6752.T - Panasonic Corporation

Tokyo - Tokyo Delayed Price. Currency in JPY
+14.10 (+1.42%)
As of 2:22PM JST. Market open.
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Previous Close994.40
Bid1,008.50 x 0
Ask1,009.00 x 0
Day's Range1,002.50 - 1,018.00
52 Week Range691.70 - 1,264.00
Avg. Volume8,103,015
Market Cap2.353T
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.29
PE Ratio (TTM)10.43
EPS (TTM)96.70
Earnings DateJul. 30, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield30.00 (3.01%)
Ex-Dividend DateMar. 30, 2020
1y Target Est1,450.90
  • Bloomberg

    Power Pioneer Invents New Battery That’s 90% Cheaper Than Lithium-Ion

    (Bloomberg) -- Lithium-ion batteries play a central role in the world of technology, powering everything from smartphones to smart cars, and one of the people who helped commercialize them says he has a way to cut mass production costs by 90% and significantly improve their safety.Hideaki Horie, formerly of Nissan Motor Co., founded Tokyo-based APB Corp. in 2018 to make “all-polymer batteries” -- hence the company name. Earlier this year the company received backing from a group of Japanese firms that includes general contractor Obayashi Corp., industrial equipment manufacturer Yokogawa Electric Corp. and carbon fiber maker Teijin Ltd.“The problem with making lithium batteries now is that it’s device manufacturing like semiconductors,” Horie said in an interview. “Our goal is to make it more like steel production.”The making of a cell, every battery’s basic unit, is a complicated process requiring cleanroom conditions -- with airlocks to control moisture, constant air filtering and exacting precision to prevent contamination of highly reactive materials. The setup can be so expensive that a handful of top players like South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd., China’s CATL and Japan’s Panasonic Corp. spend billions of dollars to build a suitable factory.Horie’s innovation is to replace the battery’s basic components -- metal-lined electrodes and liquid electrolytes -- with a resin construction. He says this approach dramatically simplifies and speeds up manufacturing, making it as easy as “buttering toast.” It allows for 10-meter-long battery sheets that can be stacked on top of each other “like seat cushions” to increase capacity, he said. Importantly, the resin-based batteries are also resistant to catching fire when punctured.In March, APB raised 8 billion yen ($74 million), which is tiny by the wider industry’s standards but will be enough to fully equip one factory for mass production slated to start next year. Horie estimates the funds will get his plant in central Japan to 1 gigawatt-hour capacity by 2023.Lithium-ion batteries have come a long way since they were first commercialized almost three decades ago. They last longer, pack more power and cost 85% less than they did 10 years ago, serving as the quiet workhorse driving the growth of smartphones and tablets with ever more powerful internals. But safety remains an issue and batteries have been the cause of fires in everything from Tesla Inc.’s cars to Boeing Co.’s Dreamliner jets and Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphones.“Just from the standpoint of physics, the lithium-ion battery is the best heater humanity has ever created,” Horie said.In a traditional battery, a puncture can create a surge measuring hundreds of amperes, several times the current of electricity delivered to an average home. Temperatures can then shoot up to 700 degrees Celsius. APB’s battery avoids such cataclysmic conditions by using a so-called bipolar design, doing away with present-day power bottlenecks and allowing the entire surface of the battery to absorb surges.“Because of the many incidents, safety has been at the top of mind in the industry,” said Mitalee Gupta, senior analyst for energy storage at Wood Mackenzie. “This could be a breakthrough for both storage and electric vehicle applications, provided that the company is able to scale up pretty quickly.”But the technology is not without its shortcomings. Polymers are not as conductive as metal and this could significantly impact the battery’s carrying capacity, according to Menahem Anderman, president of California-based Total Battery Consulting Inc. One drawback of the bipolar design is that cells are connected back-to-back in a series, making control of individual ones difficult, Anderman said. He also questioned whether the cost savings will be sufficient to compete with the incumbents.“Capital is not killing the cost of a lithium-ion battery,” Anderman said. “Lithium-ion with liquid electrolyte will remain the main application for another 15 years or more. It’s not perfect and it isn’t cheap, but beyond lithium-ion is a better lithium ion.”Horie acknowledges that APB can’t compete with battery giants who are already benefiting from economies of scale after investing billions. Instead of targeting the “red ocean” of the automotive sector, APB will first focus on stationary batteries used in buildings, offices and power plants.That market will be worth $100 billion by 2025 worldwide, more than five times its size last year, according to estimates by Wood Mackenzie. The U.S. alone -- which together with China will be the main source of increased energy storage demand -- is likely to see a 10-fold increase to $7 billion in the period.Horie, 63, got his start with lithium-ion batteries at their very beginning. In February 1990, early on in his Nissan career, he started the automaker’s nascent research into electric and hybrid vehicles. A few weeks later, Sony Corp. shocked the industry, which was betting on nickel-hydride technology, by announcing plans to commercialize a lithium-ion alternative. Horie says he immediately saw the promise and pushed for the two companies to combine research efforts that same year.By 2000, however, Nissan was giving up on its battery business, having just been rescued by Renault SA. Horie had one shot at convincing his new boss Carlos Ghosn that electric vehicles were worth it. After a 28-minute presentation, a visibly excited Ghosn proclaimed Horie’s work an important investment and green-lit the project. Nissan’s Leaf would go on to become the best-selling EV for a decade.Horie came up with the idea for the all-polymer battery while still at Nissan but wasn’t able to get institutional backing to make it real. In 2012, while doing a teaching stint at the University of Tokyo, he was approached by Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd., known for its superabsorbent materials used in diapers. Together, the two developed the world’s first battery using a conductive gel polymer. In 2018, Horie founded APB and Sanyo Chemical became one of his early investors.APB has already lined up its first customer, a large Japanese company whose niche and high-value-added products sell mostly overseas, Horie said. He declined to give further details and said APB plans to make the announcement as early as August.“This will be the proof that our batteries can be mass-produced,” Horie said. “Battery makers have become assemblers. We are putting chemistry back into the lead role.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Panasonic CEO says Tesla's Elon Musk a 'genius' who can be 'overly optimistic'

    Panasonic CEO says Tesla's Elon Musk a 'genius' who can be 'overly optimistic'

    Tesla's Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is "a genius who defies common sense and can be overly optimistic," Panasonic's <6752.T> CEO said on Tuesday, as the Japanese firm cautiously moves to expand a battery partnership with the U.S. carmaker. "I believe only geniuses can hold onto big visions, and a genius I know is Elon Musk," Kazuhiro Tsuga said at an event for young entrepreneurs. The remarks on Musk come as Panasonic and Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> are in talks to expand their joint battery plant in Nevada after production troubles and delays at Tesla strained their partnership over the past few years.

  • Panasonic Receives Highest Award of Brand Design at the Automotive Brand Contest 2020
    Business Wire

    Panasonic Receives Highest Award of Brand Design at the Automotive Brand Contest 2020

    Panasonic Automotive's brand design received the highest accolade as Best of Best in the Brand Design category at the Automotive Brand Contest 2020.

  • 3 Battery Stocks to Watch Amid Electric Car Revolution

    3 Battery Stocks to Watch Amid Electric Car Revolution

    The gradual shift toward electric vehicles has pushed into limelight a very promising and crucial domain for investment -- batteries.

  • Reuters

    Tesla plans battery manufacturing facility under project 'Roadrunner' -document

    Tesla Inc plans to build a battery research and manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, to be operated around the clock, under a project dubbed Roadrunner, documents from the city government showed. Tesla, which said it currently has a "small-scale" battery manufacturing operation in Fremont, applied for city government approval to build an expanded battery operation. It estimated construction of the project, including the installation of all manufacturing equipment, can be completed in around 3 months.

  • Bloomberg

    Olympus Selling Digital-Camera Business Defeated by Smartphones

    (Bloomberg) -- Digital-camera pioneer Olympus Corp. will sell off its imaging business, blaming the rise of smartphones for its exit from a business it helped to foster more than two decades ago.The Japanese manufacturer unveiled plans on Wednesday to sell its imaging division to private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners Inc. The camera business had been steadily shrinking over the past decade, making up 5.5% of revenue for the fiscal year that ended in March and posting operating losses for the past three years. Medical equipment such as endoscopes now fill the void, accounting for roughly four-fifths of annual sales.Cost-cutting measures “to cope with the extremely severe digital camera market, due to, amongst others, rapid market shrink caused by the evolution of smartphones” were not sufficient to make the imaging unit profitable, Olympus said. No price was disclosed for the deal, which is set to be closed by the end of September.Olympus has been implementing restructuring measures since U.S. hedge fund ValueAct Capital Management, which owns 5% of the company, added two directors to the board earlier this year. The move was seen as a rare victory for activist investors in a market historically resistant to investor demands.A new company will be created to run the imaging business independently and “as the successor of reputable brands such as OM-D and ZUIKO, will utilize the innovative technology and unique product development capabilities which have been developed within Olympus.” The Tokyo-based company didn’t say whether the Olympus name will continue to appear on any new products.Along with Panasonic Corp., Olympus popularized the Micro Four Thirds format of digital photography, which combines the portability of casual point-and-shoot cameras with the quality of more professional gear. Those devices have, however, been matched in quality and surpassed in convenience over recent years by smartphones with software-assisted imaging systems.Japan Industrial Partners bought Sony Corp.’s vaunted Vaio laptop group six years ago and turned it into Vaio Corp., so it has experience in working to revive languishing consumer tech divisions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tesla Inks 3-Year Deal With Panasonic, Model Y in Trouble

    Tesla Inks 3-Year Deal With Panasonic, Model Y in Trouble

    Tesla (TSLA) amends the terms and conditions of its partnership with Panasonic, modifying the term to expire 10 years after Panasonic reaches certain production milestones.

  • Tesla Inks Battery Agreement With Panasonic
    Motley Fool

    Tesla Inks Battery Agreement With Panasonic

    Revisiting a partnership which originated in 2014, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) revealed in a regulatory filing yesterday that it and Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) "entered into an amendment and restatement" of the general terms and conditions of their agreement relating to Panasonic's manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla at its Gigafactory in Nevada. According to the revision, the agreement will expire 10 years "after Panasonic achieves certain manufacturing milestones." In addition, Tesla revealed that it had entered into a pricing agreement with Panasonic lasting through March 2023 related to Panasonic's manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory.

  • Tesla signs three-year pricing deal with battery cell maker Panasonic

    Tesla signs three-year pricing deal with battery cell maker Panasonic

    Tesla and Panasonic have been reported to be in talks to expand the battery joint venture's capacity. Panasonic hinted in May that it was working to develop new batteries with Tesla, possibly with higher capacity. Tesla said the deal, signed last week and effective April 1, 2020, sets the terms for production capacity commitments by Panasonic and purchase volume commitments by Tesla over the first two years of the agreement.

  • A Million-Mile Battery From China Could Power Your Electric Car

    A Million-Mile Battery From China Could Power Your Electric Car

    (Bloomberg) -- The Chinese behemoth that makes electric-car batteries for Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen AG developed a power pack that lasts more than a million miles -- an industry landmark and a potential boon for automakers trying to sway drivers to their EV models.Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. is ready to produce a battery that lasts 16 years and 2 million kilometers (1.24 million miles), Chairman Zeng Yuqun said in an interview at company headquarters in Ningde, southeastern China. Warranties on batteries currently used in electric cars cover about 150,000 miles or eight years, according to BloombergNEF.Extending that lifespan is viewed as a key advance because the pack could be reused in a second vehicle. That would lower the expense of owning an electric vehicle, a positive for an industry that’s seeking to recover sales momentum lost to the coronavirus outbreak and the slumping oil prices that made gas guzzlers more competitive.“If someone places an order, we are ready to produce,” said Zeng, 52, without disclosing if contracts for the long-distance product have been signed. It would cost about 10% more than the batteries now inside EVs, said Zeng, whose company is the world’s largest maker of the batteries.Concerns about batteries losing strength and having to be replaced after a few years is one factor holding back consumer adoption of EVs. Tesla last year flagged it expected to bring into production a battery capable of a million miles of operation, and General Motors Co. last month said it is nearing the milestone. That distance is equivalent to circling the planet 50 times.Anticipating a rapid return to growth for the EV industry, CATL is plowing research-and-development dollars into advances in battery technology. While the coronavirus outbreak will drag down sales throughout this year, EV demand will pick up in early 2021, said Zeng, who founded CATL a decade ago.Car buyers holding back during the pandemic is creating pent-up demand that will be unleashed starting next year, led by premium models, he said. CATL’s customers include BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corp.Zeng’s comments strengthen views that electric vehicles are set to weather the economic slowdown caused by the outbreak better than gas guzzlers. Battery-powered cars will swell to 8.1% of all sales next year in China, which accounts for the largest share of global EV sales, and to 5% in Europe, BNEF predicts.“The pandemic may have a lasting effect throughout 2020, but won’t be a major factor next year,” Zeng said. “We have great confidence for the long run.”CATL struck a two-year contract in February to supply batteries to Tesla, a major boon for the Chinese company as the U.S. electric-car leader has thus far mainly worked with Japan’s Panasonic Corp. and South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. The deal followed months of negotiations, with Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk traveling to Shanghai to meet with Zeng.The CATL batteries are set to go into Model 3 sedans produced at Tesla’s massive new factory near Shanghai, which started deliveries around the beginning of this year. Batteries are the costliest part of an EV, meaning suppliers of those components have a chance to reap a lion’s share of the industry’s profits.Zeng said he often shares insights with Musk, with the two exchanging text messages about developments in technology and business. CATL is strengthening its relationship with Tesla, with matters such as cobalt-free batteries on their agenda, Zeng said.“We’re getting along well and he’s a fun guy,” Zeng said of Musk. “He’s talking about cost all day long, and I’m making sure we have the solutions.”Zeng said Musk also requested his help in obtaining ventilators for coronavirus patients. The U.S. billionaire delivered more than 1,000 of the breathing machines from China to officials in Los Angeles in March.Shares of CATL have advanced about six-fold in Shenzhen since its initial public offering in 2018, giving the company a market value of about $47 billion. Tesla, by far the most valuable EV maker, has a market capitalization of about $160 billion.A “trigger point” for electric cars will occur once they overtake gasoline-powered vehicles around 2030-2035, Zeng said. That view is more ambitious than that of researchers such as BNEF, which expects the shift to take place a few years later.CATL, which is adding a production facility in Germany, is set to make more than 70% of batteries required by BMW, an early customer, Zeng said. CATL also works with Volkswagen’s Audi unit and is cooperating with Porsche, he said.Zeng didn’t rule out building a plant in the U.S., though he said the company has no specific plans for now.“Our team has made achievements in competing with our global rivals in overseas markets,” Zeng said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Inside Microsoft’s Mission to Go Carbon Negative

    Inside Microsoft’s Mission to Go Carbon Negative

    (Bloomberg) -- Over the past four years, Lucas Joppa, Microsoft Corp.’s 37-year-old chief environmental officer, has dislocated and broken one shoulder, separated the other one, broken his right wrist, and also broken his left thumb. In early May he was pretty sure his right thumb was broken, but his hand surgeon said it was a torn ligament. It’s not that he’s clumsy or reckless—he calculates that, given the amount of time he spends on a bike or skis, his “error rate” is about 0.08%—it’s just that he has a tendency not to look before he jumps.It’s this tolerance for risk—and falling—that makes him well-suited for the unprecedented task that lies ahead. In January, Microsoft pledged to be carbon negative (removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits) by 2030 and to spend $1 billion on a climate investment fund, much of it aimed at bolstering carbon-removal tech, a nascent field with lots of big ideas but only a handful of companies that are trying it. It was a statement of intent more than a concrete plan. Right now none of this is possible. Joppa and his colleagues are all too aware they can’t wait to act until everything is certain. The fund plans to announce its first investment later this year.“I jump a lot, and sometimes I fall. It’s going to happen. You have to be willing to accept the risk,” Joppa says. The trick, he adds, is skipping the jumps that could kill him if they go wrong. “I’m bringing that approach to everything.”To avert climate disaster, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects overall global warming must be kept below 1.5C. It’s already at 1.16C. Even the previously unimaginable scenario we’re now living through—worldwide lockdowns to stop the Covid-19 pandemic—isn’t lowering the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Global warming hasn’t slowed, and Joppa and a lot of others say it probably won’t without the rapid adoption of carbon- sucking technology that barely exists.On a Thursday morning in April, Joppa logs on to his computer to address a videoconference of 16 people who will help determine how and whether Microsoft can meet one of the most ambitious carbon-reduction goals set by any company.“We’ve got a lot to do, not a lot of time to do it,” he tells the group.On the call are co-workers from his sustainability group, finance and business development officials who will consider investment opportunities, and experts in running Microsoft’s energy-guzzling global network of data centers. They’re joined by executives and climate scientists with Carbon Direct, a consulting company that will help Microsoft develop a 10-year plan for getting to carbon negative.Elizabeth Willmott, Microsoft’s carbon expert, lays out the company’s requirements to offset its emissions: It wants to buy access to a menu of carbon-removal techniques that include planting kelp forests and machines that draw carbon from the air and store it underground. It’s looking for options that are lasting and verifiable. Oh, and Joppa wants to do this on the cheap, paying companies $20 a ton, a fraction of what many of the options currently cost. It’s not because Microsoft doesn’t have the money for pricier options. Rather, one of its key goals is to force the innovation that enables prices to drop to a level others—without Microsoft’s $137.6 billion cash pile—can afford.“I often refer to our climate innovation fund as the self-awareness fund. We could just pay for this, but if you just use money to solve your problems, that represents an extreme lack of self-awareness to everybody else’s ability to do this,” Joppa tells the others on the call.Microsoft’s approach has won praise from climate scientists for its ambition. But the company also counts some of the worst emitters—oil and gas giants such as Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.—among its customers, selling them software and gear they use to increase oil and gas extractions. A May 19 Greenpeace report called out Microsoft and Amazon.com Inc. for “connections to some of the world’s dirtiest oil companies for the explicit purpose of getting more oil and gas out of the ground and onto the market faster and cheaper.”Microsoft is attempting to counter this incongruity with unproven removal ideas, says Nives Dolsak, a professor of sustainability science at the University of Washington. “Their strategy is, ‘We are banking on uncertain technology that will reduce carbon from the air, and if that works out, that allows us to put certain future additional carbon into the air,’ ” she says.Joppa has heard this criticism before. It’s the biggest complaint Microsoft gets on its climate strategy. Oil and gas companies need to be part of the climate and energy solution, he says. It doesn’t make sense to cut ties.As the company leaps headlong into its plan, among the many risks it must consider are the early and unproven technology and its high prices, Joppa says, as well as the rapid pace of climate change and the small window to arrest it. “We have got to go out and make some bets on technologies that don’t exist, on technologies that are too expensive, and on markets that aren’t mature enough,” he says. “They will never be cheap enough, they will never be scaled high enough, and they will never be mature enough unless a Microsoft comes in right now and starts pushing.”Joppa grew up in rural Wisconsin and met his wife, Jamie, in second grade. School bored him until he took a college course called Extinction of Species and then threw himself into studying ecology. After a Peace Corps stint in Malawi and a doctorate he earned in three years, he began work at Microsoft’s research arm, much to the horror of some colleagues. One professor told him, “Lucas, you could have been somebody!”During almost 11 years at Microsoft, Joppa has worked to apply computing power to the Earth’s challenges. He came up with AI for Earth in 2016, a program that grants software to companies working on environmental projects. When the company’s sustainability work became a part of Microsoft’s legal department and Joppa moved with it, his nature-themed tattoos peeking out of a T-shirt stood out among a sea of khaki and button-downs. But when Microsoft decided to name its first chief environmental officer in 2018, Joppa’s scientific background and ability to work with employees from various disciplines made him the obvious choice, says Microsoft President Brad Smith.Since 2012 the company has taxed its own business units for the carbon they emit and put the proceeds into buying carbon credits and running sustainability programs, making it one of the earlier companies to take such a step. Last spring it doubled its internal carbon tax and said it would lobby for national carbon-pricing policies.But customers kept asking Microsoft to do more, and employees were also pushing. In September rival Amazon pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040, and Microsoft felt pressure to step up its own commitment, Smith says. At a meeting in November, Joppa used dire projections from the IPCC as a way to create urgency for Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella and his executive team. The world can emit only 420 more gigatons of CO2 to have a 66% chance of avoiding catastrophic warming, Joppa explained, and at the current rate that’s only a decade away.He returned with instructions to come up with a bold proposal. Along with the finance department, the team worked frenetically over the holidays on the math behind going carbon negative. “It was one thing to have the goal. It was another thing to know whether we could achieve it,” Smith says. Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood committed $1 billion for an idea she’d had: the climate investment fund.Microsoft opted for an unprecedented pledge to clean up all direct and electrical emissions since its 1975 founding by 2050. Its promise to become carbon negative by 2030 includes not only direct emissions from its buildings, data centers, and fleet of campus vehicles, but also something called Scope 3 emissions. These are more indirect, harder to calculate, and far larger. It means taking responsibility for the energy that gamers use when they play Xbox video games, for example. Microsoft doesn’t count oil and gas customers’ use of its software for drilling and exploration in Scope 3.The staff who handle Microsoft’s purchases from suppliers are working on standards for those companies to measure what they emit and planning to add incentives to spur them to do better. Microsoft also plans to work with customers on how they can be greener, which includes helping oil and gas customers with clean energy programs, Joppa says.In the past couple of years, more than 40 tech companies have set targets for limiting emissions, but Microsoft’s plans to be carbon negative by 2030 and wipe out historical emissions are the most aggressive. There are only a handful of businesses that have said they’ll be carbon negative within 10 years, including furniture maker Ikea and tax software provider Intuit Inc. Panasonic Corp. says it will be carbon negative by 2050. Payments startup Stripe Inc. has begun spending $1 million a year funding negative-emissions projects.Microsoft’s investment fund is also unusual, but its goals are similar to those of a fund led by co-founder Bill Gates, who remains an adviser to the company and has met with Joppa and other Microsoft executives to share ideas. Gates is chairman of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund with investors such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Virgin Group boss Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Green. There are ongoing conversations between Microsoft and the fund about possible partnerships on investments, says Jonah Goldman, managing director at Gates Ventures, a private investment office for Gates. Both entities share an understanding that carbon removal is a different type of investment, and it’s important to have companies like Microsoft backing technology that isn’t an obvious short-term moneymaker.After an event in January to announce their big plans, Joppa and his team celebrated with a carbon-themed playlist featuring Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire and Heat Wave by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, then got to work figuring out how to make the promises a reality.Joppa has been reading a book on the Apollo mission to put a man on the moon, and he told his wife how jealous it made him. “They had this pure thing that brought business and science and research and engineering all together, and you could just focus on it obsessively,” he says. Jamie answered: “What are you talking about? That’s what you have to do.”On the banks of Howe Sound in British Columbia, a fan the size of a delivery truck slurps carbon out of the atmosphere. It’s part of a factory run by a company called Carbon Engineering, and it’s considered one of the most promising in the field of “direct air capture,” the segment of the carbon-capture industry that sounds the most like science fiction. Gates was an early investor in the company. Basically fans, or “injectors,” connect the air with chemicals that bond with the carbon and remove it. Right now it’s highly inefficient and expensive, with prices anywhere from $250 to $1,000 a ton. Microsoft is banking on the price going down and volume going up.Another direct-air-capture startup, Climeworks AG, has its massive fans set up in Zurich, where the captured CO2 is used to grow plants in a greenhouse. Climeworks operates three plants, but they’re only removing hundreds of tons in a year. The industry is young. In fact, the three leading companies together can’t pull 1 million tons of carbon out of the air a year, while data centers of the kind Microsoft and Amazon operate are estimated to produce more than 300 times that.“Direct air capture is like the Saturn V rocket for the moonshot,” Smith says. “If someone can perfect that, it’s going to just change the equation.” Another carbon-removal technique is bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, which is basically growing plants to absorb carbon and then burning that biomass for power and sequestering the resulting emissions underground. The U.K.’s biggest power plant, in North Yorkshire, has a pilot project using the technology. It’s the first working example of BECCS, and it captures less than 1 ton of carbon dioxide a day.When it comes to machines that successfully remove carbon from the atmosphere today, that’s about it.By Microsoft’s account of its emissions, it needs to buy credits to remove about 2 million tons of CO2 next year—and 6 million by 2030, even though new emissions will be cut by more than half by then. There are other large companies interested in buying credits to offset their carbon sins, too. But there will not be enough carbon-removal tech credits for everyone to offset their emissions. In the near term, Microsoft plans to buy more natural carbon credits that go toward things such as planting trees before switching to tech. In July, Microsoft will begin to solicit bids for its carbon-removal business. Its interest, along with that of Stripe, Shopify Inc., and others, should help fuel investment in new projects, says Deepika Nagabhushan, program director for decarbonized fossil energy at the Clean Air Task Force, which is tracking some 26 potential carbon-capture projects. But it won’t make a difference overnight. “Even if Microsoft announces today that they are going to buy [a certain] number of credits from a direct-air-capture project, it’s going to take a couple of years for a project to even develop.”On Joppa’s conference call, the team from Carbon Direct reminds Microsoft that the low price will make their short-term goals harder. Julio Friedmann, Carbon Direct’s chief scientist, notes most of the available projects in BECCS and direct air capture cost many times Microsoft’s $20-a-ton budget. And other companies need to offer investment funds like Microsoft’s. “You can do a lot with a billion, but you cannot create a gigaton-scale industry with a billion dollars, no matter how smart and savvy the investments are,” Friedmann, who’s also a researcher at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, says in an interview.The price is also lower than many experts have modeled for the economic damage each ton of carbon is likely to cause.But Joppa wants to use Microsoft’s purchasing power and its investments to push the price down to a level other buyers can afford. If carbon-capture tech is something only the Microsofts of the world can afford, he worries that the world will fail to contain warming. “Markets work because we make them work,” he says. They work because people put in positive incentives and help juice supply and demand. “You don’t just wish it to be so, and it happens.”Microsoft expects to make mistakes both in investments and carbon-removal choices. Willmott, the carbon expert of the group, says the company wants to be transparent about its successes and failures so others can learn from them.The coronavirus-induced shutdown has made Joppa more certain that radical action is needed quickly. CO2 emissions are down—about 8% of the estimated total for the year will never be emitted, according to the International Energy Agency. Although that’s not enough to make a dent in overall warming, the slowdown has led to cleaner air and clearer skies, and confinement has made the outdoors a welcome respite.“I hope there’s something lasting about it,” he says. “We’ve given people now an experience with a healthier planet, and I hope that’s going to be hard to take away.”There’s another risk in this whole project, of course—that time runs out. Is this plan achievable in the time we have? “It better be,” Joppa says. “I’m existentially worried about the cost of failure.” —With Emily Chasan, Leslie Kaufman, and Akshat Rathi For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Panasonic and Olympian Katie Ledecky to Host Online STEAM Education Workshop to Inspire Next Generation of "Change Makers" Children
    Business Wire

    Panasonic and Olympian Katie Ledecky to Host Online STEAM Education Workshop to Inspire Next Generation of "Change Makers" Children

    Panasonic and Olympian Katie Ledecky will host an online workshop called "The power to create the future" to promote STEAM education.

  • Panasonic and Blue Yonder Extend Strategic Partnership to Accelerate the Autonomous Supply Chain
    Business Wire

    Panasonic and Blue Yonder Extend Strategic Partnership to Accelerate the Autonomous Supply Chain

    Panasonic is making an equity investment in Blue Yonder, which will further accelerate activities for both companies in Japan.

  • Panasonic sees strong demand from Tesla, in talks to expand Nevada battery plant

    Panasonic sees strong demand from Tesla, in talks to expand Nevada battery plant

    Panasonic Corp's <6752.T> finance chief said the company is seeing strong demand for battery cells from U.S. partner Tesla <TSLA.O> and they are in talks to expand their joint plant in Nevada, which is now profitable. The positive outlook comes after production troubles and delays at Tesla strained the company's partnership with Panasonic over the past few years. Panasonic recently lost its status as Tesla's exclusive battery supplier, but has been able to turn around the U.S. joint battery business as demand for Tesla's electric cars soar.

  • GoPro (GPRO) Q1 Earnings Meet Estimates, Withdraws 2020 View

    GoPro (GPRO) Q1 Earnings Meet Estimates, Withdraws 2020 View

    Despite COVID-19 pandemic, factors like effective channel inventory management, direct-to-consumer operating model and accretive subscriber base drive GoPro's (GPRO) first-quarter 2020 results.

  • Dolby (DLB) Misses Q2 Earnings Estimates, Withdraws View

    Dolby (DLB) Misses Q2 Earnings Estimates, Withdraws View

    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Dolby's (DLB) second-quarter fiscal 2020 results benefit from higher Licensing revenues as well as increased adoption of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology.

  • Bloomberg

    Panasonic Cuts Sales Outlook by $2.3 Billion Citing Virus Impact

    (Bloomberg) -- Panasonic Corp. trimmed its annual revenue outlook by 250 billion yen ($2.3 billion) after the coronavirus outbreak depressed sales of appliances, electronics and automotive parts.Sales will total 7.45 trillion yen in the year ended March 31, 3.2% short of the company’s earlier forecast, Panasonic said in a statement on Monday. The electronics manufacturer kept its operating income outlook unchanged at 300 billion yen and said its net income will exceed own estimate by 10 billion yen because of a more favorable tax situation.Key InsightsThe household appliance business took a hit from shelter-at-home orders in Europe and Asia and shortages of parts made in China, undercutting sales of air conditioners and washing machines.Sales of projectors and professional audio-visual equipment suffered from a slump in demand in China and event cancellations in Europe and the U.S.Automotive business revenue was dented by car-factory stoppages around the world.Panasonic said all 85 of its production and distribution subsidiaries in China and Northeast Asia are now operational.The company’s cash and equivalents totaled 1 trillion yen. It has also secured a 700 billion yen commitment line from multiple financial institutions.Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tsuga will address the impact of the pandemic on the company’s mid-term plan at a separate briefing.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Hedge Funds Will Be Collateral Damage in Japan

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- So long, activists. No one’s giving you any cash back, at least not anytime soon.Companies and investors alike are stashing money as Covid-19 throws an uncertain future across the global economy. Liquidity is front of mind. Automakers and retailers in the U.S. have drawn down billions of dollars on their credit lines to deal with impending shortages. But Japan Inc. has an opportunity — to show hedge funds that have criticized serial cash hoarding and ineffective use of balance sheets that it’s had a point.Piles of idle funds made Japan’s companies a target for global activists, including Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. and Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC. Tokyo’s stock market has become their highest priority outside the U.S. At the end of last year, activists held 3.4 trillion yen ($31.1 billion) of Japanese stock, doubled from the start of a state-led push for corporate governance reform in 2015.Now, cash on the books looks like a strategic asset rather than a drag. When this crisis ends, there will be great need for capital. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is incentivizing companies to retool supply chains away from China, the nerve center of world manufacturing. The likes of electronics giant Panasonic Corp. and auto-parts maker Aisin Seiki Co. say they’re looking at options.Setting up new factories and logistics operations doesn’t happen without significant investment. Meanwhile, Japan’s perennial labor shortages, worsened by the pandemic, will mean more expenditure toward machines and automation. Inorganic growth via mergers and acquisitions will be on the back burner until losses are covered. Capital may also be redirected toward virus-related relief, such as producing ventilators.  So far, a big portion of Japan Inc.’s cash has been put toward capital expenditure and research and development, with much smaller though increasing amounts for dividends and buybacks. Total payout ratios relative to operating cash flows are near 20%, compared to 60% in the U.S. Around half of non-financial companies have more liquidity than interest-bearing debt, versus closer to one-fifth in America or Europe. Only activist pressure has slowly shifted companies that far.Hoarding is rooted in previous crises. Japanese companies, which typically rely less on external financing, have a chronic desire for cushions to survive cycles in an economy that’s always verging on a dip in growth. After the global financial crisis and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, they resumed building balances to far higher levels than in other developed countries.So activists zeroed in. Cash used for growth and returns as a portion of shareholder equity was around 20.5% as of last year, below the post-financial crisis average. Different companies hold their piles for varying reasons: small ones as a precaution; blue chips tend to want to invest more. Either seems like a win in the era of the coronavirus.Sure, there’s a valid case for shaking up corporate governance and returning cash to shareholders. Since the government’s stewardship code emboldened investors, Japan’s business culture has seen the trappings of change, with more independent directors having a stronger role. Companies with higher dividends have been proven to outperform. It’s helped shake off the cozy relationships between big banks and management.But even before the virus, resistance was building and a new law hindered foreign investors and activism. Covid-19 may further take the shine off the reform era. A recent study showed that hedge-fund activism often turns out to be short term, eventually reducing operating cash flow and investment spending. That’s the last thing post-pandemic business needs.This isn’t to say companies won’t use the virus to bury unpleasant news; there’s always room for bad behavior and opportunism. However, there is a need to redo the math on what makes sense and reassess capital efficiency against safety cushions.Activists may not be able to rely on pre-Covid-19 justifications, according to Keith Gottfried and Sean Donahue of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. There are just far too many uncertainties from the damage to supply chains, operations and the labor force. Rising environment, social and governance-based considerations will hold back institutional investors from banding together behind proxy fights: The coronavirus is, after all, a material social risk as applied to health, safety and human capital.In this environment, some hedge funds may try even harder to justify the need for change, as Gottfried and Donahue point out. But beware of corporate raiders in the guise of white knights. For companies and their shareholders, cash piles will prove to be much safer.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tesla Plans No-Pay Furloughs, Salary Cuts While Plants Idled

    Tesla Plans No-Pay Furloughs, Salary Cuts While Plants Idled

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. will furlough non-critical employees without pay and temporarily cut executive salaries as much as 30% to conserve cash while the coronavirus pandemic forces the shutdown of much of its operations.In the U.S., those ranked vice president or above will see the steepest salary reductions, followed by a 20% drop for directors and a 10% cut for others, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. Workers outside the U.S. will see similar reductions. Those who can’t work from home and aren’t assigned critical tasks will stay employees and keep their health-care benefits.The moves add Tesla to the growing number of companies slashing labor costs to weather the pandemic. The outbreak hit just as Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk was ramping up the production of the new Model Y crossover, accelerating output at a plant near Shanghai and clearing the way for construction of a new facility outside Berlin.“This is a shared sacrifice across the company that will allow us to progress during these challenging times,” Tesla said in the memo. A representative for the company declined to comment.Tesla shares rose 1% as of 9:45 a.m. Wednesday in New York trading.Reopening PlanTesla agreed to idle U.S. production last month days after authorities ordered the San Francisco Bay area to shelter in place. The electric-vehicle maker expects to resume normal production at its U.S. facilities on May 4, according to the memo, which is the day after the stay-at-home measure is scheduled to end.Even after re-opening its facilities, Tesla will probably need about two weeks to ramp up production again, Dan Levy, a Credit Suisse analyst, wrote in a note late Tuesday. The roughly 30,000 cars that the company had in inventory at the end of the first quarter will be sufficient to meet weakened demand, he said.The company has more than 56,000 employees, according to a recent company-wide email. Its sole U.S. vehicle-assembly plant is in Fremont, California.Wage adjustments and equity grants will be put on hold, according to the memo. The pay cuts are expected to last until the end of the second quarter, and those furloughed are likely to be asked to return on May 4.Nevada, ShanghaiAt its Nevada gigafactory, Tesla reduced on-site staff by 75%, according to the county where the plant is located. The facility produces battery packs and electric motors with partner Panasonic Corp.Tesla’s Shanghai plant, meanwhile, recovered from a virus-related shutdown faster than many in the industry with the help of local authorities. After resuming operations in February, the factory surpassed the capacity it reached before the shutdown, making 3,000 cars a week, the company said last month.Tesla also is planning to expand its lineup in China by introducing a locally built Model 3 sedan with a longer driving range from as early as this week, people familiar with the matter have said.While Tesla is down significantly from a peak close of $917.42 in mid February, the shares are still up 30% for the year.(Updates with shares trading in the fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tesla to slash on-site staff at Nevada factory by 75% due to virus - county manager

    Tesla to slash on-site staff at Nevada factory by 75% due to virus - county manager

    BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> plans to slash on-site staff at its Nevada battery plant by around 75% due to the coronavirus pandemic, the local county manager said on Thursday. The move comes after its Japanese battery partner Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said it would scale down operations at the Nevada factory this week before closing it for 14 days. The factory produces electric motors and battery packs for Tesla's popular Model 3 sedans.

  • Reuters

    Panasonic to suspend battery production at Tesla joint venture in Nevada due to coronavirus

    Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said on Saturday it will temporarily suspend production at its battery joint venture with U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> in Nevada because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Japanese electronics company, which supplies battery cells for Tesla's electric vehicles, will scale down operations at so-called Gigafactory 1 early next week before closing it for 14 days, Panasonic said in an emailed statement. A Panasonic spokeswoman declined to comment on how the suspension would affect Tesla, which produces battery packs using Panasonic cells at the Nevada plant.

  • Tesla partner Panasonic is shutting down its operations at Nevada gigafactory

    Tesla partner Panasonic is shutting down its operations at Nevada gigafactory

    Panasonic is pulling its 3,500 employees from the massive Nevada factory it operates with partner Tesla over concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The company said Friday it will ramp down operations early next week and then close for 14 days. The move only affects Panasonic employees.

  • Panasonic to end solar partnership with Tesla
    Reuters Videos

    Panasonic to end solar partnership with Tesla

    Tesla losing a big partner. Panasonic said Wednesday it's withdrawing from its deal with Tesla to produce solar cells at a plant in Buffalo, New York. The Japanese electronics company said it'll stop production in May and exit the factory by September. Panasonic employs about 380 of the more than 1500 workers at the plant. It said Tesla hopes to hire many of those workers for its operations in Buffalo. The Wall Street Journal reports Tesla told New York officials it'll keep producing solar panels there. The move is another sign of Tesla's fraying relationship with its Japanese partner. Panasonic status as the electric vehicle maker's exclusive automotive battery supplier is ending, and Tesla is set to diversify its battery supplies with other Asian companies. Panasonic said it'll keep producing batteries with Tesla at its joint venture plant in Nevada. Panasonic's exit from the Buffalo factory also increases uncertainty over Tesla's solar business. It had initially planned to sell the cells it makes there to Tesla for the so-called Solar Roof that resembles regular roof tiles. But it ships most of those cells to overseas customers because demand from Tesla has been low. Tesla has been scaling back its solar business since it bought it three years ago. Tesla shares lost ground at the open Wednesday despite the bounce in the broader market.

  • Panasonic to exit solar production at Tesla's NY plant as partnership frays

    Panasonic to exit solar production at Tesla's NY plant as partnership frays

    TOKYO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said it would exit solar cell production at Tesla Inc's New York plant, the latest sign of strain in a partnership where Panasonic's status as the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker's exclusive battery supplier is ending. The move increases uncertainty over Tesla's <TSLA.O> solar business which is already under scrutiny, having been drastically scaled back since the U.S. firm bought it for $2.6 billion in 2016. Tesla has informed New York that Panasonic's withdrawal "has no bearing on Tesla's current operations", the state said in a statement.

  • Panasonic to exit solar production at Tesla's New York plant as partnership frays

    Panasonic to exit solar production at Tesla's New York plant as partnership frays

    TOKYO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp <6752.T> said it would exit solar cell production at Tesla Inc's New York plant, the latest sign of strain in a partnership where Panasonic's status as the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker's exclusive battery supplier is ending. The move increases uncertainty over Tesla's <TSLA.O> solar business which is already under scrutiny, having been drastically scaled back since the U.S. firm bought it for $2.6 billion in 2016. Tesla has informed New York that Panasonic's withdrawal "has no bearing on Tesla's current operations", the state said in a statement.