from lawmakers, regulators and competitors before the pandemic hit the United States, it’s now Big Tech’s moment to win over people’s hearts and minds. And they don’t have much to fear considering they came out stronger after the 2008 economic downturn so no reason to doubt they will do that again! On top of it all, they have money to expand after all this is over and they can surely find new ways to benefit from new consumer trends that will arise. But will they do much more and risk their “wellbeing” to save lives? We still don’t know.

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

BenzingaEditorial

Plugging Into the Future

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Tesla Electric Vehicles

BNEF predicts that by 2040 EV sales will rise to nearly 60% of the global auto market. That is quite a difference compared to 2010, when annual sales were close to zero. With consumer becoming more aware and conscious, along with favorable market forces that are gaining momentum, EVs are quickly becoming the future of the automotive industry with many EV companies showing massive growth potential.

e-tractors

Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX). has acquired 15% of California-based Solectrac, Inc. for $1.3 million, its very first US-based OEM, Solectrac develops, assembles and distributes 100% battery-powered electric tractors for agriculture and utility operations. With this investment in Solectrac, Ideanomics expands its global footprint in the EV industry through specialty commercial vehicles. Moreover, Ideanomics gained a seat on Solectrac’s Board of Directors. This opportunity will give Ideanmoics access to the global agricultural tractor market that is poised for rapid growth, although currently valued at $75 billion. The time has come to say goodbye to diesel tractors.

Solar powered EVs

Besides recently forming an agreement with Atlis Motor Vehicles, Worksport (OTC: WKSP) has announced today to engage Thermal Technology Services Canada to test the Company’s groundbreaking TerraVis™ solar panel technology and increase its efficiency. Increases in product efficiency of even a few per cent can make all the difference when it comes to the performance of an electric vehicle. Each additional mile counts and Worksport is set to deliver the most advanced product with solar technology, from which the technologically advanced and eagerly-anticipated for Atlis XT electric pickup truck can greatly benefit.

Traditional automakers are not wasting any time

General Motors (NYSE: GM) revived the Hummer for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, a fully electric truck that is expected to arrive in dealership next year. Last week, GM unveiled its “Factory Zero” as it gave a new life to its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. The new GMC Hummer EV electric truck will be built in this all-electric factory, accompanied by the Cruise Origin, a self-driving EV designed by GM and Honda (NYSE: HMC). Last month, Ford (NYSE: F) also announced plans for a new factory at its large Rouge site in Dearborn, Michigan, that will build it’s the all-electric version of its legendary F-150 pickups.

New entrants are upping their game

Northeast Ohio-based Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE), which purchased GM’s former Lordstown Assembly Complex and DiamondPeak Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: DHPC), a special purpose acquisition company, completed a merger that makes the EV startup a publicly traded company, effective Monday. The deal gives Lordstown the financing it needs to start production of its electric Endurance truck. It aims to deliver its truck by next September, the same time Rivian Automotive Inc., Tesla Inc.(NASDAQ: TSLA) and General Motors Co. plan to launch their own electric truck candidates.

Outlook

On Thursday, during the last presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden pledged to shift the U.S. economy away from oil. This goal is impossible to reach without a wider EV adoption as road transport accounted for almost 70% of America’s oil consumption in 2019. Therefore, market forces and green government policies can only accelerate the EV revolution, both in the United States and around the world, with Europe already being well on that path. A cleaner tomorrow where we will no longer have to choose between performance, economy and environmental sustainability is well underway.

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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BenzingaEditorial

Solar Energy Is on Track To Become the New Energy King

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Solar Stocks and Corona Virus

When COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe in March, there was some concern that it would put the solar industry to a halt. This fear was derived from the fact that residential solar sales are usually sold door-to-door as well as plant closures and increasing pandemic-related costs. But this scenario did not play out. In fact, the construction industry has been booming this year.

Innovation

The pandemic has also brought about some innovations that were a long time coming for solar energy. Residential solar companies were forced to adapt their sales to a digital framework. SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) is one of the leaders in this digital-first approach, but Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has also caught this wave. Moreover, when it reported its earnings last week, the company revealed it is aiming for its solar business to be just as strong as its main star, the EV business. Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s next ‘killer product’ is its Solar Roof, and that everyone will see why next year. But even Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) is adapting to a new normal with fewer physical touchpoints so competition will be intense.

Improved profitability

At the end of the day, the reason solar stocks are up this year is the improved financial performance. Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ), JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), SolarEdge (NASDAQ:SEDG), and Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH), four of the biggest equipment suppliers in the industry have remained strong during the pandemic, with some companies also seeing margins increase.

But this piece of good news is a result of the industry focusing more on specializing rather than vertically integrating. For example, SunPower has spun off its development business, inverter manufacturing, and its solar manufacturing arm which led it to better financial results and better margins almost across the board.

Politics

Considering that Joe Biden has taken a clear polling lead over Donald Trump, the boost of solar stocks is not a surprise. Biden’s strategy is much more focused on clean energy than Trump’s, despite not being supportive of the “Green New Deal”.  The overall perception is that Biden will be good for the industry.

Affordability

Solar power is already the cheapest source of electricity in some parts of the world, according to a new report released on October 13th by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This was greatly enabled by governmental policies in more than 130 countries that aim to encourage the rise of renewables by reducing the cost of building new solar installations.

Outlook

As solar technology continues to improve and innovation continues to drive those costs down, solar is on track to become “the new king of electricity supply”. With global efforts to put climate change under control, the solar industry is expected to dominate over the next decade. The EU alone has set a goal to source 32 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030, therefore, the forecast for solar is sunny.

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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BenzingaEditorial

Procter& Gamble Benefits From the Cleaning Boom

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Emerging Companies

On Tuesday, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) managed to beat estimates and raised forecast amid strong demand for its household products. Its shares rose 2% in morning trading.

Key figures

Fiscal first-quarter sales rose 9% as the pandemic fuelled higher demand for cleaning and laundry products, exceeding the prior quarter’s 6% increase. Net sales amounted to $19.32 billion, topping expectations of $18.38 billion. Organic revenue, which strips out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign currency, also rose 9% in the quarter. This sales boost was enabled by stronger demand in P&G’s largest market, North America.

Sales growth resulted in a net income of $4.28 billion, or $1.63 per share. Not only is this figure higher than Refinitiv’s average of $1.42 per share, but it is also an improvement from last year’s $3.59 billion, or $1.36 per share, a year earlier.

Improved Forecast

Supported by these strong quarter results, P&G also raised its outlook for fiscal 2021. Overall sales growth is now expected in the range between 3% to 4%, up from its prior forecast of 1% to 3%. As for organic revenue, the forecasted range also improved from 2% to 4% to a new range between 4% and 5%. The outlook for its core earnings per share growth has also improved from prior forecast of 3% to 7%. While the early retirement of debt will reduce its net income up to 20 cents a share this fiscal year, core earnings per share are still forecasted to grow between 5% to 8%. As for the impact of after-tax foreign exchange impacts and freight costs, they are estimated to impact earnings at approximately $375 million.

The “antiseptic” cleaning boom

Although the laundry care and healthcare divisions were standout performers as consumers prioritized home cleaning spending, all of P&G’s five business segments enjoyed organic sales growth. Moreover, U.S. consumers did not opt for cheaper brands which was expected to the absence of a new stimulus package.

Fabric and home care, which includes Tide, saw the highest jump. Organic sales rose 14% in the quarter. The home care segment alone saw organic sales soar 30% due to a boost in demand for home cleaning products, like Mr. Clean.

Health care, which includes Oral-B,s saw a double-digit organic sales growth as more consumers bought its digestive and wellness products.

Its beauty segment saw organic sales growth of 7% with the launch of Safeguard hand soap and hand sanitizer as well as new products from Olay that lifted North American sales for skin and personal care. It’s already a known fact that skincare became the new “lipstick index” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organic sales for its grooming business rose 6% in the quarter. However, Gillette and Venus brands saw flat organic sales as men don’t appear to be shaving as much during the pandemic. But women’s razors and blades rose by single digits.

The company’s baby, health and family care segment reported organic sales growth of 4%, including Pampers diapers, paper towels and toilet paper.

Outlook

It didn’t take long for Procter & Gamble to leave its conservative fiscal 2021 outlook behind. As consumers spend more time in their households, watching TV and engaging with their social media profiles, P&G is putting more money into advertising to put its brands front and center. The overall image is that P&G’s strong results and growth were enabled by increase in sales volumes, but average prices also rose. P&G did a great job in catching the cleaning boom wave which is why the company expects only a modest slowdown from pandemic-influenced growth rates that result in spiking sales over the recent months.

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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