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BenzingaEditorial

The Show Must Go On – Event Industry Rising to the Challenge of COVID-19

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Overwin Corona Virus

Collectively, we are navigating this public health crisis one day at a time. To flatten the curve, businesses are shutting down for the foreseeable future. And if there is one industry that is disrupted, it is the event industry. The Olympic Games got postponed for a whole year and for the very first time. In the past, they were only canceled and three times due to ongoing wars. And now, waking up to cancellations has become the new normal thanks to COVID-19. This new everything-but-ordinary scenario is asking the event industry to find ways both to survive the losses caused by this storm but also think of new ways to protect the health and safety of its staff, sponsors and event attendees.

Canceled events have affected all industries

According to estimates that the data intelligence company PredictHQ pulled for Recode, the direct economic loss from the cancellation of more than 10 major tech conferences has surpassed $1.1 billion. And considering this was reported back in March, rest assured that the figure is much greater than that. What’s even worse is that it doesn’t even include the amount of money that organizers would have made from hosting the events. It is merely a sum of losses caused to airlines, hotels, restaurants, and service providers that would make money from the attendees.

The biggest tech loss was incurred by GSMA’s Mobile World Congress that amounted to $480 million, as it was supposed to host more than 100,000 attendees in Barcelona in February. It is followed by South by Southwest (SXSW) which is about the convergence of tech, movie and music industries in Austin. The event had 280,000 attendees last year and its cancellation resulted in at least $350 million in direct losses. Google I/O (NASDAQ:GOOGL), a 5,000-person developer conference, had a direct loss estimate of nearly $20 million. On the bright side, there’s Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) F8, Adobe Inc’s (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Apple events (NASDAQ:AAPL) which had virtual components that could still be held but the cancellation of their physical portion still incurred significant costs.

Some are trying hard not to give in to COVID-19 stampede

Roland Garros has been postponed for September unlike Wimbledon which had no choice but to cancel but then also is supposedly able to amortize the cost. French Open organizers are holding on to a thread in an effort to try avoiding losses amounting to $284 million.

As for the Olympic games, there is an additional cost of ¥22.5 billion (approx. $206.8 million) in terms of extra maintenance costs for venues and the Olympic Village. Another ¥390 billion (approx. $3.6 billion) will be needed to keep organizations in place for a whole year. And post-Olympics effects will take a hit of  ¥218 billion (approx. $2 billion) as a result of the delay. The U.S. television network NBC owned by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) paid the IOC $4.38 billion for the rights to the games through 2020 so hopefully it doesn’t interfere with their 2021 summer programme as matters become stickier with broadcasting as insurance is sometimes more useful when it comes to cancelations.

Arts – film industry disappoints fans but theatre fans rejoice in free performances

The new James Bond film, Daniel Craig’s last, has been postponed for November, costing MGM Studios $30 million. Even Tom Cruise’ eagerly awaited Maverick has also been postponed as it needs packed theaters to return its investment of over $150 million that it took to make the movie that has been awaited by fans for 34 years. Whether you are a sports fan or a movie fan, you’re likely hating COVID-19 even more. But good news for theatre and museum fans are that many institutions around the globe have opened their virtual doors and are giving virtual tours and are streaming performances- for free! So, here’s to some sort of silver lining.

Nothing will ever be the same

The brave ones who will be planning large events in the COVID-19 aftermath will surely need to be in contact with both local and national public health authorities for a long time after all this is over.  Even when authorities start allowing large gatherings, there will be no way of going around the serious precautions and more severe hygiene regulations. And they are bound to result in additional costs.

New trends and best practices to cope with this large-scale disruption

Virtual events are taking place more than ever during the last few weeks as almost half of the world’s population is stuck at home. Meetings and conferences have been redesigned to become virtual events and they are doing a great job in keeping people connected. Just ask Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) whose Teams application now has over 44 million users!

But as this crisis comes to an end, rest assured there will be a lot of hybrid events which will feature a mix of live and virtual components. Simply put, although they take place in a physical location, the large part of the audience is attending remotely.

For example, The Event Institute in Paris has not given up its activities as it’s organizing virtual open doors for its prospective students at its LéCOLE which trains future event managers across Paris’ finest venues. Of course, the logistics involved in such type of events is more complex as it requires both the physical and digital infrastructure. But as long as you don’t give up, you will be even pleasantly surprised with the benefits of such futuristic events as they eliminate many kinds of constraints while expanding the organisation’s ROI potential. That doesn’t sound bad at all!

The show must go on, but how?

We do not know how or when this crisis will end yet history shows us that we prevailed through many things and came back even stronger from each crisis. Did we learn from our mistakes is an entirely different question. Let’s hope we will this time. But the good news is that the event industry, although one of the most severely hit is the one that will be needed most when things restart. Events are the most efficient way to build human connections and to build something called ‘intangible value’, one which for example defines how much a brand is worth. And events are invaluable due to this immense power they have to make an impact on people. So, rest assured, the event industry will be among the first to adapt its operations to the new post-COVID-19 era that awaits us. And who knows, maybe it can even help the overall economy pull itself out of a rut, although it seems pretty stuck for now. But the event industry will have an honorable role in our recovery as it is the most competent of all to bring humanity back to life after this virtual standstill.

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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