Benzinga Before The Bell: Robinhood's Cryptocurrency Growth, Moderna's Q2 Earnings, PayPal's New CFO And Other Top Financial Stories Wednesday, August 3

CNBC

Celsius Is Looking To Rehire Its CFO Rod Bolger

  • Ex-CFO Rod Bolger is being sought after by bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius in exchange for $92,000 monthly pay, prorated over a minimum of six weeks.
  • According to a motion submitted to the Southern District of New York, the struggling lender claims that Bolger is necessary to assist it in navigating the bankruptcy proceedings as an advisor.

Reuters

Unity Software Weighs China Unit Spin-Off Amid Challenging Sino - US Relations

  • Unity Software Inc U sought strategic investors to join it in a business valued at over $1 billion as it looks to spin off its China unit.
  • The talks coincided with strained Sino-U.S. relations, aggravated sensitivities over technology transfer and data handling across borders.
  • With China tightening data handling regulations, Unity believes a spin-off would give the unit more local ownership and autonomy.

Subaru Sees Strong US Demand To Continue

  • Japanese multinational Subaru Corporation FUJHF sees strong demand from U.S. car buyers to continue amidst fears of economic slowdown.
  • The automaker produced 11.7% more vehicles globally, to 205,000 units for the quarter ending June 2022. Production in the U.S. grew 5.4% to 70,000 units.

BHP To Boost Nickel Exploration As EVs To Send Nickel Demand Up 300%

  • BHP Group Ltd BHP will boost nickel exploration expenditure over the next two years to meet the rising demand for the raw material used in electric vehicle batteries, Reuters said, citing BHP's chief of its nickel operations.
  • BHP, through its Nickel West unit, has nickel supply agreements with Tesla Inc TSLA and Toyota Motor Corp TM, and Ford Motor Co F.
  • BHP holds the second largest nickel sulphide resource base globally in the Agnew-Wiluna Belt in Western Australia.

Alibaba-Backed Zomato Crashes Despite Narrowing Loss Over Reports Uber Might Cut Stake: What's Next?

  • Shares of Indian food delivery app Zomato Ltd crashed up to 9.6% in opening trade on the BSE following reports Uber Technologies Inc UBER is looking to sell its entire stake in the firm for up to $373 million. The offer price range for the deal stood between INR48-54 per share, the report stated, citing merchant banking sources.
  • Block Deal: On Wednesday, about 12.1 million shares were exchanged in a block deal priced at INR52.5 in pre-open trade, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, Reuters reported.
  • Earnings: Zomato's net loss had narrowed to ₹186 crore in the quarter-ended June, while its consolidated revenues surged over 67% compared to the same period a year ago.

Wall Street Journal

Equifax Sent Erroneous Credit Scores To Lenders Due To Technical Glitch: Report

  • Due to a "technology coding issue," Equifax Inc EFX sent inaccurate credit scores on several U.S. consumers seeking loans from mid-March through early April, Wall Street Journal reported citing bank executives and others familiar with the errors.
  • According to the report, the scores were sometimes off by 20 points or more in either direction, enough to alter the interest rates consumers were offered or to result in their applications being rejected altogether.
  • Equifax said it has since fixed the error." The glitch didn't alter the information in consumers' credit reports, the company said.

Bloomberg

Activist Targets Microsoft For Donating To Groups Opposing Pro-Abortion Stance

  • U.K.-based activist investing platform Tulipshare expressed concerns over Microsoft Corp's MSFT donations to anti-abortion groups like the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican Governors Association, Bloomberg reports.
  • Tulipshare urged Microsoft to end donations and lobbying conflicting with its support for employees accessing reproductive health care.
  • Tulipshare cited Microsoft's expansion of employee benefits to cover conveyance costs for abortion care as contradictory to its political donations.

What Alibaba, Tencent And Baidu's June-Quarter Earnings May Look Like

  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA is expected to post its first quarterly revenue decline on Thursday morning, with the firm grappling with an uncertain regime and a consumer crisis that is hurting the world's second-largest economy, reported Bloomberg.
  • Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY is also likely to follow suit later, the report stated.
  • Projections: Alibaba's revenues are expected to slip 1.2% to 203.4 billion yuan ($30.1 billion) for the June quarter. Its cloud division's revenue is projected to grow 14.3%, which, if true, would be the second-lowest number in about six years, according to Bloomberg.
  • Internet giant Baidu Inc. BIDU is expected to register a 5.6% revenue fall in the June quarter, as per the report.

Financial Times

Just Eat Takeaway.com Devalues Grubhub By €3B

  • Just Eat Takeaway.com NV JTKWY has brought down the valuation of its U.S. subsidiary, Grubhub, by €3 billion.
  • The move comes as Just Eat is in the process of putting up Grubhub on sale as valuations for technology companies has dropped tremendously.
  • Just Eat acquired Grubhub last year for $7.3 billion.

Benzinga

Moderna Q2 Earnings: Earnings Beat, COVID-19 Inventory Write-Off, Additional Share Buyback

  • Moderna Inc MRNA reports a Q2 EPS of $5.24, compared to the $6.46 posted a year ago, beating the consensus estimate of $4.59.
  • Revenue was $4.75 billion compared to $4.34 million a year ago, beating the consensus of $4.07 billion. Sequentially sales declined almost 22% from $6.1 billion. Product sales were $4.5 billion, +8% Y/Y, primarily driven by a higher average selling price due to the customer mix.
  • The company incurred $499 million for inventory write-downs related to the COVID-19 vaccine's expiry. The charge includes a loss on firm purchase commitments of $184 million and an expense for an unutilized external manufacturing capacity of $131 million.

Nancy Pelosi Says 'We Come In Peace' And Won't 'Abandon' Taiwan As Chinese Jets Invade Taipei

  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she came to Taiwan to make it "unequivocally clear" that the U.S. would not "abandon" the island as her visit irked the Chinese government.
  • "Forty-three years ago, America made a promise to always stand with Taiwan... today our delegation came to Taiwan to make it unequivocally clear we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan," Pelosi told President Tsai Ing-wen, referring to the Taiwan Relations Act.
  • In her remarks, she referred to Taiwan as an "inspiration to all freedom-loving people," saying, "the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America's decision to preserve democracy here in Taiwan remains iron-clad."

Shiba Inu Unveils New Game To Be Launched For iPhone And Android Users

  • Developers behind meme coin Shiba Inu SHIB/USD have revealed the name of the upcoming Shiba Inu collectible card game – Shiba Eternity.
  • In an update on Twitter, developers announced that they are working with Australian game developer PlaySide Studios to release the Shiba Eternity game on both the Apple Inc AAPL App Store and Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG Play Store.

PayPal Names Blake Jorgensen As Finance Chief

  • PayPal Holdings Inc PYPL, which issued its second-quarter results yesterday, has appointed Blake Jorgensen as CFO, effective August 3, 2022.
  • Jorgensen succeeds John Rainey, who resigned in May to join Walmart Inc.
  • In addition, Mark Britto, EVP, and Chief Product Officer, notified the company of his plan to retire at the end of the year.

Elon Musk Updates Timeline For 'Successful' Starship Orbital Launch

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday gave a timeline for the orbital launch of Starship, which is being developed and tested at the company's Boca Chica launch facility in Texas.
  • When one of Musk's Twitter followers shared a picture of the Starship and asked him when an orbital launch is likely, the world's richest person said a "successful" orbital flight is likely between one and 12 months from now.

Robinhood Q2 Transaction Revenues Had A Silver Lining: Cryptocurrencies

  • Robinhood Markets, Inc HOOD saw its second-quarter revenue fall 44% on a year-over-year basis, but transaction-based cryptocurrency revenue saw a growth.
  • Robinhood, a trading platform popular with retail investors, said in its Q2 earnings release that its transaction-based revenue for cryptocurrencies rose 7% sequentially to $58 million.
  • In the first quarter, the company had seen cryptocurrency revenue decline 39% to $54 million.

China Might Slow Global Tech Supply Chain More As Response To Pelosi's Taiwan Trip, Munster Warns

  • Political tensions between the U.S. and China have worsened following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Loup funds co-founder Gene Munster says the development could cause a ripple effect in the tech sector.
  • Mutual Beneficiaries: The U.S. tech sector has benefited "considerably" over a decade-and-a-half from its close relationship with China (lowered costs, higher quality, reduced time to market and diversified production), Munster said.
  • China has also contributed to the demand for U.S. tech companies, he added.

Solana Blockchain Reports' Outage' As Developers Investigate Exploit

  • The Solana SOL/USD network went offline briefly on Tuesday night following reports that private keys to hot wallets in the ecosystem had been compromised.
  • Solana Status reported a "minor service outage" prompting speculation from market participants that developers had intentionally halted the network to prevent the ongoing exploit from worsening.
  • "RPC Nodes are restoring service, appears to have been a concerted effort by some well-intentioned devs who thought spamming RPC would slow attacker, though in reality, it has just caused massive confusion," wrote Solana validator operator Stakewiz on Twitter.
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