Benzinga Before The Bell: Tesla's China Sales Plunge, Snap Rolls Out Parental Control Features, White House Unaware of Raid On Trump's Mar-a-Lago And Other Top Financial Stories Tuesday, August 9


Boeing 787 Dreamliner Has Been Cleared For Takeoff: FAA Clears Way For Delivery To Resume

  • The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that Boeing Co BA can resume delivery of its 787 Dreamliner after delivery had been halted for two years due to manufacturing flaws, CNBC reported.
  • The suspension impacted United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL and American Airlines Group Inc AAL the most as the companies had been awaiting delivery while travel surged.
  • The 787 Dreamliner is a key source of cash for Boeing because the bulk of the aircraft’s price is paid when it is delivered to airlines. Due to delivery delays, Boeing had to compensate airlines for the extensive delays caused by the halt.


Tesla Sales Of China-Made EVs Plunge 64% Sequentially In July — Domestic Sales Trail Local Players

  • Tesla, Inc.’s TSLA China July sales dipped notably from the record performance in June, according to final data from the China Passenger Car Association, Reuters reported.
  • Tesla sold 28,217 Giga Shanghai-made cars in July, which was below the 30,000 preliminary data released by the agency last week. This represented a 64% month-over-month plunge from the 78,906 vehicles the company delivered in June. Sales declined by a more modest 14.4% drop from the year-ago period.
  • The U.S. EV giant shut down operations at the Giga Shanghai plant for about two weeks in the month for facility upgradation, Reuters reported earlier, citing an internal memo. This would serve to increase the weekly production rate from 17,000 units in July to 22,000 units, it added.

Snap Rolls Out Parental Control Tools Following Backlash: Report

  • Snap Inc SNAP launched parental control tools Family Center allowing parents to monitor their teens.
  • With the teens’ consent, parents can invite them to join Family Center on Snapchat, enabling them to view their kids’ friends list and who they have messaged on the app in the past seven days. Parents can also confidentially report any concerning accounts.
  • Previously Snap and its peers testified before the U.S. Senate for causing harm to the youth.

Qualcomm Boosts Spending On GlobalFoundries Chip Collaboration By $4.2B

  • Qualcomm Inc QCOM has agreed to buy an additional $4.2 billion in semiconductor chips from GlobalFoundries Inc’s GFS New York factory.
  • The latest contract increased QCOM’s total commitment to $7.4 billion in purchases through 2028, Reuters reports.
  • The deal extends on a $3.2 billion purchasing agreement between the two companies and will produce chips for use in 5G transceivers, Wi-Fi, automotive, and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

Wall Street Journal

US Solar Shipments Suffer Due To Recent Import Ban on China’s Xinjiang Region

  • As U.S. authorities crack down on human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, which produces about half of the world’s supply of a vital component in solar panels, the U.S. solar industry is facing new challenges.
  • According to Industry executives and analysts, numerous Chinese solar-panel suppliers have had shipments to the U.S. delayed or sent back over the past few weeks as customs authorities enforced a new law. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, or UFLPA, went into effect at the end of June.
  • Companies need to prove that imports weren’t produced by forced labor. The amount of documentation required by authorities so far has caught many in the industry off guard, according to analysts.

Ben & Jerry’s Says Unilever Contradicts Its Social Standing On Issues Of Concern

  • Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s board members have appealed to prevent its parent company, Unilever PLC UL, from selling the assets to a local licensee in Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Ben & Jerry’s feels the asset transfer could lead to the brand’s products being used to oppose social issues it supports.
  • Unilever announced the sale in June 2022 after coming under pressure over Ben & Jerry’s decision not to sell its products in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and parts of East Jerusalem.


Twilio Falls Prey To Hackers

  • Digital authentication solutions provider Twilio Inc TWLO said a scheme by which outsiders duped employees into handing over their passwords hacked some of its employees’ and customers’ accounts.
  • Twilio became aware of the incident on August 4.
  • According to experts, in the past three days, hackers targeted companies providing two-factor authentication services to steal cryptocurrency, compromise telecommunications companies, and breach customer relationship management portals, Bloomberg reports.

Domino’s Pizza Exits Italy After Failed Patronage

  • Domino’s Pizza Inc’s DPZ final lot of branches in Italy have lowered their shutters due to poor patronage, Bloomberg reported.
  • The brand could not withstand competition from local restaurants, which gained an advantage by expanding delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Domino’s had run out of cash to manage its operations and sought protection from creditors.

TikTok Parent Cements Presence In Healthcare With Latest Acquisition: Report

  • TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd has scooped up one of China’s largest private hospital chains Amcare Healthcare for ~$1.5 billion, deepening a foray into health care, Bloomberg reports.
  • Amcare Healthcare runs women’s and children’s hospitals in cities from Beijing to Shenzhen.
  • Two ByteDance subsidiaries now own a combined 100% stake in Amcare.


Berkshire Hathaway Now Owns 20% Stake In This Oil & Gas Conglomerate

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A) has purchased additional shares in Occidental Petroleum Corporation OXY, surpassing the 20% stake.
  • In an SEC regulatory filing, Berkshire said it paid about $391 million for nearly 6.7 million Occidental shares between August 4 and August 8.
  • The purchases gave Berkshire 188.4 million Occidental shares, or 20.2% of reported shares outstanding, worth $11.3 billion.

Micron Technology Cuts Q4 Outlook; Earmarks $40B In Chip Manufacturing Over The Decade

  • Micron Technology, Inc’s MU expectations for CY22 industry bit demand growth for DRAM and NAND have declined amid macro uncertainties and supply chain constraints. Therefore, it expected a challenging market environment in Q4 and Q1.
  • Micron expected Q4 revenue to come at or below the low end of the provided revenue guidance range.
  • Based on the last guidance, Micron said it expects Q4 revenue of $6.8 billion to $7.6 billion. The analyst consensus estimate was $9.05 billion.

Here’s When Alibaba’s Primary Listing In Hong Kong Is Expected To Happen

  • The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has put out a filing by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA that seeks to change its secondary listing status on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to a primary listing.
  • The effective date of the primary conversion is expected to be before the end of 2022, it said. Upon the conversion, shares of Alibaba will be dual primary listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the NYSE.
  • Alibaba said it expects the primary conversion to allow it to broaden its investor base and facilitate incremental liquidity.

Snap Working On Plan to Lay Off Employees Amid Fundamental Woes: Report

  • Snap, Inc. SNAP, the parent of Snapchat, could reportedly join a bevy of tech companies that are either slowing hiring or eliminating jobs.
  • Santa Monica, California-based Snap is in the early stages of planning job cuts, the Verge reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The number of employees to be eliminated isn’t yet clear, as managers across the company are still discussing the scope of cuts for their respective teams, it added.
  • Snap recently reported second-quarter results that missed expectations both on the top and bottom line. The company did not issue guidance for the third quarter but hinted revenue will likely be flat with the second-quarter level.

White House Was Unaware Of Alleged FBI Raid On Trump’s Florida Estate Until Media Reports Came Out

  • The West Wing was reportedly not aware of the Monday raid by the Federal Bureau Of Investigation on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
  • CBS News senior White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe said on Twitter, as first noted on Business Insider, that the Biden White House was given “no advanced heads up” of Monday’s FBI alleged raid on the estate.
  • A senior White House official told O’Keefe that there was no “advance knowledge” of the raid and that some learned about the occurrence from “old media” and some from “social media.”

Robinhood Lists Avalanche (AVAX) And Stellar (XLM) Crypto Tokens

  • Popular retail brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc HOOD has added support for two new crypto assets on its platform.
  • Robinhood-listed Avalanche AVAX/USD and Stellar XLM/USD on its trading platform, briefly sending both tokens rallying on Monday.
  • Robinhood has taken a conservative approach toward listing crypto assets.

No, You Can’t Google That: Search Engine Down For Thousands Of Users On Monday Night

  • Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL GOOG search engine Google was down for thousands of users on Monday night Eastern Time. Reported outages were seen peaking around 9:37 p.m. ET, according to Downdetector, a service that monitors status websites for issues in real-time.
  • An “electrical incident” was reported at a Google data center in Iowa on Monday. Three electricians suffered significant burns while working on a substation close to the data center buildings in the aftermath of an arc flash — an electrical explosion, according to a report from SFGATE.

Tencent To Shut Down Content Creation App Just 3 Years After Rollout

  • Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY is planning to shut down its content creation app Kandian next Monday as part of a broader strategy to become more efficient, the South China Morning Post reported.
  • Kandian will shut down operations on August 15 as part of “adjustments in business development strategy,” as per the report, which cited an app announcement.
  • Tencent has reportedly sent out notifications to its users to back up data. Certain services will remain accessible through the Mini World function of QQ, Tencent’s original chat app, the report said.

Bankrupt Celsius’ Token Shoots Up 25% on Twitter-Driven Short Squeeze

  • A retail-driven short squeeze pushed bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network CEL/USD native token up 25% on Monday.
  • CEL rallied from $1.44 to a high of $1.82 over 24 hours, as per data from Benzinga Pro. The token was up 21.89% against Bitcoin BTC/USD and 19.9% against Ethereum ETH/USD at press time.
  • Crypto asset managers largely attributed the rally to a short-squeeze orchestrated by retail traders on Twitter Inc TWTR.

US Sanctions Ethereum Mixer Tornado Cash Citing Ties With North Korea-Backed Web3 Hacks

  • The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Ethereum ETH/USD application Tornado Cash on Monday, citing ties to North Korean hackers.
  • Tornado Cash is a digital asset mixing service that facilitates money laundering efforts. It’s common practice for hackers to use Tornado Cash to mix their crypto in an attempt to make the hacked funds untraceable.
  • Tornado Cash has reportedly helped launder over $7 billion in digital assets.

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