Benzinga Before The Bell: Walmart's Outlook Cut, Apple's Self Driving Car Dreams, Coinbase's SEC Investigation And Other Top Financial Stories Tuesday, July 26


Intel Forges Foundry Chip Collaboration With This TSMC Partner After Qualcomm, Amazon

  • Intel Corp INTC and Media Tek Inc MDTKF collaborated to manufacture chips using Intel Foundry Services' (IFS) advanced process technologies.
  • Intel said the first products would be manufactured in the next 18- to 24- month period and will be in a more mature technology process called Intel 16, with the chips used for smart devices, Reuters reports.
  • In addition to maintaining a close partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd TSM in advanced process nodes, this collaboration will enhance MediaTek's supply for mature process nodes.


General Motor's Joint Venture To Receive $2.5B Government Loan For Upcoming Battery Plants In US

  • The U.S. Department of Energy is reviving an old low-cost loan program, and the first recipient is Ultium Cells, the joint battery venture between General Motors Company GM and LG Energy Solution.
  • The $2.5 billion loan is expected to close in the coming months and will be used for its upcoming lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.
  • GM and LG plan to invest more than $7 billion to build three battery plants.

Amazon Bumps Up Prime Membership Prices In Europe Just Ahead Of Q2 Earnings

  • Amazon, Inc. AMZN has reportedly announced a price hike for its Prime subscription in Europe, just ahead of the e-commerce giant's quarterly earnings report after market close on Thursday.
  • Amazon is hiking Prime membership fees by 30% in Germany, its biggest market outside the United States, Reuters reported.
  • In France, the increase was a steeper 43%, while U.K. customers may have to bear a more modest 20% increase, as per the report. Other European nations which will see such hikes include Italy and Spain.

Wall Street Journal

Former Tesla Veteran Headed EV Battery Firm Redwood Materials Earmarks $3.5B For Nevada Plant

  • Former Tesla, Inc TSLA CTO JB Straubel, who left in 2019 to start Redwood Materials Inc, looks to spend $3.5 billion on a battery-materials factory in northwest Nevada, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The Redwood Materials plant under construction outside Reno, Nevada, will likely be one of the first U.S. facilities to produce critical ingredients required to manufacture EV batteries, WSJ writes.
  • Over the past two years, companies from General Motors Co GM to South Korean battery maker SK Innovation Co Ltd shared over $30 billion of investments in U.S. battery-cell making initiatives.

SEC Demands Additional Information On Russian Business Exits From Companies

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission has urged numerous corporations to make changes for future filings after questioning them repeatedly about how they disclose the financial impact of Russia's conflict on Ukraine, reported Wall Street Journal.
  • To ensure that investors can properly analyze risks, the U.S. securities regulator published a list of the information it requests from companies in May.
  • It has asked for additional queries recently and follow-ups in some instances.


Coinbase Under SEC Probe Over Crypto Token Listings: Report

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly investigating Coinbase Global Inc COIN for listing unregistered securities on its cryptocurrency trading platform.
  • According to a report from Bloomberg on Monday, three people familiar with the matter said that the SEC's enforcement unit is looking into whether Coinbase wrongfully listed tokens that should have been registered as securities.
  • The sources also said that the SEC's inquiries began before it named nine crypto tokens as securities in an insider trading lawsuit against a former Coinbase employee and two of his associates.

Financial Times

Amazon Rivalry Proves Expensive For Alibaba

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited's BABA rivalry with Inc AMZN cost Alibaba its global expansion plans, the Financial Times reports.
  • After fetching U.S. businesses onto its e-commerce platform, Alibaba struggled to accomplish its targets.
  • Alibaba launched its business-to-business e-commerce website in the U.S. three years ago, aiming to sign up over 1 million local businesses and compete globally as its domestic operations succumbed to the domestic tech crackdown, economic slowdown, and growing competition.

Rolls Royce Names This PE Partner As New Chief From January; Analysts Give Thumbs Up

  • Rolls Royce Holdings plc RYCEY named Tufan Erginbilgic, a private equity partner and former BP plc BP executive, to succeed Warren East.
  • East, on February 24, disclosed his intention to step down at the end of this year.
  • Erginbilgic, 62, is a partner at Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on large-scale investments in infrastructure businesses.
  • Analysts at Deutsche Bank said the news was "neutral to positive" for the group because it clarified the leadership issues at the helm.


Why Alibaba Stock Is Shooting Higher Today

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA shares are advancing strongly in premarket trading on Tuesday.
  • Shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant are getting a boost from twin developments. The company said Tuesday it plans to apply for a primary listing in Hong Kong. The stock already has a secondary listing in Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China. The primary listing process is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
  • The Shenzhen-Hongkong Stock Connect program, which is currently available only for primary listings, could help attract investments into Alibaba stock from mainland China.

General Motors Miss Q2 EPS On Supply Chain Disruptions; 95K Vehicles Still Waiting For Chips

  • General Motors Company GM reported second-quarter FY22 sales growth of 4.7% year-on-year, to $35.76 billion, beating the analyst consensus estimate of $34.59 billion.
  • Costs and expenses for the quarter rose 7.5% Y/Y to $33.6 billion.
  • The operating income for the quarter decreased 26.6% Y/Y to $2.1 billion, with an operating margin of 5.9%.
  • Outlook: General Motors sees FY22 net income of $9.6 billion - $11.2 billion. The company expects FY22 adjusted EPS of $6.50 - $7.50, versus the consensus estimate of $6.89.

Coca-Cola beats On Q2 Earnings With 8% Volume Growth

  • Coca-Cola Co KO reported second-quarter FY22 sales growth of 12% year-on-year, to $11.30 billion, beating the analyst consensus estimate of $10.54 billion.
  • Revenue performance included a 4% growth in concentrate sales and a 12% growth in price/mix.
  • Unit case volume grew 8% for the quarter.
  • Outlook: Coca-Cola expects the suspension of Russian business to affect 1% - 2% of its net revenue and operating income.

Dogecoin Copycat On BNB Chain Tanks 99% In $4.5 M' Soft Rug Pull'

  • Dogecoin DOGE/USD copycat Teddy Doge TEDDY/USD has orchestrated the latest DeFi rug pull, according to blockchain analytics firm PeckShield.
  • PeckShield alerted users that the Teddy Doge developers likely pulled off a "soft rugpull," making off with $4.5 million worth of investor's tokens. The price of TEDDY dropped 99.4% after the news made rounds.
  • A rug pull is a scenario when the token's creators lure unsuspecting users into investing their crypto token only to pull liquidity and disappear with investor funds.

Coinbase, Robinhood Shareholders Could Face 30% Dilution: JPMorgan

  • New research from analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. finds that shareholders of stocks such as Coinbase Global Inc COIN and Robinhood Markets Inc HOOD face a higher risk of dilution.
  • In a note to clients seen by CoinDesk on Monday, JPMorgan equity research analyst Kenneth Worthington explained that the dilution risk came from restricted stock unit (RSU) offerings in employee compensation plans.
  • "Coinbase and Robinhood, like their tech-company peers, issue substantial equity to company employees allowing companies to both attract and incentivize employees while keeping cash compensation lower," wrote the analyst.

Apple, Google, Other Tech Giants Used Illegally Mined Gold From Brazil's Amazon Rainforest: Report

  • Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc's GOOGL GOOG Google are among a handful of U.S. tech giants that reportedly used gold mined illegally from Brazilian indigenous lands located in the Amazon rainforest.
  • Brazilian newspaper Repórter Brasil says it has seen documents that tech giants purchased the precious metal in 2020 from companies such as Italy's Chimet and Brazil's Marsam — both companies have faced investigations related to illegal gold mined from indigenous land.
  • Repórter said Apple and Microsoft Corporation MSFT branded mobile devices may have illegally extracted gold in them., Inc AMZN and Google super servers have filaments of gold in them as well.

Apple's Self-Driving Car Dreams Go Far Back As Early 2000s, Study Of Patents Show

  • Apple, Inc.'s AAPL self-driving car has long been in the works under the "Project Titan" team.
  • Apple has made a slew of patent filings in recent years that relate to automotive-related technologies, Nikkei reported Monday, citing a joint investigation conducted by the publication and Tokyo-based analytics company Intellectual Property Landscape (IPL).
  • Apple's patent applications peaked in 2017 and then tapered off briefly, the report said, citing Akira Yamauchi, CEO of IPL. Usually, patent applications are published only after 18 months of filing. If the yet-to-be-published filings are included, Apple's 2021 patent filings may be on par with the record in 2017, the report added.

After-Hours Alert: Why Walmart Stock Is Falling

  • Walmart Inc WMT shares are trading lower in Monday's after-hours session after the company cut guidance for the second quarter and full fiscal year.
  • Walmart said it revised its outlook as a result of pricing actions aimed at improving inventory levels at Walmart and Sam's Club in the U.S. and mix of sales.
  • Consolidated net sales growth for the second quarter is expected to be about 7.5%, while full-year growth is expected to be about 4.5%. Operating income is expected to decline between 13% and 14% in the second quarter and between 11% and 13% for the full year.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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