08 Oct 2021

1.TESLA:   Tesla stock  traded 0.7% lower in Friday’s premarket as the market absorbed CEO Elon Musk’s decision to move the company’s headquarters to Texas from California.

The company plans to maintain a significant presence in California and even increase output at its Fremont factory there.

Tesla even held its 2021 annual meeting of stockholders at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas’s capital, on Thursday. The management advanced two main reasons for the move. One was the limited scope for expansion at the Fremont factory, the other being the high cost of living in California and the long distances that employees were forced to travel.

The company had numerous run-ins with state regulators last year as it tried to keep the Fremont factory open in defiance of state decrees on social distancing. Musk, who has personally already relocated to Texas, called the state’s health orders ‘fascist’ on an earnings call at the time.

The electric vehicle maker thus joins a growing a list of companies which have moved out of California. Oracle , HPE and Toyota are among them. 

According to StreetInsider, Wedbush’s Dan Ives believes the move is Tesla’s first step towards making Austin its domestic and global hub.

Texas has been a key beneficiary of the move out of California.

“The Lone Star State is the land of opportunity and innovation,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted, welcoming Musk and his company.

2.SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS:-Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Friday flagged a 28% jump in its third-quarter operating profit to the highest in three years, driven by rising memory chip prices and display sales for new flagship smartphone launches.

The preliminary result was up 26% from the second quarter, although just below forecasts, while the market reaction was further muted as analysts pencilled in a flat or slightly lower result this quarter on an expected fall in memory chip prices.

The world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker estimated its July-September profit at 15.8 trillion won ($13.3 billion), below a Refinitiv SmartEstimate of 16.1 trillion won. It is the highest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2018.

“The mobile business’ operating margin might have been lower than the market expected,” said Park Sung-soon, analyst at Cape Investment & Securities. “We will have to see marketing costs and what the mix of products Samsung  sold was like.”

Rising memory chip prices and shipments, plus a jump in profitability at Samsung’s chip contract manufacturing business, likely raised the chip division’s operating profit by about 79% from a year earlier, analysts said.

Semiconductors accounted for about half of Samsung’s operating profit in the first half of the year.

Samsung shares pared early gains to be up 0.4% in afternoon trade. It is due to announce detailed earnings later this month.

3.PFIZER-Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE  have asked U.S. regulators to authorize emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a group for whom no shot is currently allowed, Pfizer  said on Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set a date of Oct. 26 for its panel of outside advisers to meet and discuss the application, making it possible for children in this age group – numbering around 28 million – to begin receiving the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shortly afterward.

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against #COVID19,” Pfizer wrote on Twitter .

The vaccine already has won U.S. emergency use authorization in teens ages 12 to 15 and is fully approved by regulators for people ages 16 and up.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is one of three in use in the United States, along with the two-dose Moderna  vaccine and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson  version, neither of which has won full regulatory approval for any age group.

A rapid authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in young kids could help mitigate a potential surge of cases in the coming weeks and months, with schools open nationwide and colder weather driving activities indoors. If given regulatory authorization, the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would become the first COVID-19 shot made available to children 5 to 11 in the United States.

4.FORD:-U.S. automaker Ford will temporarily suspend production from Oct. 11-12 at its Hermosillo plant in Mexico because of a shortage of material, the plant’s labor union said on Thursday.

Workers will be paid 75% of salaries on those days, the union added in a statement.

Ford produces its Bronco Sport SUV at the Hermosillo plant in Sonora. It did not specify which materials were in short supply.

Ford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other automakers have been struggling with a chips shortage as manufacturers shifted production toward parts needed for laptop computers, cell phones and video games during the pandemic.

Rivals General Motors  and Volkswagen  have suspended operations several times this year. On Wednesday, the Mexican unit of Nissan said it would temporarily stop production during October at two plants.

Earlier this month, Ford said it would suspend production at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant and at parts of its Kansas City plant.

5.STELLANTIS:   Stellantis, the world’s fourth largest carmaker, said on Thursday it would invest $229 million in three plants in Indiana to expedite the development of electric vehicles.

The investment, which will retain 662 jobs, will retool three Kokomo plants in Indiana to produce electrified, eight-speed transmissions, Stellantis said.

A global clampdown on emissions has forced carmakers to accelerate the development of low-emission technology, even for their low-margin mainstream models.

Stellantis, formed earlier this year through the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA, made the announcement during an event at the Kokomo Transmission Plant attended by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

Earlier this year, the carmaker announced it would invest more than 30 billion euros ($35.54 billion) through 2025 on electrifying its vehicle lineup.