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Detroit Big 3 Automakers Gradually Resume Production

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GMC News Earnings

The first full month of COVID-19 restrictions, April, was the month when the auto industry reached its bottom with car registrations in Europe falling as much as 76 percent, with the worst hit Italy and Spain seeing a drop of 97.6% and 96.5% respectively.  This was the strongest drop in demand since records began. But, as lockdowns were eased earlier this month, European carmakers were able to take advantages of loosened measures to restart production. More specifically, BMW (OTC:BMWY), Volkswagen (OTC:VWAGY) and Daimler AG (OTC:DDAIF) were able to bank in Germany’s capability to contain the spread of COVID-19 as the country’s economy is heavily reliant on their output.

As of Monday, US automakers are now finally able to do the same!

General Motors

Besides learning the hard way from the last Big Recession, not only was GM (NYSE:GM) the only out of the three that pulled out a profit, but it also made a COVID-19 playbook for others to follow.

It seems that the company’s executives did more than fortify their balance sheet in the past decade. And besides carefully thought-of protocols, the guidebook has two more perks. One is that health and safety lessons have already been learned and tested from the restarting of their Asian plants a few weeks ago. Another edge is enjoyed by only GM and Ford as they reopened their U.S. plants during the pandemic as they shifted production to produce essential medical equipment. GM did good this time as it took every step that a leader can think of to ensure that protocols are followed for employees and the UAW to feel safe, so all industry players are able to restore production, sales, profits and renew prosperity as quickly as possible. Moreover, GM predicts it will be back to full production levels in about 4 weeks.

Ford Motor Company 

Also on Monday, Ford (NYSE:F) resumed its operations at nine facilities across the US with robust health and safety protocols. Its European plants restarted recently with China leading the reboot over two weeks ago. Along with its own ‘safety playbook’, UAW and epidemiologist and infectious disease experts, it is carefully resuming operations across the globe. But the pandemic led to a loss of lost $2 billion during its first fiscal quarter, with the second quarter loss estimated to be far greater as the company already drew more than $15 billion in its credit line.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV 

Although all auto makers suffered with the lockdown, the American-Italian automaker Fiat (NYSE:FCAU) was among the worst hit as it heavily depends on Fiat’s home market-Italy with the lockdown plunging the company into a loss for the company of $1.8 billion.

And let’s not forget that by June 17th, EU antitrust regulators will decide upon the fate of its $50 billion merger with PSA Group (OTC:PEUGF), which would result in the creation of the world’s fourth biggest carmaker, surpassing Volkswagen as the market leader in Europe. Although even combined, they would be weak in the luxury segment, their synergy would make them particularly strong in SUVs. But the biggest problem perhaps is that they are both weak in China.

The problem remains

Monday was a huge day as 51 plants gradually resumed production. The main issue, however, lies in the fact that the auto industry was struggling even before COVID-19 as it is a maturing market that will be redefined by electrification revolution which is led by Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) But no recession has ever put the world on pause as COVID-19 took 300,000 lives worldwide, with over 90,000 fatalities in the U.S. so far. And that battle is still far from being won.

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

Three Stocks That Won Last Week’s Popularity Contest

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Overwin Corona Virus

Last week was a good week for a lot of companies which reported their earnings. But a few of them truly stood out as blockbusters. Wayfair (NYSE:W), LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN), and Fiverr International (NYSE:FVRR) are some of them as they stepped up the game with their quarterly results. Let’s take a closer look at why these three publicly traded companies won last week’s popularity contest.

Online furniture retailer

Wayfair had a jaw-dropping performance since the mid-March lows. Net revenue of the online furniture retailer soared 84% to $4.3 billion. It greatly exceeded the $4.06 billion that analysts were targeting. If there is such a thing as a ‘perfect storm’, the pandemic was exactly that for Wayfair which historically has been struggling to achieve profitability. This time round, this was not the case as its active customer base grew 46% over the past year. By being forced to stay at home, consumers felt more inspired to make their homes more beautiful.

Wayfair’s adjusted profit came to $3.13 a share, which more than tripled Wall Street’s estimate. Moreover, the momentum is still being maintained throughout this quarter as sales are 70% higher so far. The company is growing a lot faster than the 20% year-over-year gain it reported during the first quarter of this year.

Tech stock

LivePerson provides an online chat customer support when the site visitor is getting frustrated or, even worse, is about to abandon a shopping cart. Its concept clearly works as the company exhibited its strongest top-line growth in 12 years. This 29% increase is its healthiest growth since the summer of 2008.

The online solutions provided 134 deals during the quarter. Seven of those contracts are expected to bring in at least $1 million in revenue over the following year.

LivePerson’s report might not have been mind-blowing, but it was a classic example of an excellent performance. Its new 2020 outlook includes revenue growing at a range between 22 to 24 percent, whereas just three months ago, the company expected it to be in the range between 17 and 22 percent.

The gig economy to counteract these challenging times

Fiverr has been one the winners during the pandemic as it runs a marketplace with offers of one-off jobs with attractive prices. It helped many survive the new reality shaped with pay cuts and job losses.

Its latest quarter saw its revenue rise 82% as its base of active buyers of freelance services increased 28%. Moreover, average spend per buyer increased 18%.

The increased supply is easy to answer, but so is the increased demand. By not losing time in daily commutes and other outside activities, people reprioritised and suddenly found the time for passion projects or simply new opportunities.

The Fundamental Lesson From the COVID-19 Pandemic

These three companies earned their gains fair and square, and in more ways than one. They got the job done during a time of crisis. Wayfair helped people feel better inside their homes as it beautified their self-quarantines. LivePerson helped both companies retain buyers as well as consumers to make their purchases. And last but not least, Fiverr’s platform enabled many to earn extra cash on the side and feel more financially stable. These examples portray perhaps the biggest lesson of the pandemic: people learned what is important to them and what they want to devote their time and effort to. The companies who met those needs were more likely to survive the storm. Some will emerge even stronger out of it.

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

Can Oil Giants Play the Long Game?

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oil industry stocks

Over the last few years, the performance of the energy sector has been among the worst-ones. It fell 45% over the last half of a decade whereas the S&P rose 59% over the same period. If we specifically look at oil, there is the supply and demand side to consider. Forecasts say there’s probably enough of oil to last during the next 100 years, considering current consumption trends. But demand is far less certain.

Supply and demand

We are running out of “easy” oil but forecasts on how much is left do vary wildly. The biggest problem is that the vast majority of R&D spending is focused on unconventional oil, and not on replacing oil. The industry has been focused on making shale more economical for almost a decade now. Moreover, the Trump administration has made it clear that it will not allow the sector to vanish. The economic equation behind it is rather simple. The less oil is left, the more money there will be in sucking out every drop. Scarcity is a great profit booster. Greater profits encourage companies to expand, not contract. Therefore, the fundamental concept of economics ‘advise’ sticking to these depletable sources until they are exhausted.

Even the Oil Giants Are Struggling

It would be challenging to find an integrated oil and gas company with a better balance sheet than Chevron (NYSE: CVX). But even with a strong financial position, Chevron still depends on the price of oil. Along with its U.S. competitor ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), they are the only two energy companies that hold the title of Dividend Aristocrats. This status is given to any company in the S&P 500 that has increased its base dividend for at least one quarter of a century but in an uninterrupted manner. As for Chevron, it has an impressive track record of 32 consecutive years. Moreover, it has increased its dividend by 79% over the last decade alone. But the pandemic devastated its profits.

Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS-B) has also swung to a historic and quite heavy loss with its latest quarter. The Anglo-Dutch oil titan warned that an uncertain demand outlook could curtail its third-quarter production. Most importantly, oil giants are aware that business may never return to normal.

The greener perspective

High prices are destroying the demand for oil as the world is turning to renewable sources and other energy storage mediums. Moreover, climate change concerns are creating significant regulatory pressure. The developed world is also taking action to promote electrification. The UK and France plan to ban new gasoline and diesel vehicle sales in certain regions by 2040. Moreover, electric vehicles are central to Europe’s post-pandemic recovery plan.

Electrification

EVs could truly eliminate the majority of oil consumption. But they need to be accompanied by significant improvement in battery technology and an expansion of the charging infrastructure. Moreover, they have to become more accessible price-wise. EV pioneer Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as well as startups such as electric and hydrogen-powered Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA) disrupted the whole world as they are the ones who made this reality possible.

Oil Companies Can Still Find a Way to Exist in the New Era

As battery-electric vehicles go mainstream, it’s not hard to imagine oil companies utilizing their massive infrastructure to get into the battery-charging business. Many companies are already exploring these options.  Last week, the British oil and gas giant BP (NYSE:BP) committed to cut its oil production over the coming decade with very ambitious energy targets. BP plans to invest tens of billions of dollars over that decade to become one of the world’s largest renewable power generators. It might even settle for profits lower than it gets from oil in order to achieve that goal. But, it’s not like we’ll stop needing oil overnight. If anything, air travel is still fully dependent on fossil fuels.

Takeaway- nothing happens overnight

The bottom line is that some oil companies, even the giant themselves, may not survive the transition. But no one who works in the industry today will be around to see this entirely new oil-free future. It is like the story of the telephone industry: a telephone serves the same purpose it served one hundred years ago, but smart phones are giving us a ton of stuff on the side that no one could have possibly predicted back then.

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 EV Disruptors to Keep an Eye on

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Electric Vehicle Companies in the Automotive Industry - Success Despite Corona virus

Wall Street has been giving EV stocks quite a lot of attention lately and for a very good reason. The share prices of many electric vehicle manufacturers have hit all-time or at least 52-week highs. This is even more impressive considering that the pandemic created quite the turmoil for the global economy. Afterall, climate change will not wait for us to win the battle against COVID-19. We’ve gathered a list of four disruptive players who are all set to win the EV race.

The EV emperor

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is the first name that investors, as well as the whole world, relate to EVs. The EV pioneer is targeting half a million deliveries in 2020, which would mark a 35% YoY growth.  In late July,  Tesla reported its fourth consecutive quarterly profit. By doing so, it became eligible to be considered for inclusion in the S&P 500 Index. However, for Tesla to actually be considered, an existing member needs to be taken off the index due to no longer meeting the eligibility criteria. On the other hand, Tesla is already having its best year ever. Year to date, its stock is up an eye-popping 260%. And with its newly announced Austin factory, which will be its biggest yet, Tesla is not showing any signs of slowing down.

If you believe in the future of EVs, Fun-Utility Vehicle (FUV) could be a less expensive way to enter the game

Oregon-based Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV) went a long way since going public almost three years ago. Since then, it has built its production facility, completed regulatory compliance for its flagship EV- Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV), started production one year ago and is already now delivering vehicles to early customers. FUV is a tandem two-seat, three-wheeled electric vehicle. And there are two EVs which are due to start production by the end of the year. The customizable Deliverator can transport a variety of food products, whereas the specialized Rapid Responder is specifically designed to support emergency and law-enforcement services.

Low-speed EVs that serve a specific purpose

Texas-based EV manufacturer of purpose-built and automotive-grade EVs, Ayro (NASDAQ:AYRO), began trading on May 29. This newcomer creates sustainable electric solutions through light-duty vehicles for open or closed infrastructures such as golf courses and airports. LSEVs do serve a niche, but this is a growing, market with great potential in the upcoming decade.

The integration of solar technology

It’s no secret that EV require a supply of energy. This energy can derived from various type of batteries and sources. Thus the sector is also becoming quite diverse based on vehicle type, battery type, etc. Worksport (OTC:WKSP) offers a full line of innovative, high quality yet affordable tonneau covers for pickup trucks, US’ favorite vehicle. Its SC3 and TC3 are high quality basic covers that undermine competing products with a lower price. SC3 Pro and SC4 come with major product enhancements that will not only improve the user experience but even the installation process. But Worksport’s crown jewel is TerraVis which will redefine pickup beds as they integrate complex solar technology. Earlier today Worksport announced a launch date for TerraVis. By offering a disruptive product at an affordable price, Worksport has the potential to disrupt much more than the market for tonneau covers as this technology can also increase the driving range of any EV.

EVs are all set to transform the world

In 2019, EVs accounted for 2.6% of global car sales. 2019 also marked their 40% year-over-year increase. By 2027, analysts expect the market’s value to reach $802 billion. Last year, the market’s value was approximately $162 billion. Therefore, this growth implies an impressive CAGR of 22.6% . Electric vehicles have all it takes to transform nearly every aspect of transportation, including fuel, carbon emissions, costs, repairs, driving habits and consequently- our everyday footprint.

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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