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BenzingaEditorial

Covid Disruptions Strike Even Toyota

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Even the world’s largest carmaker wasn’t exempt from the damage caused by a virus that has been holding the world hostage for more than a year. The delta variant has outpaced Japanese automaker’s efforts to deal with the chip supply crisis as Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM) has warned it will need to trim annual production forecast by 3% due to supply disruptions and forced plant shutdowns. The announcement comes as less than a month after the Japanese company said it was slashing this month’s global production by 40 per cent because of supply chain problems.

Toyota has closed plants around the globe as parts fail to reach factories, while Stellantis (NYSE: STLA)-owned Peugeot in Europe and Ford Motor (NYSE: F) and General Motors (NYSE: GM) in the US have cut shifts due to these supply constraints.

The production trim

The Japanese giant said it was reducing production by another 70,000 vehicles in September and by 330,000 vehicles in October. It expects to build 9 million vehicles by the end of the fiscal year in March, instead of the previous forecast of 9.3 million. In August, it revealed it September’s output will be cut yb 360,000 units.

Tundra is coming

After seemingly endless teasers, Toyota at least has confirmed that the 2022 Tundra pickup’s debut will take place on September 19th. The new Tundra faces stiff competition from the stellar Ram 1500, new Ford Motor’s F-150 and the recently refreshed Chevrolet Silverado owned by General Motors.

The EV chapter is in the making

Late to the electric vehicle race, Japanese carmakers have accelerated plans as sales grow. Toyota plans to invest $13.6 billion in batteries used for electric and  hybrid vehicles by the end of the decade. Although it did not disclose any plans or locations for new factories, it reveals its plans for 10 production lines by 2025, which will eventuallyreach 70. As a side note, a single factory can contain several production lines.

Back in May, Toyota announced it aims to sell eight million electric and hybrid vehicles by the end of the decade, including two million EVs and fuel cell vehicles. Per region, EVs and fuel-cell vehicles will make 40% of group sales in Europe, 15% of North America sales, and 10% of sales in Japan.

Separately, during the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in April, Toyota said it would launch 15 EV models by 2025, including one jointly developed with compatriot Subaru Corporation (OTC: FUJHY) that is to be released next year. Overall, Toyota’s spending on batteries that power EVs is set to double compared to last fiscal year as it should reach about 160 billion yen for the fiscal year that will end in March 2022.

Toyota’s plan differs from that of its rivals, including its domestic competitor Honda Motor Co. Ltd (NYSE: HMC). That aims for all its vehicles globally to be fully-electric by 2040, rising from 40% aimed for 2030, both globally and in North America.

Toyota’s European rival tVolkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY) that sells roughly the same number of vehicles is going even beyond producing electric vehicles as it will invest in as many as six large battery factories and it aims to operate 18,000 public fast-charging stations across Europe by 2025.

Outlook

The semiconductor crisis is deepening along with a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Asia where most of semiconductor chips are produced. The spread of infections caused by dreadful variants remains unpredictable, all of which make it challenging to maintain operations. Moreover, supply constraints have been exacerbated both by the coronavirus and by natural disasters. Until recently, Toyota’s supply chain know-how and large chip inventory enabled it to successfully overcome the shortages where it simply applied what it learned throughout its history that contained natural disasters. But this is no longer the case as inventory levels are running thin and the global pandemic is still not showing signs of becoming history.

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

Snap Couldn’t Snap Out of Apple’s Privacy Changes

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On Thursday, Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) reported its third quarter earnings which clearly show revenue suffered due to Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone privacy changes that disrupted the advertising business. Although this was expected, the impact was stronger than anticipated. Stock fell 22% upon the news as the company also warned that global supply chain interruptions and labor shortages are reducing the “short-term appetite to generate additional customer demand through advertising.” Shares of rivals Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter were also down approximately 7% in after hours.

Third quarter figures

Adjusted earnings per share amounted to 17 cents, more than double the 8 cents estimated by Refinitiv, but revenue of $1.07 billion fell short of Refinitiv’s forecast of $1.10 billion.

Snap’s community now has 306 million global daily active users (DAUs) as it grew 4% from the figure reported in April and almost 23% from last year’s comparable quarter. It exceeded the StreetAccount estimate of 301.8 million, with average revenue per user (ARPU) being $3.49, slightly below the expected $3.67.

At a somewhat brighter note, net loss narrowed 64% from a loss of $200 million a year ago to $72 million.

Making Snapchat safer

While Facebook and its owned Instagram are under scrutiny on the way they are managing their teenage audience, the company is taking action to ensure a safer experience for its youngest users by working on a set of family safety tools. It is building insights for parents that reportedly won’t compromise privacy or data security. According to the CEO Evan Spiegel, one of the goals of this initiative is to open up a dialogue between parents and their children about their experiences on the app. The main goal is to get into parent’s good graces and protect teens without comprising the privacy of the app’s users.

Fourth quarter guidance

For the undergoing quarter, the company expects to gather DAUs in the range between 316 million and 318 million, which is more optimistic tha the StreetAccount estimate of 311.8 million.

Accounting for headwinds posed by Apple’s privacy changes, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages that are expected to stick around for a while, fourth-quarter revenue is expected to be in the range between $1.16 billion and $1.20 billion, short of the $1.36 billion Refinitiv’s survey of analysts expected. Unfortunately, these changes are taking place when supply chains should be operating at peak capacity and with peak advertising demand driving peak contestation, and therefore peak pricing.

Long-term goal remains intact

In a nutshell, although some degree of business disruption was anticipated due to the Apple’s improved privacy changes that Spiegel himself praised, the impact was greater as it made it more difficult for advertising partners to measure and manage their ad campaigns for iOS. Although the dynamics of these challenges is difficult to predict, the growth of the audience, the community’s adoption of Snap’s new products and the attractiveness to advertisers gives the company confidence to be able to navigate this storm as it continues its path towards its long-term vision.

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

Netflix Is Not Giving Up The Throne

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The streaming giant posted its third quarter results on Thursday, solidly beating earnings and showing it can continue attracting new subscribers. Besides a crowded streaming front, including no other than the entertainment giant The Walt Disney Company (NASDAQ: DIS) itself, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) also needs to compete for users’ attention with TikTok videos, videogames such as Epic Games-owned Fortnite as well as with old-fashioned books.

Quarter figures

The quarter’s subscriber growth of 4.4 million did a great job in topping the 3.84 million Wall Street expected and even its own estimate of 3.5 million as the company rolled out a bunch of content that was delayed due to the pandemic. The streaming pioneer now has a customer base of 222 million customers, out of which 67 million are in the United States.

For the quarter that ended on September 30th, Netflix generated $7.5 billion in revenue and ended with $1.4 billion in profit, slightly exceeding expectations.

Q4 guidance- an uncharted territory

Netflix anticipates to add 8.5 million new customers in the undergoing quarter which is one of the biggest quarterly forecasts in its history. The co-CEO Reed Hasting elaborated that the amount of content for the fourth quarter is something it never had before so the only way through is by feeling with hopes to roll into a great next year as well. As for profitability, the guidance is $365 million on a revenue of $7.7 billion.

A new metric on the horizon

Unlike traditional television, where economics are governed by ratings and cable licensing fees, Netflix doesn’t make more money when viewers watch more hours but when more people sign up. For this reason, it announced it will use new metrics for reporting viewership to match how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching. It will report hours viewed rather than the number of accounts that watched. For example, the current measure ranks “Extraction,” on top of the list with 99 million accounts having watched at least two minutes of the title in its first 28 days whereas the new measure would put “Bird Box” with 282 million total hours viewed within the same time frame. In addition, Netflix will also release title metrics more regularly in addition to quarterly earnings reports.

The Squid Game is a game changer

The South Korean series was its biggest series launch ever, topping 111 million viewers globally and beating out “Bridgerton.” Squid Game” will reportedly generate almost $900 million in impact value for the company. This success story shines a light on how much more affordable it is to make TV shows outside the United States with Disney having recently announced that 27 projects will be made in the Asia Pacific region.

Gaming update

Netflix revealed its experiments with gaming are underway as it is testing its games in select countries. Games will be offered under Netflix subscriptions and will not include advertisements or in-app purchases.

The offense

Netflix is also facing a rare public relations nightmare with Dave Chappelle’s comedy special that critics saw it as a hostile invective toward the transgender community rather than the boundary-pushing stand-up routine that Ted Sarandos, the company’s co-chief executive, initially defended. However, he admitted to “screwing up” in his efforts to communicate with employees who were upset over “The Closer,” in which Mr Chappelle made remarks that some viewed as offensive to the transgender community. With the protest held on Wednesday to support the streamer’s trans employees, who began a virtual walkout, it seems Netflix has still to figure out how to navigate such challenges.

What is clear is that Netflix is determined to defend its streaming throne by looking for new ways to keep customers glued to its service such as the upcoming gaming experiment.

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

Chipotle Smashes Estimates Once Again

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On Thursday, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE: CMG) issued its third quarter results, smashing Wall Street’s estimates for both earnings and revenue. Menu price increases helped the burrito chain weather through the storm caused by higher costs on beef and freight, with shares rising 33% this year, resulting in a market value of $51.79 billion.

Third quarter figures

Revenue rose 21.9% to $1.95 billion slightly exceeded the expected $1.94 billion. Same-store sales rose 15.1%, also exceeding 14% that StreetAccount expected. Digital sales that more than tripled a year ago increased by 8.6%. During the quarter, the company opened 41 new restaurants.

Net income for the quarter that ended on September 30th amounted to $204.4 million, or $7.18 per share. As a comparison, during the same quarter last year, it made $80.2 million, or $2.82 per share a year earlier. The food chain successfully weathered cost increases of freight and beef by increasing its own menu prices. It announced the 4% increase back in June as to cover the cost of increasing restaurant workers’ wages to an average of $15 an hour.

Putting a tax benefit, restructuring costs and other items aside, earnings per share become $7.02, also topping $6.32 per share that Refinitiv survey of analysts expected.

The strategy is paying off

In two and a half years, the company’s loyalty program gathered 24.5 million members and according the the CEO Brian Niccol, there’s still a lot of room to grow. Although the company is still facing challenges such the labor crunch that’s hitting the broader industry, its strategies show it is handling it better than its industry peers. There is also the impact of inflation on construction materials, shortages on subcontractor labor and equipment and landlord delivery delays.  Under Niccol, who previously led Yum! Brands Inc (NYSE: YUM)-owned Taco Bell , the company has accelerated adding new menu items through a process it calls stage-gate testing with the aim to drive customer traffic to restuarants and keep the menu from getting bloated.

Fourth quarter guidance

The company is projecting same-store sales growth in the low-to-mid double-digits range. Several uncertainties have been noted as possibly weighing on the business for the foreseeable future, including inflation, staffing pressures and Covid-19. But the CFO Jack Hartung remains confident in the company’s ability to drive restaurant margins higher as average unit volumes increase.

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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