• Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims
    Reuters

    Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims

    It filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, citing potential liabilities in excess of $30 billion from wildfires in 2017 and 2018 linked to its equipment. "With this important milestone now accomplished, we are focused on emerging from Chapter 11 as the utility of the future that our customers and communities expect and deserve," Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said in a statement. State fire investigators in May determined that PG&E transmission lines caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, the wind-driven Camp Fire that killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise last year.

  • Bloomberg

    Bluebird, Celgene Cancer Therapy Gets Boost From New Study

    (Bloomberg) -- An experimental therapy from Bluebird Bio Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. benefited more than 80% of patients nearing death from an advanced form of blood cancer in a pivotal study, clearing a hurdle in its path to U.S. approval.A single high-dose infusion of the personalized medicine known as bb2121 generated a response in 44 of 54 patients with multiple myeloma, including 19 who had a complete response, the companies said in a statement Friday. Patients went a median of 11.3 months before the cancer progressed, topping expectations that it needed to stop the disease for at least six months to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Bluebird shares briefly jumped in late trading on Friday before surrendering most of their gains. The recently-issued CVR given in connection with the closing of Bristol-Myers’ deal with Celgene, known by the ticker BMY-R, rose 8.3%.The companies divulged the findings on the eve of the American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, where GlaxoSmithKline Plc., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bristol’s own Celgene unit will present data on competing approaches. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Bluebird and New York-based Bristol-Myers are scheduled to give an update on their next-generation therapy, bb21217, on Monday, while hotly anticipated results from competitor Johnson & Johnson’s Nanjing Legend Biotech-partnered therapy will take the spotlight that morning.The depth and the durability of the data “puts us in very good stead around any of the antibodies as well as other gene therapies,” Bluebird Chief Executive Officer Nick Leschly said. “We feel quite good about it, and that’s why we’re sprinting toward submission and driving toward earlier lines of therapy.”Positive results from the study, dubbed KarMMa, could lead to the first approval of the approach called CAR-T for patients with multiple myeloma, a deadly form of cancer found in white blood cells, wrote Raju Prasad, an analyst at William Blair, in a note. A response rate greater than 80% that can hold off the disease for at least 11 months would be well-received by doctors who might otherwise be wary of potential high costs and an aggressive approach, said Yaron Werber, an analyst at Cowen & Co.The approach known as CAR-T is already approved for a hard-to-treat form of pediatric leukemia and diffuse large B cell lymphoma, both blood cancers that are much less common than the multiple myeloma, which is diagnosed in about 30,000 Americans each year. Bluebird and Bristol’s therapy involves removing infection-fighting T cells from the blood, altering them to recognize a protein known as BCMA that is found in multiple myeloma cells, then putting them back into the patient to kill the cancer.(Updates with stock-price movement in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Tatiana Darie.To contact the reporters on this story: Bailey Lipschultz in New York at blipschultz@bloomberg.net;Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at mcortez@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Mark Schoifet, Timothy AnnettFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Does This Valuation Of nVent Electric plc (NYSE:NVT) Imply Investors Are Overpaying?
    Simply Wall St.

    Does This Valuation Of nVent Electric plc (NYSE:NVT) Imply Investors Are Overpaying?

    In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of nVent Electric plc (NYSE:NVT) by projecting its future...

  • Why Is Fox (FOXA) Up 1.6% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is Fox (FOXA) Up 1.6% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Fox (FOXA) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • How Has ZAYO Performed 30 Days Post Earnings
    Zacks

    How Has ZAYO Performed 30 Days Post Earnings

    Zayo Group (ZAYO) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Why Is Coty (COTY) Down 9.5% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is Coty (COTY) Down 9.5% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Coty (COTY) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for December 6th
    Zacks

    Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for December 6th

    Top Ranked Value Stocks to Buy for December 6th

  • Are You Looking for a Top Momentum Pick? Why AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (EQH) is a Great Choice
    Zacks

    Are You Looking for a Top Momentum Pick? Why AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (EQH) is a Great Choice

    Does AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (EQH) have what it takes to be a top stock pick for momentum investors? Let's find out.

  • Elizabeth Warren Wants to Spoil the Megamerger Party
    Bloomberg

    Elizabeth Warren Wants to Spoil the Megamerger Party

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The merger floodgates broke open five years ago, and now U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to close the hatch. Her proposed bill to substantially restrict big corporate tie-ups is more a presidential campaign statement than viable legislation — and it certainly won’t score her any more points with the Wall Street crowd — but she is calling attention to the maniacal pace of dealmaking in corporate America and the need to modernize antitrust laws that have permitted some recent problematic transactions.More than $7 trillion of takeovers of U.S. companies have been announced since this day in 2014 — 52,694 companies to be exact.(1) That compares with just $4.4 trillion of deals in the previous five-year period. The transactions grew over time as balance sheets flush with cash and income statements desperate for growth created a perfect storm, which more often than not was stoked by pliable regulators. The Walt Disney Co. acquired 21st Century Fox Inc.; Charter Communications Inc. bought Time Warner Cable Inc.; CVS Health Corp. took over Aetna Inc.; Marriott International Inc. merged with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.; and T-Mobile US Inc. is trying to buy Sprint Corp. Those are just some of the more recognizable names. Warren, one of the top-polling candidates heading into the Democratic primaries, wants to ban deals in which one company has annual revenue of more than $40 billion, or both businesses generate more than $15 billion in sales, according to a draft of the bill reviewed by Bloomberg News. (A notable exception would be companies facing insolvency.) That could effectively prevent every top airline, insurer, manufacturer, oil producer, retailer, technology platform and other conglomerates — perhaps even Warren Buffett’s M&A vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — from making any acquisitions. It would sound the M&A death knell. The idea, however, is unlikely to gain broad support among lawmakers.Even so, it’s hard not to notice the rising drumbeat of politicians concerned about overreach by corporate giants, particularly those in the tech field. Senator Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential candidate, plans to introduce separate antitrust legislation soon, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. (Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Opinion, is also campaigning for president.)For the Trump administration’s part, the U.S. Justice Department is already investigating whether tech giants — namely Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google — are using their unchecked power to engage in harmful business practices. But as I wrote in July, if regulators are so concerned about protecting consumers from tech overreach, their glowing endorsement of T-Mobile’s takeover of Sprint is a funny way of showing it; it will shrink the U.S. wireless market from four to three major carriers and remove a company that’s helped to keep customer prices in check.Antitrust regulation under President Donald Trump has at times created questionable optics. Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s top antitrust enforcer, seemed to switch his stance on AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc. as Trump railed against the deal. Time Warner was the parent of CNN, which Trump views as his personal nemesis. (I’ve argued that whatever the case, scrutiny of the megamerger was warranted considering the broad market power it gave to AT&T as media companies without such scale struggle to compete.) By comparison, Disney and Fox, which was controlled by Trump pal Rupert Murdoch, closed their megadeal with few regulatory hiccups. Warren has criticized other giant deals, such as the merger of SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. and the combination of seed makers Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. Given that they aren’t household names, though, most Americans are unfazed by or unaware of such deals, even though they may feel the effects later. Her bill would direct the government to take into account not just whether a merger will lead to higher prices but also what the impact might be on workers, privacy and industry innovation. To justify the cost of buying another large company, dealmakers tend to come up with ambitious estimates of synergies, a euphemism for layoffs. It’s clear that the meaning of “harm” needs to be expanded in the antitrust sense, and laws need to take a more holistic view of the potential consequences of M&A as the lines between industries continue to blur. The Big Tech factor also needs to be weighed, as some deals are being done in part to respond to companies like Amazon that are spreading their tentacles into new areas. On Wednesday, TV-network operators CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. completed their own merger, a bid to cut costs and create more scale to compete against a new roster of even more powerful media giants: Amazon, Apple, AT&T and Disney. Even then, ViacomCBS Inc., as the merged entity is now called, may not be big enough, and so it may be only a matter of time before it gets swallowed. Warren’s overly broad proposal likely isn’t the answer. But Democrats do seem ready to at least try to rein in a market that’s gotten out of hand. For dealmakers, this may be last call at the M&A party.(1) Data compiled by Bloomberg as of Thursday morning. Excludes terminated deals.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Here's Why You Should Hold on to MPLX in Your Portfolio Now
    Zacks

    Here's Why You Should Hold on to MPLX in Your Portfolio Now

    MPLX's strong and stable operations are likely to back the partnership to persistently grow its distributable cash flow in the coming quarters.

  • Century Casinos Receives Green Signal for Casino Acquisitions
    Zacks

    Century Casinos Receives Green Signal for Casino Acquisitions

    Century Casinos' (CNTY) the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau ("Cape Girardeau") and Lady Luck Caruthersville ("Caruthersville") buyouts are likely to be sealed this December.

  • Oil Price Gains 4.2% in a Day: What's Behind the Rally?
    Zacks

    Oil Price Gains 4.2% in a Day: What's Behind the Rally?

    EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report shows a much bigger-than-expected drawdown in oil inventories, ending several consecutive weeks of builds.

  • Bearish Trends Hurt Communication Infrastructure Outlook
    Zacks

    Bearish Trends Hurt Communication Infrastructure Outlook

    Bearish Trends Hurt Communication Infrastructure Outlook

  • 5 Discounted PEG Stocks for GARP Investors
    Zacks

    5 Discounted PEG Stocks for GARP Investors

    Although PEG is categorized under value investing, it follows the principles of both growth and value investing.

  • Growing Group Seeks Local Takeover of PG&E
    Bloomberg

    Growing Group Seeks Local Takeover of PG&E

    (Bloomberg) -- More than 110 Northern California city and county officials representing the majority of bankrupt PG&E Corp.’s customers are proposing to turn the utility giant into a customer-owned cooperative.The coalition led by the city of San Jose includes officials from 58 cities and 10 counties who altogether represent more than 8 million residents, according to a statement from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. The group is proposing, among other things, to continue managing PG&E’s expansive territory as a single system, honor existing power and labor contracts and have a board overseeing the co-op set customer rates.“With these principles, we’ve presented a framework for a viable customer-owned PG&E that will be transparent, accountable, and equitable,” said Liccardo, who has spent weeks getting local officials behind the idea of a cooperative. He didn’t detail how the governments would finance a takeover, but a consultant for the group said bonds would be issued to cover much of the cost.Calls for a takeover of San Francisco-based PG&E have intensified since the company filed for bankruptcy in January amid billions of dollars in liabilities tied to wildfires that its equipment ignited. The latest proposal comes as PG&E’s shareholders and creditors are jostling over control of the state’s largest utility in bankruptcy court.Takeover ThreatPG&E has been trying for months to come up with a viable restructuring plan that would settle its fire liabilities and have the reorganized utility emerging from Chapter 11 by a state-imposed deadline of June 30, 2020. California Governor Gavin Newsom has threatened a state takeover if the company doesn’t come up with a plan soon.Read More: California Governor Newsom Fielding More PG&E Takeover CallsSan Francisco has been trying to buy PG&E’s equipment within the city’s limits for $2.5 billion, an offer the company has rejected. Backers of the co-op proposal are taking a notably different approach, saying they want to keep the company’s service territory intact to ensure that residents of rural, fire-prone areas don’t face a steep increase in costs.The co-op would still be subject to all of California’s requirements for increasing the use of renewable power, as well as the state’s open-records law, according to the new guidelines.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net;David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Aaron ClarkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • An Intrinsic Calculation For Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NYSEMKT:NOG) Suggests It's 49% Undervalued
    Simply Wall St.

    An Intrinsic Calculation For Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NYSEMKT:NOG) Suggests It's 49% Undervalued

    Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NYSEMKT:NOG) by...

  • Investing.com

    Stocks - U.S. Futures Extend Gains as Trade Hopes Revive

    Investing.com - U.S. futures pointed to another day of gains on Wall Street, with belief in a near-term trade deal reviving again after Tuesday's shock comments by President Donald Trump.

  • Tesla Competitor NIO Launches Another SUV in China
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Competitor NIO Launches Another SUV in China

    (Bloomberg) -- Cash-strapped electric-car upstart NIO Inc. is introducing its third sport utility vehicle, a streamlined model aimed at spurring demand in China’s slowing EV market.NIO didn’t disclose the price for the electric SUV coupe, which comes with a panoramic-view window and is set to compete against vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and Tesla Inc.’s Model Y. NIO’s existing models are the ES8 and ES6 SUVs, and the EP9 performance car.“Coupes fall in a niche market in China and it’s really hard to position this kind of product,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consultancy AutoForesight. “But if they only aim at selling hundreds of cars a month, it should be fine.”The unprofitable carmaker is battling an unprecedented slump in Chinese auto sales, including electric vehicles, as the country’s economy cools. The company also faces intensifying competition from the likes of Tesla and Daimler AG just as some investors scrutinize its funding situation.Backed by technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., NIO sought $200 million from founder William Li and a Tencent affiliate -- though hasn’t clarified whether the investment has been completed -- and has also reduced its workforce. U.S. shares of NIO have dropped more than 60% since the company’s initial public offering in New York last year.By the end of the third quarter, NIO had cut its staff to 7,800 from 9,900 in January. Having burned through more than $5 billion in four years, the company failed in an attempt to get local government funding, according to media reports.China’s EV sales have slumped for four consecutive months, while the overall auto market is down in 16 of the 17 past months. That’s impacting fundraising for EV startups in China, according to rival XPeng Motor. China is raising its 2025 sales target for electrified cars as the government tries to spur the industry.(Updates with government sales target in seventh paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at czhang714@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Ville Heiskanen, Angus WhitleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bitcoin shopping app Lolli has quietly added big names like Walmart and Ulta
    Yahoo Finance

    Bitcoin shopping app Lolli has quietly added big names like Walmart and Ulta

    Lolli, a plug-in that gives shoppers cash-back rewards in bitcoin, has added big names like Walmart, Macy's, Ulta, and Hilton. But that doesn't mean those companies are publicly supporting bitcoin.

  • PG&E Is Near $13.5 Billion Deal With Wildfire Victims
    Bloomberg

    PG&E Is Near $13.5 Billion Deal With Wildfire Victims

    (Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. is close to finalizing terms for a $13.5 billion payout to victims of wildfires ignited by its power lines, a key step toward resolving the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history, according to people familiar with the matter.The California-based power giant would pay half in cash and the rest in stock in the newly reorganized utility, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The cash portion would be paid with a lump sum upfront, and the remainder would be paid over 18 months, they said. No final agreement has been reached, and the talks could still fall apart.In a statement, PG&E said it was “committed to satisfying all wildfire claims in full” as required by law and as laid out in its bankruptcy plan. A representative for the wildfire victims declined to comment.Shares in PG&E rallied Wednesday and were up 22% at $10.42 at 2:54 p.m. in New York.The company last month proposed $13.5 billion in compensation to the wildfire victims, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The two sides were at odds, however, over how to structure the payout and how much should come in the form of cash and stock.A deal now would be a victory for PG&E, which has spent months trying to negotiate a viable restructuring plan to emerge from bankruptcy by the middle of next year. The utility has already agreed to pay $11 billion to insurers and other wildfire claim holders, and the judge overseeing its bankruptcy is holding a hearing on that settlement Wednesday. The company also has a deal to pay $1 billion to local government agencies.Catastrophic WildfiresPG&E filed for Chapter 11 in January after its equipment was blamed for starting catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018, burying it in an estimated $30 billion worth of liabilities.Compensating victims of wildfires emerged as the largest sticking point in PG&E’s restructuring. The company had initially offered victims $8.4 billion, a fraction of what they said they were owed. California Governor Gavin Newsom had threatened a state takeover if the utility failed to reach a deal with creditors and wildfire victims soon.The progress toward the deal comes as PG&E is drawing outrage from state lawmakers and residents for carrying out deliberate mass blackouts to keep its power lines from igniting more wildfires during wind storms. In October, it plunged millions of Californians into darkness four times. The backlash increased pressure on Newsom to restructure PG&E and overhaul its governance.(Adds company statement in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net;Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, ;Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Joe Ryan, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • PG&E nearing $13.5 billion deal with wildfire victims -Bloomberg
    Reuters

    PG&E nearing $13.5 billion deal with wildfire victims -Bloomberg

    The company had proposed paying the victims no more than $8.4 billion in September. The wildfire victims had opposed the company's reorganization plan and allied themselves with PG&E bondholders, who proposed their own reorganization plan.

  • Groupon (GRPN) Down 6.7% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?
    Zacks

    Groupon (GRPN) Down 6.7% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

    Groupon (GRPN) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Holiday Season Sets Packaging Industry for a Strong 2019
    Zacks

    Holiday Season Sets Packaging Industry for a Strong 2019

    With strong holiday season sales projected for this year, the packaging industry is poised for a strong finish to the year.

  • Billionaires Investing in China Electric Cars Face Shakeout
    Bloomberg

    Billionaires Investing in China Electric Cars Face Shakeout

    (Bloomberg) -- Some of China’s wealthiest tycoons steered billions of dollars into electric-car companies in order to fuel the country’s dreams of becoming a leader in the field. Now a reckoning may be looming as car sales slow and the government reduces subsidies for the nascent industry.That leaves the flagship companies of Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hui Ka Yan and Robin Li facing an increasingly steep path to profitability on their bets that electric vehicles can be smartphones-on-wheels connecting passengers to other businesses. Their capital, along with dozens of startups raising $18 billion, helped inflate an electric bubble that now looks to be in danger of popping.China’s car market is experiencing a prolonged sales slump, prompting EV makers to slash earnings outlooks. With China considering further cuts to the subsidies for consumer purchases in order to force automakers to compete on their own, a shakeout is looming that not even the tycoons’ support may be able to prevent, said Rachel Miu, an analyst with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. “For the new kids on the block in the EV space, it’s a steep uphill climb,” she said.Here’s what China’s richest people have to show for their companies’ EV investments:Alibaba: Xpeng Coupe, AccusationsJack Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in September after amassing a $40 billion-plus fortune, but China’s richest man retains his board seat -- and influence -- at the e-commerce emporium he created. Alibaba has participated in several funding rounds for Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., or Xpeng Motors, including one in 2018 that raised 2.2 billion yuan ($313 million) for the carmaker co-founded by former Alibaba executive He Xiaopeng.Xpeng launched its first vehicle, the five-seat G3 SUV, last year and has sold 11,940 vehicles so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The company, founded in 2014, also is teaming up with more-established automakers. A factory built with Haima Automobile Co. can produce 150,000 EVs annually. Another should soon begin assembling the P7 coupe, scheduled to begin deliveries next year.The journey hasn’t been without controversy, though, as some engineers bound for Xpeng stand accused of stealing from their ex-employers in the U.S. In March, Tesla Inc. sued a former engineer, alleging he uploaded files, directories and copies of source code to his personal cloud storage account before resigning. Also, a former Apple Inc. engineer was indicted last year for allegedly pilfering self-driving car secrets on his way to an Xpeng job. His trial is upcoming.Xpeng wasn’t accused of wrongdoing.“We are very adamant that we pursue our own R&D,” President Brian Gu said. “Copyright is very important to us.”Hangzhou-based Alibaba, the second-largest shareholder in Xpeng, didn’t answer specific questions about the automaker.Xiaomi Corp., the consumer-electronics company, participated in another $400 million fundraising round, the automaker said Nov. 13.Tencent: NIO Lists, Then CutsPony Ma’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., whose WeChat messaging app helped make him China’s second-richest person, led a $1 billion investment round in NIO Inc. in 2017. With more than 26,000 vehicles sold, NIO’s one of the few Chinese startups making multiple models, and it beat rivals with an initial public offering in New York last year.But losses piled up with the overall sales slump and as the company, which has been described as “China’s Tesla,” plowed money into marketing and real estate. It sponsored a Bruno Mars concert and opened luxury clubs for NIO owners that feature showrooms, coffee bars and performance spaces. By August the company had opened 19 NIO Houses over 22 months, and combined rental expenses were equivalent to 6.3% of revenue during the 12 months ended March, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.“NIO chooses the direct sales mode and pays great attention to user experience,” the company said. It doesn’t plan to close its existing clubs -- or open new ones.NIO lost $2.8 billion in the 12 months ended June on revenue of $1.2 billion, and its shares have plunged this year. The Shanghai-based company cut about 20% of its workforce through September. Separately, NIO has said that Tencent and Chief Executive Officer William Li planned to inject $100 million each into the company, though the carmaker hasn’t clarified whether the investment has been completed.“Our sales have been under pressure since the subsidies went down,” Li said. “It has come to a new era that one can only win customers with quality products and services.”Shenzhen-based Tencent expressed support for EVs but didn’t answer specific questions about NIO.Evergrande: High HopesOne of the more startling entrants in the EV industry is property developer China Evergrande Group, which declared it wanted to be the world’s biggest manufacturer within three to five years. That means surpassing Tesla, which just opened a factory in Shanghai. Between September 2018 and June 2019, Evergrande invested more than $3.8 billion in EV-related companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, and will start producing its Hengchi brand next year.Evergrande, which wants to open 10 production bases, plans to spend 45 billion yuan on new-energy vehicles between 2019 and 2021. On Nov. 10, a unit announced it would spend almost $3 billion to boost its stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB to 82% from 68%.Billionaire chairman and founder Hui Ka Yan, who’s diversifying into businesses such as soccer and health care, acknowledged there isn’t much overlap between Evergrande’s real-estate business and its EV ambitions.“We don’t have any talent, technology, experience, or production base in manufacturing cars,” Hui said. “How can we compete with the century-old automakers in the world?”His answer: by opening Evergrande’s wallet.“Whatever core technology and company we can buy, we will buy,” he said.Yet Hui’s whatever-it-takes strategy may take a toll on Evergrande because of the cash-burning nature of NEV investments. The company’s forecast of spending 45 billion yuan is probably an underestimate, and that may exacerbate its cash crunch, according to BI.“This could crimp its home-sales margin given an urgency to sustain price cuts to boost cash collection from sales,” analyst Kristy Hung said in a Nov. 22 report.Baidu: WM Factories, LawsuitRobin Li, the CEO of China’s dominant internet search-engine company, made WM Motor Technology Co. part of Baidu Inc.’s move into autonomous driving. Baidu led a fundraising round this year that generated 3 billion yuan for the Shanghai-based automaker. Baidu owns a 13% stake.WM rolled out an electric SUV last year and has delivered more than 19,000 vehicles, Chief Strategy Officer Rupert Mitchell said. So far this year, WM sold 14,273 of its battery-powered SUVs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts WM behind market leader BYD Co. -- backed by Warren Buffett -- and NIO, but ahead of Xpeng. WM launched a second SUV model on Nov. 22.WM has an advantage over rivals started by employees from internet companies, Mitchell said. Founder Freeman Shen used to run Volvo Car Group in China.“We are not moonlighters from the technology industry that are having a crack at mass-market automotive,” he said.Volvo parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has sued WM, seeking 2.1 billion yuan compensation for alleged copyright infringement, Chinese state media reported in September. WM has denied wrongdoing.WM is producing vehicles at fully owned factories, which helps maintain quality control, Mitchell said. The company, which is opening a second factory next year that can make 150,000 vehicles annually, wants to raise another $1 billion, Mitchell said.Baidu declined to comment.(Updates 16th paragraph to clarify status of NIO investment)\--With assistance from Emma Dong, Tian Ying and Gao Yuan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at beinhorn1@bloomberg.net;Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at czhang714@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, ;Emma O'Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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