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Moderna Targeted By Chinese Hackers For Data Theft: Report

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 09:10

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), which commenced a late-stage trial of its mRNA vaccine, codenamed mRNA-1273, against SARS-CoV-2 earlier in the week, has been reportedly targeted by Chinese hackers.What Happened: Chinese government-linked hackers had hacked into the computer network of Massachusetts-based Moderna to steal data, Reuters reported, citing a U.S. security official tracking Chinese hacking.The U.S. Justice Department disclosed last week two Chinese nationals were caught spying on the U.S., including three U.S. firms researching on coronavirus treatment/vaccine, according to Reuters. These hackers reconnoitered the computer network of a Massachusetts-based firm working on a coronavirus vaccine in January.Related Link: Moderna Analyst: Coronavirus Vaccine Will Get Approved, Clock B+ In Orders Over Next Few YearsWhy It's Important: Moderna is one of the frontrunners in the coronavirus vaccine race and is expeditiously progressing toward bringing a vaccine to the market. The company was among the earliest inclusions in the U.S. federal government's Operation Warp Speed project.It may also be noted that three Chinese firms have advanced their respective vaccine candidates into the final phase of clinical trials.China has refuted allegations of hacking, Reuters reported.In pre-market trading Friday, Moderna shares were up 0.67% to $78.15.See more from Benzinga * The Daily Biotech Pulse: Spectrum's Positive Dementia Readout, Pfizer, BioNTech Start Late-Stage Coronavirus Trial, resTORbio Receives COVID-19 Funding * The Week Ahead In Biotech: Spotlight On GW Pharma, Ultragenyx FDA Decisions, Pfizer Earnings(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

People Fear They’ve Got Too Much Cash in Their Bank Accounts

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 08:34

(Bloomberg) -- The savers are getting restless.Running out of guaranteed ways to get meaningful returns, some people are increasingly being tempted to raid their interest-earning cash savings to load up on assets such as bitcoin, gold and stocks. The comfortable, if small, returns of high-yield savings accounts are looking less palatable as volatile assets take off.For a while, Brian Harrington, 28, had been satisfied with a high-yield savings account at Ally Bank, earning a risk-free 2%. Now, the marketing consultant in Anaheim, California, is planning to convert his remaining $15,000 in savings into bitcoin. He thinks the future is one of long-term economic stagnation and low rates.“I’m not rooting for Doomsday,” he said. “But you have to keep searching for yields.”The last few months have, in some respects, been a boon for account balances. Nationwide lockdowns enacted to slow the spread of Covid-19 have cut consumer spending, and stimulus checks arrived for millions of Americans. The personal savings rate in the U.S. fell to 19% in June — still at historically high levels — after rising to a record 32.2% in April. Mint, a financial planning platform, told Bloomberg that its customers deposited 16% more into their accounts between March and June compared with the same period last year.There’s one problem: Now isn’t a great time to hold onto money.It had become standard advice in personal-finance subreddits and Facebook groups to keep extra cash in high-yield savings accounts, but the rates on those have fallen steadily for the past year. Popular brands such as Ally and Marcus — the consumer arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — offered rates in July of 1% and 1.05%, respectively; both were over 2% a little over a year ago, when the U.S. Federal Reserve cut rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.“Some banks will drag their feet a bit to stand out from the crowd, but they’re all working their way down,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, explaining the drop in returns across the board.There’s no guarantee that yields for these accounts will rebound any time soon.“The interest rates the Fed sets is a huge component, but it’s also related to the health of the overall economy,” said Anand Talwar, deposits and consumer strategy executive for Ally.Other traditionally safe vehicles have taken a hit as well. The average rate for five-year certificate of deposits is 0.47%, down from 1.88% the same period last year, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.Bitcoin is up about 55% in 2020, while gold has risen 29%, smashing the record price set in 2011, as investors flock to the precious metal as a hedge against inflation. Stocks, meanwhile, have surged since bottoming out at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.: From March 23 to July 1, the S&P 500 rallied 40%, its best 100-day performance since 1933, according to Bespoke Investment Group.The once-in-a-century rally has given Americans confidence about the market in the long run. A survey by Bankrate found that 28% of Americans said the stock market was their top choice for long-term investments, up from 20% last year. Only 18% of respondents chose cash investments such as savings accounts or CDs, the lowest level recorded in eight years.The results represent a remarkable shift toward risk, McBride said, noting that in previous surveys stocks came in a “distant third” to real estate and cash savings.For Meyer Denney, a software engineer from Seattle, saving to buy a new house within the next five years means striking a delicate balance between certainty and upside.The 35-year-old has most of his money parked in a high-yield savings account, for now. He’s looking at funds that invest in consumer staples, or corporate bonds that don’t carry the same volatility as typical stocks or index funds.“I’m worried that in three years we see our dream house — but [then] the market tanks 10 or 15%,” Denney said. “So I’m trying to err on the safer side.”Even in normal conditions, financial advisers recommend having a cash reserve of several months of expenses. In the middle of an economic downturn and a pandemic, that need for a cushion only increases.“Given the precarious state of the economy and heightened risk of incurring out-of-pocket medical expenses, it’s still important to have emergency funds in checking or savings accounts,” said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist at the think tank Economic Policy Institute.Edward Usuomon, 18, has no regrets about moving his money out of the bank. The Detroit native began working as a tutor last September; after a few months of saving he realized there were ways to make better returns than rates his Michigan First Credit Union account offered, which he recalls as being less than 0.5%.“I first started trying out stocks for fun,” he said. “Eventually I thought, ‘Why do I have all of this money just sitting in my account?’”So around the beginning of April he began withdrawing money from his savings account, a few hundred dollars at a time, to buy cryptocurrency, and shares of Tesla Inc. and Apple Inc. Usuomon now estimates he dedicates 25% of his salary to buying the higher-risk assets.“I don’t have too much to worry about now besides my apartment and my car,” he said. “I’m trying to get into investments early so I can hopefully get rich.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

An electric SUV, inspired by California's environment. Is it more than a dream?

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 08:00

Henrik Fisker is raising $2.9 billion to build and market the Fisker Ocean all-electric compact SUV

Here's How Much Investing $1,000 In The 2013 Kodak IPO Would Be Worth Today

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 07:50

Investors who owned stocks in the 2010s generally experienced some big gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500's (NYSE: SPY) total return for the decade was 250.5%. But there's no question some big-name stocks did much better than others along the way.Kodak's Difficult Decade: One underperformer of the last decade was former camera giant Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: KODK).Kodak's decade was defined by a bankruptcy and two major strategic pivots away from its legacy camera business.Extreme cash burn and a secular decline in Kodak's camera and inkjet printing businesses triggered a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2012. The bankruptcy completely wiped out legacy shareholders, and Kodak's peak market cap of around $30 billion went down to $0.Kodak re-emerged from bankruptcy and relisted shares in November 2013 starting at $26.50 per share. Kodak's updated business model included segments Digital Printing & Enterprise and Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films.When the restructured company continued to struggle to gain traction, Kodak made a seemingly desperate move by pivoting to blockchain technology in January 2018 near the peak of the bitcoin bubble. After reporting declining revenues and a $111 million net loss in the first quarter of 2020, Kodak once again pivoted to producing generic drug ingredients in July, announcing a brand new $765 million loan from the U.S. government.After opening at $26.50 post-bankruptcy in late 2013, Kodak shares peaked at $37.73 in early 2014 before resuming the steady march downward that long-time investors had endured since the 1990s.Kodak shares dropped as low as $2.95 in late 2017 before the blockchain pivot sent the stock skyrocketing as high as $13.27 in January, 2018. By late 2018, Kodak was making new lows again.2020 And Beyond: After hitting an all-time low of $1.50 in March 2020, Kodak shares skyrocketed to new all-time highs on the drug news just four months later. Kodak shares peaked at $60 in the days following the announcement before pulling back to around $36.Even after the massive 2020 run, Kodak shares have significantly lagged the S&P 500 since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2013. In fact, $1,000 worth of Kodak stock in 2013 would be worth about $1,384 today.At the same time, $1,000 worth of legacy Kodak stock purchased in 2010 would now be worth $0 due to the bankruptcy.Related Links:Here's How Much Investing ,000 In Nokia Stock Back In 2010 Would Be Worth Today Here's How Much Investing ,000 In Pfizer Stock Back In 2010 Would Be Worth TodaySee more from Benzinga * Kodak Short Sellers Are Getting Obliterated * A Closer Look At The Kodak Chairman's Stock Purchases As Shares Rally 1,500% * Kodak Had Some Very Suspicious Trading Activity Ahead Of Drug News(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Huawei asks Germany not to shut it out of building 5G networks - Der Spiegel

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 07:12

Huawei's [HWT.UL] top manager in Germany has appealed to the government not to shut it out of building 5G mobile networks, Der Spiegel said on Friday, after Britain decided to purge the Chinese firm's equipment from its network on security grounds. Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has put off a decision on tougher certification rules until after the summer break, amid pressure from some lawmakers who sympathise with U.S. calls to ban Huawei outright. "The government's approach of setting the same, tough security criteria for all is the right way to ensure networks are secure," Huawei's representative in Germany, David Wang, told the weekly news magazine.

Expedia Incurs Hefty Q2 Loss; Top Analyst Sticks To Buy Call

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 07:00

Shares of Expedia (EXPE) fell over 5% in pre-market as travel restrictions took a toll on operations in the second quarter. The company lost $4.09 per share in 2Q, significantly worse than analysts’ expectations of a $3.34 loss. Moreover, it compared unfavorably to the earnings of $1.77 per share in the year-ago period.Expedia’s quarterly revenues plunged 82% to $566 million year-over-year and missed the Street estimates of $681.9 million. The significant drop in its revenues reflects a decline in bookings due to travel restrictions imposed by countries across the world to contain coronavirus. Bookings fell by 90% year-over-year during the quarter.Despite a weak 2Q, five-star analyst Naved Khan of SunTrust Robinson assigned a Buy rating on Expedia with a price target of $138 (62.5% upside potential).In a research note, Khan said, "We’re encouraged by signs of a strong recovery in core lodging, which saw a rebound in net bookings during May/June and stabilized trends in July." He further stated, "We expect these changes to result in a more nimble and profitable business over the M/L term, supporting our bullish LT view."Overall, EXPE has a Moderate Buy analyst consensus. Given over 21% year-to-date decline in its stock, the average price target of $95.18 implies a 12.1% upside potential in the coming 12 months. (See EXPE stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Apple Up 6% After-Hours On Blowout Quarter; Strong iPhone Demand Amazon Rises 5% As ‘King Of E-Commerce Shines Amidst The Pandemic’ Facebook Soars 6% After-Hours On Strong Beat, Ad Resilience More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Comcast Beats Estimates On Robust Internet Customer Growth * Molson Coors Delivers Q2 Earnings Beat Despite Covid-19 Fallout * Eli Lilly Drops 5% On Weak 2Q Sales; Analyst Says Hold * Flex Jumps 5% In Extended Trading On Earnings Beat, Upbeat Guidance

Bill Gates: Dr. Fauci 'rolls with the punches' amid criticism

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 07:00

Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to discuss the Trump administration's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A troubling sign the labor market recovery has stalled: Morning Brief

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 06:20

Top news and what to watch in the markets on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Bond Yields Are Sending a Scary Signal on Stocks

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 06:00

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There is no shortage of investors shrugging off the latest leg lower in U.S. Treasury bond yields, saying heavy central bank involvement in this part of the financial market make such moves less of a signal that the economy or that equities are headed for trouble. That interpretation would be a mistake.Recall that yields on 30-year government bonds started to decline on Jan. 2, anticipating the fallout from the budding coronavirus crisis that had taken hold in China. Yields fell from 2.34% on that day to 0.94% on March 9, as the price of the benchmark 30-year bond leaped 29%. Only on Feb. 19—seven weeks later—did the S&P 500 Index begin its 35% slide. Fast forward and 30-year yields have fallen from 1.66% on June 8 to a recent 1.19% as their prices climbed 9%. The question is whether stocks will follow again, and with a similar lag of about seven weeks.The fundamental economic scene favors a repeat. The situation is ghastly, with Covid-19 infections accelerating and plans for physical classes at many schools, colleges and universities this fall risking further contagion. Staying closed or holding virtual classes, however, promotes dropouts, pressure to cut tuition and fees and financial disaster for many schools. Then there are the problems of reopening businesses, re-establishing and reorienting supply chains and encouraging many to return to work who are now paid more by federal and state unemployment benefits than when they were employed.The recent Treasury bond rally fits with our forecast that the recession has a second, more serious leg that will extend well into 2021, despite massive monetary and fiscal stimulus. Declining business activity saps private credit demand and makes Treasuries shine as havens. A deep recession also breeds deflation to the benefit of Treasuries. The government said Thursday that its core personal consumption expenditure index, which is what the Federal Reserve uses to track inflation, fell 1.1% in the second quarter.Over the entire post-World War II era, the correlation between Treasury bond yields and inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index is 60%. This is remarkably strong considering all the other possible influences on long-term interest rates such as federal budget deficits, wars, consumer sentiment and spending, and government actions. My forecast of Treasury bond yields starts and ends with my projection of inflation.The spread between 10-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Security yields and conventional 10-year Treasury yields, which is what bond traders expect inflation to average over the life of the securities, recently dropped to a miniscule 0.50% from 2.5% in 2012.Treasury bond investors concentrate on inflation, Fed policy and not much else. In contrast, equity mavens worry about a whole host of often conflicting issues such as corporate finances, profits, price-to-earnings ratios, to name just a few.Sure, the Fed has been buying Treasuries and along with other fixed-income securities, so its assets have exploded to $7 billion from around $4 trillion in February. Nevertheless, all this Fed-created liquidity hasn’t found its way into the real economy, as shown by the collapse in the velocity of money.Then there is the argument that, except for a handful of technology shares such as Facebook Inc., Inc., Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google-parent company Alphabet Inc., the stock market continues to be weak. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. notes that these five have added more than a third to their market values this year, despite the sharpest recession since the Great Depression.The S&P 500 is up 0.5% for the year thanks to the strength of those five companies, but the other 495 members are down about 5% on average on a market cap-weighted basis. Still, that 5% decline pales in comparison to the earlier 35% plunge in the S&P 500. Goldman Sachs calculates that if those five tech stocks were to fall 10%, the bottom 100 in the S&P 500 would need to jump 90% to offset the decline.Tech stocks have benefited from their relative independence from the nuts-and-bolts economy. Also, they’ve gotten a boost from homebound Americans who have replaced face-to-face contact with telecommunications. But they are very expensive and under fire from Washington and Europe for anti-competitive practices. And fads end. Recall the craze for Socks the Puppet and his dot-com buddies in the late 1990s. When that bubble broke, the Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 78%.Also recall the so-called Nifty Fifty group of stocks in the early 1970s. When the only companies of interest to investors made gimmick cameras, ran amusement parks and built motor homes, it was clear the basic economy was in trouble. What followed was the severe 1973-1975 recession and deep bear market.I believe the bond rally signals a renewed drop in stocks, with the S&P 500 down 30% to 40% from here as the great depth and length of the recession hits home.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.A. Gary Shilling is president of A. Gary Shilling & Co., a New Jersey consultancy, and author of “The Age of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies for a Decade of Slow Growth and Deflation.” Some portfolios he manages invest in currencies and commodities.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

How Bill Gates would treat COVID-19 if he were President of the United States

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 06:00

Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to discuss the U.S. federal government's pandemic response and how it can improve.

Gold Sets Fresh Record Heading for Best Month in Eight Years

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 04:50

(Bloomberg) -- Gold surged to a fresh record Friday fueled by a weaker dollar and low interest rates. Silver headed for its best month since 1979.Spot bullion is up 11% in July, heading for its best month in eight years, as a gauge of the dollar slumped, prompting concerns its status as the world’s reserve currency of choice is at risk, and U.S. real yields fell to a record low. While the ferocity of rallies in both gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there may be more gains ahead.Both metals are headed for their biggest annual gain in a decade, with record inflows into gold and silver exchange-traded funds, as concern about the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic boosts demand for havens. The Federal Reserve this week repeated a vow to use all its tools to support the U.S. economy, with governments and central banks worldwide already unleashing vast amounts of stimulus to shore up growth.Silver is also getting added support from investors betting on a rebound in industrial demand amid concerns over supplies.Spot gold rose as high as $1,983.36 an ounce early Friday -- a fresh record -- and was trading up 1% at $1,976.71 an ounce at 9:40 a.m. in London. Comex gold futures hit $2,005.40.Spot silver advanced 2.9% to $24.1679 after a three-day pause in its rally, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was down 0.1%, extending this month’s tumble.“We remain bullish with gold and silver and would not be surprised to see a speculative bull run on silver,” Frederic Panizzutti, managing director at MKS Dubai “Gold at $2,000 would put silver at around $30.”Gold traders on Thursday declared their intent to deliver 3.3 million ounces against the August Comex contract, the largest daily delivery notice in bourse data going back to 1994.With more stimulus on the horizon, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has said that gold is the currency of last resort amid an inflation threat to the dollar. The bank forecasts a rally to $2,300. Bank of America Corp. says prices could soar to as high as $3,000 an ounce, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. sees the rally losing steam later this year.“There is still plenty of upside left in this rally,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a note. “The backdrop remains highly conducive, with unwavering support from central banks likely to see monetary easing policies remain in place for the foreseeable future. This will keep bond yields low, raise inflation expectations and potentially keep the U.S. dollar weak.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Alphabet Up 8% After-Hours Despite First-Ever Revenue Decline

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 03:43

Shares in Alphabet (GOOGL) rose 7.6% in Thursday’s after-hours trading, despite the company posting its first-ever revenue decline.Nonetheless, earnings beat consensus estimates with Q2 GAAP EPS of $10.13 beating by $1.94. Meanwhile revenue of $38.29B dropped -1.7% year-over-year, but still beat Street estimates by $950M.“In the second quarter our total revenues were $38.3B, driven by gradual improvement in our ads business and strong growth in Google Cloud and Other Revenues,” commented Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google. “We continue to navigate through a difficult global economic environment.”Search Revenue declined 10% Y/Y (vs 9% year-over-year growth in Q1), while YouTube Ads Revenue grew 6% year-over-year in Q2 vs 33% in Q1. However, Search Revenue recovered to flat year-over-year at the end of June, with signs of continued modest recovery in July.As for Google Cloud, it delivered $3B in revenue, up 43% year-over-year vs 52% in Q1, with the deceleration partially reflecting the G-Suite price increase last April. Meanwhile TAC (traffic acquisition cost) came in at $6.69B just higher than consensus of $6.67B alongside operating margin of 17% (vs. 15.7% consensus) and Capex of $5.39B (vs $5.42B consensus).Alphabet had ~$13.5B of its prior buyback authorization remaining at the end of 1Q20 and repurchased $6.9B of shares though 2Q quarter. However, the Board has now approved an additional $28B implying it now has a $34.6B authorization available to support the stock if headwinds arise.Following the report, RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney reiterated his buy rating while ramping up the price target from $1,500 to $1,700.“Despite a slightly elongated recovery curve, we continue to see GOOGL (along with AMZN and FB) as among the most resilient ’Net Advertisers” he commented. “Fundamentals are slowly but surely improving, and aggressive share repo continues. We model 8% Gross Revenue growth in Q3 with growth rate close to normalized by Q4 at 15%” the analyst concluded.Similarly, Youssef Squali reiterated his buy rating while boosting his price target from $1,805 to $1,850. “Google continues to be an attractive story at a compelling valuation in our view, despite posting its first ever revenue decline, as trends exiting 2Q and into 3Q suggest an improving demand environment” the analyst explained.While macro uncertainty remains, the pandemic has proven to be a major accelerant to several digitization trends, which Google stands to benefit from long-term, Squali concludes.Overall, Alphabet scores a bullish Strong Buy Street consensus with a $1,668 average analyst price target (8% upside potential). Shares in GOOGL are up 15% year-to-date. (See Alphabet stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Facebook Soars 6% After-Hours On Strong Beat, Ad Resilience Amazon Rises 5% As ‘King Of E-Commerce Shines Amidst The Pandemic’ Shopify Soars 10% On Earnings Beat More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Eli Lilly Drops 5% On Weak 2Q Sales; Analyst Says Hold * Flex Jumps 5% In Extended Trading On Earnings Beat, Upbeat Guidance * Apple Up 6% After-Hours On Blowout Quarter; Strong iPhone Demand * Amazon Rises 5% As ‘King Of E-Commerce Shines Amidst The Pandemic’

Nokia shares jump after cull of low-margin business sees earnings beat

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 02:28

Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia reported an unexpected rise in second-quarter underlying profit on Friday as it took on less low-margin business particularly in China, sending its shares up 13% in early trade. Cutting less-profitable service business and not winning 5G radio deals in the cut-throat Chinese market helped Nokia, where new Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark takes over this weekend, upgrade its earnings outlook for 2020. "We do not mind trading poor revenue which doesn't have high quality margin for better revenue," outgoing chief executive Rajeev Suri told Reuters.

Nokia Raises Profit Guidance With 5G Comeback Plan on Track

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 02:00

(Bloomberg) -- Nokia Oyj bumped up its full-year earnings guidance after slashing costs and overhauling its products to catch up with rivals in the market for fifth-generation wireless networks.The company expects diluted earnings per share of 0.25 euro cents, plus or minus 5 cents, versus a previous projection for 0.23 euro cents.Adjusted operating profit for the second quarter was 423 million euros, beating average analyst estimates of 289.8 million euros according Bloomberg-tracked ratings.Key InsightsChief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri’s last results as CEO mark a low-point for Nokia after it lost ground to competitors in 5G mobile networks and the coronavirus disrupted supply chains and dampened investment.“Nokia-level revenue was down in the quarter” largely due to Covid-19 and China declines, Suri said in the statement. “We expect that the majority of sales missed in the quarter due to Covid-19 will shift to future periods.”Its fortunes are set to improve as a new low-cost radio-access base station puts it back in the game on 5G and chief rival Huawei is forced out of key European markets by a U.S.-led boycott campaign. That company’s struggles may be one reason Nokia can upgrade its guidance.Nokia said it expects to slightly underperform its primary addressable market, excluding China. Previously it had said it expected to perform in line with the market.Market ContextNokia shares were up about 4% for the year through Thursday’s close. More analysts are advising clients buy the stock than are recommending a hold or a sell stance.Get MoreSuri’s replacement, Pekka Lundmark, takes over on Aug. 1 and is expected to begin a review of strategy. Suri’s biggest move was to buy rival Alcatel-Lucent in 2016, a deal that gave Nokia a wider product portfolio but required a complex integration process that, according to analysts, distracted management just as the 5G race was beginning.Nokia’s second-quarter net sales were down 11% from a year earlier to 5.09 billion euros ($6.05 billion), compared to an average analyst forecast of 5.31 billion euros.Nokia reported an operating margin of 9.5% plus or minus 1.5 percentage points, against a previous midpoint of 9.0%.See the numbers here.Nokia Cuts 1,200 French Jobs in Former Alcatel-Lucent BusinessHow Nokia’s Alcatel Deal Has Come Back to Haunt Its CEO(Updates with CEO comments under Key Insights)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Europe Is Building the Next Tesla. Who Knew?

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 02:00

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When Nikola Corp. started trading on Nasdaq in June, the Phoenix-based clean transportation company raced quickly to a valuation of almost $30 billion.Its market worth has since fallen to a more reasonable $10.5 billion, but that’s still pretty spicy for a business yet to generate any revenue. Its most promising products are its heavy trucks, powered by electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.The rise of Nikola (whose name, cheekily, is another evocation of electrical engineer Nikola Tesla) will have reinforced a view among European auto industry executives that the U.S. stock market operates by different rules. While Tesla Inc. is only modestly profitable, it’s valued at about $275 billion, more than Europe’s five largest carmakers combined.At least Europe has a stake in the latest heavily hyped project. Founded by Trevor Milton, a 38-year-old American college dropout, Nikola is relying heavily on expertise from the old continent. Robert Bosch Gmbh, a German automotive supplier, has helped develop the U.S. company’s electric powertrain, and the first Nikola trucks will be built in a German factory belonging to Italy’s Iveco, a truck maker backed by the billionaire Agnelli family. Bosch and Iveco each own more than 6% of Nikola. CNH Industrial NV, Iveco’s parent, just recorded a $1.5 billion fair value gain on that investment.(1) The biggest question is whether a start-up dependent on so much external help should have a whizzy valuation like Tesla, which builds much of its technology itself. And if Europe has this expertise, why hasn’t it produced its own rival to Elon Musk’s carmaker?Maybe it’s a lack of chutzpah. Nikola’s name isn’t the only reason it’s often compared with Tesla. Milton’s hyperactive Twitter presence makes Musk look tame by comparison. Both men’s ambitions extend beyond selling zero-emission vehicles to producing and storing clean energy. While Nikola is focused on heavy-duty trucks, it has touted a variety of consumer products including a pickup called the Badger. These are catnip for retail investors, as the excitement over Musk’s Cybertruck demonstrates.While Tesla and Nikola are both working on electric heavy trucks, they differ in at least two important respects. The first is hydrogen: Musk is dismissive, while Milton thinks hydrogen is the perfect fuel for long truck journeys. The second is their attitude toward building stuff in-house. True, in its early days Tesla worked with Lotus to help make the Roadster, and Daimler AG helped develop the Model S saloon. Tesla partners with Panasonic to produce battery cells. But Musk is famous for trying to build his own technology, from electric powertrains and automated-driving software to car seats.Nikola developed its own software, infotainment and battery management-system, as well as vehicle aerodynamics, according to Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne. It has outsourced or used hired help to do much of the other stuff. More than 200 Bosch employees were involved in building important parts of Nikola’s trucks, including the electric motor for the axle, the vehicle-control unit, the battery and the hydrogen fuel cell. The result is a mix of intellectual property owned either separately or jointly by Nikola and its suppliers. There’s no doubt, however, who has the deeper expertise. So far Nikola has been awarded 11 U.S. patents, about 1% of the total Bosch is awarded in a typical year. “Bosch gets paid to help us get to industry standards on products,” Milton told me.Getting partners to provide the technological building blocks has some advantages. Nikola has only 300 employees and yet its first trucks should start rolling off the production line soon. Working with partners cuts the risk of the manufacturing delays and quality problems that plagued Tesla.It’s an efficient use of capital too. Nikola’s research and development expenses were just $68 million last year. Tesla spent $1.3 billion. After going public, Nikola has about $900 million of cash, although that won’t go far in the automotive business. For the North American market, Nikola plans to handle its own manufacturing, with technical assistance from Iveco. Nikola broke ground this week on a $600 million factory in Arizona.Whether or not you believe the extensive involvement of outside partners should have a bearing on its lofty valuation, there are other things that could upset Nikola’s plans. Building a refueling network is a central part of its business model, but this won’t come cheap at $17 million for each hydrogen station. The company is also entering a competitive field populated by more experienced and better capitalized rivals. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz failed to follow through on its early experiments with electric cars and let Tesla roar past. It probably won’t make the same mistake with trucks.Daimler is the world’s largest truck maker and it plans to start production of its electric eActros and eCascadia models next year. The German giant has also formed a joint venture with Sweden’s Volvo AB to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for heavy vehicles. That venture is valued by the companies at just 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion), putting the Nikola valuation into perspective.    Even if its share price looks overblown, Nikola’s improbable rise shows there’s investor demand for clean transportation companies that don’t still have one foot planted in the combustion-engine past. European manufacturers have the technical chops but they must find better ways to capitalize on investor excitement through new business models or spinoffs. Otherwise someone else will.(1) This was measured on June 30 when Nikola's stock was much higherThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Facebook Soars 6% After-Hours On Strong Beat, Ad Resilience

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 01:36

Shares in social media giant Facebook (FB) soared 6.5% in Thursday’s after-hours trading after the company reported better-than-hoped earning results for the second quarter.Specifically, Q2 GAAP EPS of $1.80 beat Street estimates by $0.40 while revenue of $18.69B also topped Street expectations by $1.33B, and was up 10.7% from the same period last year. Ad revenue was also up 10% at $18.32B (vs. consensus of $16.95B)- and Facebook expects a similar strong rate of growth for the third quarter.Meanwhile daily active users (DAU) surged to 1.79B vs. the consensus of 1.75B- and similarly monthly active users (MAU) of 2.70B easily beat the consensus of 2.63B. That’s with average revenue per user (ARPU) at $7.05, again higher than the expected forecast of $6.63.Also of note, operating income spiked 29% to $5.96B (31.9% margin), with net income almost doubling to $5.18B thanks to a significantly lower effective tax rate.Looking forward, FB trimmed its 2020 Opex outlook by $1B at the high end to $52–55B but said its 2020 Capex would be around $16B ($14–16B prior).Following the report, analysts rushed to reiterate their buy calls on the stock. SunTrust Robinson analyst Youssef Squali has now ramped up his price target from $245 to $285 writing: “We remain bullish on FB and raise our PT to $285 on the back of stronger than expected 2Q20 results, positive commentary, growth stabilization in July, elevated user engagement, and a resilient ad ecosystem.”The analyst calls Facebook’s valuation ‘compelling’ and adds “FB’s auction-based, objective-driven ad platform with the depth and breadth provided by 9M SME advertisers proved its value in 2Q20 in the face of a global pandemic and an ad boycott.”Meanwhile RBC Capital’s Mark Mahaney took his price target all the way from $271 to $320, explaining that Facebook is one of the most resilient internet advertisers out there. “We raise our PT to $320, based on 22x ’22E GAAP EPS of $14.51 and 12x ’22E EBITDA of $69B. Our 3-yr outlook for 20–30% bottom-line growth supports these multiples” the analyst told investors on July 30.Overall, FB scores a bullish Strong Buy Street consensus with 26 recent buy ratings vs just 3 hold ratings. Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at $265 (13% upside potential). Shares are up 14% year-to-date. (See Facebook stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: PayPal Rises 4% In Extended Trading On 2Q Earnings Beat 3M Disappoints With 2Q Earnings, RBC Capital Sticks To Hold Shopify Soars 10% On Earnings Beat More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Alphabet Up 8% After-Hours Despite First-Ever Revenue Decline * Apple Up 6% After-Hours On Blowout Quarter; Strong iPhone Demand * Amazon Rises 5% As ‘King Of E-Commerce Shines Amidst The Pandemic’ * Exxon Is Said To Prepare Spending, Job Cuts To Save Dividend; Shares Drop

Gilead raises sales outlook to include COVID-19 treatment remdesivir

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 23:31

Gilead said it expects total 2020 sales of $23 billion to $25 billion, up from its previous range of $21.8 billion to $22.2 billion. "We think this implies up to $1 billion to $3 billion of remdesivir, ... a positive that was not expected at the start of the year," said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee. Gilead's second-quarter sales fell nearly 10% from a year earlier to $5.1 billion, short of the average analyst estimate of $5.3 billion, according to Refinitiv.

Ford posts profit, but expects full-year 2020 loss

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 23:30

Ford's comments came as the company posted a quarterly profit thanks to an investment by Volkswagen AG in its self-driving Argo AI unit, more than offsetting a loss caused by a coronavirus-induced production shutdown. The better-than-expected results and earnings outlook sent Ford's shares up 2.5% in after-market trading. Ford said it expects a pre-tax profit of between $500 million and $1.5 billion for the third quarter and a loss for the fourth quarter, which features three significant product launches delayed by the shutdown earlier this year.

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