1. TESLA: – -U.S. electric-vehicle maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc said on Thursday it was developing a platform for car owners in China that will allow them to access data generated by their vehicles.
Tesla, which makes Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles at its Shanghai factory, aims to launch the data platform this year, it said in a statement.
This is the first time an automaker has announced plans to allow customers access car data in China, the world’s biggest car market.
Automakers for the past several years have been equipping more vehicles with cameras and sensors to capture images of a car’s surroundings. Control of use, sending and storage of these images is a fast-emerging challenge for the industry and regulators worldwide.
2. Volkswagen: – Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess said Europe’s top carmaker was in “crisis mode” over an ongoing lack of badly needed automotive chips, adding the impact of the shortage would intensify and hit profits in the second quarter.
Speaking after bumper results for the first three months of the year, during which operating profits increased more than fivefold, Diess said the bottleneck would “substantially burden earnings” in the quarter to June.
The shortage has been caused by a mix of factors, including the car industry’s sharper than expected rebound from the coronavirus crisis and a fire at key automotive chip maker Renesas Electronics Corp.
Snow storms in Texas earlier this year have made the situation worse, hurting local production of chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), Infineon (OTC:IFNNY) and NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI).
3. ArcelorMittal: – ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, reported higher than expected first-quarter earnings on Thursday after what it said was its strongest quarter in a decade.
The company said it expects global steel demand to grow by between 4.5% and 5.5% this year, with inventories low after prolonged destocking, capacity utilization rising and steel spreads healthy. Excluding China, that growth would be 8.5% to 9.5%, with a strong rebound expected in India.
The Luxembourg-based company reported first-quarter core profit (EBITDA) of $3.24 billion, more than three times the $967 million a year earlier and higher than the $2.97 billion average forecast in a company poll.
“The first quarter of this year has been our strongest in a decade,” CEO Aditya Mittal said in a statement.
“We are seeing a continuation of the positive market dynamics of the fourth quarter and have been steadily bringing back production in line with the demand recovery, which is supported by low inventory levels through the value chain.”
4. Uber Technologies: – Uber Technologies Inc signaled it would pay drivers more to get cars back on the road as the U.S. economy recovers from the pandemic and disclosed a $600 million charge to provide UK drivers with benefits, a sign of the potential costs if the United States requires more driver compensation.
Shares of Uber (NYSE:UBER) were down 4.6% in after-hours trade. The stock fell 3.4% during the regular session after the Biden administration blocked a Trump-era rule affecting gig workers.
The cost and speed of business recovery is of paramount interest to investors, and Uber executives on Wednesday said the take rate, the share Uber takes in fees from each ride, would drop from the previous quarter to a 20% range. Taking a lower cut will allow Uber drivers to earn more, but weigh on Uber’s second-quarter mobility revenue and profitability.
Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said shares fell after hours because of the pressure on the take rate and implicit driver incentives.
The food-delivery business continued to grow in the first quarter, but ride-hail bookings were flat from the previous quarter.
5. Exxon Mobil: – Exxon Mobil Corp expects up to $200 million in charges this year related to job cuts in an era of cost savings, according to a regulatory filing.
The biggest U.S. oil producer has slashed costs, delayed projects and said it could trim an estimated 14,000 employees globally, or 15%, including contractors. Exxon (NYSE:XOM) reported its first annual loss last year as the COVID-19 pandemic battered energy demand.
The company will spend more this year than in 2020 as workers exit, according to the filing.
Total cash outflows would be between $400 million and $600 million, versus $47 million last year, according to the filing. Exxon had set aside some money last year toward the costs.
The severance cost estimate does not include job cuts related to changes in the company’s portfolio, it said.
Reductions should be “substantially complete” by year end, including voluntary and involuntary exits and the use of fewer in contractors, Exxon said.
In the first quarter the company had before-tax charges of $39 million mostly from employee separation costs in Singapore and Europe.