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BenzingaEditorial

Roland Garros Is Giving Us Hope – Shall We Dare to Dream?

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Stock Market Tumble

Considering that The Olympics Games in Tokyo got postponed for a whole year, it was to be expected that nothing less than a ‘world’s end’ will fall upon the global event industry which was forecasted reach $2,330 billion in value by 2026. But that was before COVID-19 struck. However, just like the UK, France has always had a mind of its own and French Open, Roland Garros is no exception. Unlike the prudent Wimbledon which is officially cancelled for 2020, Roland Garros is postponed but to be held this year, on September 20th .

Desperate move

This made some tennis players angry as not only does the new timeframe clash with other events but it makes the physical demand quite challenging. Even the king of red clay, Rafael Nadal, who probably stands to gain the most from this announcement considering he needs to defend 4,000 ranking points from last year’s US Open and Roland Garros titles, will have to do both in only five weeks. This also means that players will be forced to transition from one surface to another in only a week. This surely is cruel to them but unlike Wimbledon which seems shielded to bear the cancellation losses, French Open bosses admitted their tournament could face losses of $284 million if the tournament was not played this year. And unlike Wimbledon which  simply cannot be played after late-summer, September in Paris is even warmer than in May- just ask anyone who survived the August sauna in Paris. And viewers as well as sponsors are surely having their fingers crossed that our battle with COVID-19 will be won by then!

Sponsors

BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY), one of the world’s largest banking groups with operations in over 70 countries, is the latest among the big guys to announce the suspension of its dividend as it already started jumping in with many industries needing to be rescued.

On the other hand, Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) is expecting short-term headwinds that will be followed by long-term tailwinds. The company is confident in amortizing the COVID-19 blows due to the trend of consumers shifting away from cash to cashless payments. So despite a negative hit to its top and bottom lines due to the global shutdowns as consumers will not only spend less but also have less money to spend, Mastercard is expected to  grow as we head into economic recovery. And while almost half of the world’s population is isolated, they will still be paying for their Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Disney Plus (NYSE:DIS), Apple TV+ and its services (NASDAQ:AAPL), along with groceries, take-outs and all kinds of ‘stay home’ products. And all of these will be paid via credit cards. So, on a brighter note, if anything, COVID-19 will only speed-up the use of cashless payments in the long term.

On the other hand, retailers such as Lacoste have their hands tied but they are doing what they can to help the community. Besides maintaining 100 percent of the salaries of its employees worldwide during March and April this year, it has reopened one factory to produce face masks. High-end retailers are surely better off to withstand the economic standstill in comparison to its lower-end counterparts.

And there’s Peugeot SA (OTC:PUGOY) which announced on April 2 it is postponing its annual shareholder meeting. Analysts believe that it might rethink the conditions of its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (OTC:FCAU) due to the recession that is upon the economy as this was after all a very expensive deal for Peugeot and the future is promised to one.

Even the elite such as Rolex has shut down its plants, and along with Omega owned by Swatch Group AG (OTC:SWAGY) and Cartier owned by Swiss Richemont Group (OTC:CFRUY), it’s rolling with the punches. But at least business is somewhat returning to normal in Asia, the most prospective market. But the reality is that Swatch and Richemont have both lost about a third of their value this year. Hope is never lost.  Swatch’s Tissot brand unveiled its first smartwatch during the webcast in March and although this was four years later than planned thanks to intense competition from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) which has demolished the demand for timepieces. Although now its plans to start selling it in Switzerland  by July are now uncertain due to Europe being the epicentre of the outbreak, it still means they are not ready to give up as they joined forces with Huawei Technologies’ with the watch being compatible with its Harmony operating system.

Outlook – we’re all desperate to return to normal

Even art fans are shocked to hear that Carnegie Hall won’t open until October- this is yet another headline we didn’t think we’d see. And there will be many more headlines we never thought we’d see. And maybe there even won’t be any Roland Garros in 2020 in the end, no one can be certain about anything these days. But at least the stubborn France has given us hope that the world will be back to normal again by fall. And if tennis Gods make that happen, sponsors and viewers will thank them! Maybe even players considering how devastated Roger Federer and Serena Williams were by the cancellation of Wimbledon.  So just ignore what the songs about Paris say- it is perhaps even more beautiful in the fall, as long as it’s coronavirus-free.

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

News From the EV World

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EV news keeps on coming. After leading companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and NIO (NASDAQ:NIO) now Subaru Corporation (OTC: FUJHY) has finally hopped on the EV train by officially releasing a few of teaser images of its first electric car that will be powered by the platform it has been co-developing with fellow Japanese automaker Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM). Renown tonneau cover designer and manufacturer that brought its revolutionary solar fusion TerraVis to the EV table, Worksport Ltd (OTC: WKSP) has announced this morning it entered pre-production and testing phase with TerraVis COR mobile energy storage system with which it’ll tap into a wider consumer market.

Subaru’s first EV

No pricing or specs have been released but the Solterra EV will be coming to the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan in 2022.  Like its automotive peers, the Japanese automaker will use its first electric vehicle as a clean slate to refresh the way it designs the interior of its vehicles. Solterra was created from two Latin words, “Sol” standing for the ‘Sun’ and “Terra” standing for the ‘Earth’ to represent the automaker’s commitment to deliver traditional SUV capabilities in a way that is in harmony with the environment, which does sound refreshingly harmonic for corporate naming conventions. Like other vehicles that will be built on this platform which Toyota calls the e-TNGA and Subaru calls e-Subaru, Subaru’s first EV will benefit from its expertise in creating good all-wheel drive systems and Toyota’s mastery in developing battery technology for its hybrids. Solterra certainly seems more pleasing to the eyes than “BZ4X,” the first SUV Toyota will build on this shared platform that is also due out next year.

Worksport’s TerraVis COR has entered the production prototype phase

After signing deals with Atlis Motor Vehicles and Hercules Electric Vehicles to configure its groundbreaking TerraVis™ system for their upcoming electric pickups and the company’s most recent news about the expansion of its manufacturing capacity and Private Label customer base, Worksport reported it has entered the pre-production and testing phase of its mobile energy storage system, TerraVis COR.

In the coming weeks, the company will soon launch a TerraVis™ website to provide more information on this revolutionary line. TerraVis COR™’s first pre-production prototype is expected to be ready during the early stages of the third quarter. It will be fully operational and is expected to reflect the final product that will be commercially available by the end of the year. However, extensive testing is required to receive certifications for it to become a commercially viable global product. This independent mobile energy system is the ideal integration of user-friendly simplicity with clever and multi-dimensional functionality. It is an extension to its TerraVis line that will allow the company to go beyond pickup trucks and tap into a wider consumer market, appealing to any everyday consumer who needs mobile power- and that is pretty much everyone.

Worksport is also in in the process of getting its uniquely designed sold through several large, automotive-focused, online retailers to expand its footprint nationally.  Simultaneously, discussions are being held with various distribution channels to get the company’s innovative branded products in many brick-and-mortar stores in the coming year as the company is working diligently towards becoming a household brand known for its unique offering of affordable leading-edge technology that enhances everyday lives.

New EV models are coming, the world’s first electric pickup will see the light of the day this year with exciting technology developments also on the way as after all, EVs are more about software than hardware.

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

Ride-hailing Seems To Be Making a Comeback But Drivers Seem Hesitant

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Last week, Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT) showed they are seeing improvement in ride hailing that was strangled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uber was saved by its food delivery business

Uber’s first-quarter results come after it announced March was the best month in the company’s nearly 12-year history, as its mobility business reported the most bookings since the start of the pandemic and delivery demand exceeded driver supply.

Q1 figures

Revenue for the quarter came in at $2.9 billion which was below analysts’ estimates. Uber had to deal with a $600 million UK charge, which is merely a glimpse of the costs it could face if it were it is forced to treat its US gig workers as employees. This time, it had to settle with its more than 70,000 UK drivers. During the first quarter, Uber had 3.5 million active drivers and food-delivery workers on its platform, the majority of whom work in the United States.

Excluding that charge, Uber reported $3.5 billion in revenue, up 8 per cent YoY. As has been the case for most of the pandemic, its delivery division accounted for the bulk of sales, at $1.7 billion, a 230% increase from the first quarter of 2020. A one-off, $1.6 billion windfall from the sale of its self-driving division helped the company come within touching distance of a profitable quarter, recording a net loss of $108 million, compared with $2.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Uber recorded $19.5 billion in gross bookings which is the total value of all transactions, marking a 24 per centincrease compared to the same period last year which was marked by the early days of the pandemic.

Uber’s preferred measure of performance and the one it promised to be profitable on by the end of the year, adjusted EBITDA, also came in ahead of analysts’ expectations, with a $359 million loss, 41 per cent better than a year ago.  Narrowing losses by nearly $100 million from the previous quarter, it is important to note this figure excludes one-time costs such as stock-based compensation.

Ride-hailing improvements

In April, Uber’s gross ride-share bookings in the US increased 5 per cent month on month. Also, executives shared data from two of its largest markets for rides and delivery, namely Sydney and New York, that revealed delivery gross bookings were still elevated even after reopenings, which boosted rideshare demand. Uber recorded 98 millionactive users, whether for rides or food which is a 5 per cent increase from the previous quarter but 5 per cent lower than the same period last year.

Incentives for drivers

In addition to distributing free personal protective equipment, Uber announced last month it would spend $250 million as a one-time stimulus to get drivers who are hesitant to ferry passengers over food back on the road.

Lyft’s first quarter results exceeded expectations

Lyft is handing out similar incentives as it will use its cut from elevated pricing to fund investments to bring back more drivers. But, unlike Uber, it managed to beat on the top and bottom lines and exceeded Wall Street’s rider expectations for its first quarter.

Purely ride-hailing company generated $609 million of revenue that resulted in a loss per share of 35 cents. After deducting $180.7 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses, net loss for the quarter amounted to $427.3 million whereas net loss margin was 70.2%. One year ago, it amounted to 41.7%.

Adjusted EBITDA loss was $73 million whereas the adjusted EBITDA loss margin was 12%, compared to 8.9% in the same quarter in 2020 and 26.3% in the previous quarter, fourth quarter of 2020.

It is important to highlight that YoY comparisons don’t adequately show the company’s progress since Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the world and severely restricted travel. For example, revenue is down 36% YoY but it increased 7% from the fourth quarter.

Outlook

Lyft reaffirmed its expectation that it will reach sustained adjusted profits on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the third quarter of the year. It also issued guidance for its second quarter, with revenue expected in the range between $680 million and $700 million, which is a 12% to 15% increase quarter over quarter and YoY growth between 100% and 106%. Adjusted EBITDA loss is expected in the range between $35 million and $45 million.

Strategic move to advance the profitability timeline

Lyft sold off its self-driving car unit to a subsidiary of Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM), Woven Planet, for $550 million in cash. This deal is great news for its profitability timeline as it is expected to eliminate $100 million of annualized non-GAAP operating expenses on a net basis.

Outlook – driver supply shortage

Although recovery will take time, as Covid vaccines roll out, state restrictions are lifted, and people feel more comfortable returning to work or traveling, transit companies are slowly showing signs of recovering. Moreover, Uber is confident that its business will benefit from the complementary nature of two of its large core opportunities even in a post-pandemic world as it intertwined its ride-hailing app with its delivery business.

With a resurgence in users, both companies are facing a growing need for more drivers. Lyft executives said they expect issues around supply and demand to continue in the second quarter and ease in the third. Uber executives expect ride-hailing business to bounce back as vaccinations pick up but they also acknowledged the business isfacing the same imminent challenge: not enough drivers.

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

Updates From the EV World

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EV news just keep on coming. Hyundai Motor Company (OTC: HYMTF) confirmed several new models in an investor presentation. But, in the EV world where software is more important than hardware, equipment makers are just as important as automakers, with a few players even promising to bring the game to a whole new level or change the rules entirely beside well known companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) or General Motors (NYSE:GM). One such player is Worksport Ltd (OTC: WKSP) which has partnered with Atlis Motor Vehicles and Hercules Electric Vehicles to configure its revolutionary solar fusion technology TerraVis for their upcoming electric pickups. The company has just issued a progress update this morning to its investors, shareholders, and supporters about how it continues to expand its customer base.

Hyundai provided more details about its ambitious EV plans

Hyundai’s ambitious new-product launch cycle continue going forward with an investor presentation that confirmed several new EV models and updates to existing vehicles due next year.

The Genesis GV70 compact crossover is getting its electric version.  After the established template as theElectrified G80 that looks nearly identical to the gas-powered sedan, the GV70 EV will likely also resemble its gas-powered peer. Hyundai’s EV subrand will also gain a new Ioniq 6 sedan that will join the Ioniq 5 hatchback.

Mid-cycle updates will also be applied to various models beginning with the 2022 Genesis G90, full-size luxury sedan, that will probably arrive later this year. It will likely adopt the same “two lines” styling motif seen on the rest of the luxury brand’s models. Visual updates for the 2023 Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan and the 2023 Hyundai Palisade three-row SUV have been announced for next year.

Worksport is strengthening its footprint

Following up its announcement from March 16th, Worksport announced this morning that it has officially secured a deal with a new brand in the automotive sector for its Private Label unit.  The innovative designer and manufacturer of tonneau covers is pleased to report that it has a queue of additional customer orders pending as a result of overwhelming product demand. When Worksport realized profitability back in 2019, it was able to do so with just one customer. With three private label customers the Company has gained along with two additional ones that are in the process of being secured, Worksport is on track to achieve profitability once again even after the havoc the COVID-19 brought to supply chains and operations across the industry. Worksport is also reporting that the first shipment from its last signed Private Label brand has already been scheduled for delivery. This major milestone speaks loads about the company’s delivery capabilities. Worksport’s CEO Steven Rossi commented  that strengthening the company’s manufacturing footprint will ensure demand is being met, bringing opportunities previously out of reach and propelling the company to new heights.

These business developments speak volumes to Worksport’s relentless determination and successful execution. It is important to highlight that the private label segment makes non-competing products both in terms of type and cost for Private Label customers, meaning that Worksport provides bespoke products for each customer that do not directly compete with neither each other nor the Worksport brand.  As always, the company isn’t disclosing customer identities to respect its Private Label agreement.

In 2020, we charged towards electric vehicles. By the looks of it, 2021 will be the year of the electric revolution.

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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