Benzinga Before The Bell: Tesla Sues Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, Will iPhone 14 Feature Satellite Connectivity?, Netflix Denies $7 To $9 Ad-Supported Plan And Other Top Financial Stories Tuesday, August 30

Benzinga Before The Bell: Tesla Sues Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, Will iPhone 14 Feature Satellite Connectivity?, Netflix Denies $7 To $9 Ad-Supported Plan And Other Top Financial Stories Tuesday, August 30

Reuters

Taiwan’s China Airlines Orders 16 Boeing 787s

  • Following a widely-watched competition staged against the backdrop of regional tensions, Taiwan’s China Airlines Ltd stated that it would purchase 16 Boeing Co BA 787 widebody aircraft to replace its aging fleet of Airbus SE EADSY A330s, reported Reuters.
  • The politically sensitive deal worth $4.6 billion at list prices was announced weeks after a visit to Taipei by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • China Airlines said the 787s would allow it to phase out its fleet of 22 older A330s. Deliveries of the 787s are expected to start in 2025.

USDA Halts Tyson’s Indiana Pork Plant Export To China

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended Tyson Foods Inc’s TSN pork processing plant in Logansport, Indiana, from exporting products to China, Reuters reported.
  • Neither the Agriculture department nor Tyson Foods have put forth the reason for halting exports.
  • “We work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure that we produce all of our food in full compliance with government safety requirements,” the report cited the company.

Becton Dickinson To Pay $4.8M In Hernia Mesh Lawsuit, Second Within Six Months

  • Becton Dickinson and Co’s BDX unit, C.R. Bard Inc, was ordered to pay $4.8 million in a lawsuit related to its hernia repair mesh. The company faces more than 30,000 similar lawsuits over its mesh hernia repair devices.
  • Reuters reported that a Hawaii man filed a lawsuit claiming serious complications after being implanted with the company’s hernia repair mesh.
  • The verdict for Paul Trevino and his wife Earlynn in Providence state court came after a month-long trial.

Wall Street Journal

Exxon Mulls Suing Russia Government Over Barred Exit From Energy Project: Report

  • Exxon Mobil Corp XOM will sue the federal government unless Moscow allows it to exit a significant oil-and-gas project, Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.
  • A decree banning certain transactions through the end of 2022 has blocked Exxon from transferring operatorship and selling its 30% stake in the Sakhalin-1 venture.
  • Exxon had said in regulatory filings that it was transitioning operating activities to another party following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine before the decree.

First Solar Earmarks $1.2B In US Plants Towards Cleaner Energy, Likely To Create 15K Jobs By 2025

  • First Solar, Inc FSLR looks to invest up to $1.2 billion in scaling production of U.S.-made photovoltaic (PV) solar modules.
  • First Solar’s plans are part of a surge in expected investment in clean-energy technologies spurred by the law and growing demand for solar, wind, and batteries to meet ambitious U.S. climate goals, the Wall Street Journal reports. The U.S. government is also concerned about relying too heavily on China.
  • First Solar’s modules directly support the country’s transition to a decarbonized future and enable the fight against climate change.

YouTube Loses Veteran Leader As It Battled Growth Weakness, TikTok Frenzy

  • Robert Kyncl quit as Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL YouTube chief business officer after over a decade at the video platform, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Kyncl, who helped transform the Google unit from an upstart into a video giant, left it battling slowing growth and increased competition from ByteDance Ltd’s TikTok.
  • Kyncl, 51 years old, tweeted his departure, saying he had “decided to move on to the next challenge.”

Bloomberg

China Ramps Up Regulatory Scrutiny Of Overseas Borrowing

  • China is ramping up scrutiny of companies aspiring for offshore debt as defaults and fallout from dollar strength concerns weigh, Bloomberg reports.
  • China’s property sector has driven offshore defaults to a record $37.3 billion in 2022. Onshore delinquencies, meanwhile, have fallen sharply.
  • China aims to promote the “healthy and orderly development of companies’ overseas financing” and prevent foreign debt risks by the move.

Temasek Joins $100M Funding For Crypto Landlord Animoca

  • Temasek Holdings Pte, a state-owned investor in Singapore, is investing $100 million in Animoca Brands Corp., backing one of the most successful crypto investment firms even after a $2 trillion market collapse, reported Bloomberg.
  • Temasek will lead the financing through convertible bonds, stated the source.
  • Temasek stated that it doesn’t directly invest in cryptocurrencies and prefers to back service providers in the space instead.

TSMC Chief Blames Low-End Chips For Hindering Supply Chain; Sees Higher Prices For High-End Chips

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM CEO C.C. Wei warned that an endemic chip crisis costing anywhere from $0.50 to $10 is slowing down the $600 billion semiconductor industry, Bloomberg reports.
  • The ongoing crisis of such low-end chips hindered production in critical segments of the supply chain, he said.
  • ASML Holding N.V. ASML struggled to procure $10 chips for its extreme ultraviolet lithography systems.

Financial Times

Amid Federal Probes, Morgan Stanley’s Internal Lawyer To Oversee Block Trading Desk

  • Morgan Stanley MS has ordered one of its internal lawyers to be on its U.S. equity syndicate desk to supervise bankers and answer their legal questions, the Financial Times reported citing people briefed on the arrangement.
  • The decision follows after Morgan Stanley placed Pawan Passi, head of the U.S. equity syndicate desk, on leave last year, as the unit landed into a federal investigation for block trading.
  • Block trades are bulk sales of shares executed by an investment bank, generally for a client, which tend to be big enough to move markets. The U.S. authorities are investigating whether investors obtained a warning of any trades.

Benzinga

Lucid Motors Aims To Raise $8B Via Mixed Shelf Offering

  • Lucid Group, Inc LCID looks to raise up to $8 billion in primary capital via one or more offerings over the three years under its mixed-shelf offering.
  • These capital raises could include common stock, preferred stock (including depositary shares), warrants, debt securities (including convertible debt), purchase contracts, and units.
  • Electric vehicle startups that promised to disrupt the automotive industry now struggle to control costs and cash burn to bring vehicles to market amid component crises and rising raw material prices.

Toyota July Vehicle Production Drops; Flags Uncertainty

  • Toyota Motor Corp’s TM global vehicle production for the month of July fell 6.9% Y/Y to 835,192 units.
  • Worldwide sales for July declined 6.2% to 872,757 units.
  • The fall in production and sales is due to the impact of COVID-19 and chip shortage caused by the increased demand for semiconductors.

Cathie Wood Loads Up $3M In This Precision Medicine Firm’s Shares Despite Bleak Q2 Results

  • Cathie Wood-led Ark Investment Management loaded up on 153,917 shares of precision medicine company CareDx Inc CDNA via the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF ARKG, valued at over $3.1 million based on Monday’s closing price.
  • CareDx is the fund’s 12th largest holding, valued at over $98 million with a weight of 3.57%, according to data on the firm’s website.
  • Why It Matters: CareDx stock is trading close to its short-term support of about $20 per share, having bounced back multiple times from this level since mid-June. The stock sees a strong resistance at the $27.32 level.

Tesla Challenges Louisiana Law To Directly Sell Cars To Customers

  • Tesla Inc TSLA is reportedly challenging a Louisiana law as it seeks to sell directly to customers.
  • The Elon Musk-led automaker filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana last week, reported the Wall Street Journal.
  • Tesla is reportedly suing the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, officials on the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission, and some dealerships.

Will iPhone 14 Feature Satellite Connectivity? Analyst Says This Will Be The Determining Factor

  • Apple, Inc. AAPL analysts have begun discussing Cupertino’s long-rumored satellite Phone after the company sent out the invite for the Sept. 7 iPhone launch event.
  • Apple has tested satellite communication in the iPhone 14 before mass production and has completed hardware tests but whether the feature will be part of the newest model depends on whether Apple and operators can settle the business model, Ming-Chi Kuo, a Taiwan-based analyst who is fairly accurate with his Apple predictions, said.
  • The TFI Securities analyst noted that Apple had completed hardware development of satellite communication in the previous iPhone iteration – the iPhone 13 itself. The tech giant finally did not offer the feature as it had not negotiated the business model, he added.

Vitalik Buterin Issues This Important Reminder Before Ethereum Merge

  • Ethereum ETH/USD creator Vitalik Buterin has urged those running nodes on the blockchain to upgrade their clients before the Merge.
  • What Happened: In a tweet on Monday, Buterin reminded those running ETH nodes to update their clients to the required specifications even before the Merge occurs.
  • The Ethereum co-founder said that even though the Merge would officially take place between Sept. 10 and Sept. 20, the Beacon Chain hard fork would occur on Sept. 6; as such, all nodes should have their clients updated prior to the Merge to ensure a smoother transition.

FBI Alerts DeFi Users Of Cyber Criminals Stealing Their Crypto Holdings

  • The U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a new warning to investors alerting them of the increasing number of thefts in exploits related to decentralized finance.
  • In a tweet on Monday, the federal law enforcement agency said that cybercriminals were increasingly targeting DeFi platforms to steal cryptocurrency.
  • “Cyber criminals seek to take advantage of investors’ increased interest in cryptocurrencies, as well as the complexity of cross-chain functionality and open source nature of DeFi platforms,” the FBI said in a public service announcement.

Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna Set To Get FDA Nod For Omicron Booster Shots As Early As Wednesday: Report

  • Booster shots for Omicron variants of the novel coronavirus could officially be made available in the U.S. just after Labor Day, Politico reported on Monday.
  • What Happened: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will likely authorize the booster shots of Pfizer, Inc. PFE/BioNTech SE BNTX and Moderna, Inc. MRNA as early as Wednesday, the report said, citing people with the knowledge of the matter.
  • Pfizer and Moderna filed for emergency use authorizations last week.

Netflix And Chill Out With The Pricing Rumors: Streamer Denies $7 To $9 Ad-Supported Plan

  • Streaming giant Netflix Inc NFLX has remained secretive on pricing and details for its upcoming ad-supported plan. The company refuted recent claims of pricing estimates by Bloomberg.
  • Netflix denied the new ad-supported streaming tier would have a monthly cost of $7 to $9. The company said it was still holding internal discussions on the pricing of the plan that will be rolled out to certain markets by the end of 2022.
  • “We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower-priced, ad-supported tier, and no decisions have been made. So this is all just speculation at this point,” a Netflix representative told the New York Post.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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