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BenzingaEditorial

Even Oil Giants Are Under Tremendous Pressure

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Canadian Oil

The global oil market is in a state of hysteria. And not only COVID-19 is to blame, although its impact is being felt all over the globe. It is inevitable for the near future to be filled with bankruptcies, cost savings and cuts in spending as businesses are looking for ways to get through this historically difficult period.

The troubled industry

The year already began with over supply thanks to decades worth of expansion in U.S. onshore production. The price war between OPEC and Russia only further amplified the oversupply problem. That issue has at least been resolved. But the real hit was the global economic shutdown from COVID-19 which resulted in a drop in demand. With too much oil and too little demand, oil prices have plummeted to historic lows.

Cutting dividends

The current headwinds are intense, and have led many energy companies to trim their dividends. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.B) and Equinor are two direct competitors that have taken this drastic step to ensure they have ample cash to survive and they have a long histories of reliably returning cash to investors. Even Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) which had a streak of 47 annual dividend hikes under its belt along with a rock-solid balance sheet still felt it necessary to cut the dividend in March.

It’s only logical to question whether or not peers ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) will be forced to do the same.

Chevron cutting jobs

Chevron has increased its dividend annually for 33 consecutive years. At the end of the first quarter, Chevron’s total long-term debt had increased roughly 20% from the start of the year. At the end of May, it announced a 15 percent cut of its global workforce.

Exxon has no layoff plans

Exxon’s dividend streak is even longer as it has increased its dividend annually for 37 consecutive years. But Exxon’s long-term debt jumped even more than Chevron since the beginning of the year as it rose by nearly a third.

Top and bottom lines at Exxon and Chevron are clearly driven by the price of oil which reached historic lows. Even Russia’s second-largest oil producer PJSC Lukoil (OTC:LUKOY) hurt by lower oil prices as it reported a first-quarter net loss of $669 million on Wednesday.

Shell and Equinor Vs Exxon and Chevron

Thus, Shell and Equinor chose to preserve cash by cutting their dividends. Starting out with much lower leverage, Exxon and Chevron have more balance sheet flexibility and they are using to protect their dividends, for now. Paying a consistent and growing dividend is important to the boards of these energy giants. But the energy market is at a painful place right now.

The boards of Exxon and Chevron will make the hard call to cut their dividends if need be.

Whichever the scenario, the big guys actually have a shot at pulling through thanks to the help of the Trump Administration, unlike many of their small peers which won’t even be able to afford Chapter 11 bankruptcies.

Uncertain future

There have been multiple ups and downs in the historically cyclical energy sector over the last three decades. But the biggest change is yet to take place: the green revolution. Exxon and Chevron have taken steps toward the low-carbon future. Exxon is developing biofuels from algae, while Chevron has invested in solar, wind and geothermal power sources. But environmental activists say they haven’t done enough. So, even with the support of the Trump administration, oil has an uncertain future. And even oil giants will need to fight for survival in the post-COVID-19 era.

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

The EV Industry Is Worth More Than The Traditional Automakers

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Many things that were considered to be impossible actually happened in 2020. One of them is that electric vehicle makers became more valuable than traditional automakers and by about by about $100 billion, according to Barrons. EV makers are now worth about $1.3 trillion whereas traditional car makers combined have a market capitalization of about $1.2 trillion. This figure includes 100 auto makers around the globe with market caps ranging from $10 million all the way to Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA). Based on its fully diluted share count, Tesla is worth about $1 trillion.

This feat is even more impressive if you consider that this is a much smaller industry based on actual number of cars. The last year taught us that the connection between the stock market and the economy is imprecise at best. However, the fact that technology enabled batteries to overpass ICEs is the kind of disruption that investors look for. Even though Tesla is the main contributor to the value of the EV market, the overall image is just as impressive as three of the top five most valuable are EV makers, with Tesla being followed by NIO (NYSE: NIO) and BYD (OTC: BYDDF). As for traditional automakers, Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) and Toyota (NYSE: TM) are the most valuable ones with both undergoing serious investments into electrification.

Traditional automakers are going electric

On Friday, BMW said it aims to double its sales of fully-electric vehicles this year. Including plug-in hybrids, it aims for a 50 percent increase in sales of electrified vehicles versus 2020. It did not give sales volumes for its fully electric vehicles but in data released on Tuesday, BMW said it sold close to 193,000 electrified vehicles, including fully electric and plug-in hybris in 2020. As a reminder, Tesla delivered almost half a million all-electric models last year, which is 75% of General Motor’s (NYSE: GM) third-quarter deliveries.

The automotive industry is at an inflection point

BEVs take approximately 1% of the total market for light vehicles, but the figure rises to about 3% if we include hybrid and plug-in hybrids. Why exactly it takes a relatively small market share to disrupt an industry is a bit of a mystery, but one reason is that more investment capital tends to flow in when market share come is within the 3% to 5% range. As more capital drives more innovation and improvement, investors are lured by high growth rates, bringing in even more capital and this is how success is made. Over the past year, EV makers have raised more than $20 billion in fresh capital, which is a fraction of what traditional auto companies spend on plants and equipment. However, on a per car basis, the EV industry is investing at roughly 10 times the rate of the traditional industry. Add to this President Joe Biden’s aim of a carbon-free future by 2035 and the drive toward adoption of EVs which is already seeing impressive results in Europe, the all-electric future is around the corner.

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

Europe and EVs- A Blossoming Relationship

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Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) delivered around 96,000 units to the key European EV market in 2020. But in Europe, Tesla’s cars were overtaken in popularity by Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) and Renault (OTC: RNLSY). Sales of electric vehicles by European car makers accelerated rapidly in 2020 amid severe fines for car markers whose fleets don’t meet new emissions targets and generous incentives for buyers to trade in their ICE vehicles.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen reported it delivered 212,000 electric cars across the globe in 2020, which is 158% more than in the year prior. 134,000 of those vehicles were battery-electric vehicles, which grew 197% compared with 2019. Volkswagen also said that its ID. 3 model was the top-selling car in Sweden in December by absolute numbers. All-electric Volkswagen models were on top the Netherlands and Germany, taking approximately 23% of each country’s BEVs market.

Mercedes Benz

On January 8th, Mercedes-Benz-owner Daimler (OTC: DDAIF) said that the brand sold more than 160,000 plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles in 2020, representing growth of more than 228% from 2019. The share of EVs in Daimler’s sales mix rose drastically from 2% in 2019 to more than 7% in 2020. Also, Mercedes-Benz brand remained the world’s top-selling luxury carmaker for the fourth consecutive year.

Renault

Renault reported that it doubled its electric-vehicle sales in Europe. While group sales fell more than 21% in 2020, its EV sales grew 100% growth from 2019 to 115,888 vehicles. Moreover, total orders at the end of December 2020 were up by 14% compared to December 2019, which was attributed to new hybrid offerings. EVs were the only good news in an otherwise bleak 2020 for the French carmaker, which underperformed both global and European car markets. At the very least, Renault avoided fines as it met its 2020 EU emissions targets. On January 14th, its chief executive officer Luca de Meo will present a strategy update which is expected  to include reviving some older best-selling models as all-electric models.

BMW

BMW (OTC: BMWYY) which also owns Mini, said that its two brands combined sold 192,646 electric vehicles in 2020 marking an increase of nearly 32% from last year. BMW also met its 2020 EU emissions targets.

Takeaway

European governments have created generous incentives to speed up the adoption of EVs, making them much more affordable. Come 2025 when emission targets become more stricter and threat of fines for not respecting them even greater, Tesla will certainly be playing against fully-fit opponents and could even potentially struggle. An EV-only future looks closer than ever in Europe as the race is now on to challenge Tesla’s leadership.

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

Lenovo Makes Its Star Market Debut

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The COVID-19 pandemic had completely changed the way people work and learn. Operating from home actually turned around declining PC sales. Smartphones have been picking more and more market share from PCs and if there was no pandemic, this would probably still be the case. But instead of decreasing demand, there was record growth in PC sales as video collaboration software was needed to fulfill the need caused by closed offices and schools. The demand generated months and months of production. According to Reuters, sales of desktops, laptops, and tablets are expected to reach the level of 300 million shipments, the first time after its peak in 2008. This made all the PC manufacturers like Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), and Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTC: LNVGY) very happy.

Lenovo CDR story

China’s Lenovo Group is listed at the Hong Kong stock exchange, with about 12.04 billion shares outstanding in total as of January 12th. The company decided to issue Chinese Depository receipts (CDRs) which will be up to 10% of the total number of shares to be listed on the Star Market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The proceeds from the issuing of CDRs is planned to help the company’s research and development of new technologies, development of new products and solutions, and overall strategic investments in core segments. On Wednesday, the news caused to stock to drove the stock to its highest level since 2015.

The Star Market

The Star Market was launched in 2019 aiming for innovative technology companies that need more relaxed listing rules. In December, the Star Market counted 200 companies. A CDR or Chinese Depositary Receipt is a way for non-Chinese companies to list their shares in China. This is the equivalent to American depositary receipts (ADRs) which allow non-U.S. companies’ shares to trade on American exchange markets. Technically, CDRs and ADRs are not companies’ shares, but they represent an equity interest in a company. Besides Lenovo, an AI startup that specializes in facial recognition called Megvii Technology Ltd will also be among the first companies to benefit from this new structure.

Conclusion

Lenovo’s listing should be a breakthrough for Shanghai’s Science Technology and Innovation Board. Lenovo, a flagship of the Star Market, should attract much more followers and clear a path for many Chinese start-ups to raise capital in their home country. The company’s strong and growing global presence should continue to demonstrate the boom of China’s capital market and attract more investors to invest.

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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