Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Wednesday, May 25

Reuters

Ford To Pay $19.2M In Multi-State Settlement For False Advertising Claims

  • On Tuesday, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office stated that Ford Motor Company F would pay $19.2 million to resolve allegations that it falsely represented real-world fuel economy and payload capacity for various hybrids and pickup trucks, reported Reuters.
  • The multi-state settlement applies to 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids and 2011–2014 Super Duty pickups.
  • In 2013, Ford lowered the advertised fuel economy ratings on its C-Max hybrid by up to seven miles per gallon and sent checks to owners of $550 to make up the difference in fuel costs.

Hyundai To Recall 281,000 Vehicles Over Exploding Seat-Belt Part: Reuters

  • Hyundai Motor Co HYMTF will recall 281,000 vehicles in North America over fears of seat-belt pretensioners exploding.
  • The report noted that there were three injury reports caused by the explosion of seat-belt pretensioners, projecting the metal fragments.
  • The recall will include some 2019-2022 Accent, 2021-2023 Elantra, and 2021-2022 Elantra hybrid vehicles.

US Listed Chinese Company Audit Compliance Obstacles Remain, SEC Says

  • SEC official said on Tuesday that “significant challenges remain” in reaching an agreement with China over a long-running dispute over auditing compliance of Chinese-based companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges, reported Reuters.
  • YJ Fischer, the SEC’s international affairs chief, mentioned that the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), would need to complete China audit inspections by November 22 to meet a U.S. deadline requiring non-compliant Chinese companies to delist by early 2023,
  • Fischer further stated that Chinese authorities should consider delisting a “subset of issuers” from U.S. exchanges because they are “too sensitive to comply” with U.S. rules.

Nike Yet To Renew Franchise Agreements In Russia: Report

  • Nike Inc NKE has not renewed agreements with its largest franchisee in Russia.
  • The U.S. sportswear maker suspended its Russia operations temporarily in March due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The head of Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operates Nike-branded stores in Russia, said to the Vedomosti daily that Nike was no longer supplying goods to Russia.

More Companies Join Race To Ease US Baby Formula Supply Crunch

  • Danone SA DANOY has been doubling shipments to the U.S. of Neocate formula for infants allergic to cow’s milk, while Enfamil maker Reckitt is also working to boost supplies amid a nationwide shortage, company executives said.
  • In February, Abbott Laboratories ABT recalled dozens of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare formulas, creating one of the most urgent food shortages in recent history for U.S. families.
  • Reuters reported that Reckitt Benckiser Group RBGLY said it is working “extremely closely” with the FDA to increase supply, including expediting the approval of some products made at a facility in Mexico.

Wall Street Journal

CVS Health To Stop Filling Controlled Substances Prescriptions For Cerebral, Done Health

  • CVS Health Corp CVS will stop filling prescriptions for controlled substances ordered by clinicians working for Cerebral Inc and Done Health starting Thursday.
  • Cerebral called CVS’s decision unfortunate, adding that it was “doing everything possible to ensure these patients get access to medications that their healthcare providers have determined they need.”
  • Some pharmacies had already blocked or delayed certain prescriptions from Cerebral and Done prescribers over concerns that clinicians were writing too many stimulant prescriptions.
  • Cerebral had said prescription delays occurred because of confusion around telehealth policies.

Bloomberg

WeWork Co-founder Raises $70M For Crypto Carbon-Credit Startup

  • WeWork Inc WE cofounder Adam Neumann raised $70 million from venture capitalists and others for his co-founded carbon-credit startup Flowcarbon, Bloomberg reports.
  • The startup raised traditional funding from backers like Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm, General Catalyst, and Samsung Next.
  • Flowcarbon also raised money by selling its token, called the Goddess Nature Token.

Stripe Resumes Crypto Push Drawing Inspiration From Block, PayPal

  • Payments company Stripe Inc looks to give customers access to Bitcoin BTC/USDfour years after suspending support for the cryptocurrency.
  • Stripe collaborated with crypto startup OpenNode to help its customers to accept Bitcoin payments through a new app.
  • Stripe customers will be able to convert incoming payments and any amount of their balance into Bitcoin via the app.

Financial times

Commodity Trader Glencore Looks To Settle Bribery, Market Manipulation Charges By Paying Penalties - Read How Much

  • Commodity trader Glencore Plc GLNCY looks to plead guilty to multiple counts of bribery and market manipulation and pay penalties of up to $1.5 billion following U.S., U.K., and Brazilian investigations.
  • The U.K. Serious Fraud Office charged the group’s subsidiary Glencore Energy U.K. with seven profit-driven bribery and corruption cases related to oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Sudan.
  • In the U.S., Glencore pleaded guilty to a decade-long bribery scheme and an eight-year scheme to manipulate U.S. fuel oil price benchmarks.

Benzinga

iPhone Development Said To Take Hit From China Lockdowns; Apple Asks Suppliers To Speed Up

  • Apple Inc AAPL is reportedly asking its suppliers to speed up production as Chinese Premier Xi Jinping’s Zero COVID policy hampers manufacturing business around the country.
  • According to Nikkei Asia, the tech giant has instructed its suppliers to speed up the development of the iPhone due to the delayed schedule for at least one of the new phones.
  • This came after COVID-19-induced lockdowns in China forced iPhone’s premium assembler, Pegatron Corp, to suspend operations at its Shanghai and Kunshan plants in April.

Pfizer To Sell 23 Patented Drugs, Vaccines At Lower Prices To Poorer Countries

  • Pfizer Inc PFE will sell over 20 patent-protected drugs and vaccines at not-for-profit prices to 45 of the world’s poorest countries.
  • Under the program, Pfizer will begin shipping the medicines first to Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda before the end of this year, Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in an interview.
  • This will include expertise to support diagnosis, healthcare professional education & training, supply chain management, and other infrastructure enhancements.

Elon Musk’s Net Worth Falls Below $200B With Tesla Stock Crash

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk is no longer in the $200 billion club, of which he was the sole member, after the electric vehicle maker’s latest stock plunge, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.
  • The billionaire entrepreneur’s net worth dropped to $192.7 billion on Tuesday as shares of Tesla fell nearly 7%.
  • Tesla’s drop outpaced that of the broader S&P 500 Index, which ended the day down 0.8%.

Why Wendy’s Shares Are Surging Today

  • Wendys Co’s WEN largest shareholder Nelson Peltz is considering a potential takeover bid for the burger chain, a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.
  • Peltz’ firm, Trian Fund Management said it will explore a transaction on its own or with others that could include an acquisition, merger or other transaction.
  • Trian, along with its partners, owns a 19.4% stake in Wendy’s.

Starbucks Divests This Cold-Pressed Juice Brand - What’s The Focus Now

  • Bolthouse Farms has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Evolution Fresh brand and business from Starbucks Corp SBUX for an undisclosed amount.
  • Evolution Fresh is a producer of primarily organic, cold-pressed, premium juice products.
  • Bolthouse Farms, a portfolio company of private equity firm Butterfly, aligns powerhouse juice brands to propel Evolution Fresh forward. Starbucks intends to focus efforts on the growth of its core business.

Tesla Can’t Take Cover Under ‘Arbitration’ Proceedings In Sexual Harassment Lawsuit, Judge Rules

  • Tesla, Inc. TSLA faced a legal setback in a sexual harassment lawsuit, days after the company’s stock came under pressure following reports of alleged sexual misconduct by its chief executive officer Elon Musk.
  • Tesla will not be allowed the leeway of arbitration in a lawsuit filed by a female employee over rampant sexual harassment at its Fremont California factory, Bloomberg reported.
  • Alameda Country Superior Court Judge Stephen Kaus ruled that Jessica Barraza, the aggrieved employee, can fight the case in court and Tesla wouldn’t be allowed closed-door arbitration.

Clearway’s Energy-Global Infrastructure Partners Ink Strategic Partnership With TotalEnergies

  • Clearway Energy, Inc. CWEN (NYSE: CWEN-A) and its renewable development partner and parent company, Clearway Energy Group LLC stated that Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) had formed a strategic partnership with TotalEnergies SE TTE in the U.S. renewable energy sector.
  • TotalEnergies will acquire half of GIP’s interest in Clearway Group, a privately-held renewable development company that serves as CWEN’s sponsor with its 42% economic interest in it.
  • GIP will receive $1.6 billion cash consideration and an ~50% interest in the TotalEnergies subsidiary that holds its 51% ownership in SunPower Corporation SPWR.

Blink And Miss: PlayStation 5 Restocking Doesn’t Last Long

  • Sony Group Corporation SONY provided ardent gaming fans with an enticing offer and it appears that consumers were quick to lap it up.
  • The Japanese consumer electronics giant recently provided an option for customers to register to purchase PS5 consoles directly from PlayStation. The company noted only a limited number of the device would be made available.
  • The registered users were to be notified through emails with details if they had been selected. The offer was made available to customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

GM Informs 5,000 Customers Hackers Stole Their Personal Data

  • General Motors Co GM informed nearly 5,000 customers that hackers stole some of their personal data, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing a data breach notice filed with California regulators.
  • Hackers breached some online accounts of GM customers in April and accessed addresses, phone numbers and other personal information.
  • The breach took place between April 11 and April 29, when hackers were able to redeem gift cards using reward points, the report noted, adding that nearly 5,000 breach letters were sent to state residents.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Fetches 25% Higher Valuation In Latest Funding Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk-owned SpaceX has raised a fresh round of funding that values the privately-held space company at $125 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing an investor.
  • The latest $1.5 billion fundraise lifts the valuation by 25% for SpaceX, which in 2021 had secured a $100 billion valuation.
  • SpaceX is also offering current and former employees an opportunity to cash out as it offers to buy shares from existing stockholders.

Coinbase Enters The Fortune 500, Surpassed By Just One Company In Revenue Growth

  • Coinbase Global Inc COIN has become the first cryptocurrency company to enter the Fortune 500 list.
  • Coinbase was included in the 68th Fortune 500 list, which ranks the largest U.S.-based corporations by revenue each year.
  • The company was ranked 437th on the list in terms of total revenue, which stood at $7.8 billion in 2021. In terms of revenue growth over a one-year period, it ranked second overall on the Fortune 500 list with a growth rate of 514%.

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