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Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 8:59pm
Photo by Robert Way on Shutterstock

China’s largest manufacturer of new energy vehicles (NEV) BYD (OTC: BYDDY) (OTC: BYDDF), named on the Fortune Global 500 list earlier this month, is planning to set up a new commercial vehicle and parts production base in Huai'an, eastern Jiangsu province, CnEVPost reported.

What Happened: According to a post on Huai'an city's official WeChat account, the firm and the local government launched a strategic partnership in 2017, and the latter is providing strong support for BYD's development, as per the report.

Also Read: Alibaba Cuts Over 9,000 Jobs In June Quarter To Improve Efficiency And Profit Margin: Report

Production Capacity: The firm’s commercial vehicle and parts production project will be able to hit an annual sales of RMB15 billion ($2.2 billion) when it is fully operational, according to the report.

In July, the firm sold 162,530 NEVs, including 162,214 passenger vehicles and 316 commercial vehicles. BYD has sold 3,509 commercial NEVs this year, 27% lower than a year earlier, the report said.

BYD is backed by Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.

Order Book: The firm accumulated more than 700,000 undelivered orders in early July, according to the report citing local media.

Market Presence: BYD’s pure electric buses are present in more than 70 countries and 400 cities worldwide, including over 100 cities in Europe. In July, the firm announced its entry into the passenger vehicle market in Japan.

Price Action: U.S.-listed ADRs of BYD ended 3.3% lower at $73.5 on Friday, but rose 0.6% in extended trading, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

Read Next: How Warren Buffett-Backed BYD's July Sales Stack Up Against Nio, XPeng And Li Auto


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 6:26pm
NYSE

We are past the peak of earnings season, and about 87% of the S&P 500 companies have already released their quarterly numbers, FactSet reports.

About 75.6% of the S&P 500 companies have reported above-consensus earnings, according to Benzinga Pro data. The percentage of beat drops to about 63% when all companies are included.

A look back at the past week’s earnings trend shows that Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) disappointed with its below-par third-quarter revenue guidance. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) reported flat revenue performance for the first time ever.

Here are the key earnings scheduled for the unfolding week:

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN)

  • Earnings Schedule: Monday, before the market open
  • EPS Estimate: $1.97 Vs. $2.70 a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $13.24 billion Vs. $12.47 billion a year ago

Tyson Foods is expected to report modest revenue growth but input cost pressure may weigh down on its bottom-line.

BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX)

  • Earnings Schedule: Monday, before the market open
  • EPS Estimate: $7.36 Vs. $12.97 a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $4.09 billion Vs. $6.39 billion a year ago

Expectations are running high for BioNTech, especially after its U.S. partner Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported strong COVID vaccine revenue in the second quarter. The U.S. company raked in $8.5 billion from the sales of Comirnaty.

Palantir Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: PLTR)

  • Earnings Schedule: Monday, before the market open
  • EPS Estimate: 3 cents Vs. 4 cents a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $471.34 million Vs. $376 million a year ago

Related Link: Will The S&P 500 Finish Higher In 2022? Here's What Analysts Predict

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX)

  • Earnings Schedule: Monday, after the close
  • EPS Estimate: $5.5 Vs. (-$4.75) a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $1.02 billion Vs. $298 million a year ago

With the COVID-19 vaccine revenue finally flowing, Novavax is expected to report a profit as opposed to a loss a year ago. Investor focus is likely to rest on vaccine revenue and also commentary on uptake.

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG)

  • Earnings Schedule: Monday, after the close
  • EPS Estimate: $1.10 Vs. $1.52 a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $11.25 billion Vs. $11.27 billion a year ago

News Corporation, Inc. (NASDAQ: NWSA) (NASDAQ: NWS)

  • Earnings Schedule: Monday, after the close
  • EPS Estimate: 7 cents Vs. 16 cents a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $2.59 billion Vs. $2.49 billion a year ago

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH)

  • Earnings Schedule: Tuesday, before the market open
  • EPS Estimate: (-86 cents) Vs. (-$1.93) a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $1.26 billion Vs. $4.37 billion a year ago

Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN)

  • Earnings Schedule: Tuesday, after the close
  • EPS Estimate: (-$2.68) Vs. $6.42 cents a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $830.52 million Vs. $1.78 billion a year ago

The downturn in cryptocurrencies may have hurt trading volume at Coinbase, potentially resulting in a decline in revenue. The company’s shares recently received a shot in the arm from the partnership it announced with BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) for the latter’s institutional clients getting direct access to Coinbase's trading custody,

Fox Corporation (NYSE: FOXA) (NASDAQ: FOX)

  • Earnings Schedule: Wednesday, before the market open
  • EPS Estimate: 49 cents Vs. 54 cents a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $7.84 billion Vs. $7.42 billion a year ago

Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) (Q3 results)

  • Earnings Schedule: Wednesday, after the close
  • EPS Estimate: $1.0 Vs. 69 cents a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $20.49 billion Vs. $17.0 billion a year ago

Disney’s results could be watched closely to see whether the economic travails have impacted attendance at its theme parks. The focus will also be on Disney+ streaming service’s subscriber growth trends.

Roblox, Inc. (NYSE: RBLX)

  • Earnings Schedule: Wednesday, after the close
  • EPS Estimate: (-0.26 cents) Vs. (-25 cents) a year ago
  • Revenue Estimate: $645 million Vs. $454.1 million a year ago

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Beale on flickr


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 5:51pm
LeBron James and Brittney Griner

In March, Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia for possession of cannabis oil. That arrest has turned into a nine-year prison sentence and been one of the most talked about international stories of 2022 in a battle between Russia and the United States.

While the arrest has highlighted rules on cannabis and led to a potential prisoner swap between the two countries, it may also highlight the salary disparity between the men and women that play in the NBA and WNBA respectively.

What Happened: Griner, who is one of the biggest stars of the WNBA, was arrested in March. The arrest came as Griner was trying to leave the country amid the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the United States wanting any citizens abroad in Russia to return home.

The arrest and subsequent sentencing led to the U.S. to seek a prisoner exchange to get Griner back to the country. The potential prisoner swap even led to a comment from the world’s richest man, with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk saying the U.S. should also free non-violent marijuana offenders in U.S. prisons.

Both male and female athletes have rallied behind Griner hoping to see the WNBA star returned to the U.S.

Griner was the number one overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft after four seasons with Baylor University that included a NCAA Championship. Griner landed an endorsement deal with Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) after being drafted into the WNBA.

Griner has been one of the best players in the league since 2013. Griner has played in 254 WNBA games, averaging 17.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The 2021-2022 season saw Griner average 20.5 points and a career best 9.5 rebounds per game.

In the WNBA offseason, Griner has played in the Euroleague, including playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg of Russia last season. In the last season with UMMC, Griner averaged 15.2 points, 8 rebounds and 0.9 assists per contest. Griner ranked sixth in the league in points per game last season.

Related Link: Russia To America: Keep It Coll And We'll Talk Prisoner Exchange, If Not Brittney Griner Stays In The Penal Colony

Why It’s Important: After her arrest, some questioned why Griner was in Russia to begin with, as the United States had placed a no-fly warning earlier in the year. Griner is one of many WNBA players that play in Europe during the WNBA off season.

The reason for playing in Russia or other European countries has to do with low salaries paid to WNBA athletes, that pale in comparison to that of the men that play in the National Basketball Association.

The league minimum salary for NBA players in the 2022-2023 season is $1.8 million, which is more than the five highest paid WNBA players combined.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is set to make $44.5 million for the 2022-2023 NBA season, ranking fourth in the league, trailing only Steph Curry, John Wall and Russell Westbrook.

The highest paid WNBA players are Diana Taurasi, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart, who all make $228,094 annually. WNBA players taken in the first round of the WNBA Draft are paid $66,306 to $72,141 a season. Undrafted players get paid $60,471 a year.

Griner is paid $227,900 annually.

The 12 WNBA teams together have salaries of $16.5 million. James and 88 other NBA players will get paid more for the 2022-2023 NBA season than the entirety of the WNBA, putting the pay difference into perspective.

There are of course items working against the WNBA salary vs. NBA salary argument, including more fans, higher attendance and a huge difference in television media rights revenue.

The WNBA has media deals with The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) ABC and ESPN, Paramount Global Inc’s (NASDAQ: PARA)(NASDAQ: PARAA) CBS, NBA TV, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), Facebook Watch from Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) and Amazon Prime Video from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN).

The deal with ESPN is worth around $25 million per year. The NBA gets $2.6 billion a year in deals with ESPN and Turner Sports and could be in line for a huge increase in the next media rights deal.

An article from The Athletic that interviewed WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert listed the WNBA and its 12 teams being valued at a combined $1 billion, with the average WNBA team valued at $43.75 million. A recent valuation ranking from Forbes listed the lowest NBA team value at $1.5 billion.

Strong television viewership last season, along with a $75 million funding round for the league that included NBA owners and Nike, could help boost revenue and future media rights deals for the WNBA. Additional revenue and the attention put on Griner and other players playing overseas could put WNBA salaries in focus for the future.

Photo: Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org and Erik Drost on flickr


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 5:32pm
woman using an iPad

Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is likely to delay the release of the next iteration of the iPadOS – the operating system that powers the iPad, by nearly a month to October, Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman said last week.

The Delay, Why It Makes Sense: The iPadOS 16 will likely be launched along with the macOS Ventura in October, while the iOS 16 – the iPhone OS, and the new Apple Watch software will be unveiled in September, the Apple writer said in his weekly “Power On” newsletter.

The postponement, according to Gurman, makes sense, as Apple strives to make the iPad more Mac-like. The columnist sees the following as rationales for the potential delay in the iPadOS launch.

Both the hardware will get Stage Manager, a multitasking feature that lets users organize their desktops.

Launching Stage Manager at the same time as the iOS 16, new iPhones, and Apple Watches would have created unnecessary distractions for both the marketing and software engineering teams.

The delay gives Apple more time to work out the kinks in the new feature.

Apple at times launches new iPads in October, and therefore the company may have deemed it fit to launch both the hardware and software together.

Read Benzinga’s story on Apple’s WWDC 2022 announcements

Potential Pushbacks: Gurman sees some risk in staggering the iPadOS 16 and iOS16 launch, particularly for users who own both an iPhone and iPad. He noted that new iMessage features like message retraction and editing won’t work seamlessly between iOS 16 and iPadOS 15 devices.

“Other new features—such as the iCloud Shared Photo Library, more advanced collaboration tools and the ability to transfer FaceTime calls between the devices—likely won’t work for those users either,” he said.

Nevertheless, the delay is probably still worth it, Gurman said.

Apple stock closed Friday’s session down 0.14% at $165.35, according to Benzinga Pro data.


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 5:22pm
technology vs healthcare

The current earnings season has seen some of the largest companies report quarterly financial results. The earnings reports from companies can help identify which companies are fairing well during the current economic climate and also point to sectors that could be outperforming others.

Here’s a look at how the sectors of technology and healthcare are performing.

What Happened: The technology sector is one of the top performing of the current earnings season, according to exclusive earnings data from Benzinga.

In the technology sector, 68.4% of companies have turned in earnings beats compared to analysts’ estimates, with another 1.8% reporting results that are in line and 29.8% of companies missing estimates.

The healthcare sector has seen 58.2% of companies beating consensus estimates, 1.3% reporting in line and 40.6% missing estimates.

In the last week, some of the technology companies that beat estimates were:

Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC): EPS of $1.78 versus estimate $1.68

Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SKWS): EPS of $2.44 versus estimate of $2.35

HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS): EPS of 44 cents versus estimate of 43 cents

Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT): EPS of 13 cents versus estimate of a loss of 3 cents

Dropbox (NASDAQ: DBX): EPS of 38 cents versus estimate of 37 cents

Datadog (NASDAQ: DDOG): EPS of 24 cents versus estimate of 15 cents

Related Link: This Sector Has The Worst Q2 Earnings Results So Far 

Why It’s Important: The earnings data presented by Benzinga Pro can quickly be used to identify the health of a company as it reports earnings in relation to what analysts expected in the quarter.

As one of the stronger sectors in the current earnings season, the technology sector has seen share prices rise.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (ARCA:XLK) is up 17% over the last month, compared to a year-to-date decline of 16.2%. The ETF has dropped 5.1% over the last year, but remains up 154% over the last five years, ranking as one of the better performing sector specific ETFs.

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (ARCA:XLV) is up 3.1% over the last month, compared to a year-to-date decline of 5.7%. The ETF has dropped 1.2% over the last year, but remains up 66.9% over the last five years.

The strong earnings from stocks in the technology sector could signal further gains for the technology ETFs going forward.


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 4:56pm
Bankrupt Crypto Broker Voyager

Voyager Digital Ltd (OTC: VYGVQ), which filed for bankruptcy in July, has now decided to provide customers access to cash withdrawals next week. 

According to a blog post published on Friday, a court has given the nod to Voyager to access customers’ cash holdings as soon as Aug. 11.

“Yesterday, the Court approved our proposal to restore access to cash held for the benefit of Voyager’s customers at Metropolitan Commercial Bank. We know how important it is to access your cash, and with this approval, we will soon begin processing cash withdrawals,” Voyager said in the post.

Customers can also file claims against Voyager for their crypto holdings by a deadline of Oct. 3. 

Also Read: Crypto Broker Voyager Digital Secures $485M Loan From Bankman-Fried's Alameda

“We anticipate resuming access to the Voyager app for cash withdrawals only, starting on Thursday, Aug. 11. Customers with cash in their accounts will receive an email with more details before cash withdrawal access,” Voyager said in the statement. 

Customers may need to wait up to 10 business days to receive their funds in their bank account. 

Last month, Sam Bankman-Fried offered to buy Voyager’s assets in cash, but Voyager rejected the offer, saying it was a "low-ball bid." 

On Thursday, an attorney for Voyager said that it has already received multiple bids for its assets other than the offer from FTX and Alameda.

Disclosure: Benzinga CEO Jason Raznick Is a member of the unsecured creditor committee in the Voyager Digital bankruptcy case. 


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 4:45pm
Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump has not officially announced his entry into the 2024 Presidential Election race. If Trump decides to run, he could be considered the favorite based on the results of the recent straw poll and odds from betting sites.

What Happened: The recent results of the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) straw poll show Trump receiving 69% of the vote from around 1,000 attendees. This beat Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who received 24% of the vote. Texas Senator Ted Cruz also received 2% of the vote, with all other candidates receiving 1% or less of the vote.

Trump received an approval rating of 99% in the straw poll.

The straw poll shows Trump having the same support as he did in a similar poll from July 2021, when the former president got 70% of the vote. A February 2022 CPAC straw poll showed Trump with 59% of the vote.

Another poll that asked attendees who would be the candidate of choice without Trump running saw DeSantis get 65% of the vote, followed by Donald Trump Jr at 8%, Cruz at 6% and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo receiving 5% of the vote.

Related Link: Donald Trump's Thoughts And Opinions Will Soon Be Available To More People: How Android Users Can Get Truth Social 

Why It’s Important: The CPAC straw poll is often used an indicator of where GOP voters stand. The poll shows Trump is still in the lead despite many pointing to DeSantis, who has received vocal support from the likes of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, as a strong contender against Trump and in the overall election.

The results of the straw poll also fall in line with what betting odds are saying about the 2024 presidential election. Current President Joe Biden has seen his approval rating drop due to many factors including inflation, the economy and age.

As a result, the Republicans are favored to win the election at betting site Bet365. At Bet365, Trump and DeSantis are both listed at odds of +275. Biden is ranked third at odds of +650, followed by Gavin Newsom at +1200, Kamala Harris at +1400 and Mike Pence at +1400.

In June, Trump was the favorite on the site at +240, followed by Biden at +500 and DeSantis at +550. The new odds show that Biden betting has dropped, and bettors are expecting a close race between Trump and DeSantis.

Betting exchange company PredictIt, which offers a $1.00 payout for the winners of certain outcomes, lists the candidates as follows:

Trump: 28 cents

DeSantis: 27 cents

Biden 20 cents

Harris: 7 cents

Since Benzinga last shared the PredictIt odds, Trump and DeSantis remain the same and Biden went from 22 cents to 20 cents. Harris also declined from 9 cents to 7 cents.

News of Trump rumored to be exploring a presidential run comes as his media company Trump Media & Technology Group is in the process of going public via SPAC merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: DWAC).

The company has provisions in place that show Trump will still be an owner in the company even if he runs for public office or is convicted of a felony criminal offense.

Photo: Courtesy of Gage Skidmore on flickr


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 4:28pm
Chuck Schumer

In a 51-50 vote, along party lines, the U.S. Senate passed sweeping climate and economic legislation on Sunday.

What Happened: Known as the Inflation Reduction Act, the over $430 billion spending package, will now be delivered to the House, which will be back in session on Friday following its summer recess.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described the efforts to get the bill passed as "a long, tough and winding road, but at last we have arrived."

"I know it’s been a long day and a long night. But we’ve gotten it done today," he said, while speaking on the floor ahead of the final vote.

Schumer described the passage of the 755-page bill as an historic moment. "I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative feats of the 21st century," he said.

Also Read: Bill Gates Underlines Urgency Of Passing Climate-Clean Energy Bill In NYT Op-Ed: 'We Can't Afford To Miss It'

The passage of the bill required intense negotiations with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., whose support was needed to get the bill through the Senate.

What's In The Bill: Central to the Inflation Reduction Act is $300 billion in funding to address climate change and promote clean energy.

The package raises revenue by instituting a 15% minimum tax on large corporations, while exempting accelerated depreciation. The bill also imposes a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks by publicly traded corporations.

Photo: Courtesy of Senate Democrats on flickr


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 4:02pm
Most Americans Say U.S. Economy Is Getting Worse

According to a new poll conducted by ABC News and Ipsos, almost 70% of Americans said that they believe the U.S. economy is worsening.

Meanwhile, only 12 percent of Americans said the economy is improving, and 18% believe that the economy has remained the same. 

About 34% said they approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of gasoline price, which is up by 7% since June.  

Also Read: This Billionaire Says The Recession Is Happening In Phases, And We're Now In The First Part

The survey also asked respondents about abortion, 49% said they would favor a candidate who believes in making abortions legal, and 27% of respondents said they would back a candidate who supports limiting abortion access. 

Regarding midterm elections, 75 % of Republicans said they are excited about voting in the midterm elections. However, only 68% of Democrats agreed, as did 49% of independents.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 5 to Aug 6., with a total of 665 respondents participating in the survey.
Photo by Edward Simpson on flickr


Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 3:49pm
home builder

The second-quarter reporting season is entering its final leg, and data suggests the earnings growth of S&P 500 companies may have tapered off to the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2020.

What Happened: Homebuilders have shown a surprisingly resilient earnings performance, according to analysis of data compiled by Benzinga.
Out of the companies that have reported thus far, 91.7% revealed earnings per share that beat estimates. The remaining 8.3% reported earnings misses. Among the notable homebuilders reporting positive earnings surprises were:

  • Atlanta, Georgia-based residential homebuilder Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE: BZH) reported earnings per share of $1.76, ahead of the consensus estimate of $1.42. The earnings, however, came from cost control as revenue declined year-over-year. Commissions paid also fell. Among other key metrics, new home orders were down 22.9% at 925 in the second quarter.
  • Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH), a Scottsdale, Arizona-based homebuilder, reported 11% revenue growth and EPS of $6.77, ahead of the $5.87 consensus estimate. The number of units of homes closed fell 2% but home closing revenue rose 11%, reflecting higher home prices. The company refrained from providing full-year guidance, citing the lack of visibility into the market.
  • Texas-based homebuilder LGI Homes, Inc. (NASDAQ: LGIH) announced an 8.6% decline in homebuilding revenue and EPS of $5.24, ahead of the $4.29 per share consensus estimate. Home closings fell 29%, but average sales price increased by 28.7%.
  • Reston, Virginia-based NVR, Inc. (NYSE: NVR), however, reported below-consensus EPS.

Most major homebuilders are scheduled to report in the coming days.

Read Elon Musk's cautionary remarks on the U.S. housing market

State Of Housing Market: U.S. home prices have skyrocketed in recent months despite higher mortgage rates and an increase in home supply.

A typical U.S. home’s value has reached $354,165, up by 19.8% from a year ago, according to real estate marketplace Zillow.

Higher mortgage rates in the wake of the Fed’s monetary policy normalization and fears of a protracted recession are pressuring the sector.

Pending home sales data released by the National Association of Realtors showed an 8.6% year-over-year drop. The metric is considered a leading indicator of home sales, as it measures the change in the number of homes under contract to be sold.

NAR’s existing home sales data for June also showed a year-over-year decline for the month, with sales falling for a fifth straight month.

Falling housing affordability was attributed as the reason for the slip in sales by NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi warned of a worsening of the situation.

"The U.S. housing market is about to enter a ‘deep freeze,’ as surging borrowing rates and stubbornly high prices lock out a growing number of buyers," Zandi said, according to Business Insider.

The earnings beat by early reporters among the homebuilders should, therefore, should be taken with a pinch of salt.