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Don’t Worry European Automotive Industry – The Government and Banks Have Got Your Back!

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Automotive industry Stocks Coronavirus

European automakers have shut down their factories due to the COVID-19 outbreak. All key industry players, like Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY), Peugeot S.A. (OTC: PUGOY), Renault SA (OTC: RNLSY) and other industry peers decided to lockdown plants in order to protect the health of their workers. The virus has already caused a lot of damage to the European automotive industry. And the situation is only becoming more severe so help is more than needed.

Liquidity concerns

World’s biggest auto producer Volkswagen recently announced it is burning approximately 2.2 billion USD per week. This is approximately 40% of its last year’s average weekly revenues. The longer the crisis lasts, the bigger the losses will be. Volkswagen’s chief financial officer said recently that passenger car sales are expected to drop approximately 40% in March.  Considering the not-so-optimistic outlook by the World Health Organization, what will happen as this health crisis continues? How big will those cash drains be? It is hard to imagine the consequences at this point.

Driving without cash fuel?

The automotive industry is a classic example of a highly capital intensive and cyclical industry. Fixed costs are relatively high compared to other industries. Thus, capacity utilization is one of the key performance indicators. But in these times, when plants stand still, losses are growing every day. Liquidity issues are currently avoided thanks to previously formed cash reserves and available credit lines. But liquidity concerns are only getting amplified in CFO’s minds. Bank managers as well as investors are only getting more worried and afraid too. They are quite reluctant to lend money or invest in loss-making companies. It is not surprising that share prices and credit ratings are falling like a rock. Everyone is wondering how will the automotive industry continue to drive without any “cash fuel”?

It’s time for central and investment banks as well as the government to jump in. And they did just that as European Central Bank (ECB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Commission (EC) announced that they are ready to support the automotive industry and protect their employees.

The financial injection is coming – ECB

ECB has launched a 750 billion EUR Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP). Asset purchases will last until the end of 2020. ECB will inject money into the European financial system and it will increase its liquidity. Corporate bonds are also eligible for purchasing. And it is a chance for all reputable carmakers to secure funding until the situation settles down. According to ECB President, Christine Lagarde, ECB will be even willing to increase this monetary package should this be considered necessary.

EIB also jumped in

European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, also decided to help. It will finance companies with approximately 40 billion EUR. The money will be used for working capital and overall liquidity maintenance financing. Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) already made some arrangements with EIB last week when a new 3.5 billion EUR credit facility was agreed. Most Fiat Chrysler factories around the globe are currently locked down. This kind of strong support is now more than needed. It does not only fortify the company’s cash position, but it also sends a clear “don’t be afraid” message to the financial market, investors and creditors.

EC even went a step ahead

Finally, the European Commission (EC) also announced that it will relax existing rules that limit EU member states to financially support their companies. Now, national governments can use the arsenal of available financial weapons like direct grants, tax advantages and various advance payments to boost liquidity and the overall economy.  But that is not all. EC also came up with an “Escape clause” activation proposal that will allow member states to forget the budgetary constraints which the EU normally imposes. Overall, the EU is determined not to let COVID-19 win.

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 Media Sector Fighting for Survival Through Streaming

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Roku Streaming

Media companies produce and distribute the content we ended up consuming more than ever before when COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe. Whether it is in the form of film, television series, music, books or radio programming, these companies provided the world with the much-needed therapy during the lockdown.

Due to intense streaming wars ran by services a la Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), much of the media industry’s power has been consolidated in just a few names such as Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA), and ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC). Some have been acquired by telecom companies such as AT&T (NYSE:T), owner of WarnerMedia, and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), owner of NBCUniversal. By joining forces, they integrated quality content with powerful distribution. The competitive pressure is intense as even radio producers have turned to podcasts to capitalize on this opportunity.

Clear winners

As more people cut the cord and more advertisers shift their ad budgets away from TV towards direct-to-consumer platforms, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are set to benefit from these trends. These two growing players will only get stronger as competition in the streaming space grows. As media companies need to stand out, this trend will directly support their long-term revenue growth.

Discovery – Olympics

Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) owns strong content and brands, including HGTV, the Food Network, and its namesake channel. But the main asset of the communications giant is its portfolio of sports rights that allows it to span all over the globe. Its main jewel are the Olympic Games. Over the last five years, yearly sales growth amounted to 12.20%. When it reported its latest quarter in June, earnings per share amounted to $0.77 exceeding consensus estimates by $0.07.

Netflix isn’t scared of competitors

Although Disney+ achieved a record pace of new subscribers, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) remained as the largest direct-to-consumer video service in the world. As of 2013, it even started its original production to be less reliant on others for content. Despite fears, it is doing more than fine. In the last quarter reported in July, Netlix delivered a profit of $2.5 billion on increasing revenues of $6.15 billion. It blew estimates and eased concern it could be crushed by upcoming competitors with free cash flow of $1.06 billion, EBITDA at $9.77 billion, profit margins of 11.90%, ROE of 33.30% and ROA of 7.80%.

Netflix’s massive scale provides it with a lot of data it can use to improve the user experience and optimize its content production. While it fuelled its content library expansion through increased debt, the company’s growing recurring revenue and improved operating margin should lead to improved cash flow and give the streaming giant the ability to self-fund content investments in the future.

Disney

When it acquired 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) became one of the biggest media companies in the world. The iconic House of Mouse has a portfolio of intellectual properties that goes beyond legacy Disney Brands as it now includes Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar. Moreover, it has strong television brands such as ESPN with long-term contracts to broadcast premium sporting events. Its push into direct-to-consumer streaming has gone well since it acquired operational control of Hulu and launched its streaming star, Disney+. Both are bolstered by its acquisition of BAMTech, a streaming technology provider. Although its theme-park and cruise business slumped during the pandemic, streaming was a rare bright spot. Unfortunately, it will take a while before this segment reaches profitability. Theme parks produce a much higher operating margin and therefore, play a much significant role in company’s performance which was nearly wiped out.

But, its fiscal fourth quarter is about to end and with it, this brutal fiscal year. The figures won’t be pretty but there should be an improvement over the vicious 42% decline in revenue that it posted for its fiscal third quarter. After all, the current quarter is the period when theme parks reopened, sports programming returned to ESPN, and movie theaters started opening their doors. Fiscal 2021 can’t start soon enough for Disney.

Viacom

ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) ensures a broad distribution and large audiences as its cable networks are well diversified across audience demographics. After all, it operates one of the four broadcast networks in the U.S. which has its perks. Although the company had many  carriage disputes with distributors, adding the CBS broadcast network should strengthen its negotiating power. Meanwhile, joining CBS and Paramount should result in sufficient content to feed its own networks, including direct-to-consumer services. During its second quarter, VIAC showed it was able to absorb the blow to its advertising business by reporting a profit of $2.79 billion with revenues increasing to $6.28 billion. With free cash flow of $1.02 billion from June, EBITDA at $1.41 billion which compares well with its peers, ViacomCBS Inc has strong fundamentals that helped it deal with a 27% drop in advertising and lack of sports. With a market cap of $18.15 billion, it is increasing its credibility in this sector as its digital revenue jumped 25%, boosted by a 52% increase in streaming subscription revenue.

Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic was double trouble for pay-TV industry because advertisers reduced their budgets and consumers started cancelling subscriptions as sport events and TV series productions were delayed or annuled. eMarketer forecasted that around 6.6 million U.S. households will cut the cord in 2020 with ad spending dropping 15%, forcing media companies to focus on direct-to-consumer content. As more consumers cut the cord and advertisers move to digital platforms, streaming players are set to thrive. Moreover, Roku is well-positioned to benefit from them all.

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

Nike Just Did It

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Nike

The sports apparel titan announced its fiscal first quarter last week. Nike (NYSE: NKE) had one big questions to answer as investors were waiting to see progress towards a return to growth. Nike delivered.

But the biggest concern is Nike’s future price-sensitive environment this holiday season. The big picture trend is not favorable for retail. But let’s see the micro trends Nike confirmed with its latest report.

Rebound

Nike’s previous quarter saw the worst impact from pandemic-induced closures. Metrics were brutal as sales plummeted 38%.  If we were to look at the recent results of its competitor Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU), its physical sales halved in July, but this drop was partially offset by booming digital sales.

Over the last 2 years, Nike has constantly beaten revenue estimates. It has even beaten EPS estimates 88% of the time. This time, it crushed both earnings and revenue estimates, causing its stock to jump 12%. Revenue easily exceeded the $9.11 billion estimate as it amounted to $10.59 billion. The boost in revenue largely came from 82% growth in online sales. Moreover, top lines made their way to bottom as earnings per share were more than twice the expectation of $0.46 as they amounted to $0.95.

Expenses

Fortunately for Nike, its efficient supply chain and premium consumers helped it avoid massive inventory writedown charges due to stale merchandise that Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) underwent earlier this year.

Uncertain environment – sharp recession

Despite leading the way through the pandemic, Nike will have to face an uncertain macro-environment just like every other retailer. The calendar has been redefined this year with an everything-but-ordinary back-to-school season. Demand is being hampered by sharp recession, continued COVID-19 outbreak, fear of a second lockdown as well as reduced government fiscal support spending. However, unlike its peers which refrained from giving any form of outlook due to the pandemic, Nike issued fiscal 2021 guidance of high single-digit to low double-digit revenue growth from the year-ago period.

Outlook

Over the last three months, Nike’s stock went up 18%. Like all other apparel and shoe sellers, Nike has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, analysts believe Nike has what it takes to continue being a winner. After all, it took control of its own destiny by pulling its products from nine multi-branded wholesale accounts such as the almighty Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and focusing on its own direct-to-consumer offerings. With its latest earnings report, analysts expect to see progress ahead of plan, ongoing digital transformation, and business evolution to a higher margin, higher return model. Thanks to its hyper-digital strategy, Nike is one of the few firms uniquely positioned to weather retail turbulence. The bottom line is that despite a short-term disruption,  Nike is poised for long-term dominance because it is strong in the places that matter most.

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

Four Shining Solar Stars

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Alternative Solar Stocks

According to Solar Industry Magazine, solar accounted for 37% all new electric generating capacity added in the U.S. in the first half of the year, led by Texas and Florida. Wood Mackenzie forecasts 37% annual growth this year. This is a 6% decrease from pre-pandemic forecasts. From 2021-2025, the U.S. solar market is expected to see a 42% increase in installations compared to the prior five years.

The demand is expected to accelerate as the global economy recovers. These four shinning stars are well positioned to benefit from that momentum.

JinkoSolar delivered a solid quarter

On September 23, JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd (NYSE:JKS) has reported solid second quarter results from April to June. Shanghai-based solar manufacturer delivered a profit of $47 million as it shipped 4.46 GW of modules covering 91 countries and resulting in a turnover of $1.2 billion. It expects to move 20 GW of panels this year as supply and demand have restabilized to keep sales going until the fourth quarter. Gross margin expanded from 16.5% in the same quarter last year to 17.9%. The year-over-year increase was a direct result from increase in self-produced production volume and an integrated high-efficiency-products capacity and optimisation of cost structure.

At the beginning of this unprecedented year,  the pandemic caused a shortage of supply in the Chinese market, increasing supply chain prices. Fortunately, prices have stabilized and JinkoSolar expected for strong market demand to continue until the end of the year.

SPI Energy is entering the EV playfield

SPI Energy CO Ltd (NASDAQ:SPI) soared 54% in premarket trading, but that is nothing compared to the prior session’s 1,200% rocket ride. The company that offers photovoltaic solutions for business, residential, government and utility customers, said it was starting an electric-vehicle subsidiary that will compete with Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

Sunworks also had a crazy ride

Meanwhile, shares of Sunworks Inc. (NASDAQ:SUNW) which is in the same photovoltaic model, skyrocketed 353% during Thursday’s premarket hours. They already climbed 50.4% on Wednesday, but ended up rallying more than 500 percent on Thursday, setting a new yearly high. Although it has nothing to do with electric vehicles, SPI Energy was an energy company very similar to Sunworks,  so this is what could have excited investors and short-term traders.

Daqo – impressive earnings growth

Daqo New Energy Corp (NYSE: DQ) has an average Strong Buy rating from Wall Street with good reason. Over the past 12 months, the stock has risen 164%. Also pleasing for shareholders is that the stock is up over 70% over the last three months. If we look at ROE to assess how efficiently a company’s management is utilizing the company’s capital, given that Daqo New Energy doesn’t pay any dividend, it is to be assumed that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business. But despite the low rate of return, this enabled the company to post impressive earnings growth. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company’s earnings are expected to accelerate.

As for the savvy investors who held on to Daqo shares for the last five years, they ended up gaining 642% which certainly justified their investment.

Outlook

Overall, the combined shipment volumes of the top five solar module manufacturers are expected to account for 65% to 70% of the industry for the year as major players have been consolidating. Experts project that the whole Solar Energy Storage market is to grow at a CAGR of 43.92% between 2020 and 2023. Pandemic or no pandemic, the future of solar is bright.

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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