1.TOYOTA : Toyota Motor Corp posted a record quarterly profit on Wednesday and Honda Motor Co raised its annual profit estimate as pandemic-hit sales rebounded, but the automakers saw no end in sight to the global chip shortage.
Japan’s top-two automakers joined a host of global car makers, including BMW and Stellantis, in warning that the shortage in chips was likely to persist, as post-lockdown auto demand booms in markets such as the United States.
Toyota shares fell 2% in afternoon trading on Wednesday, extending losses from the morning session, with some investors disappointed that the company had not lifted its profit guidance.
The world’s biggest automaker by vehicle sales stuck by its forecast made in May for an operating profit of 2.5 trillion yen ($22.93 billion) for the current fiscal year, trailing an average forecast for a 2.88 trillion yen profit, according to analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Honda swung to a first-quarter operating profit that was double analyst expectations and raised its full-year forecast by 18% to an operating profit of 780 billion yen in the current financial year based on strong sales.
Both automakers cautioned that a global chip shortage and rising COVID-19 cases were weighing on their outlooks, though Honda said it had boosted its forecast because of its cost-cutting efforts.
Toyota said it was also benefitting from a cost improvement programme.
“We will continue these activities in the future, but the situation is still unpredictable due to the expansion of COVID-19 in emerging countries, semiconductor shortage, and soaring material prices,” Toyota said in a statement.
Toyota’s operating profit soared to 997.49 billion yen ($9.15 billion) for the three months ended June 30 from the pandemic-hit first quarter of last year, and was higher than analysts’ average estimate of 752 billion yen.
Profit for the latest quarter was also boosted by favourable foreign exchange movements.
2.HONDA:- Honda Motor Co swung on Wednesday to a first-quarter operating profit of 243.21 billion yen ($2.23 billion) from a 113.7 billion loss a year ago as car sales recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Operating profit at Japan’s No.2 car maker by sales for the three months ended June 30 was double the average profit estimate of 119.2 billion yen based on nine analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Honda raised its full-year forecast by 18% and now expects an operating profit of 780 billion yen in the current financial year, having previously forecast in May a 660 billion yen operating profit.
The new forecast is higher than an average forecast of a 764 billion yen operating profit from 19 analysts polled by Refinitiv.
3.SONY:-Sony Corp raised its earnings outlook and reported a jump in first-quarter operating profit on Wednesday as pandemic-led demand boosted sales of PlayStation 5 consoles, TVs, cameras, music and movies.
Operating profit for the quarter ended June 30 rose to 280.1 billion yen ($2.57 billion) from 221.7 billion yen a year earlier, better than the 207.96 billion yen average prediction from 10 analysts, according to Refinitiv.
It raised its profit forecast for the year through March 2022 to 980 billion yen from 930 billion yen, bringing it closer to an average estimate of 1 billion yen estimated by 25 analysts.
Sony has benefited from strong demand for its PlayStation 5 games console as people stay home, although a shortage of semiconductors, which is also affecting the likes of Apple , means it cannot produce enough consoles to meet demand.
Sony in May said it expected to sell 14.8 million PS5 units in the fiscal year ending March 2022. Launched in core markets in November 2020, the console, which sells for as much as $500, quickly sold out.
Sony sees the game console as a way to connect its traditional consumer electronics with its growing content business by encouraging online game downloads and sign-ups for subscription services.
4.GENERAL MOTORS:-Detroit’s Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union said on Tuesday they will reinstate requirements to wear masks at all U.S. plants, offices and warehouses beginning on Wednesday, but are not requiring workers to be vaccinated.
The move is in response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) change in COVID-19 guidance for masks for fully vaccinated people related to the Delta variant, General Motors Co , Ford Motor Co and Chrysler parent Stellantis NV said in a joint statement with the union.
Toyota Motor Corp said effective Wednesday it will reinstate mask requirements at nearly all U.S. facilities, with the exception of two Michigan facilities that are in counties with moderate transmission rates.
Nissan Motor Co also said Tuesday it was reinstating its mask requirements for all U.S. employees. Volkswagen AG said it was requiring masks at U.S. facilities in COVID-19 hot spots, while Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz U.S. unit said it had reinstated mask requirements at U.S. plants late last week.
The UAW does not support requiring all workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and U.S. automakers have not mandated vaccines. The union and automakers are strongly encouraging workers to get vaccinated.
“We are urging all UAW members and their families to get vaccinated. The science is telling us very clearly that the only way to get back to normal is to reach a heightened level of immunity,” UAW President Ray Curry told members in a letter Tuesday. “However, we also know that for some, there are religious and health reasons for not getting vaccinated.”
.5.AMAZON –E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc interfered with a union election by installing a mailbox to collect ballots and by distributing paraphernalia encouraging employees to vote against organizing, according to a report by a U.S. National Labor Relations Board hearing officer.
The NLRB official on Monday recommended a rerun of the landmark Amazon union election in Alabama where employees overwhelmingly voted against making their warehouse the online retailer’s first to organize in the United States.
In the coming weeks, a regional director for the NLRB will decide whether to order the rerun based on the recommendation, said an official on Monday with the board, who asked not to be named.
The election results in April showed workers rejected the effort by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) to organize the Amazon facility by a more than 2-1 margin.
Amazon, recapitulating a statement it provided on Monday, said it would appeal.
“Our employees had a chance to be heard during a noisy time when all types of voices were weighing into the national debate, and at the end of the day, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a direct connection with their managers and the company,” the company said.
Amazon’s efforts to have the U.S. Postal Service install a mailbox outside the Bessemer, Alabama, fulfillment center usurped the NLRB’s exclusive role in administering union elections and interfered with conditions necessary to conduct a fair vote, according to the hearing officer’s report, which the NLRB released on Tuesday.
Security cameras overlooking the mailbox site gave employees the impression they were under surveillance, the hearing officer found. A tent erected around the mailbox adorned with a company campaign slogan, while not enough on its own to invalidate the vote, amounted to electioneering that tainted the election, she added.