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BenzingaEditorial

This Week’s Interesting IPOs

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NYSE PLTR Palantir Asana Ipo

New York Stock Exchange vice-chairman and chief commercial officer John Tuttle evaluates that companies have more options to go public now than ever before. On Wednesday, data mining company Asana Inc (NYSE: ASAN) and work management software firm Palantir Technologies Inc (NYSE: PLTR) were both set to go public via direct listings.The last two notable companies to go public via a direct listing over the last couple of years are Slack (NYSE: WORK) and Spotify (NYSE: SPOT).

Software companies with ties to Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) both began public trading well above prices based on their trades in private markets, finishing up more than 30% above their reference prices. Asana is a collaboration-software company co-founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who serves as chief executive.

Palantir is a data-software company co-founded by early Facebook investor and board member Peter Thiel, a German-American billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL).

Palantir Backdrop

Palantir launched its first software platform in 2008. It was already known as a secretive software start-up focused on military and law-enforcement issues which was already under the radar due to its controversial work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the U.S. government. To counteract this negative publicity, the company has focused on attracting the private sector, divorced from California’s Siliccon Valley. Its CEO/ co-founder Alexander Karp has publicly and vocally defended the company’s work for the government.

Profitability

The company is not yet profitable, but SEC filings show that revenue grew to $742.6 million in 2019 from $595.4 million in 2018, while losses stayed relatively flat at $579.6 million in 2019 and $580 million in 2018. In the first six months of this year, Palantir recorded a loss of $164.7 million on revenue of $481.2 million, reducing its loss and increasing revenue compared to the same period last year. The company forecasted a growth of 46% to 47% in the third quarter, 41% to 43% for the full year of 2020, and greater than 30% for the upcoming year.

Asana

Moskovitz launched Asana in San Francisco in the same year, developing software tools that compete with Atlassian Corp.’s (NASDAQ: TEAM) Trello. The company registered $143 million in revenue in its 2020 fiscal year, marking a 86% YoY increase. But net losses grew from $50.9 million in fiscal 2019 to $118.6 million in fiscal 2020. The pandemic resulted in benefits and challenges as it has put a premium value on Asana’s business proposition but it has also brought a lot of headache to its customers who are struggling small businesses.

Financial performance

Asana also has a way to go to profitability as it reported revenue of $52 million for the three months ended July 31, which marks a 57% YoY increase, but with a net loss of $41.1 million, which is much greater than the $15.6 million loss for the same period last year. For fiscal 2021, Asana projects revenue of $210 million to $213 million, representing year-YoY growth of 47% to 49%.

Outlook

Although many thought 2020 was going to be a bit quieter because COVID-19 has put the entire world to a virtual standstill for the first half of the year along with the election in the other half of year, it turned out to be one of the busiest periods in history. Aside these two listings, Wall Street is having 11 IPOs this week, wrapping up the busiest third quarter for offerings since the dot-com boom. Despite a year overflowing with uncertainty, the public debut market is hotter than ever.

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

2021 Is Shaping Up to Be a Pivotal Year for EVs

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Automakers are redefining their images  and products. German luxury automaker Audi that is owned by Volkswagen Group (OTC: VWAGY) recently introduced its 2022 e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT, two high-performance electric cars. The U.S. automotive industry will look a lot different within half of a decade. Online car shopping site Edmunds predicts 2021 will be a “pivotal year” for EVs with U.S. sales rising to 2.5% versus 1.9% last year and many new models entering the market in the next 11 months. According to Edmunds, consumers are in for 30 EVs from 21 brands, up from 17 models in 2020. Besides Volkswagen’s compact ID.4 promises to be a serious challenger to the top-selling Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3, here are a few legendary automakers are charging up their portfolios and betting big on EVs as they are determined to make Tesla a run for its money.

The British Jaguar

Tata Motors Limited (NYSE: TM)-owned Jaguar Land Rover has become the latest manufacturer to commit to an electric future. The British sports car maker  known for its seductive designs announced on February 15th it plans to become an “all-electric luxury brand” by 2025. Jaguar currently manufacturers one EV, the I-PACE. Last year’s global sales of the stylish and futuristic-looking SUV amounted to 7,807 units. Its first all-electric Land Rover model is scheduled for 2024 followed by five pure electric variants in the next five years.

Ford Motor

The Dearborn 117-year old automaker’s new, splashy Mustang Mach-E SUV has Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) owners trading in their vehicles for this all-electric Ford. The company’s next vehicle launch with a battery-electric drivetrain will likely be the F-150 pickup in early 2022. Ford’s rollout of battery-powered vehicles in the U.S. has been slow compared to the competition but its European lineup will run solely on batteries by 2030.

Ford pledged to spend $1 billion to electrify its factory in Cologne, Germany, which has been the home of its operations for nearly a century as part of doubling its investment in electric vehicles to $22 billion by the end of 2025.Two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030 and Ford’s newly announced partnership with Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) will help the company achieve its EV targets. The Cologne facility, the home of its operations in Germany for 90 years, recently

General Motors

The auto giant has not done away with internal combustion engines but it plans to do so by vowing that 40% of U.S. models will be EVs by the end of 2025, reaching majority by 2035. General Motors’ (NYSE: GM) large, masculine pickup trucks have been reliable moneymakers for the company and consumer demand for these gas-guzzlers skyrocketed in the spring and summer. The rebirth of GM’sHummer in an all-electric version has been scheduled for 2022. Interest in the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq has been sparked with its entertaining Super Bowl ads. GM’s small, Bolt hatchback got a redesign and a sibling, the Bolt EUV, an electric utility vehicle scheduled for 2022. Global sales of the Bolt EV have topped 100,000 since its market launch in 2017.All these models are merely a part of GM’s strategy to launch 30 new EVs across the globe by 2025.

Bentley Motors

The formidable, mighty W12 and V8 engines that power the ultra luxury automaker’s pricey sedans, grand tourers and SUVs will soon become automotive legend. Back in November, Bentley announced the debut of its first electric vehicle is scheduled for 2025. By 2030, every assembly that comes out of its Crewe, U.K., factory will be battery electric.

Pickups

2021 will be the year in which the world will get its first electric pickup. All-electric automaker Rivian that has been backed by Ford and supported by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been testing its $67,500 R1T truck in Arizona’s desert; the truck can get 300+ miles of range on a full charge. Then there’s the Lordstown Motors Corp (NASDAQ: RIDE) Endurance, which will compete in the grueling a desert race this April in Baja, California.

Worksport addresses the anxiety around EVs

Hefty price tags and range anxiety are still significant barriers to wider EV adoption but one company is about to change all that. Worksport (OTC: WKSP) is a well established producer of innovative yet affordable tonneau covers for pickups. The company saw a need for more convenient charging methods and it provided them with its Terra Vis solar fusion technology that adds solar power to the electric equation. Namely, Worksport already made partnerships with Atlis Motor Vehicles and Hercules Electric Vehicles to configure its TerraVis system for their upcoming pickups. TerraVis™ is the first of its kind in the industry and it can be used beyond pickup trucks such as for powering a job site, campsite or in times of an emergency.

Outlook

Larger selection of EVs at affordable prices will help help in crease the adoption of emissions-free vehicles. Brace yourself for an electric automotive future as even the legendary automakers are transforming their businesses.

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

Home Depot’s Robust Sales Trend Depends on the Pandemic

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The king of do-it-yourself retail reported its latest quarterly figures on Tuesday and investors reacted on earnings beat by trading down the stock. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) benefited as the pandemic and a strong real estate market bolstered home improvement sales. But the retailer did not provide an outlook due to the uncertainty revolving around the global health crisis and its implications for consumer spending

Q4 earnings report

The company generated $32.3 billion in sales, marking a 25% improvement over the year-ago quarter as consumers shopped early and spent more on holiday décor in an effort to gain some degree of normalcy.Comparable sales climbed by nearly the same percentage. As for the bottom line, net profit was 16% higher at $2.9 billion, or $2.65 per share. Both headline figures topped analyst estimates of $30.7 billion in sales and a per-share net profit of $2.61. The reported growth is in line with what Home Depot reported during the second and third quarter as it benefited from keeping doors open as an essential retailer.

As for the fiscal 2020, $240 million was devoted to Covid-related operational costs and as long as the pandemic lasts, Home Depot expects about $250 million of Covid-such operating expenses on an annual basis to cover personal protective equipment for employees, additional cleaning and paid leave for employees who get ill.

Home Depot did not offer any guidance given the uncertainty related to the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on the consumer.

New trends

Customers spent more when they visited the company’s stores or its website with the value of a customer’s average purchase rising nearly 11% compared to the previous year to $75.69. Sales per square foot jumped 24% to $528.01. Many customers purchased big-ticket item as transactions over $1,000 were up by about 23% on a YoY basis. Digital sales skyrocketed about 83% in the quarter compared to 2019’s fourth quarter. As for the year, they grew about 86%, with about 60% of online orders fulfilled through the store. By adding online workshops, Home Depot expanded its audience and boosted the engagement of its existing consumers. Before the pandemic, it had an average of five in-store workshops per month which expanded to 40 online workshops per month that were live-streamed.

Consumers

About 45% of Home Depot’s sales come from pros, such as plumbers, electricians and contractors which is a higher percentage than its rival Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) which gets up to 25% from that segment. Home Depot is looking to build on that advantage as it acquired HD Supply Holdings at the end of last year in a deal valued at $8 billion.

As during previous quarters, the world’s largest home improvement retailer continued to benefit from a DIY customer base that is effectively trapped at home much of the time and eager to make those homes as comfortable as possible or even add features to them. The big retailer became an obvious go-to place for materials, tools, and even furnishings during the pandemic.

Outlook

With the pandemic seemingly receding and consumers being able to return to travel and leisure activities, it’s unlikely that the giant will post similarly impressive growth numbers with that pullback in spending. But Home Depot will continue to invest in integrating its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar business, with capital expenditures targeted at about 2% of sales in the undergoing year.

By continuing to invest, the company hopes to attract new customers, especially millennials who are buying and fixing up their homes.

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

Palantir Joins Forces With 3M

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Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE:PLTR) just revealed a multi-million dollar expansion of its collaboration with no other than the conglomerate 3M (NYSE: MMM). 3M will be expanding its use of Palantir’s Foundry platform during its undergoing digital transformation to build a dynamic supply chain and be able to respond nimbly to changes in demand across tens of thousands of products. Palantir’s stock has been under pressure lately as insiders have sold shares as soon as the lockup provision expired. The stock sales likely do not indicate Palantir’s prospects are worsening because insider sales are common, especially among executives who count company stock as a large piece of their net worth.

Since Palantir went public in late September via a direct listing, its stock has skyrocketed more than 175%. Its most recent fourth quarter earnings saw revenue beating expectations although the company delivered a loss.

Q4

Revenue of $322 million topped $300.7 million expected, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts but brought a bottom line loss per share of 8 cents. Average revenue per customer for 2020 came to $7.9 million, which is up 41% from 2019. Its top 20 customers generated $33.2 million each on average last year, which is a YoY increase of 34%. In the fourth quarter, Palantir sealed 21 deals worth at least $5 million in total contract value, including 12 worth at least $10 million. New contracts include those with the U.S. Army, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, PG&E and  British Petroleum (NYSE: BP), along with an important distribution deal with IBM (NYSE:IBM).

Outlook

Palantir expects to earn $4 billion in revenue by 2025 and it expects revenue to grow more than 30% in 2021. The first quarter should see revenue growing 45% which is higher Refinitiv analyst estimates of about $309 million.

Customers

The company did not provide an updated customer count just like in November. When it disclosed its prospectus, it had125 customers in the first half of 2020. Unlike other California-based tech companies, Palantir has been more willing to work with government agencies during Donald Trump’s presidency. Employees at Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) have urged the company to step away from such deals.

But Palantir has built its business largely on lucrative government deals for its data analytics software, including a collaboration with ICE. But it did state it will not work with customers whose positions or actions the company considers inconsistent with its mission to support Western liberal democracy. Although it also serves commercial customers, they make up less than half of the business and the segment isn’t growing as fast as the government segment. In its first earnings release after its IPO, 56% of its third quarter’s revenue came from its government segment. In the fourth quarter, the government segment was up 85% YoY as it generated $190 million in revenue, whereas its commercial segment went up only 4% YoY as revenue amounted to $132 million.

In an increasingly complex world, the success of any business depends on its ability to respond quickly to changing facts on the ground. Palantir has that part covered but it has also set itself apart from other Silicon Valley companies and customers look at both the offering and the brand when choosing who to buy from.

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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