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05 Oct 2021

1.JOHNSON & JOHNSON:   Johnson & Johnson  said on Tuesday it had submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine in people aged 18 years and older.

The filing comes after the FDA last week scheduled an Oct. 15 meeting of its expert advisory committee to discuss whether to authorize a second shot of J&J’s single-dose vaccine.

J&J said its submission includes data from a late-stage study that found a booster of its vaccine given 56 days after the primary dose provided 94% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in the United States and 100% protection against severe disease, at least 14 days after the booster shot.

The FDA has already authorized a booster dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc  and partner BioNTech for 65-year olds and older, people at high risk of severe disease and others who are regularly exposed to the virus.

Moderna  also submitted its application seeking authorization for a booster shot of its two-dose vaccine last month.

J&J said it plans to submit the data to other regulators, the World Health Organization and National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups to inform decision-making on local vaccine administration strategies, as needed.

2.PEPSI Co:-PepsiCo Inc raised its full-year revenue forecast on Tuesday, as the opening of public venues including theaters and restaurants following the lifting of pandemic-induced restrictions boosted demand for its sodas and snacks.

The company said revenue from its North America Beverage unit, its largest business, rose 7% in the third quarter on a double-digit increase in net revenue from food-service joints and strong demand for its Mountain Dew soft drink.

Revenue from the company’s Frito-Lay North America business also rose about 6% in the quarter, signaling that pandemic driven demand for salty and savory snacks was still holding strong despite people starting to spend less time at home.

However, PepsiCo’s net attributable income fell about 3% to $2.22 billion, due in part to higher distribution costs as it grappled with rising raw material prices and global supply chains disruptions, which have pressured profit margins at packaged food companies this year.

Net revenue rose 11.6% to $20.19 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 4, above analysts’ estimates of $19.39 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company said it was expecting fiscal 2021 organic revenue to rise about 8%, compared with its prior forecast of a 6% increase.

Shares of PepsiCo, which in August announced a $3.3 billion deal to offload Tropicana and other juice brands in North America, were little changed in premarket trading.

3.FACEBOOK-Facebook  whistleblower Frances Haugen will appear before the U.S. Congress Tuesday, where she is set to sharply criticize her former employer as “one of the most urgent threats” facing the country, and to demand transparency about its operations in order to better regulate it.

Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, says the social media giant keeps its algorithms and operations a secret.

“The core of the issue is that no one can understand Facebook’s destructive choices better than Facebook, because only Facebook gets to look under the hood,” she said in written testimony prepared for the hearing.

“A critical starting point for effective regulation is transparency,” she said in testimony to be delivered to a Senate Commerce subcommittee.

“On this foundation, we can build sensible rules and standards to address consumer harms, illegal content, data protection, anticompetitive practices, algorithmic systems and more.”

Haugen will tell the panel that Facebook executives regularly choose profits over user safety.

“The company’s leadership knows ways to make Facebook and Instagram safer and won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people,” she will say. “It is accountable to no one.”

4.TESLA:-Tesla stock was up 1% in Tuesday’s premarket trading, shrugging off an award of more than $130 million in damages against it in a case of racial harassment.

The plaintiff, Owen Diaz, worked as an elevator operator at the factory between 2015 and 2016. The company was sued by the black former worker over charges that its San Francisco Bay area factory was hostile to him and that it was negligent in its supervision or retention of an employee. Diaz also alleged that the company failed to prevent his racial harassment.

“While we strongly believe that these facts don’t justify the verdict reached by the jury in San Francisco, we do recognize that in 2015 and 2016 we were not perfect. We’re still not perfect. But we have come a long way from 5 years ago. We continue to grow and improve in how we address employee concerns,” Valerie Capers Workman, Tesla’s vice president of people, wrote to staff in an email.

It is the second time in recent months that the electric-vehicle maker has been found liable in a case of alleged racial discrimination.

Melvin Berry, another black former Tesla worker, won a $1 million relief in May after an arbitrator found that he was called racial slurs by his supervisors at the Fremont factory.

5.DAIMLER:  Daimler Trucks CEO Martin Daum said the truckmaker, set to spin-off from Daimler  in December, will continue to sell fewer vehicles than it could have in the coming year as chip shortages hamper production.

“We will certainly be delivering less than we could have sold, and that also applies to next year,” he said at a roundtable with journalists on Tuesday, echoing recent warnings from competitors like Traton that profits could fall in the second half due to supply chain issues.

“It’s a fight over every chip,” Daum said.

While passenger vehicle producers such as BMW or Daimler can increase prices to offset chip losses, truckmakers do not have this flexibility, he said.

Still, the company has committed to a 15% fixed-cost reduction from 2019 levels by 2025, and cuts are “well underway”, he said. A concrete update will be provided at the company’s Capital Markets Day on Nov. 11.

Daimler Trucks & Buses, which prior to the pandemic reaped annual profits of around 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), is set to become the world’s largest truckmaker once the spin-off from Daimler – approved by shareholders on Friday – is complete.

Between chip troubles and lacking infrastructure for the hydrogen and electric trucks it is betting on for 60% of its revenues by 2030, the newly spun-off firm is entering a challenging market.

Its latest results show profit margins lagging behind competitors such as Traton’s Scania and Volvo Group’s Volvo Trucks.