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April 2018

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Tesla Model S 70D beats BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Subaru to become AAA’s 2016 Green Car of the Year

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has won numeral awards and recognition with world’s most successful EV and its premium sedan, the Model S, over the last four years. Now, it has been crowned the 2016 ‘Green Car of the Year’ by AAA.               

The motor club reported that the 70D, which was introduced in 2015, was competing against 80 other green vehicles this year. It attained overall 92.49 points and beat Hatch back 2014 BMW i3 and 2015 Volkwagen e-Golf SEL Premium, which secured 88.47 and 87.09 points respectively.

AAA Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, John Nielson, said in a press release: “The Tesla Model S 70D has a 240-mile range, room for five, excellent power and steering, and fast charge capability. Add sleek styling, great acceleration and an air of sophistication that separates it from other alternative-fueled vehicles and you see why the Model S 70D was our top vehicle this year.”

While Audi 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron Premium was given 83.49 points, Subaru 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium’s score stood at 81.96.

The organization gives 0-10 score for 13 categories and totals the overall score to determine top green-energy vehicle of the year. AAA’s Green Car Guide, a detailed report on top green vehicles, includes test scores, car’s specification, strengths, weaknesses, observations and data.

 Apart from this award, the same Tesla model also scooped ‘Best Green Vehicle over $50,000’ and was winner in a category of large cars. Best green vehicle under $30,000, given to Mazda 3S Grand Touring while the award in green pickup category went to Ford F-150 Supercab Lariat.

Automotive Research Center manager, Megan Mckenan, said that consumers can purchase zero-to-low emission, high-quality cars in increasing options of size, price and body type.

Another AAA survey revealed that battery-driven vehicles are popular among millennials and non-millennials, which plan on buying such cars because of environmental impact and fuel expenses. 82% of the respondents believe that it is essential to understand “green technology.”

 

 

 

Goldman Sachs believes Tesla Motors Inc Model 3 could boost annual deliveries by 5 times and its event could drive stock, but Q1 deliveries are expected to be an upset for investors

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) expects to deliver 500,000 electric vehicle (EVs) by the end of this decade. Goldman Sachs analyst Katherine Fogertey believes that the company will achieve that milestone through its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3.

Shares have rallied as much as 70% from its lows since Tesla reported its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015 (4QFY15) results, in anticipation of the company’s make/break event scheduled for March 31. Ms. Fogertey believes that the event could be a catalyst, since the world will see the vehicle’s design, mileage, and other specifications for the first time at the event.

Goldman Sachs, which rates Tesla stock as a Buy, believes that the Model 3 could drive annual deliveries by 5 times through 2020 which will be enough for Tesla to meet its long-term promise. She stated that this is a key model for Tesla due to its low price tag, which would increase the company’s total addressable market “dramatically” and pump optimistic outlook for sale growth.

Additionally, the EV maker will report its 1QFY15 deliveries during the first week of April. Over the last two quarters, Tesla stock has moved +/- 5% in reaction to quarterly deliveries.

Although the sell-side firm expects the automaker to achieve its outlook for quarterly deliveries for the current quarter, it believes the delivery numbers could potentially be a negative driver for the stock. Tesla had guided to deliver 16,000 by the end of this quarter, compared to 10,000 units delivered in the same period last year.

After opening the market strongly today, Tesla stock has drastically come down again. As of 11:44 PM EDT, the shares were trading down 0.80% at $228.29.

The e-commerce giant looks to Southeast Asia with its latest acquisition of Lazada Group

Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:BABA) is on a buying spree of late and its latest acquisition, which saw it plough another $500 million into a new e-commerce platform, will see it possess a controlling interest in Lazada Group with approximately $1 billion of committed capital.

The investment was made publicly earlier today, in a joint statement from the two companies. According to analysts who were contacted by Bloomberg for comments, the investment makes sense as Alibaba currently holds massive amounts of cash in reserve but needs to find other avenues of growth to keep its growth story alive.

A filing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) states that the purchase was made in part from the British retail giant, Tesco, which sold approximately 8.6% of its direct stake in the company, leaving it with about 8.3%. Other large market share sellers include German start up builder, Rocket Internet and investment company AB Kinnevik.

Lazada controls a growing user base of customers outside China, something that is, at the very least, an excellent opportunity for the e-commerce giant to diversify its consumer base, as well as push for further growth even as China continues to slow in the short term.

The key markets that Lazada operates in include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. It acts as an intermediary for consumers and retailers in the market, something that has seen it build a significant market presence in an increasingly competitive online marketplace in Southeast Asia.

Alibaba currently has an open-ended agreement to be able to purchase and other stakeholders the right to sell their stake in the company over the next 1-1.5 years, should they desire to do so.

Alibaba is still reeling in from a massive economic upset in China since the beginning of 2016, but as world markets move higher, it is expected to continue leveraging its strong balance sheet into long term growth and diversification of its assets overseas.

Tesla’s Jon McNeil demands the government to keep tax breaks on EVs alive, as the company prepares new products

Earlier this year, The Country Caller published an article explaining why Hong Kong is a “beacon city” for the Model S sedan and Superchargerof Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), rather than just a beacon city for electric vehicle (EVs), like CEO Elon Musk claimed. However, things could change after tax breaks on EVs that have been really valuable to Tesla in becoming the market leader in the city will expire on March 2017.

Nevertheless, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Tesla has demanded the federal government to keep the tax breaks alive, as the company plans to introduce new products, such as the new solar roofs and Powerwall 2.0, into Hong Kong. Tesla President of Global Sales and Services, Jon McNeil, told the publication that the automaker is in talks with the government to extend the existing “first registration tax waivers” for EVs. He said the a similar decision was taken in Denmark last year to end tax breaks on battery-powered cars which has discouraged customers from buying EVs, leading to massive drops in registrations.

“We’re really in discussion with the government. We hope that Hong Kong does not turn into an example like Denmark where all e-vehicle sales basically dried up to zero,” Mr. McNeil said. Conversely, the company is persuading the government and utilities to enable charging stations in every housing estate in the city to make charging EVs as easy as smartphone charging. He added that the deliveries of the Model 3 sedan would start by the end of 2017, with Model X deliveries starting early next year.

However, a Tesla spokesperson later cleared that Model X deliveries in Hong Kong will start later in 2017 because it is a right-hand drive country. While explaining that EVs have improved the city’s safety and air quality, he said that customers can now pre-order the newly unveiled solar roof and Powerwall 2.0, which costs $5,500 (HKD 42,651).

Both the products will likely hit the market next year as well. The spokesperson, however, said that the company has no plans for offering the product in the country, but the customers could inquiry about the product on Tesla website and its staff will give additional updates in the future. Although it is difficult to get install a solar energy system in Hong Kong due to strict regulations, Tesla solar roofs might find it easier to gain regulatory approval, as they would not destroy a roof’s aesthetic.

Amazon’s AWS highly integrated services like RedShift and TAWS pose danger to competition

With incremental new services and products, Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) cloud service arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is rapidly growing and taking more share in the market. CLSA recently attended AWS Summit, which likely took place at Javits Center in New York City, NY on August 10 and 11.

AWS Global Summit Series 2016 includes event across the globe in which new and old customers are educated regarding AWS platform and provided “deep technical content.” Following the conference, Ed Maguire, analyst at CLSA, said that Amazon’s cloud competition threatens its closest rivals, RightNow Cloud Service of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) and Teradata Corporation (NYSE:TDC)

Mr. Maguire expects Amazon’s cloud services division to continue its rapid growth with its portfolio of highly integrated services. He highlighted that decisions of customers were supportive towards going “all-in” from the cloud service provider.

The research firm believes that AWS has stunned the analysts and the Street with its surprisingly strong performance, since the e-commerce giant started publishing its quarterly performance. Mr. Maguire was surprised by the overwhelming support for RedShift among partners and customers. He added that users appreciate the warehouse service’s costs, opex payment model, performance and scalability.

“There are a number of large users including GE, with the largest implementation a multi petabyte Chinese carrier,” he noted.

A partner shared a projection of 150,000 customers, implying penetration rate of about 15% within the customer base, according to CLSA. Since AWS started offering the database migrations’ final destination, its products are greatly admired by customers.

The investment firm highlighted another AWS product, TAWS, which magnetized users looking for cheap EC2 computing and S3 storage. Given these advantages, analysts expect large number of customers shifting from Oracle RDS to Amazon’s RedShift or Aurora. He also sees users shifting from Teradata, signaling a red flag for competition.

CLSA maintained bullish Outperform rating with $890 price target on Amazon stock, representing potential upside of 15.20%. On Friday, Amazon shares edged up 0.17% and closed the market at $772.56.

Despite Netflix stock shedding 16% of its value YTD, Street analysts continue to have a bullish stance

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) stock closed at $96.59, up about a meager 0.73% against the previous day’s close. The stock has drastically underperformed the S&P 500 Index since the start of this year, through August 12. Netflix stock has nose-dived about 16% during the period, while the S&P 500 Index has shown tremendous performance, surging about 7% over the same time span.

At current levels, the stock trades between the 52-week range of $79.95 and $133.27. With a total market capitalization of around $42 billion, the stock has an average daily trading volume of about 14 million shares. Moreover, Netflix stock trades at a Price to Earnings multiple of nearly 300 times.

Netflix stock is known for its volatile behavior and erratic stock movements. The most recent major stock movement came when the company posted earnings for the second quarter of this year. The stock tanked about 13% following the earnings release as Netflix missed targets for Net Additions.

For 2QFY16, the online media streaming provider projected net additions of subscribers at 2.5 million. However, in actual, 1.7 million members were added. Furthermore, in United States, Netflix managed to add about 0.16 million members, in comparison to the prediction of 0.50 million.

Netflix’s 2QFY16 financial performance was, however, satisfactory. The company’s top-line showed revenue of $2.11 billion, coming in-line with the Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.11 billion. In addition to this, online media streaming provider beat the earnings expectations as it posted earnings of $0.09 per share, against the consensus estimate of $0.02.

Following the earnings beat and subscription miss, there was mixed commentary on Netflix stock by the analysts at the Wall Street. Investment firm Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson maintained a bullish stance on the stock, despite the company missing subscription targets. Mr. Olson reiterated his Overweight rating on the stock along with a $122 price target on the stock and mentioned that the company’s long-term objectives are intact.

On the other hand, Credit Suisse analyst S. Ju reaffirmed a Neutral rating on the stock, and also lifted the 12-month price target to $122 from $119, following the 2QFY16 earnings release. Additionally, Daniel Salmon of BMO Capital Markets highlighted that introducing contents in local languages in different countries can result in reaccelerated growth, as it would create a positive word-of-mouth, pushing the subscriptions higher in a given country.

Right now, 43 analysts at the Wall Street provide coverage on Netflix stock. Out of these, 22 analysts rate the stock as a Buy, 16 analysts suggest a Hold while the remaining five analysts advocate a Sell. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $103.46, which comes with an upside potential of nearly 7% against the stock’s previous close.

Dougherty & Co analyst believes that even though the management at GoPro is positive, it is vital to regain profitability

With sluggish sales leading to low profitability and eventual losses, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) stock has slid around 21% since the start of this year, through yesterday. Charles Anderson – analyst at Dougherty & Co, believes in the same thing and expressed it in a research note today.

Anderson stated that although the company’s management remains confident of the new products, it is vital to regain profitability. He reaffirmed his Neutral rating on the shares of the action camera producer.

After an upbeat non-deal roadshow in Denver, the analyst believes that the management was aggressively confident regarding GoPro’s new products which are likely to be announced on September 19, 2016. The company will be releasing new iterations of its action cameras, Hero5 camera along with the Karma Drone. The management hinted that both the products will be “considerably easier” to use as compared to the previous models from GoPro and also other products in the market.

However, Mr. Anderson suggests that although the management’s confidence is commendable, getting back to a profitable bottom-line is the key to the story.

The management at GoPro is clear that fiscal year 2016 is an investment year, which leads up to product launches in the holiday season quarter. However, the company does want the similar trend to continue in 2017.

Furthermore, Mr. Anderson suggests that the introduction of new products with higher innovation and a watchful sight over the Operating Expenses can lead GoPro to profitability once more. However, this goal can only be achieved starting from the next year.

GoPro shares trade between the 52-week range of $8.62 and $39.31, while the daily range is $14.10 and $14.66. With a total market capitalization of $1.98 billion, 7.41 million shares of GoPro are traded daily on an average. Currently, the stock is in red, down about 0.48% during the pre-market trading hours today.

Tesla announces the start of Model S deliveries in Taiwan, as well as location for the nation’s Supercharger expansion plan

Last September, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) joined hands with the third-largest Taiwanese telecom operator, Taiwan Mobile, to offer wireless connectivity for its vehicles in Taiwan, after it opened its first retail location in the country. Today, a local publication reported that the company has started delivering the first batch of the Model S sedan to its customers.

According to Focus Taiwan News Channel, Tesla published a press release earlier today, saying that its all-electric premium sedan pricing starts at TWD 3.18 million ($101,250) in Taiwan, and it can travel 400 km (NEDC) and capable of accelerating 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds. The top-of-the-line P100D with price tag of TWD 6.92 can do the same in just 2.7 seconds and offer range of 613 km.

The vehicle comes with a guarantee for driver components and battery pack of eight years, as well as a four-year or 80,000 km guarantee for other vehicle parts. The company added that the vehicle’s “avant-garde design’ and use of fewer components and parts than gasoline-powered car enables drivers to save fuel and maintenance expenses. However, it is essential for a car owner to get their vehicle’s checked after every year or every 20,000 km.

Last year, the company opened its first Taiwanese store at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Lutheran Shop, The City of Xinyi District Song Shou Road in Taipei. Customers can get knowledge on the EV technology and Tesla products, as well as take test drives on Model S and Model X at the location, apart from placing orders.

With the start of the deliveries, customers might be worried because of no fast-DC charging stations within Taiwan. But, the company also announced that nation’s first Supercharger station will be located in Taipei Expo Park and it will charge half of a Tesla’s battery pack in 20 minutes.

Tesla plans to expand the Supercharger network from Taipei to Taichung, and gradually all the way south to Tainan and Kaohsiung to support the increasing charging needs for customers going on road trips. The automaker already has eight Destination Charging locations in the country.

Here’s the Supercharger Network Plan for 2017 that shows Taiwan will have five Superchargers by the end of this year: