|Bid||0.00 x 800|
|Ask||0.00 x 1100|
|Day's range||126.14 - 127.53|
|52-week range||108.01 - 145.41|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.83|
|PE ratio (TTM)||7.73|
|Forward dividend & yield||4.05 (3.21%)|
|Ex-dividend date||30 Mar 2020|
|1y target est||156.13|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It doesn’t take much imagination to see the Federal Reserve supporting the stock price of Apple Inc.The central bank’s Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility recently released details about its “Broad Market Index,” which is a roadmap for which individual bonds it will buy for its portfolio after changing the rules to avoid forcing issuers to certify they’re in compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Just looking at the 13 companies with weightings of at least 1%,(2)which collectively make up almost one-fifth of the index, a few things stand out. First, there are six automobile companies, with subsidiaries of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. and Germany’s Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG as the three largest issuers overall. In fourth is AT&T Inc., the largest nonfinancial borrower due in no small part to its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. Then there’s Apple. As a reminder, it’s the largest U.S. company by market capitalization at $1.57 trillion, edging out Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Its shares have easily rebounded from the selloff caused by the coronavirus pandemic, rallying 24% so far in 2020. Yes, Apple has about $100 billion of debt outstanding, but it’s also known for having one of the largest cash piles in the world. It’s so big, in fact, that the company could repay all its obligations and still have roughly $83 billion left over.With so much cash, that naturally raises the question: Why does Apple take on debt in the first place?In each of Apple’s past three dollar-bond sales, in November 2017, September 2019 and May, the company said it would use proceeds at least in part to repurchase common stock and pay dividends under its program to return capital to shareholders. In total, the company has doled out more than $200 billion since the start of 2018. It’s easy to see why company leadership would see it as too cheap not to borrow. Apple has the second-highest investment-grade credit ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, allowing it to issue $2.5 billion of 30-year bonds in May that yielded just 2.72%. Its $2 billion of three-year debt, within the Fed’s maturity range, priced to yield less than 0.85%.Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said during the last quarter’s earnings call that the company has more than $90 billion in stock buyback authorization left, adding that it plans to continue the same capital allocation policy going forward.Obviously, cash is mostly fungible for large enterprises, and any number of American companies in recent years surely issued bonds for reasons other than buybacks and also repurchased shares. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimated some $700 billion of shares were acquired by U.S. companies in 2019, which would make them the biggest net buyer of equities.Still, Apple openly using debt sales to help finance share repurchases puts the Fed in a somewhat awkward position. Chair Jerome Powell has consistently framed questions about its secondary-market facility in the context of supporting the central bank’s full employment mandate. Workers are “the intended beneficiaries of all of our programs,” he said in a hearing last month. It’s possible Americans “are able to keep their jobs because companies can finance themselves.”And yet, the Fed’s secondary-market facility comes with no strings attached. In fact, as I noted last month, its maneuver to create Broad Market Index Bonds circumvented the CARES Act requirement that any company must have “significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States.” Rather than focus on the American worker, the stated goal is to “support market liquidity for corporate debt,” and, by extension, keep borrowing costs down for creditworthy firms. So there’s every reason to expect that Apple can and will issue bonds again in the near future, at an even cheaper rate, to fund stock buybacks and dividends. That, in turn, would most likely support share prices.That shouldn’t sit well with many people. Even President Donald Trump, who has used the stock market as a barometer of his economic policies, has signaled a preference for capital projects over buybacks. On March 20, just before the S&P 500 Index fell to its lowest level of the Covid-19 selloff, he lamented that companies used the money saved from his 2017 tax cut to repurchase shares rather than build factories. He said at the time that he would support a prohibition on buybacks for companies that receive government aid.“When we did a big tax cut and when they took the money and did buybacks, that’s not building a hangar, that’s not buying aircraft, that’s not doing the kind of things that I want them to do,” Trump said. “We didn’t think we would have had to restrict it because we thought they would have known better. But they didn’t know better, in some cases.” The Fed’s strategy for buying corporate bonds is passive enough that few would equate it to receiving direct assistance from the federal government. The same can’t be said about the central bank’s Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, which as of last week is open for business. Companies that want to place bonds directly with the Fed must certify that they have “not received specific support pursuant to the CARES Act or any subsequent federal legislation” and “satisfy the conflicts-of-interest requirements of section 4019 of the CARES Act.” As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Matt Levine described in detail last week, there’s a huge amount of paperwork for issuers, and the Fed has the right to demand its money back if the forms are wrong and companies use funds for unapproved reasons.In all likelihood, these constraints will turn almost every company away from the Fed’s primary-market facility. Instead, finance officers will reap the benefits of the central bank’s broad secondary-market interventions to issue new debt to private investors at rock-bottom rates and with no such rules, as they have for the past three months. And Wall Streeters will be happy with business-as-usual in the credit markets.To put it plainly one more time: The Fed didn’t have to loosely interpret the law to create this index of corporate debt. It was already following through on its pledge to buy exchange-traded funds and had a system in place for companies to become eligible for individual purchases. It chose this third route, encouraging headlines like “Buying Corporate Bonds Is Almost Easy Money, Strategists Say.” What could go wrong?Now that it’s scooping up individual bonds issued for share buybacks without any stipulations, policy makers should be asked again why this program is the right way to go about supporting the recovery. The truth is likely that corporate America needs low-cost debt to survive. Apple and its shareholders are more than happy to tag along for the ride.(1) The Fed's facility has not yet purchased debt from all the companies in the index, at least according to its disclosure, which only covers the$429 million in bonds it bought on June 16 and 17. Its largest purchases were Comcast Corp., AbbVie Inc. and AT&T Inc.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.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.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Back when Tesla Inc. delivered 95,000 cars to customers during the spring quarter of 2019, the stock price was languishing at about $235 and Elon Musk’s electric car company was valued at “only” $40 billion. Fast forward a year and the shares are now priced at more than $1,200. With a market capitalization of $224 billion, Tesla has surpassed Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s most valuable automaker.Yet in the second quarter of 2020, Tesla delivered 91,000 vehicles — about 5% fewer than the same period last year. That’s pretty underwhelming for a company whose fans view it as a fast-growing technology company in the mold of Amazon.com Inc., rather than a sluggish metal-bashing carmaker. So how is the massive recent jump in its market value justified?In fairness, it shows resilience to sell this many cars when the company’s main California plant was shut by the pandemic for much of the spring period. Doubtless, Tesla’s new Shanghai plant picked up the production slack, which suggests the expense and effort of getting that China factory up and running was worth it. The launch of Tesla’s new Model Y crossover vehicle will have helped. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both saw their U.S. deliveries decline by a third in the same quarter. Nevertheless, Tesla’s stock market acolytes pushed the shares up another 8% on Thursday, adding $16.5 billion to the market value. Such exuberance is hard to understand. Musk’s company sold 7,650 more vehicles than analysts expected during the second quarter, and the stock price jump equates to about $2 million of added shareholder value for each of those additional sales. This seems a little excessive given that a Tesla Model 3 sells for less than $40,000, and the profit margin on those cars is pretty slim. The shareholder reaction makes even less sense when you consider that Tesla investors aren’t really meant to buying the stock because of the company’s current sales, which are less than 4% of Volkswagen AG’s. Rather, the investment case is a long-term one: that it will come to occupy a dominant position in clean transport and energy in the years ahead. That explains why the shares trade at 320 times its analyst-estimated earnings this year. Viewed through this lens, Tesla’s ability to shift a few thousand extra cars in recent weeks shouldn’t matter so much for the valuation. Investors’ tendency to overreact to Tesla news made more sense when its survival was open to doubt. A year ago it was laying off workers, U.S. sales were slowing and its retail strategy was confused. Senior staff kept heading for the exit. The company was burning through cash and ran pretty low on financial fuel. It had just $2.2 billion of cash in March 2019, compared with more than $8 billion now.But subsequent evidence that Tesla can sell cars for more than it costs to produce them has transformed the mood — and with it Tesla’s stock price.Instead of “killing” off Tesla, the tepid electric offerings of established carmakers such as Audi and Mercedes have only underscored the quality of their rival’s battery and powertrain technology (the same can’t be said of Tesla’s build quality). Volkswagen’s software problems with its forthcoming ID.3 electric vehicle suggest catching Tesla won’t be straightforward, even with the Germans’ vast resources.Tesla’s stratospheric valuation appears to have become self-reinforcing. Should it require more money to fund its roughly $9 billion of capital expenditure over the next three years, it can raise it from shareholders without worrying about diluting them too much.Similarly, holders of more than $4 billion of convertible bonds that Tesla issued to fund its expansion should be happy to convert them into stock, rather than demand cash repayment, taking some of the pressure off the company and its balance sheet. Still, Tesla’s valuation remains impossible to justify by any standard metrics. Analysts’ average price target is more than 40% below the current level. Even Musk has suggested that the share price, which has almost trebled since the start of 2020, is too high — although, as with his taunting of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and his comments about “fascist” lockdowns, it’s usually better to tune out what Musk says and focus on his actions instead. The skeptics might have more faith in Tesla’s new position as the leader of the automaker pack when Musk stops his provocations and his shareholders stop getting giddy over modest good news.This 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Here's why Tesla's stock continues to be on fire.
Marketing research firm Kantar and advertising giant WPP (NYSE: WPP) have released their 2020 Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report, and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is climbing the ladder. The electric-vehicle maker's brand value has jumped 22% versus 2019, according to the report. While Tesla's market capitalization has now surpassed Toyota's (NYSE: TM), the Japanese automaker still leads the auto category for overall value.
In 10 years, Tesla has gone from public market newbie to the most valuable automaker in the world by market value. The electric automaker had long since passed the valuations of Ford and GM, and in January became the most valuable U.S. automaker ever when its market cap hit $81.39 billion. Tesla shares popped Wednesday after the market opened, rising nearly 4% to $1,129.18 — hitting a new 52-week high.
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. displaced Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s most valuable automaker, underscoring investor enthusiasm for a company trying to transform an industry that’s relied on internal combustion engines for more than 130 years.Shares of Tesla, which have more than doubled since the start of the year, climbed as much as 3.5% in intraday trading Wednesday, giving it a market capitalization of $207.2 billion, surpassing Toyota’s $201.9 billion.Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has ignored or broken many of the established auto industry’s rules and norms in the 10 years since he took Tesla public, selling cars online and assembling vehicles in high-cost California. But while his company’s value has soared, there remains a gulf in the scale of his company and the world’s biggest car manufacturers.Tesla produced 103,000 vehicles in the first quarter, or about 4% of the almost 2.4 million made by Toyota, which built its brand on affordability and reliability backed by innovations in large-scale manufacturing.Tesla became the world’s second-most valuable automaker in January, when it surpassed Volkswagen AG. It’s now worth more than twice the German giant.After pioneering gas-electric vehicles with the Prius hybrid, Toyota was late to shift to fully electric autos and has wagered heavily on hydrogen fuel cells. The company is now making a series of high-profile investments in EVs and self-driving cars. The manufacturer has forecast an 80% plunge in profit this year and expects it could take until the first half of next year before the auto market recovers to pre-pandemic levels.Toyota’s market valuation includes the 14.3% of shares that Toyota itself holds as treasury stock, worth around $30 billion. Tesla doesn’t hold any treasury shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.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.
Toyota (TM) is set to achieve its five-year U.S. investment commitment a year earlier than anticipated, along with the creation of more than 6,500 new jobs.
Two years and more than $17 million after it first began working on its robots for quality assurance, the Los Angeles-based Elementary Robotics has finally made its products commercially available. The company already boasts a few very large initial customers in the automotive industry, consumer packaged goods and aerospace and defense, including Toyota, according to chief executive Arye Barnehama. Now, the robotics technology that Barnehama and his co-workers have been developing is broadly available to other companies beyond its six initial pilot customers.
While Cummins (CMI) teams up with NPROXX for hydrogen storage tanks, Goodyear Tire (GT) and Lordstown Motors partner for tires and services.
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. has grown from Silicon Valley gadfly to the world’s second-largest automaker by market capitalization in the decade since its initial public offering. It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the electric-car maker’s shareholders, who have experienced dizzying swoons on the way to record highs thanks in part to self-inflicted crises.“There’s always a lot of drama with Tesla, but they have spurred the auto industry on to embrace electrification as key to the future of mobility,” said Tony Posawatz, the former leader of General Motors Co.’s Volt plug-in hybrid program, ex-CEO of Fisker and current director at Lucid Motors Inc. “Whether they are profitable or not, they have impacted the luxury auto market forever more.”On June 29, 2010, Tesla made its debut as a public company -- the first initial public offering of a domestic automaker in a half century. The IPO price was $17 a share. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk rang the Nasdaq opening bell, and the company’s lone electric car, the $109,000 Roadster, was on display in Times Square.A decade later, Tesla’s stock is trading at $959.74 a share, the company has grown to about 48,000 employees and its influence on the global auto industry is unprecedented. Despite plenty of doubters and some near-death experiences, Tesla’s $178 billion market valuation is second only to Toyota Motor Corp. among all carmakers.Tesla no longer makes the Roadster, but it sells four other models in markets around the world. Besides design, one of the company’s biggest advantage lies with its batteries: A version of the flagship Model S now boasts a range of more than 400 miles. No other electric car comes close.“Their products create a lot of enthusiasm among customers,” Posawatz said.As Wall Street waits for the company to report second-quarter production and delivery figures later this week, here are 10 key moments that shaped Tesla’s extraordinary decade.1) Government LifelineIn January 2010, the U.S. Energy Department awarded Tesla a $465 million loan as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program that President George W. Bush signed into law two years earlier. The funding came at a critical time, with the nation was still clawing its way out of the Great Recession. In May 2013, Tesla paid off the entire loan with interest. The DOE program has now become a model of clean-energy stimulus spending.2) Fremont FactoryIn May 2010, Tesla stunned the world when it announced it was buying a shuttered auto plant formerly run by Toyota and General Motors Co. in Fremont, California, and Toyota was investing $50 million in the startup. The surprise deal was unveiled by Musk and Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president, who flew in from Japan for the announcement. The Fremont plant still produces the bulk of Tesla’s cars, but the company now has a second car-assembly plant near Shanghai and is building a third close to Berlin.3) Car of the YearIn December 2012, Motor Trend named the Model S its 2013 Car of the Year. It was the first winner in the 64-year history of the award not powered by an internal-combustion engine. The nod showed established automakers that battery-powered cars could be more than just nerdy science projects and gave the Tesla brand a huge boost.4) The “Gigafactory”In September 2014, Tesla announced it had chosen Nevada as the site for the automaker’s first battery-production “gigafactory,” with Panasonic Corp. as its partner. The news capped fierce battle among states hoping to land the economic-development project. The plant demonstrated Tesla’s drive to vertically integrate its supply chain all the way down to the battery-cell level. Tesla is now making moves to establish its own cell-manufacturing operation in Fremont, and investors are eager to hear more at a “Battery Day” event in September.5) Musk’s iPhone MomentWhen Tesla unveiled the Model 3 sedan in March 2016, customers lined up in a way the world had grown accustomed to seeing consumers queue up for iPhones. The promise of a $35,000 mass-market car barely materialized -- the average transaction price is closer to $50,000 -- but the Model 3 managed to rival mainstream sedans on sales charts. The company is now trying to tap into a growing segment of the market with the Model Y crossover.6) Autopilot ScrutinyOn May 7, 2016, a devoted Tesla customer and former Navy SEAL, Joshua Brown, died when his Tesla Model S collided with a tractor-trailer in Florida. Tesla’s driver-assistance system Autopilot was engaged at the time, and the death was the first known fatality involving the technology. U.S. regulators investigated but found no defect. Autopilot continues to come under scrutiny, and several other fatalities in the U.S. have been linked to the system.Read more: Tesla Can’t Perfect Autopilot Without a Few Deadly Crashes7) Solar SiblingIn June 2016, Tesla announced it was making an offer to buy SolarCity, a solar-panel installer Musk founded with his cousins. The conflicts of interest were stark: Musk was SolarCity’s largest shareholder and the chairman of its board. SolarCity was struggling financially and Tesla had just unveiled the Model 3, but Musk pitched the acquisition as a “no brainer” and announced a new tiled-roof product to sell investors on the acquisition. The rollout of the Tesla-branded roof has been slow, and the deal itself continues to be contested, with a lawsuit by Tesla shareholders slated to begin next month in Delaware Chancery Court.8) “Funding Secured”As foreshadowed by Musk’s prediction the previous fall that Tesla would find itself in “production hell,” 2018 was a crazy year. Tesla struggled to mass-manufacture the Model 3 and built an assembly line under a massive outdoor tent to boost output. Scores of executives left. In July, Musk called a British cave diver a “pedo guy” on Twitter, triggering a defamation lawsuit. The following month, Musk shocked investors and his own executives when he tweeted about taking Tesla private at $420 a share and said he had “funding secured.” Three weeks later, in a late Friday night blog post, Musk backtracked and said Tesla would remain public. A month later, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Musk for securities fraud. The settlement stripped Musk of the chairman role for three years -- meaning that Musk could become chair again in late 2021.9) Shanghai ShowingTesla scored a major win in the midst of all the 2018 drama by becoming the first American automaker to be allowed to build a manufacturing plant in China without a local joint-venture partner. Tesla’s factory near Shanghai started delivery of its first vehicles on Jan. 7, one year after breaking ground. China is the world’s largest auto market and a huge part of Tesla’s future growth plans.10) Cybertruck SmashIn November, Musk unveiled the futuristic Cybertruck, an angular pickup shaped far differently than a Ford F-150. The real show stopper was when Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s long-time design chief, smashed two of the truck’s ostensibly shatterproof windows with a metallic ball. The botched demo generated an enormous amount of buzz. Tesla wants to build a plant for the Cybertruck in the U.S., and sites in Texas and Oklahoma are the two finalists.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.
While Dodge and Kia hold the top positions in the influential 2020 J.D. Power Quality Survey, Tesla takes the last spot.
Toyota Motor Corp holds a $293 million stake in Uber Technologies, as it partners with the ride-hailing company to further expand into new mobility services, Toyota's latest corporate governance report released on Wednesday showed. The Japanese automaker has also unloaded shares in some of its suppliers, adjusting its portfolio to reflect partnerships with rival automakers and technology firms as it transforms into a mobility services company, the report showed. Reporting the total size of its stake in Uber, which became a listed company last year, Toyota said it held 10.25 million shares valued at 31.15 billion yen ($292.46 million) as of March 30.
In July, Toyota (TM) plans to manufacture 71,000 and 39,000 fewer vehicles worldwide and in Japan than initially planned, respectively.
Toyota Motor Corp said on Monday it would make 10% fewer vehicles next month than originally planned, as it gradually resumes output following factory closures earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the April-July period, Toyota anticipates a global production drop of 30% from its initial plans, made before the virus outbreak and a plunge in demand for vehicles. At home, Toyota plans to make 39,000 fewer vehicles in July, or 10% less than initially planned.
(Bloomberg) -- Last summer, a suburban Boston couple who publish an online newsletter about EBay Inc. began calling the Natick Police Department to report peculiar and menacing forms of harassment: graffiti on their fence; mysterious deliveries of a funeral wreath and a book on surviving a spouse’s death; phony online advertisements about parties and yard sales that summoned strangers to their home.The culprits left few clues, and police initially dismissed the reports as pranks. So the frustrated couple took matters into their own hands and began collecting evidence. Their home security camera caught video of a Ford Explorer parked near their house. They gathered license plate numbers from a black Dodge Caravan and a silver GMC they suspected of tailing them.The tips prompted the police to take their concerns more seriously. Investigators linked rented vehicles to EBay employees and uncovered a stealthy campaign to frighten the couple, whose newsletter, EcommerceBytes, is an influential information source for the millions of merchants who peddle goods on the San Jose, California-based company’s marketplace.“The victims in this case were proactive and diligent,” Natick Police Lt. Cara Rossi said. “Once they had photos of a car that they felt was surveilling them, they did counter-surveillance of their own, and detectives now had a lead to follow. This lead led them to Ebay.”This week federal prosecutors unveiled an indictment charging six EBay employees with conducting a harassment campaign against the couple. The indictment also mentioned an “Executive 1” and “Executive 2,” which Bloomberg earlier identified as, respectively, former EBay Chief Executive Officer Devin Wenig and former public relations chief Steven Wymer. Neither Wenig nor Wymer were charged with crimes.Ina and David Steiner have been publishing their newsletter, previously called AuctionBytes, since 1999. They delve into nitty-gritty details important to small merchants selling products on EBay, where 174 million shoppers around the world spend $85 billion a year.The Steiners’ longevity has made their newsletter an influential part of the EBay community even as CEOs have come and gone. Merchants get updates about their livelihoods and provide news tips. Ina Steiner, a dogged reporter, is the newsletter’s editor; David Steiner is the publisher. Ina made such frequent calls to EBay’s communications department on behalf of sellers that some EBay employees joked she should be put on the customer service payroll.But somewhere along the way, the relationship between the Steiners and EBay soured. Wenig was trying to fend off activist investors bent on breaking up the company and had become increasingly sensitive to tough media coverage.Steiner publishes regular stories about the site, often with critical commentary. Online comments beneath the stories routinely become a no-holds-barred bashing of EBay executives.Last August, Steiner published a story about a lawsuit EBay filed alleging Amazon.com Inc. employees created EBay accounts for the sole purpose of persuading its merchants to sell their goods on Amazon instead. “EBay’s CEO has been unable to stop a decline in marketplace sales, but trying to dissuade sellers from turning to Amazon (and trying to get Amazon to stop recruiting sellers) may not be the best tactic,” Steiner wrote.There were 55 comments beneath the story, including one from someone called “thievesBay” that said: “Poor eBay. The little puppy continues trying to nip at the heels of the big dog. This will go nowhere just like their last attempt.”In April of last year, according to the indictment, Wymer texted Wenig: “We are going to crush this lady.” The following month, during an exchange regarding Ina Steiner’s reporting, Wenig texted Wymer: “I couldn’t care less what she says.” Then, seconds later, he added, “Take her down.”Before long, according to the indictment, the harassment campaign was underway, with the alleged perpetrators sending live cockroaches to the couple and trying to put a GPS tracking device on their Toyota Rav4.Prosecutors claim EBay’s security director James Baugh and his underling David Harville led the elaborate campaign with help from four other EBay employees. Even as the Steiners gathered evidence that directed police toward them, the employees allegedly plotted to throw police off the trail by erasing messages and social media accounts, lying to investigators and trying to cast the Steiners as “crazy.”It didn’t work. In late August, the alleged harassers hatched a plan using the messaging platform WhatsApp to contact the Natick Police Department and the Steiners pretending to offer EBay’s help with the investigation in order to glean information and steer the probe elsewhere.Ina Steiner wasn’t having it. Shortly after connecting with the couple by phone, one of the alleged harassers messaged his colleagues, according to the indictment: “[Victim 1] said talk to the detective and then hung up the phone.” Days later, EBay put Baugh, Harville and one other employee on administrative leave after collecting work phones that were turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.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.
Automakers are speeding up U.S. assembly lines to meet recovering demand, increasingly confident coronavirus safety protocols are working to prevent outbreaks in their plants but wary of the challenges workers face outside. Screening workers for COVID-19 using temperature scans and questionnaires, the automakers have detected some people who reported for work despite being sick. The risk of an infection picked up outside a plant spreading along assembly lines remains a prime concern, however.
(Bloomberg) -- Last week, Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk liked a tweet that read, “Tesla is now officially the most valuable automaker of all the world!! Congrats!!”The tweet showed a screenshot of a well-shared Google sheet created by Reddit user u/brandude87, listing the world’s top 25 automakers by market value. The sheet showed Tesla above Toyota Motor Corp. for the first time, with a market value of $183.7 billion versus Toyota’s $178.78 billion.There’s just one problem: many investors, including those using financial data terminals such as Bloomberg’s, were seeing something very different: that Tesla still had to gain more than $25 billion dollars in market value to surpass Toyota.So who was right? Well, it’s complicated.Everyone can agree that a company’s market value, or its market capitalization, is determined by the amount of shares outstanding multiplied by its share price. But not everyone agrees on what should be counted in those shares outstanding.In recent years, Japanese companies have been expanding share buybacks to boost their returns to investors -- and they have a tendency to hoard these shares, with Toyota, which has been aggressively repurchasing its own stock over the past six years, holding more than any other company in Japan.Known in financial parlance as treasury stock, how the shares are accounted for varies from country to country. Some markets forbid holding of treasury shares entirely, while others have capped the amount that can be held.When it comes to Japanese-listed companies, treasury shares are typically included in quoted market cap figures. And when a company as valuable as Toyota holds as much as of its own shares as it does -- just over 14%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg -- that can have a big impact on market capitalization.A ranking of companies by market value published monthly by Tokyo Stock Exchange operator Japan Exchange Group Inc. shows market capitalization including treasury stock and lists Toyota’s market value at the end of May as 22 trillion yen ($205 billion) -- a figure which included almost $30 billion in treasury shares.Tesla Closing In on Toyota Market Value Spurs Celebration, DoubtExcluding those holdings, it’s only worth 18.8 trillion yen ($175 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations. That matches what you’d find on portals such as Yahoo Finance -- the source of the calculations in the tweet Musk touted. Many calculations of market cap, including those of U.S.-listed companies, typically don’t include treasury shares, which aren’t considered available to investors.Tesla, meanwhile, holds no treasury shares. What’s the right apples-to-apples comparison if you’re trying to determine which is the world’s largest automaker?“It’s semantics,” said Nick Reece, a money manager at Merk Investments. “Market cap can be defined in different ways. It depends on what you’re trying to get at.”After a 6% jump in trading on Monday in the U.S., Tesla’s $183.8 billion valuation was above Toyota’s $175 billion valuation, less its treasury stock.The amount of treasury shares held by Toyota has doubled since 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The company periodically uses portions of them for executive compensation plans or, most recently, selling some of them to Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. as part of a tie-up.“I guess the treasury shares have some value as far as accounting treatment is concerned,” said Michael Shaoul at Marketfield Asset Management. “But I think you could exclude them in a market cap comparison as long as you made it clear that they exist.”In any case, perhaps it’s not the right comparison to be made between a company that has made an average of more than 2 trillion yen ($18.7 billion) in net income for each of the last six years, and one that has yet to post an annual profit.“There isn’t a single person who thinks that simply because Tesla’s market cap has come close to that of Toyota, that Tesla is a company that is on par with Toyota,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo.“However, if you look 10 years down the road and factor in extreme expectations, $1,000 a share or $1,100 may be appropriate.”(Adds link to related story, updates market values throughout)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.
While Ford (F) and Volkswagen (VWAGY) finalize their partnership to build EVs, vans and pickups, Toyota (TM) joins forces with five China-based firms to develop fuel cell vehicles.