|Bid||104.18 x 18200|
|Ask||104.28 x 4300|
|Day's range||99.26 - 105.20|
|52-week range||99.26 - 157.40|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.39|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward dividend & yield||4.75 (4.73%)|
|Ex-dividend date||29 Apr 2019|
|1y target est||N/A|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After a week in which Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi announced thousands of job cuts, it’s easy to forget that the German car industry once seemed unassailable.The 2009 recession forced a massive downsizing of America’s auto giants. General Motors Co. and Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; Ford Motor Co. escaped a similar fate only by cutting its workforce to the bone. By contrast, Volkswagen, BMW AG and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz overcame the crisis with barely a scratch. Afterwards they took full advantage as wealthy Chinese splurged on luxury German vehicles. Germany’s carmakers and their suppliers went on a hiring spree at home and abroad.There were early signs of hubris: Volkswagen paid its chief executive officer 17.5 million euros ($19.3 million) in 2011. But Germany’s powerful trade unions made sure workers benefited too. In recent years production line staff at BMW and VW’s Porsche subsidiary took home almost 10,000 euros as an annual bonus. BMW spends an average of more than 100,000 euros per employee on salary, pension and social security costs, according to its annual report. Now that jobs boom has come to a screeching halt, and not before time. An industry facing unprecedented upheaval can’t afford such largess.The chief reason for the belt-tightening is, of course, the vast cost of moving beyond combustion engines. Volkswagen expects to spend an astonishing 60 billion euros on hybrid, electric and digital technology in the next five years. Doing this requires the hiring of even more people, but the products they’re developing aren’t always big money spinners yet.For a time, the industry will have to provide a full range of propulsion options. For their factories this means “peak complexity” — to borrow a phrase from Mercedes’s management. Eventually, however, many of these factory workers will become unnecessary because electric motors are much simpler to build than diesel and gasoline engines. Last week's job cuts won’t be the last.The German industry has been caught out too by an unexpected slowdown in demand. Continental AG, the supplier that’s cutting 20,000 jobs, expects production to stagnate over the next five years. Daimler said last month that sales haven’t matched its production capacity. Audi’s domestic plants are reportedly particularly under-utilized, not helped by the popularity of SUVs over sedans (the former tend to be built overseas).Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler will still generate about 24 billion euros of net profit this year, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg. But the era of 10% operating profit margins — long a benchmark for German luxury carmakers — is over. Mercedes thinks 4% is more realistic next year.The automakers therefore have to tackle their bloated fixed costs. In view of its spending commitments, Volkswagen was unwise to let its workforce swell to almost 700,000. That’s about 80% more than Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., which builds a similar number of cars (though Volkswagen has a big truck unit too).Volkswagen’s labor expenses have crept higher as a percentage of sales since the last recession. Doubtless this reflects the influence of the German unions and hence it’ll be very difficult to rectify. Like their peers, German employees at the Volkswagen brand have job guarantees until 2029.Ultimately the German car jobs boom was a bet that demand would increase, combustion engines would have a long life and global trade would remain encumbered. Instead, the electric shift is happening faster than expected and Trump’s tariff crusades have turned the German industry’s global production presence into a liability.Cars are superfluous for many young people today, and if they do buy one it will soon have a simple electric motor, not a combustion engine made of hundreds of intricate components. The hiring practices of German carmakers look like a bubble that’s burst.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 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/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Daimler said on Friday it will cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years, following others in the industry as they cut costs to invest in electric vehicles while grappling with weakening sales. It marks the third announcement on cost cuts this week by a major German car company as automakers seek to fund huge investments into cleaner and self-driving technologies while demand in China, their biggest market, is falling and a trade war between Washington and Beijing is curbing economic growth. "The automotive industry is in the middle of the biggest transformation in its history," Daimler said in a statement.
European stocks ended flat on Monday as a spurt of defensive buying over uncertainty surrounding U.S.-China trade talks helped temper losses in the auto sector. The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished little changed, after having spent most of the session in negative territory. The European automobiles and parts sector dropped 2.1%, its steepest fall in about four weeks, with Germany's Volkswagen leading declines after it slashed its operating profit and sales growth outlook due to slowdown in the auto sector.
The big shareholder groups in Continental Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:CON) have power over the company. Large companies...
Mixed earnings reports kept a lid on European stocks, with London's midcap index suffering from doubts over whether British lawmakers will back the government's Brexit bill on Tuesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 finished up just 0.1%, with a weaker pound helping London's exporter-laden FTSE 100 outperform with a 0.7% gain. The FTSE 100 was also lifted by a 24% jump in food delivery firm Just Eat after Dutch internet conglomerate Prosus made an unsolicited $6.3 billion cash bid.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Mario Draghi's statement about "mild signs" of overvaluation in the euro zone financial and property markets sent jitters through markets late this afternoon, and probably wasn't what traders wanted to hear ahead of a potential Brexit "Super Monday" of trading. It's impossible to know what will happen in the UK parliament tomorrow, but there's little doubt that the Brexit saga has never disappointed so far in terms of drama.
* Renault down 12% Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. A profit warning sent Renault on track for its worst day in over three years but surprisingly, Brexit or the trade war weren't to blame. Renault said turmoil in emerging markets - Argentina and Turkey - caused the setback, fuelling fresh political worries to investors who so far were mainly concerned with the spat between the U.S. and China and the UK's ongoing saga to leave the EU.
* Danone, Thales fall 5-7.7% Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. A final Brexit deal approved by the parliament could bring fresh capital to European equities, but it is too soon to declare love to the UK after the three-year impasse has sapped companies' appetite and financial firepower to invest in growth. Berstein says a final Brexit deal if approved tomorrow will bring capital into European equities and it's moving to overweight for the region, but it has cautioned that earnings growth is still expected to be below zero over the next 12 months.
* Danone, Thales fall 4-6% Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Warnings from Renault, Thales and Danone have cast a pall over European stocks this morning, sending the STOXX 600 down 0.1% and reinforcing concerns about the health of corporate Europe as Q3 earnings season kicks off and the U.S.-China trade spat dents demand for everything from hotel rooms to cars.
Is Continental Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:CON) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with...
Today we'll look at Continental Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:CON) and reflect on its potential as an investment...
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Germany is at a crossroads, and nowhere will that be more evident than at the Frankfurt auto show this week.Despite sleek new electric models like the Porsche Taycan, the traditional showcase of German automotive excellence risks becoming a platform for protest rather than preening, drawing attention to a generation of young consumers more likely to demonstrate against the car’s role in global warming than shop for a new VW, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.Autos have made Germany into a global manufacturing powerhouse, but pollution concerns -- intensified by Volkswagen AG’s 2015 diesel-cheating scandal -- have sullied the reputation of a product that once embodied individual freedom. More recently, trade woes and slowing economies have hit demand. The consequence is Germany’s car production slumping to the lowest level since at least 2010.“Investors have been fearful about the industry’s prospects for a number of years, and the list of things to worry about doesn’t seem to be getting shorter,” said Max Warburton, a London-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “There is a general sense that things are about to get worse.”The end of the combustion-engine era and car buyers more interested in data connectivity than horsepower threaten Germany’s spot at the top of the automotive pecking order. Signs of trouble abound. In addition to numerous profit warnings this year, Mercedes maker Daimler AG delayed a plan to expand capacity at a Hungarian factory, parts giant Continental AG has started talks to cut jobs, and automotive supplier Eisenmann filed for insolvency.The car’s fragile standing was evident in the reaction to a deadly accident in Berlin on Friday evening when a Porsche SUV crashed into a group of pedestrians. Stephan von Dassel, the mayor of the district where the incident took place, said on Twitter that “such tank-like vehicles” should be banned in the city.Germany is teetering on the brink of recession, and the auto industry is pivotal to the economy’s health. Carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW AG as well as parts suppliers like Robert Bosch GmbH and Continental employ about 830,000 people in the country and support everything from machine makers to advertising agencies and cleaning services. With factories from Portugal to Poland, the importance of the sector radiates across Europe as well.With emissions regulations set to tighten starting next year, concerns are mounting that companies across the country’s industrial landscape are ill-equipped to deal with the technology transition resulting from climate change and increasing levels of digitalization. IG Metall organized a demonstration in June, with more than 50,000 people rallying in Berlin, to draw attention to the risk of widespread layoffs from what Germany’s biggest industrial union calls “the transformation.”“Far too many companies stick their heads in the sand and rest on their laurels,” IG Metall Chairman Joerg Hofmann said. “If companies continue to act so defensively, they’re playing roulette with the futures of their workers.”The concern is that the future of Germany’s car towns could look something like Ruesselsheim. The home of the Opel brand, which once rivaled VW as the German leader, has faded along with the carmaker’s performance. After years of losses, it was sold in 2017 by General Motors Co. to France’s PSA Group, which is slashing the Opel’s 20,000-strong German workforce by nearly a fifth.“Everybody in Ruesselsheim is worried,” said Servet Ibrahimoglu, owner of a kebab restaurant down the street from Opel’s factory, adding that his business has dropped by a third. “Before at lunchtime, this place was full. Now there’s no one.”The auto industry’s efforts to adapt to the risks will be on display in Frankfurt, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for models like the VW ID.3. The battery-powered hatchback is the auto giant’s first effort in an aggressive push into electric cars, which will make its debut at the Germany’s premier auto exhibition.Under bright lights and blaring music, the show is a throwback to the auto industry’s glory days, but it’s fading as public interest in old-school car show wanes. Toyota, Volvo and Ferrari are among the 30 brands skipping the show. For those still there, the displays will predominantly feature traditional gas guzzlers and other cash cows. Land Rover will unveil a resurrected version of the Defender, the British brand’s iconic offroader.“Instead of presenting new mobility concepts for the future, we’ll see lots of SUVs on stands that have become few and far between,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Center for Automotive Research. “The recession in the global auto business is forcing savings cuts for car manufacturers and suppliers, along with a rapid loss of attractiveness of the classic ‘analog’ car shows.”Make or BreakWhere German brands once tried to outdo one another with outlandish displays like indoor tracks and multistory exhibition spaces, the main drama may take place outside Frankfurt’s sprawling fairgrounds. Greenpeace and Germany’s BUND have called for a mass march on the site on Saturday, joined by groups of cyclists setting off from around Frankfurt to underscore their call for the end of the combustion engine. Organizers are expecting at least 10,000 people. “We’re in the middle of a climate crisis,” said Marion Thiemann, transport-policy expert at Greenpeace. “The biggest problem is the automobile industry.”Despite doubts from environmentalists, automakers have gotten the message that they’re facing a make-or-break moment. The industry is spending billions of euros to develop cleaner vehicles and counter the emergence of ride-sharing services like Uber Technologies Inc., which has a market value equivalent to Daimler, the inventor of the automobile.“I’m absolutely convinced that carmakers will adapt to the situation,” BMW’s labor head Manfred Schoch said during a testy panel discussion with activists in Berlin last week. “Those that don’t will go out of business.”(Adds comment from activist in third-to-last paragraph)\--With assistance from Kristie Pladson, Andrew Blackman and William Wilkes.To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Carolynn Look in Frankfurt at email@example.com;Elisabeth Behrmann in Munich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Christoph Rauwald, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Today we're going to take a look at the well-established Continental Aktiengesellschaft (FRA:CON). The company's stock...
Markets have waited all week for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole, and today is the day - he speaks at 1400 GMT. Asian shares inched up and European markets are set to open higher. Currency markets remain focussed on the yuan, which slid as low as 7.0992 per dollar, its weakest since March 2008.
Today we are going to look at Continental Aktiengesellschaft (FRA:CON) to see whether it might be an attractive...
Since Continental Aktiengesellschaft (FRA:CON) released its earnings in March 2019, analyst forecasts appear to be...
Today we'll take a closer look at Continental Aktiengesellschaft (FRA:CON) from a dividend investor's perspective...
Nissan Motor Co unveiled its biggest restructuring plan in a decade, axing nearly a tenth of its workforce and flagging possible plant closures to rein in costs that ballooned when Carlos Ghosn was CEO. The cuts announced on Thursday followed a collapse in Nissan's quarterly profit, highlighting how a crisis - brought about by sluggish sales and rising costs - is deepening at Japan's No. 2 automaker in the wake of a financial misconduct scandal over Ghosn. The dismal quarter will pile pressure on Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa, who has been tasked with shoring up the automaker's performance at a time when the industry is struggling worldwide.
Volkswagen Group shares rose 2% after the carmaker posted a 30% rise in second-quarter operating profit despite a drop in vehicle sales as rising demand for sports utility vehicles and premium brands boosted margins. Volkswagen bucked a trend of falling demand for passenger cars by launching a range of higher-margin sports utility vehicles at a time when demand for sedans is falling.
ABB Ltd on Thursday warned that slowing demand from automakers in China, its second-biggest market, was hitting its robotics business. "In the robotics and discrete automation market we saw significant decline in business," Chief Financial Officer Timo Ihamuotila told reporters, blaming weaker demand from automakers. ABB said robotics and discrete automation sales fell 9% and orders were down 14% in the second quarter to June 30.