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Uber Posts Positive Q1 Earnings After Tough 2017

Shuttering of Arizona ops stings as Waymo, Lyft take off.

by on May.24, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made an impact on the company in the short time he's been there.

After nearly a year of problems and attempts to rectify them, including the addition of a new CEO, Uber Technologies’ first quarter results reveal some of the positive impact of changes implemented across the ride-sharing company.

Uber reported net income of $2.5 billion on gross bookings of $11.29 billion, an increase of 55% compared with the year-ago period. The company’s net revenue grew 67% to $2.5 billion.

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Much of the company’s positive results can be attributed to the changes implemented by new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and two significant transactions: the sale of GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd. and a joint venture with Yandex N.V. (more…)

In Final Move as FCA CEO, Marchionne Expected to Order Massive Shift in Product, Manufacturing Plans

Small Fiat models likely to be dropped, brand may leave U.S.

by on May.18, 2018

Could FCA pull the Fiat brand out of the U.S.?

As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepares for life beyond its founding chief executive, CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to announce major shifts in the automaker’s product and manufacturing strategy, according to several reports.

During a June 1 meeting meant to reveal FCA’s next five-year plan, the 65-year-old executive reportedly will announce that the Fiat brand will abandon two of its base models, the Punto and Mito, while shifting emphasis to more up-market models. The automaker also will put more emphasis on its Jeep brand which, Marchionne said during the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, could help Fiat Chrysler double its earnings during the next five years.

The Last Word!

One of the key questions hanging over the Euro-American automaker may not be resolved during a meeting bringing together analysts and journalists from around the world: who will replace Marchionne as CEO? He has dropped hints that his successor will come from FCA’s current top management ranks, which means no women or outsiders are in the running.

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Tesla’s California Plant Shutting Down for Six Days

Soros buys $35 million in convertible bonds.

by on May.16, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to shut down the Fremont, California plant for six days later this month.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t just sleeping on the plant floor at the company’s Fremont, California plant hoping a solution to increase Model 3 production will come to him by osmosis — he appears to be trying.

Just a days after changing the company’s management structure to improve communication, he’s going to shut the entire plant down for six days at the end of this month to make changes with the goal of increasing production of Tesla’s first “mainstream” car.

EV News!

Earlier, the EV maker warned the plant would shut down for a total of 10 days to tackle manufacturing issues at the site. The issues have put Model 3 production well behind schedule, angering some who plunked down deposits and irritating shareholders and analysts. (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Orders “Flattening” of Management Team as Problems with Safety, Manufacturing Mount

Newest crash also linked to Tesla’s Autopilot system.

by on May.15, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk "flattened" the company's management structure to improve communications.

Facing increasing problems that have raised concerns about both Tesla’s technology and manufacturing operations, CEO Elon Musk has ordered a shake-up of the company’s management structure.

Tesla continues to struggle to meet production targets for its Model 3 battery-sedan, an issue that led to record first-quarter losses. But the company has also found itself in the news because of a series of serious vehicle crashes, at least some of which appear to have occurred while they were operating in the semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

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While those crashes could raise concerns about the safety of Tesla’s products, the more immediate threat to the company’s viability is lagging Model 3 production at its Fremont, California assembly plant. In a memo sent to employees, Musk noted he was “flattening (the company’s) management structure to improve communications,” while shifting away from “activities that are not vital to the success of our mission.” (more…)

Ford Execs Fend Off Shareholder Concerns About Emissions, Compensation

Shareholders express thoughts about company, execs at annual meeting.

by on May.10, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford told shareholders that they are in favor of leaving CAFE standards where they are.

Ford Motor Co. top officers fended off challenges from environmentalists and stockholders during the company’s annual meeting, but shareholder dissatisfaction was clear once the votes were counted.

Executive Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. said there was a lot of “misunderstanding” about the company’s position on corporate average fuel economy, which the Trump administration has proposed rolling back.

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“We are not asking for a rollback. We want California at the table. We are working for one national standard that includes California,” the chairman insisted in response to a question during the “online” meeting by shareholder, who asked about the company’s lobbying efforts. (more…)

Tesla Doesn’t Need Money, Unless It Does

Quarterly filing language suggests funding needs.

by on May.08, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk denied the company needed money during a recent earnings call.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told analysts and journalists using a tone of voice that could be described as “certain” and “annoyed” that the electric vehicle company he founded doesn’t need any more money.

That is unless it does.

Industry News!

In the company’s latest 10Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tesla said, “If we cannot raise additional funds when we need or want them, our operations and prospects could be negatively affected.” (more…)

Musk Looks Beyond Model 3 Problems, But Creates Some Headaches in the Process

CEO talks future product, factories – but still sends stock plunging.

by on May.03, 2018

Forget those earnings numbers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was far more interested in talking about future products, the next-gen Roadster shown here.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not one to suffer fools – or critics – lightly, as he proved during a 75-minute teleconference call following the release of the automaker’s first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday evening.

The South African-born executive attempted to put a positive spin on what was Tesla’s worst-ever quarterly deficit, promising future earnings while also revealing plans for new factories, new products and a new, fully hands-free version of the Autopilot system. But Musk also offered a harsh assessment of some of the reporters on the earnings call, while repeatedly cutting off analysts looking for long-term financial projections that he dismissed as “boring.”

Tesla News!

“These questions are so dry, they’re killing me,” he interjected before dismissing one analyst’s questions. Musk later shifted his disdain to reporters, at one point suggesting that by questioning the safety of Tesla’s current, semi-autonomous version of Autopilot, reporters might convince drivers to turn it off “and then die.”

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Wall Street Waiting for Tesla Earnings as Automaker Burns Through Cash

The big question: will Tesla need a new cash infusion?

by on May.01, 2018

Tesla is losing about $6,500 a minute - or about as much as a Model 3 costs in the time it takes to read this story.

Whether you’re someone who sees the glass as half-full or half-empty, there’s plenty to ponder as Tesla prepares to reveal its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The California battery-carmaker saw a big surge in production of its critical new Model 3 during the January to March period – but still fell 20% short of its target. Nonetheless, that was expected to have pushed revenues up 16.5% during the quarter, to $3.14 billion, according to Zacks Consensus Estimates. But with the automaker struggling to get things running smoothly at its Fremont, California assembly plant, quarterly earnings are expected to plunge 153.4%, year-over-year, with Tesla running a per-share deficit of $3.37.

Beyond the Headlines!

Short-sellers seem to be the ones with the biggest smiles these days, as Tesla’s worsening cash burn problem leaves investors wary and worried that the carmaker may soon have to beg Wall Street for money to keep its operations going.

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Elio Motors Secures $2.5M in New Funding from Overstock

Once in production, plans call for Elio to be sold through Overstock.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Elio Motors just took in $2.5 million in new cash from a new investor.

Rarely has a three-wheeled anything, much less a car, engendered as much goodwill — and second (and third, fourth …) chances financially – as the Elio.

The quirky three-wheeled car initially introduced nearly five years ago has secured $2.5 million in new funds through a private stock placement with Overstock.com. The shares are worth $2.75 each, but as a private stock, it cannot be traded or sold.

Industry News!

Elio Motors officials say the company intends to use the proceeds of the new investment to fund capital expenditures and repay certain outstanding debt and accounts payable. Since it’s a private placement, Elio will enter into a registration rights agreement with Overstock. (more…)

Wage Deal in Hand, GM Abandons Threat to Put Korean Ops in Bankruptcy

But questions remain about the unit’s long-term prognosis.

by on Apr.23, 2018

With concessions from unions, GM believes it has a deal in place to keep GM Korea from bankruptcy.

General Motors today reached a tentative agreement with its South Korean labor union, a move that is expected to keep the automaker from putting its Korean subsidiary in bankruptcy – though it still is waiting for a final decision on a bailout from the Korea Development Bank.

Faced with plunging sales and rising costs, GM earlier this year announced it would close one of four Korean assembly plants and warned it could seek the Korean equivalent of Chapter 11 protection if it didn’t get a deal from workers and support from the KDB, which owns a 17% stake in GM Korea.

Global News!

“The labor union has demonstrated its commitment and we continue to work with our other key stakeholders to gain their support,” GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem said in a statement, noting that ratification of the tentative agreement is “critical” to achieving additional support from shareholders and the Korean government. (more…)