Elon Musk Praises Quality of Made in China Teslas, Exxon Eyes Double Output With New Fracking Tech, Netflix Shareholders Vote Against Fat Exec. Pay: Today's Top Stories

Benzinga

Made-In-China Teslas Are The Highest Quality, Says Musk: ‘It Warms My Heart’

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk is back in America after a two-day trip to China, his first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The billionaire entrepreneur made a pitstop at Giga Shanghai as part of his tour and delivered a late-night speech praising his Chinese staff.
  • Sharing pictures from his visit to the Gigafactory on Wednesday evening, Musk tweeted, “Congratulations to Giga Shanghai & Tesla China SDS teams for their excellent work overcoming many obstacles over many years!!”
  • “Thank you for being here late at night. I would very much like to congratulate you on the amazing work that you’ve done. It’s been incredibly impressive how you have been able to overcome so many difficulties and so many challenges. I just wanted to let you know that it warms my heart,” Musk says in the video.

Broadcom Analysts Raise Their Forecasts After Strong Q2 Results

  • Broadcom Inc. AVGO reported upbeat earnings for its second quarter. The company also said it sees third-quarter revenue of approximately $8.85 billion versus estimates of $8.72 billion.
  • Broadcom said second-quarter revenue increased 8% year-over-year to $8.73 billion, which beat average analyst estimates of $8.71 billion. The company reported quarterly adjusted earnings of $10.32 per share, which beat estimates of $10.08 per share.
  • Broadcom shares fell 0.3% to $787.88 in today’s pre-market trading session.

Volkswagen’s Iconic Microbus Returns To America After Two Decades In Electric Avatar

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY is set to reintroduce its German-manufactured microbus, the ID Buzz, to the United States with a world premiere event on Friday.
  • This marks the return of the iconic Volkswagen bus to the U.S. after a 20-year absence since the T4 generation. The ID Buzz features up to seven seats, a sunroof, a long wheelbase, and a maximum speed of 160 km/h.
  • Deliveries of the microbus in the country are scheduled to begin in 2024. Pablo Di Si, President and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, said, “The ID. Buzz and the USA – it’s a perfect match! The VW bus has a long history in the USA and enjoys real cult status. Our aim today is to further strengthen the Volkswagen brand in America.”

Illumina Takes AI to Genomics: Launch of PrimateAI-3D for Accurate Disease Prediction

  • Illumina, Inc. ILMN launched PrimateAI-3D, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that predicts disease-causing genetic mutations in patients.
  • PrimateAI-3D utilizes deep neural network architectures similar to ChatGPT and AlphaFold, but is trained on genome sequences rather than human language.
  • After applying the algorithm to half a million genomes in the U.K. Biobank cohort detailing the training, the results showed unprecedented accuracy.

VMware Q1: Earnings Miss, 6% Revenue Growth, New Product Innovations & More

  • VMware Inc VMW reported a Q1 FY24 revenues increase of 6% Y/Y to $3.28 billion, missing the consensus of $3.34 billion.
  • Subscription and SaaS revenue increased 35% Y/Y to $1.22 billion.
  • Subscription and SaaS ARR were up 32% Y/Y to $4.85 billion. Non-GAAP operating income rose 6% Y/Y to $819 million.

Rivian Seeks To Humanize Customer Experience Amid AI Chatbot Frenzy

  • EV maker Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN is prioritizing human interaction to enhance its customer support, distinguishing itself from the conversational AI trend.
  • In a recent tweet, Rivian emphasized that all customer conversations are handled by real employees, debunking the use of automated bots.
  • The company said its commitment to personal service extends to its 24/7 chat feature, where a dedicated customer support team promptly assists with roadside and service inquiries.

Dechra Pharma Takes EQT Takeover Offer, Albeit At Lower Price

  • Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC DPHAY agreed to a takeover offer by Swedish Private Equity EQT for £4.5 billion.
  • The acquisition price represents 44% premium to Dechra’a closing price as on April 12, 2023.
  • As per the terms, Dechra shareholders will receive 3,875 pence in cash for each share held.
  • This is lower than the 4,070 pence, which was decided when both companies started acquisition-related talks in April this year.
  • The acquisition is projected to complete by the end of 2023 or early 2024. 

Walmart Goes The Green Way - Ditches Plastic Mailers

  • Walmart Inc WMT said it is adopting measures designed to reduce the amount of packaging waste associated with online orders.
  • Going forward, nearly all orders shipped in plastic mailers from fulfillment centers, stores and marketplace items shipped with Walmart Fulfillment Services, will arrive in recyclable paper bag mailers.
  • The company expects the transition to eliminate 65 million plastic bag mailers or more than 2,000 tons of plastic from circulation in the U.S. by the end of the current fiscal year.

Reuters

Exxon Goes Big on New Fracking Tech: Eyeing Double Oil Production from US Shale

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM is reportedly eyeing new fracking technologies to double the amount of oil produced from the company’s U.S. Shale holdings over five years.
  • Exxon currently recovers about 10% of shale resources from its operations, Reuters reported citing a statement from Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Darren Woods at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference.
  • “We are beginning to see the signs of some very promising new technologies” that will “significantly improve recovery” volumes, Darren Woods said.

Netflix Executives and Their Lavish Pay: Shareholders Say, Not So Fast!

  • Netflix Inc NFLX shareholders voted against the company’s executive pay package in a nonbinding vote.
  • Netflix shareholders withheld their support for the company’s executive pay package in a non-binding vote following a plea by striking Hollywood writers to oppose the proposed 2023 compensation, reported Reuters.
  • “While investors have long taken issue with Netflix’s executive pay, the compensation structure is more egregious against the backdrop of the strike,” stated Writers Guild West President Meredith Stiehm.

 

CNBC

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Throws Curveball With New In-Office Work Policy

  • Meta Platforms Inc. META shocked employees with a sudden change in its remote-work policy by mandating three days a week of in-office presence starting in September.
  • Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced a significant shift in its remote work policy. Employees have been notified that beginning in September, they will be required to work from the company’s offices three days a week, CNBC reported, citing The Information.

Amazon’s Leadership Overhaul: At least 3 Key Leaders Depart This Week

  • Amazon.Com, Inc AMZN lost significant leaders this week amid reports of a mass employee walkout.
  • Melissa Nick, a North America customer fulfillment vice president, will depart effective June 16.
  • Nick, who joined Amazon in 2014, was responsible for one of Amazon’s largest fulfillment regions and led almost 300 facilities that process and ship customer orders, CNBC reports.

 

Bloomberg

Palantir CEO Says US Should Wield ‘Dangerous’ AI Or ‘Our Adversaries Will’

  • Palantir Technologies PLTR shares diverged from the market’s upward trend after a short report questioned the company’s AI capabilities. CEO Alex Karp, undeterred by the criticism, focused on the technology’s potential during Palantir’s AIPCon customer conference on Thursday.
  • Karp, in an interview with Bloomberg ahead of the conference, expressed confidence in Palantir’s superior product, highlighting customers’ willingness to pay a fair price for it.
  • Addressing concerns about the risks of AI in military hands, Karp suggested the U.S. should take the lead in developing these systems rather than ceding ground to rivals.

Apple Plans To Add At Least 3 More Flagship Stores In India As Part Of Retail Expansion Blueprint

  • Apple Inc AAPL has ambitious plans to grow its retail presence in Asia, Europe, and the United States, with a particular focus on key markets like India.
  • According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is planning to open three new flagship stores in India. It has chosen New Delhi’s DLF Promenade Mall for one store, with a targeted launch in March 2026. The other two stores are set to open in Mumbai’s Borivali and Worli in June 2025 and November 2027, respectively.
  • Over the next four years, the tech giant aims to launch 15 new stores across the Asia-Pacific region, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Wall Street Journal

Frustrated Apple Savings Holders Reportedly Consider Closing Accounts On Money Transfer Delays

  • Apple Inc. AAPL launched its high-yield savings account in late April to great acclaim. However, recent reports suggest that the offering has encountered some obstacles along the way.
  • Customers of Apple’s high-yield savings account, offered in partnership with Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS, are experiencing difficulties withdrawing their funds, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
  • One customer based outside Atlanta struggled to transfer $1,700 from their Apple account to JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM since May 15. Despite repeated attempts and contacts with Goldman’s customer service, the transfer was repeatedly delayed.

 

New York Times

DeSantis Vs. Disney Saga: Trump Appointee Replaces Judge Who Recused Himself After Accusing Governor Of ‘Rank Judge-Shopping’

  • A recent development in the legal battle between GOP Presidential primary candidate Ron DeSantis and entertainment giant, Walt Disney Co. DIS may not play out to the advantage of the Florida governor.
  • Judge Allen Winsor, who has been appointed to oversee the lawsuit, in place of Judge Mark Walker, is a nominee of former President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported.
  • The development assumes importance as DeSantis is pitted against Trump in the 2024 GOP primary.

 

South China Morning Post

Decoding Nvidia CEO’s Visit to Shanghai: Impact on Gaming, Graphics, and AI Processor Market

  • Nvidia Corp NVDA CEO Jensen Huang could visit Shanghai, the first visit in four years.
  • Despite escalating geopolitical tensions, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang may visit Shanghai on June 6.
  • Huang expressed immense confidence in China’s ability to catch up in chip technology despite the U.S. embargo at the Computex expo in Taipei.

 

TechCrunch

Bigger Plans Ahead: Rocket Lab Pushes Venus Mission to 2025

  • Rocket Lab USA, Inc RKLB postponed its mission to Venus, which the company planned to launch in May.
  • The mission will likely move ahead no earlier than January 2025, the only publicly stated backup window for launch, TechCrunch cites a company spokesperson.
  • “Our focus right now is on delivering customer missions as a priority,” the spokesperson said.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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