• Virgin Galactic's Share Price Has Left the Stratosphere
    Bloomberg

    Virgin Galactic's Share Price Has Left the Stratosphere

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A year ago Richard Branson was on his private island, Necker, when the former Twitter executive Adam Bain came to see him with a proposal for how to take Branson’s suborbital space travel company public.The bearded British billionaire is doubtless glad he took the meeting: After an unsteady start, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.’s valuation has rocketed. The stock has surged more than 400% since a low in December, valuing the company at close to $8 billion, or almost 2,000 times the revenues it’s estimated to have generated in 2019. (For comparison, Uber Technologies Inc. trades on about 5.5 times last year’s revenue).Vieco USA, a Virgin-controlled entity, still owns more than half of the shares,(1) meaning Branson’s net worth — estimated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index at about $5 billion before the listing — is suddenly a whole lot bigger. The loss-making company is now his most valuable asset. There haven’t been any big company developments to justify such market euphoria, which makes you wonder whether it’s sustainable. The stock gains since the start of this year are about double those enjoyed by Tesla Inc.’s rip-snorting shares.Several hedge funds, including Suvretta Capital Management, which owns 3.4% of Virgin Galactic’s equity, have profited from the surge but plenty of its peers are betting that a meeting with cold reality is inevitable. About 30% of the free float has been shorted, according to IHS Markit data. This space battle isn’t for the fainthearted, and there’s a danger that overenthusiastic retail investors end up getting hurt. On Thursday, the stock rose as much as 13%, erased all those gains, then fell as much as 18%, before closing broadly unchanged.In fairness, Virgin Galactic’s technical achievements are impressive, even inspiring. Branson’s company has spent years perfecting its product, giving it a head start in the nascent space tourism business. At $250,000 a ticket for a 90-minute flight (including a few minutes of zero-gravity weightlessness) it could prove to be pretty lucrative. The company might have almost $600 million of yearly revenue by 2023, according to a management projection.But, as I’ve noted before, a lot can go wrong when your business is carrying tourists into suborbital space and twitchy regulators are poring over your every move. Any unexpected delays or interruptions (never mind an accident) would cause the stock to swiftly lose altitude.As with Elon Musk’s Tesla faithful, Virgin Galactic’s fans don’t seem too bothered by these near-term challenges. One hope among investors is that the company will use the technology and experience gained from ferrying tourists into space to build a potentially far more lucrative market: intercontinental hypersonic flight.Yet the regulatory hurdles to launching such flights will be daunting. Perfecting the technology will require much more than the $430 million in net proceeds that Virgin Galactic received from the listing.(2)It’s conceivable, then, that the huge run-up in the stock — if sustained — might tempt Branson to raise more money, just as Tesla did last week with a $2 billion stock offering. The investor enthusiasm shown for Branson’s company won’t have escaped Musk’s attention either. His Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has had no trouble raising money in private markets; it’s been valued at about $33 billion. But the Tesla founder is also considering a public offering of SpaceX’s internet offshoot, Starlink, in a few years, and any market fervor around space investing would make that easier. A hard landing for Virgin Galactic investors could change the dynamic.For now, Branson could afford to splash out on another private island if he wanted. Or maybe some acreage on the moon. (1) Vieco owns a 58.6% stake and Branson is the beneficial owner of 80.7% of that, according to this filing.(2) Virgin Galactic could receive a further cash boost if warrants conveying the right to purchase a total of 31 million shares are exercised for cash.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.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.

  • Oilprice.com

    Tesla’s Secret Weapon In The EV Revolution

    China is not only the world’s top supplier of battery metals, but also the world’s top processor, and that means the country is vital to the electric vehicle revolution

  • Tesla Gets Go-Ahead to Resume Clearing Forest in Germany
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Gets Go-Ahead to Resume Clearing Forest in Germany

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. has overcome a legal roadblock standing in the way of Elon Musk’s plan to build an electric-car factory in Germany.A Berlin-Brandenburg court on Thursday ruled that Tesla can resume cutting down trees at a forest site in the small town of Gruenheide to make way for its first assembly plant in Europe. That puts the U.S. carmaker on track to start construction before the start of a crucial breeding period for local wildlife in March.The court found that local authorities didn’t violate laws when they allowed work on the factory to start, throwing out a complaint by Gruene Liga Brandenburg, an environmental group that claimed Tesla and local authorities were sidestepping regulations to rush the project.The decision is a boon to Tesla’s ambitious timetable to have the plant up and running by the middle of next year. The company plans to eventually produce as many as 500,000 cars a year at the site, employing 12,000 people and posing a serious challenge to Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG.Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, recently tried to ease local concerns about water usage at the plant, which would border a nature reserve.Local officials had warned that construction could be delayed by six to nine months if the forest isn’t cleared by mid-March. Tesla has already cut down two-thirds of the trees and should be able to fell the remainder in time.Brandenburg’s environment ministry this month gave Tesla a preliminary green light to start cutting down trees in an area equivalent to 100 soccer fields ahead of granting final approval. The court stopped the process with an injunction on Feb. 15. By late Thursday, the appeals court ruled that legal requirements to allow early construction were met.Gruene Liga has warned that Tesla’s plant could threaten the region’s water supply and overburden local transport infrastructure. The group argued that authorities shouldn’t have allowed the forest to start being cleared until after March 5, the deadline set for environmental groups to comment on the project.Local officials argue the site is an inferior pine forest planted to be harvested in the first place. The planned factory is of “great significance” to climate change prevention and one of the most important industrial investments in eastern Germany “in a long time,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told German publisher Funke Mediengruppe this week.The factory will be designed with “sustainability and the environment in mind,” Musk said last month on Twitter, adding Tesla will plant three new trees for every one cut. The company still needs final approval for the project from authorities in the state of Brandenburg.Tesla will also have to scare off or relocate wolves, bats, snakes, ants and lizards until construction is over. Under German regulations, the project must consider the breeding period for local wildlife in spring.(Updates with details of court ruling in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Craig Trudell, Chester DawsonFor 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.

  • Q4 Earnings Scorecard and Analyst Reports for NVIDIA, Costco & Stryker
    Zacks

    Q4 Earnings Scorecard and Analyst Reports for NVIDIA, Costco & Stryker

    Q4 Earnings Scorecard and Analyst Reports for NVIDIA, Costco & Stryker

  • Tesla gets court approval to clear forest for German Gigafactory
    Reuters

    Tesla gets court approval to clear forest for German Gigafactory

    Tesla Inc got approval from a German court on Thursday to continue to cut down forest near the capital Berlin to build its first European car and battery factory, in a defeat for local environmental activists. The court said in a statement it had rejected urgent applications to stop the land being cleared of trees from several environmental groups, adding its ruling was final. The U.S. electric carmaker announced plans last November to build a Gigafactory in Gruenheide in the eastern state of Brandenburg that surrounds Berlin, a decision that was initially lauded as a vote of confidence in Germany.

  • Where the Bulls Roam: TSLA, ILMN, SQ, NVTA, TTD
    Zacks

    Where the Bulls Roam: TSLA, ILMN, SQ, NVTA, TTD

    Do you know which investment whales were buying and selling your favorite stocks before the big rally to new highs?

  • Is There More Spark in Tesla?
    Zacks

    Is There More Spark in Tesla?

    Tesla (TSLA) shares have surged 66% over the past month, so the question on everyone's mind is how much further it can go.

  • Beyond Earnings, Is It Tesla That is Energizing Clean ETFs?
    Zacks

    Beyond Earnings, Is It Tesla That is Energizing Clean ETFs?

    Clean energy ETFs have been gaining on solid earnings and Tesla's growing solar plan.

  • Tesla Climbs in Consumer Reports Auto Ranking Topped by Porsche
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Climbs in Consumer Reports Auto Ranking Topped by Porsche

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s electric cars raced up Consumer Reports’s latest auto brand rankings, inching closer to leader Porsche.Tesla jumped eight spots -- more than any other brand -- to No. 11 in an annual report based on road tests, reliability data, owner satisfaction surveys and safety performance. Consumer Reports ranked Tesla higher than any U.S. brand and made the Model 3 sedan a top pick for the first time, a designation the nonprofit bestows to only 10 cars, SUVs and trucks per year.“The vehicles perform phenomenally,” Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing, said of Teslas in a phone interview. “People just love these vehicles.”The acclaim is a major coup for Elon Musk, who eschews the traditional advertising that costs major automakers billions. Many car buyers consult Consumer Reports for big-ticket purchases because it’s built a reputation for thorough and meticulous testing. The organization buys all the vehicles it tests and doesn’t accept any marketing dollars from manufacturers.The Model 3 didn’t perform as well when it first launched in 2017 because, as with the Model S sedan, Tesla was making regular changes to the car on the fly, Fisher said. While the company made some tweaks using over-the-air software updates, others involved changes to hardware that tend to cause problems with reliability. Those cars have stabilized and continue to help the brand overcome poor scores for the Model X sport utility vehicle.Porsche climbed two spots in the rankings to knock Subaru out of first place, though two of the Japanese brand’s models were top picks: the Forester SUV and Legacy sedan. Toyota Motor Corp. dominated those honors by winning four designations with its namesake models -- the Supra sports car, Avalon sedan, Prius hybrid and Corolla small car -- and one with Lexus for the RX SUV.Hyundai Motor Co.’s Genesis luxury brand finished second, unchanged from a year ago. The Korean brand has been on a roll in several influential surveys, leading J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study each of the last two years. Its first SUV model, the GV80, goes on sale this summer.“Genesis is a luxury brand that competed extremely well right out of the gate,” Fisher said. “It reminds you of 1989 when Lexus arrived.”Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln line was the second-best American car brand, placing 13th. U.S. automakers were otherwise relegated mostly to the bottom third of the rankings. The Ford brand fell to 23rd, and General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet and GMC placed 25th and 26th.Cadillac’s continued reliability problems dropped the brand to 29th. The Fiat brand again finished last among 33 brands, while Jeep, the cash-cow brand within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, didn’t fare much better.Owners like Jeep’s styling, but the SUVs continue to have ride, handling and quality issues that contributed to the brand slipping two spots to 31st.“Take the badge off and look what do they do, how do they handle, what’s the reliability,” Fisher said. “They just are not competitive.”To contact the reporters on this story: David Welch in Southfield at dwelch12@bloomberg.net;Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at knaughton3@bloomberg.net;Gabrielle Coppola in New York at gcoppola@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Chester DawsonFor 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.

  • Samsung Begins 7nm Chip Production: Should AMD & Intel Worry?
    Zacks

    Samsung Begins 7nm Chip Production: Should AMD & Intel Worry?

    7nm chip competition heats up with Samsung's (SSNLF) new facility line V1 which has commenced production of state-of-the-art mobile chips.

  • Increased Earnings Estimates Seen for DexCom (DXCM): Can It Move Higher?
    Zacks

    Increased Earnings Estimates Seen for DexCom (DXCM): Can It Move Higher?

    DexCom (DXCM) is seeing positive earnings estimate revisions, suggesting that it could be a solid choice for investors.

  • Why DexCom (DXCM) Stock Might be a Great Pick
    Zacks

    Why DexCom (DXCM) Stock Might be a Great Pick

    DexCom (DXCM) has seen solid earnings estimate revision activity over the past month, and belongs to a strong industry as well.

  • SolarEdge (SEDG) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y
    Zacks

    SolarEdge (SEDG) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y

    SolarEdge Technologies' (SEDG) revenues in the fourth quarter surge 58.6% from the year-ago quarter's $263.7 million.

  • Zacks Market Edge Highlights: Tesla, Micron, Biogen, GameStop and Maxar Technologies
    Zacks

    Zacks Market Edge Highlights: Tesla, Micron, Biogen, GameStop and Maxar Technologies

    Zacks Market Edge Highlights: Tesla, Micron, Biogen, GameStop and Maxar Technologies

  • Increased Earnings Estimates Seen for Tesla (TSLA): Can It Move Higher?
    Zacks

    Increased Earnings Estimates Seen for Tesla (TSLA): Can It Move Higher?

    Tesla (TSLA) is seeing positive earnings estimate revisions, suggesting that it could be a solid choice for investors.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of DXCM earnings conference call or presentation 13-Feb-20 9:30pm GMT

    Q4 2019 DexCom Inc Earnings Call

  • Epizyme (EPZM) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?
    Zacks

    Epizyme (EPZM) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

    We expect Epizyme (EPZM) to provide commercialization updates on its sarcoma drug when it releases fourth-quarter 2019 earnings.

  • Will Sibanye Gold Continue to Surge Higher?
    Zacks

    Will Sibanye Gold Continue to Surge Higher?

    As of late, it has definitely been a great time to be an investor in Sibanye Gold.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of SEDG earnings conference call or presentation 19-Feb-20 9:30pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Solaredge Technologies Inc Earnings Call

  • Elon Musk Bought $10 Million of Tesla Shares on Valentine’s Day
    Bloomberg

    Elon Musk Bought $10 Million of Tesla Shares on Valentine’s Day

    (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk bought 13,037 Tesla Inc. shares for $10 million on Feb. 14, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Musk purchased the shares at an average of $767 each, raising his holding to 34.1 million, or 18.5% of the Palo Alto-based company. Tesla’s shares have soared more than doubled this year and closed at a record high of $917.42 on Wednesday.The rally, initially fueled by a surprise third-quarter profit, has left Tesla with a market value greater than that of General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV combined. Traders are realizing the dangers of betting against the company: roughly 15% of its shares available for trading are short, the lowest in at least a year, according to S3 data.Musk was in Shanghai at the start of the year to open Tesla’s first manufacturing facility outside the U.S. The coronavirus outbreak in China led to a halt in production at the facility, though operations restarted last week.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Harry Suhartono in Jakarta at hsuhartono@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Will DaviesFor 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.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of GNRC earnings conference call or presentation 13-Feb-20 2:00pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Generac Holdings Inc Earnings Call