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Addionics 3D-structured battery may achieve 2x higher energy capacity

The range and charging time of batteries are the major concerns of electric vehicle users and a critical bottleneck for the EV industry. The Israel-based startup, Addionics, is developing a 3D-structured battery that could solve all pains......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesDec 4th, 2021

Vodafone (VOD) Boosts Connectivity With First 5G MiFi Device

Vodafone (VOD) unveils its first-ever 5G MiFi device, which has been specifically designed to cater to the connectivity requirements of customers 'on the go'. Vodafone Group Public Limited Company VOD recently announced the launch of its first-ever 5G mobile broadband device — 5G MiFi. This innovative offering has been specifically designed to cater to the connectivity requirements of customers ‘on the go’.The touchscreen device is ideal for supporting the connectivity of small businesses and it can also be used in the home premises. It is equipped with a simple web interface and boasts an exceptional 8.5-hour battery life that enables customers to seamlessly share Wi-Fi with up to 32 users or devices, backed by hassle-free configuration.This portable device comes as a boon, especially at a time when organizations are still dependent on work-from-home model in the pandemic scenario. In sync with this, the router facilitates connectivity for remote businesses while allowing consumers to stream and download at higher speeds on the back of a robust Internet connection.With the resiliency of Wi-Fi 6, this Vodafone 5G Mobile Hotspot provides first-hand access to superfast 5G mobile network with the ability to download movies or albums in a few seconds, thanks to its lower latency and greater capacity. Moreover, customers can benefit from high-speed Internet even in areas without fixed-line connectivity.Vodafone UK provides flexible data plans wherein customers can either select a fixed-term or rolling contract with prices starting at just £10 a month. For a 24-month Vodafone Unlimited contract, customers will get the first six months at half price. For a 12-month Unlimited contract, customers are required to pay £33/month plus £150 upfront fees and in case of a 30-day contract, £37/month plus £200 upfront fees.A few days back, Vodafone UK hit a significant milestone by connecting more than 125,000 people living in digital poverty. The achievement underscores Vodafone’s commitment to connect 1 million people based in the U.K., eliminating the digital disparity by 2022-end.Vodafone is also conducting trials for eco-friendly self-powered mobile phone towers to reduce harmful emissions and achieve net-zero in the U.K. by 2027. With a diverse and open ecosystem, Vodafone aims to develop a more cost-effective, secure, energy-efficient and customer-focused network by using components from different suppliers that adhere to a common set of standards.This will likely facilitate the carrier to release new features simultaneously across multiple sites while adding capacity and resolving outages faster. Vodafone has pledged to halve its emissions in its supply chain by 2030 across 21 countries before reaching net-zero across its full-value chain by 2040.Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderVodafone currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Its shares have declined 9.1% compared with a 4.3% fall of the industry in the past year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchYou can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Harmonic, Inc. HLIT is a better-ranked stock in the broader industry, sporting a Zacks Rank #1. The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 23.1% upward in the past 60 days.Harmonic delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 61.1%, on average. The stock has appreciated 57.9% in the past year. HLIT has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15%.Clearfield, Inc. CLFD also flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 8.8% upward in the past 60 days.Clearfield delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 50.8%, on average. It has catapulted 207.6% in the past year.Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM is another solid pick for investors, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The consensus estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 14% upward in the past 60 days.Qualcomm delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 11.2%, on average. It has gained 23.7% in the past year. QCOM has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15.3%. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Vodafone Group PLC (VOD): Free Stock Analysis Report Harmonic Inc. (HLIT): Free Stock Analysis Report Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 27th, 2021

General Motors" (GM) Silverado Production to Kick off in Early "23

General Motors (GM) plans to commence production of its upcoming Chevy Silverado electric pickup in early 2023 with sales set to begin in late 2023. General Motors GM plans to commence production of its upcoming Chevy Silverado electric pickup in early 2023 with sales set to begin in late 2023. Production will begin at the recently inaugurated Factory Zero in Michigan, previously known as Detroit-Hamtramck.The Silverado electric vehicle (“EV”) will be the second electric truck for the Detroit, MI auto biggie after the GMC Hummer EV, which is anticipated to be delivered to a handful of customers before the end of 2021. When released, the electric Silverado will be one of the flagship offerings of General Motors, besides being the first electric truck for the automaker’s Chevy brand.General Motors also confirmed that the Chevy Silverado EV will be followed by several other EVs throughout 2023, including the GMC Sierra E pickup truck.The Chevy Silverado EV will be built on General Motors’ Ultium battery pack and the all-electric drivetrain. The company claims that the Silverado will offer a range-per-charge of around 400 miles. The pickup will be available in both consumer and fleet versions. Other specifications include 24-inch wheels and a four-wheel steering, giving the truck greater agility and tighter turning radius at low speeds, plus enhanced handling and stability at higher speeds. The automaker has also confirmed that the truck will also feature a fixed-glass roof, a first for its full-size pickup brand.General Motors Enters Into Key Supply Deal With MP MaterialsIn a separate development, General Motors has recently entered into a strategic collaboration with MP Materials to develop a fully integrated U.S. supply chain for rare earth magnets.Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets are essential inputs for EV motors. However, there is virtually no domestic capacity to produce NdFeB magnets today.Per the agreement, MP Materials – which operates the only rare earth materials mine in North America – will supply U.S.-sourced and manufactured rare earth materials, alloy and finished magnets for the electric motors used in the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac LYRIQ, Chevrolet Silverado EV and more than a dozen models using General Motors’ Ultium platform.The latest alliance seeks to aggravate the restoration of the U.S.-based rare earth supply chain at scale, having high sustainability and resilience. MP Material’s domestic supply chain, spanning California and Texas, will provide an unconstrained supply of NdFeB magnets. Further, to enhance efficiency and sustainability, waste generated during MP Material’s rare earth alloy and magnet manufacturing will be recycled back into the process.The deal with MP Materials will aid GM in building a sustainable and resilient U.S.-based supply chain for EVs, encompassing the entire ecosystem from raw materials to battery cell manufacturing to electric drive motors and beyond. Accelerating the production of materials used in EVs will help the automaker fortify its U.S. manufacturing foothold of EVs, bring down the cost of EVs and, in turn, speed up the domestic adoption of EVs. Moreover, it will bolster General Motors’ ability to make powerful, affordable and high-mileage EVs.Further, the alliance with MP Materials is another bold stride that will help ensure that General Motors reaches its goal to lead the EV industry in North America.EV Push by GMWith aggravating climate change concerns, investors are intrigued by automakers that provide green transportation solutions. Thus, automakers around the world are leaving no stone unturned to step up their EV game. Amid this intensified competition, General Motors’ big push toward EVs is commendable. The automaker has committed to invest $35 billion in EVs and autonomous vehicles by the end of 2025, marking a 75% jump from its initial $20-billion plan. The automaker also plans to introduce more than 30 EV models globally by 2025, with more than two-thirds available in the United States. The carmaker aspires to achieve more than 1 million annual global EV sales by 2025.At the heart of its EV strategy lies General Motors’ Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass market to high-performance vehicles. The company aims to bring first-generation Ultium cell costs 40% lower than those used in the Chevrolet Bolt EV and double the energy density at 60% lower cost in the second generation cells.The company’s years of expertise and skill in electric drive system development are aiding it in transitioning quickly from conventional vehicles to EVs. The Ultium Drive components will allow the company to ramp up EV production more quickly and adjust the production mix to cater to the rising market demand. Moreover, the company’s vertical integration in the EV space, incorporating both hardware and software, has helped take its EV game a notch higher, lending it a significant competitive advantage over its peers. Ultimately, the auto biggie wants to boost EV revenues from about $10 billion in 2023 to approximately $90 billion annually by 2030.General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Key Auto Companies to Tap IntoA few better-ranked stocks in the auto space include Goodyear Tire GT, Tesla TSLA and Harley-Davidson HOG, all of which flaunt a Zacks Rank of 1.Goodyear has an expected earnings growth rate of 196.86% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 20 cents over the last 30 days. Goodyear beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the last four quarters. GT has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 228.45%, on average. Its shares have rallied 115.6% over the past year.Tesla has an expected earnings growth rate of 166.96% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 66 cents over the last 60 days. Tesla beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. TSLA has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.38%, on average. Its shares have rallied 64.6% over the past year.Harley-Davidson has an expected earnings growth rate of 34.92% for the current quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 2 cents over the last 30 days. Harley-Davidson beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. HOG has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 138.45%, on average. Its shares have dropped around 2.8% over the past year. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report HarleyDavidson, Inc. (HOG): Free Stock Analysis Report The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 10th, 2021

Toyota (TM) to Build 1st US Battery Plant in North Carolina

Toyota (TM) plans to invest $1.29 billion to build an EV battery plant in North Carolina. Toyota Motor TM recently announced its decision to build the first battery factory in the United States in North Carolina to bring its electric vehicle (EV) supply chain to the country.The Japan-based automaker plans to invest $1.29 billion in the battery plant, to be named Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC). The facility is expected to create 1,750 new jobs and use 100% renewable energy to make the batteries. The production is anticipated to commence in 2025.TBMNC will initially have four production lines, each capable of manufacturing battery packs for around 200,000 cars annually. Toyota eventually aims to add two more lines, with the goal to rev up the total production capacity to battery packs sufficient for 1.2 million vehicles per year.The auto biggie chose North Carolina for the plant location. It offers the appropriate conditions for this investment, including a developed infrastructure, a high-quality education system, and access to a skilled workforce. Further, North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee has approved a $438.7-million tax incentive package to encourage Toyota to build a factory in the state.With the aggravating climate-change concerns, automakers across the globe have been revving up their EV efforts in order to roll out more environmental-friendly vehicles on the road. The development of batteries used to power EVs has become crucial in order to decarbonize the global economy. Global automakers have enhanced their investments in battery production as they compete with the EV behemoth Tesla TSLA.Amid this changing scenario, Toyota has also been a pioneer in the mass production of solid-state batteries, revolutionizing the EV space.The latest investment decision forms part of Toyota’s wider commitment to investing $3.4 billion (380 billion yen) for automotive battery development and production in the United States through 2030. Moreover, the latest project is expected to help Toyota advance its climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality sustainably.  Also, the investment is expected to usher in an era of more affordable EVs for U.S. consumers.Toyota’s Electrification StridesToyota has been the king of hybrid vehicles since the introduction of its popular Prius compact vehicle. It has also been investing in fuel-cell vehicles like the Mirai and sells the UX300e in Europe and China. However, the auto giant has been relatively slower in the adoption of EVs into its line-up and has no pure-electric offerings at the moment. Nonetheless, the automaker is set to roll out its first all-electric line-up next year in an attempt to quell criticism that it has been slow to shift to electric cars. It also plans to build about 70 hybrid or electric models by 2025, of which 15 will be fully electric. It targets to sell 8 million partially or fully electrified vehicles by 2030. About 2 million will be battery-powered cars and fuel-cell vehicles, while the other 6 million will be gasoline-electric hybrids or plug-in hybrids.Further, to cater to the surging demand for clean energy vehicles in the United States, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company envisions EVs to account for nearly 70% of its U.S. sales by 2030, up from almost 25% currently. The company expects to sell as many as 1.8 million electrified vehicles in the United States by 2030, including the zero-emission models.This September, TM earmarked more than $13.5 billion for investment in battery development and production through 2030. It also intends to slash the cost of its batteries by 30-50%. It anticipates achieving this goal by working on the raw materials used to produce batteries and the way the battery cells are structured. It also plans to optimize the power consumption of these batteries by 30%, starting with its upcoming compact SUV model — Toyota bZ4X — unveiled recently, where “bZ” stands for “beyond zero,” highlighting Toyota’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. It aims to set up a total of 70 EV battery lines by 2030, capable of producing 200-gigawatt hours of battery power.Auto Companies to Focus OnA few better-ranked stocks in the auto space include Tesla, Harley-Davidson HOG and Goodyear Tire GT, all of which flaunt a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Tesla has an expected earnings growth rate of 166.96% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 6 cents over the last 30 days. Tesla beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. TSLA has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.38%, on average. Its shares have rallied 57.3% over the past year.Harley-Davidson has an expected earnings growth rate of 34.92% for the current quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 2 cents over the last 30 days.  Harley-Davidson beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. HOG has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 138.45%, on average. Its shares have dropped around 4.2% over the past year.Goodyear has an expected earnings growth rate of 196.86% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised upward by 42 cents over the last 30 days.Goodyear beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the last four quarters. GT has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 228.45%, on average. Its shares have rallied 100.5% over the past year. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report HarleyDavidson, Inc. (HOG): Free Stock Analysis Report The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 7th, 2021

Stronghold Digital Mining Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results and Provides Operational Update

NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc. (NASDAQ:SDIG) ("Stronghold," or the "Company") today reported financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2021 and provided an operational update. Third Quarter and Recent Operational and Financial Highlights Removed approximately 106,000 tons of coal refuse and returned approximately 64,500 tons of beneficial use ash to waste coal piles during the quarter, facilitating the remediation of these sites Closed upsized initial public offering ("IPO") on October 22, 2021, generating net proceeds of approximately $132.5 million Closed acquisition of Panther Creek Plant on November 2, 2021, increasing owned power generation capacity to approximately 165 megawatts ("MW") As of November 29, 2021, has received nearly 6,000 miners with total hash rate capacity of approximately 470 petahash per second ("PH/s") and remains on track to achieve its hash rate capacity goal of 8,000+ PH/s by the end of 2022 Pro forma cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2021 was approximately $104.2 million, as adjusted for net proceeds from the IPO, closing of the Panther Creek Plant acquisition, and deposits paid in relation to announced miner purchases Management Commentary "We are excited about our entry into the public markets as a well-capitalized, vertically integrated Bitcoin miner with an advantageous cost structure," said Greg Beard, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Stronghold. "We have structured Stronghold to not only be a best-in-class Bitcoin miner, but also to have a positive impact on the environment, which we accomplish through the cleanup of toxic, legacy waste coal piles in Pennsylvania. These piles are actively polluting the Commonwealth's air and water, and we are proud that our operations benefit the local communities." "We are executing on our strategy of growing owned power generation assets and rapidly deploying miners at these facilities, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of our second power generation asset and continued additions to our miner fleet. We intend to continue acquiring low-cost power assets and miners to reach our goal of at least 8,000 PH/s of hash rate capacity by the end of 2022." Cryptocurrency Mining Update Stronghold remains on track to reach its hash rate capacity goal of 8,000 PH/s by the end of 2022, with miners from a diversified group of global manufacturers, including MinerVa, Bitmain, and MicroBT. As of September 30, 2021, the Company had approximately 3,000 miners deployed with total hash rate capacity of approximately 185 PH/s. As of November 29, 2021, the Company has purchased or installed approximately 45,000 miners with total hash rate capacity of approximately 4,390 PH/s. Since the end of the third quarter, Stronghold has received nearly 3,000 miners, including the first 240 MV7 miners from MinerVa, and the Company expects to have over 500 MinerVa miners installed by the end of the week, with shipments ramping up for the 15,000-miner order. Performance for these machines has been in line with expectations. Since the end of the quarter, Stronghold also entered into two agreements with Bitmain to purchase 12,000 S19j Pro miners and 1,800 S19 XP miners, with aggregate hash rate capacity of approximately 1,450 PH/s. Additionally, the Company purchased over 2,500 miners on the open market through multiple transactions, with aggregate hash rate capacity exceeding 200 PH/s, which are expected to be installed before the end of the year. Stronghold also continues to expand datacenter capacity to house its miners. Stronghold owns, develops, and manages its datacenters, which increases operational control, mitigates supply-chain risks, and improves economics. The Company has manufactured 33 MW of StrongBoxes, its proprietary modular datacenter containers, and expects to have completed approximately 125 MW by the end of the first quarter of 2022. As of September 30, 2021, Stronghold held on its balance sheet approximately 85 Bitcoin. Power Assets Update On November 2, 2021, Stronghold closed on the acquisition of the Panther Creek Plant, an 80 MW coal refuse reclamation-to-energy facility located in Pennsylvania, which utilizes the same circulating fluidized bed technology as Stronghold's Scrubgrass Plant. Both the Scrubgrass Plant and Panther Creek Plant generate power from coal refuse, which is a waste byproduct of legacy coal mining operations. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has designated coal refuse as a Tier II Alternative Energy Source, making our facilities eligible to earn renewable energy credits. In conjunction with the acquisition, the Company entered into an Operation, Maintenance and Ancillary Services Agreement with the seller to provide operations and maintenance services support to Stronghold for both the Scrubgrass Plant and the Panther Creek Plant. The support services from an experienced operating group are expected to facilitate durable uptime and efficiency for Stronghold's power assets. With the acquisition of the Panther Creek Plant, the Company's owned power generation capacity expanded to approximately 165 MW. Stronghold continues to evaluate opportunities to acquire additional power generation assets, including a third coal refuse reclamation facility that is under a non-binding letter of intent to purchase. Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results Revenues in the third quarter increased 527% to $6.0 million compared to $1.0 million in the same quarter a year ago. The increase is primarily attributable to higher energy generation and crypto asset mining revenues. Operating expenses in the third quarter increased 492% to $10.0 million compared to $1.7 million in the same quarter a year ago. The increase is primarily attributable to higher operating costs at the Scrubgrass Plant to facilitate higher and more consistent power generation capacity for energy operations and cryptocurrency operations, in addition to higher general and administrative costs as the Company scales its organizational structure. Net loss for the third quarter of ($6.3) million compared to a net loss of ($0.7) million for the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter increased to $9,700 compared to ($0.5) million for the same quarter a year ago (see reconciliation of Non-GAAP financial measures). Net cash provided by operating activities in the third quarter was $10.2 million compared to $0.5 million in the same quarter a year ago. Stronghold ended the quarter with approximately $41.4 million in cash and approximately $53.7 million in debt. Financial and Operational Outlook "Following our successful IPO and closing of the Panther Creek acquisition, we are executing on our strategy of being a low-cost, environmentally beneficial Bitcoin miner," said Greg Beard. "We expect a significant ramp-up in miner deliveries over the coming months and are taking active steps to accelerate miner deliveries. We remain on track to reach the 2022 operational metrics that we communicated at the time of our IPO and continue to make excellent progress in expanding our power generation capacity to maintain our vertical integration as we grow our miner fleet." Conference Call Stronghold will host a conference call today, November 30, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (2:00 p.m. Pacific Time) to discuss these results. A question-and-answer session will follow management's presentation. To participate, please dial the appropriate number at least ten minutes prior to the start time and ask for the Stronghold Digital Mining conference call. U.S. dial-in number: 1-844-705-8583 International number: 1-270-215-9880Conference ID: 1385345 The conference call will broadcast live and be available for replay here. A replay of the call will be available after 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time through December 14, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Toll-free replay number: 1-855-859-2056 International replay number: 1-404-537-3406Conference ID: 1385345 About Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc.Stronghold is a vertically integrated Bitcoin mining company with an emphasis on environmentally beneficial operations. Stronghold houses its miners at its wholly owned and operated Scrubgrass Plant and Panther Creek Plant, both of which are low-cost, environmentally beneficial coal refuse power generation facilities in Pennsylvania. Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements." within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "approximately," "intends," "plans," "estimates" or "anticipates" or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases which are predictions of or indicate future events or trends and which do not relate solely to historical matters. Forward-looking statements and the business prospects of Stronghold are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause Stronghold's actual results in future periods to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things: our dependence on the level of demand and financial performance of the crypto asset industry; our ability to manage growth, business, financial results and results of operations; our ability to raise capital to fund business growth; our ability to enter into purchase agreements and acquisitions; public health crises, epidemics, and pandemics such as the coronavirus pandemic; our ability to procure crypto asset mining equipment; our ability to respond to price fluctuations and rapidly changing technology; our ability to operate our coal refuse power generation facilities as planned; and legislative or regulatory changes, and liability under, or any future inability to comply with, existing or future energy regulations or requirements. More information on these risks and other potential factors that could affect our financial results is included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of our Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-258188), filed on October 19, 2021, and any subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date as of which such statement is made, and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events, or otherwise. STRONGHOLD DIGITAL MINING, INC.   UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS             September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020                 Sept 30, 2021 Dec 31, 2020       (unaudited)     CURRENT ASSETS         Cash   $ 41,434,410   $ 303,187     Digital currencies     3,228,698     228,087     Accounts receivable     308,387     65,900     Due from related party     -     302,973     Prepaid insurance     278,538       Inventory     367,601     396,892     Other current assets     3,779,663     65,831     Total Current Assets     49,397,297     1,362,870     EQUIPMENT DEPOSITS     85,624,852     -     PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT, NET     40,114,787     7,814,199     LAND     29,919     -     ROAD BOND     185,245     185,245     TOTAL ASSETS   $ 175,352,100   $ 9,362,314               CURRENT LIABILITIES         Current portion of long-term debt- net of discounts/issuance fees   $ 31,251,305   $ 449,447     Related-party notes     -     2,024,250     Accounts payable     29,620,242     8,479,187     Due to related parties     735,618     698,338     Accrued liabilities     3,833,191     828     Total Current Liabilities     65,440,356     11,652,050               LONG-TERM LIABILITIES         Asset retirement obligation     474,933     446,128     Contract liabilities     187,837     40,000     Economic Injury Disaster Loan     -     150,000     Paycheck Protection Program Loan     841,670     638,800     Warrants issued with conversions to redeemable preferred stock     878,970     -     Long-term debt- net of discounts/issuance fees     22,417,973     482,443     Total Long-Term Liabilities     24,801,383     1,757,371     Total Liabilities     90,241,739     13,409,421               MEZZANINE EQUITY         Series A redeemable and convertible preferred stock, $.0001 par value, aggregate liquidation value $85,000,000, 9,792,000 shares issued and outstanding as of September 30, 2021     78,041,113     -     Series B redeemable and convertible preferred stock, $.0001 par value, aggregate liquidation value $20,000,006, 5,760,000 shares authorized and 1,817,035 issued and outstanding as of September 30, 2021     18,242,733     -     Common Stock - Class V, $.0001 par value; 34,560,000 shares authorized and 27,057,600 shares issued and outstanding     243,002,390     -       Total mezzanine equity     339,286,236     -               STOCKHOLDERS' DEFICIENCY & PARTNERS' DEFICIT         General partners     -     (2,710,323 )   Limited partners       (1,336,784 )   Series A redeemable and convertible preferred stock, $.0001 par value, aggregate liquidation value $5,000,000, 576,000 issued and outstanding as of September 30, 2021     58     -     Common Stock - Class A, .0001 par value; 238,000,000 shares authorized and 140,674 shares issued and outstanding     14     -     Accumulated deficits     (263,811,490 )   -     Additional paid-in capital     9,635,543     -     Stockholders' deficiency or partners' deficit  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 30th, 2021

Electric Vehicles: The Future of Automotive And Competitive Innovation

It was not too long ago that electric vehicles were disregarded by the bulk of consumers as a serious replacement for their petrol-based cars. Concerns about their range and a lack of stations where one could charge their car (especially when compared to petrol alternatives) once dominated the conversation. However, ownership of such vehicles is […] It was not too long ago that electric vehicles were disregarded by the bulk of consumers as a serious replacement for their petrol-based cars. Concerns about their range and a lack of stations where one could charge their car (especially when compared to petrol alternatives) once dominated the conversation. However, ownership of such vehicles is on the rise, and electric vehicles are set to transform the automotive industry. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Mobility is changing. Major issues associated with traditional vehicles and approaches in the automobile industry, such as emissions, congestion and a growing carbon footprint, are reaching a tipping point that demands a revision of the status quo. In response, several companies are busy producing dazzling innovations in electric vehicles that will ensure they represent the future of the mobility industry. Top electric vehicle stocks to watch right now: Lucid Group Inc (NASDAQ:LCID) Fisker Inc (NYSE:FSR) Nio Inc (NYSE:NIO) Why The Future Is Electric Electric vehicles have secured themselves as the future of the automobile industry because their ability to transform the way we move is inherently based on shifts in three primary areas: government regulation, consumer sentiment and technological innovation. This tri-fold foundation makes certain that this revolution in mobility is definitive. This editorial maintains that electric vehicles represent the future of the automobile industry and will continue to analyse this assertion with the backdrop of these three foundational ideas that are supporting it. Government Regulation The past, present and future efforts of governments to achieve sustainable mobility with their policies is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and helping a foundation for them. With the growing inauguration of more stringent emission targets by regulators around the globe, the increased growth of electric vehicles in order to reach these targets is being encouraged. Specific Policies Furthermore, the European Parliament produced its “Fit for 55” initiative in 2021, which hopes to amalgamate energy, climate, transport, land use and taxation efforts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% holistically by 2030. In addition to this, the Green Car Initiative (GCI) was proposed by the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport; it contains a budget up to 50 million Euros to support any projects relating to electric vehicles. In the US, President Biden has built on the endeavours of Obama’s administration by holding themselves to a 50% electric vehicle target for 2030. Other government incentives are also present in the form of purchasable rebates and tax credits; in the past $2.4 billion dollars has been allocated in grants to support the production of EVs. This budget has primarily been split between support for the manufacture of EV batteries, other components, and the infrastructure required for EVs. General electric vehicle subsidies are also offered by most governments around the world. Their Effect The measures from both of these governments appear to have been vastly successful so far, which bodes well for the future of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles have been gradually perforating into the European market for a while now, with their numbers uninterruptedly growing since 2010 from 700 to 550,000 units. At this point in time, these vehicles now represent as much as 2% of total new car purchases - and 3.5% of newly purchased vehicles for passengers. This success can be seen in the US as well, with brands such as Tesla experiencing exponential growth in their sales. Over the past five years, the brand has watched as their sales grew by 10x; the quintessence of this growth was seen in 2016, when over 80,000 vehicles were sold in this year alone. Over 1 million vehicles are expected to have been produced by the end of this year. Consumer Sentiment Consumer sentiment is the second leg supporting the future of electric vehicles. Opinions towards EVs have changed drastically over the course of the past decade. This is due to a plummeting in their cost, spurred on in part by a decrease in the price of lithium-ion battery packs (a type of rechargeable battery used in the production of EVs), as well as the increased favourability of government incentives towards them in recent years. Furthermore, a large reason for the huge growth in uptake that electric vehicles have witnessed over the last demi-decade has been the gradual breaking down of the greatest obstacle to their success: their huge upfront cost. Outsourcing manufacturing to China has qualified brands to sell EVs for up to 30% less, and drops in price of lithium-ion battery packs have lowered this even further. In the US, it was documented in 2020 that up to 2 million electric vehicles are registered, a 300% increase when compared to four years prior. Within this, ‘all-electric’ cars appear to be the subcategory that is growing the most rapidly. This small portion of the market alone grew by nearly 800,000 vehicles in the same period of time. 2021 produced a record number of electric vehicle sales in Australia. As a matter of fact, a smaller amount of vehicles was sold throughout the entirety of 2020 than was in the first half of 2021 alone. The market share of such vehicles doubled during this 1 year period from 0.7% to 1.5%. Despite this, the scale of the electric vehicle industry appears smallest in Australia out of all the economies observed: there are currently only 23 electric vehicle models available for sale here, compared to over 130 options in the UK. Out of the three, Europe has demonstrated the most significant increase in sales. The annual growth in sales since 2016 has been compoundly increasing at a rate equivalent to 60% per year. Several individual markets within this region have witnessed a huge proportion of their automobile sales being electric vehicles - for example in Norway this percentage was 75%, and in Iceland it was 50%. Competitive Innovations The efforts of players within the industry to conceptualise and implement new ideas and visions for the future of electric mobility, such as passenger-centric, autonomous or connected development, further accelerate the rate at which automotive technology is innovated. This aids in bolstering the future of electric cars as innovation is key to survival in business, stagnation often means being surpassed and becoming redundant. The competitive innovations of this industry will be analysed in the context of two specific companies with their own unique vision for the future of electric cars: Tesla and Laureti Group. These two prodigious companies are acting to disrupt the automotive ecosystem in different ways based on their different approaches. Tesla Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)'s historic rise in the car industry marked the start of a novel direction for the global auto industry: one characterised by electricity. The company’s owner, Elon Musk, has been taking a unique approach to the construction of his vehicles that challenged the status quo of the industry since 2009, causing many to seriously doubt its Through its Silicon Valley approach to software as a means of innovating the industry with electric cars, Tesla has since led developments in manufacturing, software and the architecture of its electronics that have facilitated its ability to consistently produce innovations faster than their competitors. Specifically, Tesla innovated the energy production and consumption systems of its cars. On top of this, the way in which it approached its business model completely contradicted the established format of the time: instead of trying to develop an affordable car to mass produce, it did the exact opposite and constructed a desirable car that created demand for electric vehicles. These innovations have been appropriately profitable for Tesla. In 2017, the company surpassed previous industry giant General Motors to assert itself as the largest market capitalization of all car manufacturers in the United States. Toyota was the next giant to be transcended by Tesla, when it became the most valuable car maker on the planet in 2020. Today, VW, through VW I.D.4 and newly announced I.D.5 as well as Mercedes, through the EQA, EQB and EQC ranges, are giving Tesla a square on challenge - and although this may cause a downside risk to the Tesla stock unless it keeps innovating, overall, more players switching to electric is encouraging for the environment and our future. Laureti Group Another innovator of the electric vehicle industry is Laureti Group. This growing startup approached the development of electric cars from a slightly alternative angle to Tesla. Whereas Tesla focused on tackling emissions, Laureti is prioritising the reduction of carbon footprints holistically. Furthermore, Tesla is on track to make transportation emission-free by producing a product that seeks to replace each individual consumer’s standard, polluting petrol car with an electric one. Contrastingly, Laureti is producing vehicles that provide a ‘business lounge on the move’ as part of a corporate business fleet, reducing personal ownership of cars, and thus carbon footprint overall. Put simply, Tesla is producing luxury electric cars that private individuals can own, whereas Laureti is producing premium electric vehicles that are designed to be accessed through companies as their price is far too steep and generally unjustifiable for the majority. Laureti’s primary innovation is the integration of its seamless Mira.OS service - the world’s mobility operating system. It is using Mira.OS to provide what it calls a ‘passenger-centric’ experience. Whilst all cars of the present are focussed on the driver, it is more important to focus on the passenger now as the reality of autonomous cars is as close as 2030. When this breakthrough in technology arrives, the ‘smart cabin’ experience Laureti is hoping to provide will be infinitely more useful to people than a higher top speed or quicker 0-60mph. Users will want to be able to work on the go and utilise the once ‘dead time’ of commuting in order to maximise productivity. Waymo Embracing the trend of EV’s and rise in AI, Waymo has set out to provide a safer alternative to human-driven transport. Whereas this is counter-intuitive for humans who feel that an element of control is desirable for their own safety, it is fast gathering data based on a self-drive shipping fleet that is well underway to prove that the aim of a safer alternative is being achieved. Instead of calling itself a self-driving car firm, Waymo refers to itself as a self-driving technology company. Thousands of self-driving cars are equipped with lidar sensors, which enable driverless operations and 360-degree perception technology to detect obstructions. Waymo's objective is to make getting around safe and simple for people and objects. They're taking autonomous driving to new places, from moving people to moving products. Their goal is ambitious, and their work has the ability to change people's lives. Waymo claims to have developed the most advanced sensors and perception systems, as well as having access to high-quality data. More than 20 million autonomously driven miles and five generations of development are included in the system dataset. Its fifth-generation Driver uses a combination of sensors, including radar, lidar, and cameras, to see 360 degrees around the vehicle. Waymo is currently the only company in the United States operating a fully autonomous public ride-hailing service. Romeo Power This company can be seen as a technology partner for other motor companies, as it powers anything from small cars all the way up the spectrum including big trucks and manufacturing robotics. It’s aim to deliver superior capacity power is aimed at alleviating some of the biggest consumer objectives to adaptation: vehicle ranges are considered too short for intercity travel and Romero can be one of the key innovators to address this. Romeo Power Inc (NYSE:RMO) is a lithium-ion battery module and pack manufacturer for commercial electric cars. Romeo Power supports large-scale sustainable mobility by supplying safer, longer-lasting batteries with longer range and shorter charge times with its energy dense battery modules and packs. The organization can create lightweight and efficient solutions that deliver superior performance and provide improved acceleration, range, safety, and durability thanks to higher energy density. Its modules and packs are modular and adaptable, and its patented battery management system optimizes them. They are supplying innovative electrification solutions to some of the most complex commercial vehicle applications as a pioneer in battery-powered energy. Their advanced hardware, paired with their cutting-edge battery management systems, ensures that their customers get the safety, performance, dependability, and configurability they need to succeed. They are committed to bringing about meaningful change in energy sourcing and electrification, ensuring that everyone has access to sustainable energy. Closing Remarks On balance, it is indisputable that the future of the automobile is electric. The roots that have developed for it are established and deep. There is no reason for the success of the trifold support provided by government regulations, favourable consumer sentiment and competitive innovations not to continue into the future. Updated on Nov 9, 2021, 3:55 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 9th, 2021

EV Roundup: TSLA CEO Musk"s Mysterious Tweets Make the Most Noise

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk leaves Twitterati open-mouthed with a bizarre poll asking his followers to vote whether he should sell 10% of his stock. Last week, Fisker, Inc. FSR and Nikola Corporation NKLA released third-quarter 2021 results. XL Fleet XL provided third-quarter preliminary updates. China-based electric vehicle (EV) players NIO Inc. NIO and Li Auto LI posted October delivery count. But what caught the most attention was EV king Tesla TSLA CEO Musk’s tweets.Last to last week, Tesla made big headlines as it entered the elite $1-trillion club, following the biggest-ever order from car rental giant Hertz. However, last week, Musk downplayed the $4.2-billion deal. On Nov 2, Musk took to Twitter to raise doubts about the potential deal with car rental giant Hertz. He tweeted: “No contract has been signed yet.” In fact, Musk also went on to clarify that demand for Tesla vehicles still overshoots supply, hence Hertz would not garner any discount on its large vehicle order. Thus, the deal will have zero impact on the company’s economics. Hertz followed up on Musk’s tweet by reiterating that it is still moving ahead with the purchase order and has already started receiving deliveries of Tesla vehicles. However, Hertz failed to confirm if a contract had or had not been signed with Tesla in light of Musk's tweet.Over the weekend, Musk again left Twitterati open-mouthed with a bizarre poll asking his followers to vote whether he should sell 10% of his stock. The tweet read: “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.” “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes,” he added. With the majority of his followers voting in the favor of the stock sale, it remains to be seen if Musk keeps his promise.Tesla currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Other Stories That Made Headlines1. Fisker inked a long-term battery supply deal with CATL for its upcoming all-electric Fisker Ocean SUV. Per the agreement, CATL will provide small and large battery packs to Fisker, with an initial battery capacity of more than 5 gigawatt-hours annually from 2023 through 2025. The primary high-capacity pack will use a lithium nickel manganese cobalt cell chemistry, while the second smaller pack will be based on lithium-ion phosphate chemistry. Together, the two different batteries will enable Fisker to offer a line-up of different ranges and levels of performance to consumers when the Ocean is rolled out. Fisker will utilize CATL’s unique dual-chemistry cell capability to optimize vehicle performance and achieve cost effectiveness across the Fisker Ocean line-up.In a separate release, Fisker released third-quarter 2021 numbers. The company reported an adjusted loss per share of 37 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents. Net cash used in operating activities and capital expenditure totaled $103.4 million and $15.8 million, respectively, for the quarter under review. Fisker exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1.4 billion.2. Nikola reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted loss of 22 cents a share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 26 cents. The firm’s research & development and selling, general and administrative costs flared up 53.2% and 193.3% year over year to $78.9 million and $192.9 million, respectively. As of Sep 30, Nikola had cash and cash equivalents of $586.9 million, down from $840.9 million on Dec 31, 2020. It is on track to deliver 25 pre-series Nikola Tre BEVs to dealers and customers by 2021-end.3. NIO released its delivery count for the month of October 2021. The China-based EV company delivered 3,667 vehicles last month, which declined 27.5% year over year amid low production volume due to restructuring and upgrades to manufacturing lines. Supply-chain distortions amid chip crunch also played spoilsport. The deliveries consisted of 218 ES8s, 2,528 ES6s and 921 EC6s. As of Oct 31, cumulative deliveries of ES8, ES6 and EC6 totaled 145,703 vehicles.4. Li Auto also released delivery numbers for October. The company delivered 7,649 Li ONEs last month, surging 107.2% year over year. As of October-end, the cumulative deliveries of Li ONEs totaled 95,516 units. The company exited the quarter with 162 retail stores in 86 cities, and 223 servicing centers and Li Auto-authorized body and paint shops in 165 cities.5. XL Fleet provided third-quarter 2021 preliminary updates. The company expects the results to be impacted by the global chip shortage and a lack of new fleet chassis. Revenues are expected to come in at $3.2 million. XL Fleet expects to exit the third quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $367 million. Meanwhile, the company named Eric Tech as the new CEO. The change will be effective from Dec 1, 2021.6. Rivian Automotive, which has filed for IPO, raised the offer price of its shares on Friday and is now seeking a roughly $65 billion valuation. This is higher than the $53 billion valuation that it aimed for early last week. The company now plans to offer 135 million shares priced within $72-$74 apiece, higher than the previous range of $57-$62. At the high end of the revised range, Rivian would raise nearly $10 billion at its market debut.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major EV players over the past week and six-month period.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past six months, all stocks have increased, apart from Lordstown. In the past week, all stocks have increased, apart from XPeng and Li Auto. What’s Next in the Space?Stay tuned for announcements of upcoming EV models and any important updates from the red-hot industry. Industry watchers will track China EV sales data for October 2021, which is likely to be released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers this week. Also, watch out for the quarterly earnings release of Workhorse and Hyliion. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report XL Fleet Corp. (XL): Get Free Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Fisker Inc. (FSR): Free Stock Analysis Report NIO Inc. (NIO): Free Stock Analysis Report Nikola Corporation (NKLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Li Auto Inc. Sponsored ADR (LI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 9th, 2021

Fisker (FSR) Inks Long-Term Battery Supply Deal With CATL

Per the deal, Fisker (FSR) will utilize CATL's unique dual-chemistry cell capability to optimize vehicle performance and achieve cost effectiveness across the Fisker Ocean line-up. Fisker FSR recently announced an agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (“CATL”) to acquire batteries of two different chemistries for its upcoming all-electric Fisker Ocean SUV.Per the agreement, CATL will provide small and large battery packs to Fisker, with an initial battery capacity of more than 5 gigawatt-hours annually, from 2023 through 2025. The primary high-capacity pack will use a lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cell chemistry, while the second smaller pack will be based on lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) chemistry. Together, the two different batteries will enable Fisker to offer a line-up of different ranges and levels of performance to consumers when the Ocean is rolled out.  CATL is a global leader of new energy innovative technologies, committed to providing premier solutions and services for new energy applications worldwide. This battery manufacturer has an expertise in battery cells for electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage solutions (ESS). CATL is a major manufacturer of batteries for many big names, including Tesla TSLA.Since 2020, the Fisker and CATL teams have been working together to develop class-leading Fisker battery solutions, structured to withstand crashes and delivering high levels of energy density.The latest agreement is a win-win deal for both companies. As CATL expands its global footprint to achieve carbon-free transportation for all, its battery technology will be unique to Fisker’s products and support the former to attain its sustainability, performance and growth objectives.For Fisker, the latest agreement with CATL marks the achievement of an important milestone in the development of its Ocean SUV and achieving its battery performance objectives. By banking on CATL’s multiple battery chemistries and efficiency, Fisker will be able to achieve its targeted driving range for Ocean SUV. Moreover, Fisker will utilize CATL’s unique dual-chemistry cell capability to optimize vehicle performance and achieve cost effectiveness across the Fisker Ocean line-up.Along with catering to the packaging requirements for the Fisker Ocean program, the battery packs will have enhanced features that will enable drivers to directly charge the EV batteries from the optional solar roof. Further, both battery pack solutions will be developed to support peak charging powers of more than 250 kilowatts.The latest agreement illustrates how CATL and Fisker are joining forces on battery technology to achieve a dominant position in the electric mobility industry.California-based Fisker, closest peer of which is Hyliion Holdings HYLN, is set to begin production and deliveries of its flagship vehicle, the Ocean electric SUV, in November 2022. The EV start-up has been drawing massive attention from investors amid the soaring popularity of green vehicles. Fisker had also entered into a manufacturing agreement with Magna MGA in June to commence the production of its Ocean SUV on the latter’s world-class manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.Fisker is on track to unveil the production-intent version, including the additional battery specifications and product features of the Ocean SUV, on Nov 17, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Magna International Inc. (MGA): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Fisker Inc. (FSR): Free Stock Analysis Report Hyliion Holdings Corp. (HYLN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 4th, 2021

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations Authored by David Hay via Everegreen Gavekal blog, “You see what is happening in Europe. There is hysteria and some confusion in the markets. Why?…Some people are speculating on climate change issues, some people are underestimating some things, some are starting to cut back on investments in the extractive industries. There needs to be a smooth transition.” - Vladimir Putin (someone with whom this author rarely agrees) “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of its citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes (an interesting observation for all the modern day Keynesians to consider given their support of current inflationary US policies, including energy-related) Introduction This week’s EVA provides another sneak preview into David Hay’s book-in-process, “Bubble 3.0” discussing what he thinks is the crucial topic of “greenflation.”  This is a term he coined referring to the rising price for metals and minerals that are essential for solar and wind power, electric cars, and other renewable technologies. It also centers on the reality that as global policymakers have turned against the fossil fuel industry, energy producers are for the first time in history not responding to dramatically higher prices by increasing production.  Consequently, there is a difficult tradeoff that arises as the world pushes harder to combat climate change, driving up energy costs to painful levels, especially for lower income individuals.  What we are currently seeing in Europe is a vivid example of this dilemma.  While it may be the case that governments welcome higher oil and natural gas prices to discourage their use, energy consumers are likely to have a much different reaction. Summary BlackRock’s CEO recently admitted that, despite what many are opining, the green energy transition is nearly certain to be inflationary. Even though it’s early in the year, energy prices are already experiencing unprecedented spikes in Europe and Asia, but most Americans are unaware of the severity. To that point, many British residents being faced with the fact that they may need to ration heat and could be faced with the chilling reality that lives could be lost if this winter is as cold as forecasters are predicting. Because of the huge increase in energy prices, inflation in the eurozone recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices on the Continent that are the equivalent of $200 oil. It used to be that the cure for extreme prices was extreme prices, but these days I’m not so sure.  Oil and gas producers are very wary of making long-term investments to develop new resources given the hostility to their industry and shareholder pressure to minimize outlays. I expect global supply to peak sometime next year and a major supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand returns to normal. In Norway, almost 2/3 of all new vehicle sales are of the electric variety (EVs) – a huge increase in just over a decade. Meanwhile, in the US, it’s only about 2%. Still, given Norway’s penchant for the plug-in auto, the demand for oil has not declined. China, despite being the largest market by far for electric vehicles, is still projected to consume an enormous and rising amount of oil in the future. About 70% of China’s electricity is generated by coal, which has major environmental ramifications in regards to electric vehicles. Because of enormous energy demand in China this year, coal prices have experienced a massive boom. Its usage was up 15% in the first half of this year, and the Chinese government has instructed power providers to obtain all baseload energy sources, regardless of cost.  The massive migration to electric vehicles – and the fact that they use six times the amount of critical minerals as their gasoline-powered counterparts –means demand for these precious resources is expected to skyrocket. This extreme need for rare minerals, combined with rapid demand growth, is a recipe for a major spike in prices. Massively expanding the US electrical grid has several daunting challenges– chief among them the fact that the American public is extremely reluctant to have new transmission lines installed in their area. The state of California continues to blaze the trail for green energy in terms of both scope and speed. How the rest of the country responds to their aggressive take on renewables remains to be seen. It appears we are entering a very odd reality: governments are expending resources they do not have on weakly concentrated energy. And the result may be very detrimental for today’s modern economy. If the trend in energy continues, what looks nearly certain to be the Third Energy crisis of the last half-century may linger for years.  Green energy: A bubble in unrealistic expectations? As I have written in past EVAs, it amazes me how little of the intense inflation debate in 2021 centered on the inflationary implications of the Green Energy transition.  Perhaps it is because there is a built-in assumption that using more renewables should lower energy costs since the sun and the wind provide “free power”.  However, we will soon see that’s not the case, at least not anytime soon; in fact, it’s my contention that it will likely be the opposite for years to come and I’ve got some powerful company.  Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, a very pro-ESG* organization, is one of the few members of Wall Street’s elite who admitted this in the summer of 2021.  The story, however, received minimal press coverage and was quickly forgotten (though, obviously, not be me!).  This EVA will outline myriad reasons why I think Mr. Fink was telling it like it is…despite the political heat that could bring down upon him.  First, though, I will avoid any discussion of whether humanity is the leading cause of global warming.  For purposes of this analysis, let’s make the high-odds assumption that for now a high-speed green energy transition will continue to occur.  (For those who would like a well-researched and clearly articulated overview of the climate debate, I highly recommend the book “Unsettled”; it’s by a former top energy expert and scientist from the Obama administration, Dr. Steven Koonin.) The reason I italicized “for now” is that in my view it’s extremely probable that voters in many Western countries are going to become highly retaliatory toward energy policies that are already creating extreme hardship.  Even though it’s only early autumn as I write these words, energy prices are experiencing unprecedented increases in Europe.  Because it’s “over there”, most Americans are only vaguely aware of the severity of the situation.  But the facts are shocking…  Presently, natural gas is going for $29 per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) in Europe, a quadruple compared to the same time in 2020, versus “just” $5 in the US, which is a mere doubling.  As a consequence, wholesale energy cost in Great Britain rose an unheard of 60% even before summer ended.  Reportedly, nine UK energy companies are on the brink of failure at this time due to their inability to fully pass on the enormous cost increases.  As a result, the British government is reportedly on the verge of nationalizing some of these entities—supposedly, temporarily—to prevent them from collapsing.  (CNBC reported on Wednesday that UK natural gas prices are now up 800% this year; in the US, nat gas rose 20% on Tuesday alone, before giving back a bit more than half of that the next day.) Serious food shortages are expected after exorbitant natural gas costs forced most of England’s commercial production of CO2 to shut down.  (CO2 is used both for stunning animals prior to slaughter and also in food packaging.)  Additionally, ballistic natural gas prices have forced the closure of two big US fertilizer plants due to a potential shortfall of ammonium nitrate of which “nat gas” is a key feedstock.  *ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance; in 2021, Blackrock’s assets under management approximated $9 ½ trillion, about one-third of the total US federal debt. With the winter of 2021 approaching, British households are being told they may need to ration heat.  There are even growing concerns about the widespread loss of life if this winter turns out to be a cold one, as 2020 was in Europe.  Weather forecasters are indicating that’s a distinct possibility.   In Spain, consumers are paying 40% more for electricity compared to the prior year.  The Spanish government has begun resorting to price controls to soften the impact of these rapidly escalating costs. (The history of price controls is that they often exacerbate shortages.) Naturally, spiking power prices hit the poorest hardest, which is typical of inflation whether it is of the energy variety or of generalized price increases.  Due to these massive energy price increases, eurozone inflation recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices that are the equivalent of $200 per barrel oil.  This is consistent with what I warned about in several EVAs earlier this year and I think there is much more of this looming in the years to come. In Asia, which also had a brutally cold winter in 2020 – 2021, there are severe energy shortages being disclosed, as well.  China has instructed its power providers to secure all the coal they can in preparation for a repeat of frigid conditions and acute deficits even before winter arrives.  The government has also instructed its energy distributors to acquire all the liquified natural gas (LNG) they can, regardless of cost.  LNG recently hit $35 per million British Thermal Units in Asia, up sevenfold in the past year.  China is also rationing power to its heavy industries, further exacerbating the worldwide shortages of almost everything, with notable inflationary implications. In India, where burning coal provides about 70% of electricity generation (as it does in China), utilities are being urged to import coal even though that country has the world’s fourth largest coal reserves.  Several Indian power plants are close to exhausting their coal supplies as power usage rips higher. Normally, I’d say that the cure for such extreme prices, was extreme prices—to slightly paraphrase the old axiom.  But these days, I’m not so sure; in fact, I’m downright dubious.  After all, the enormously influential International Energy Agency has recommended no new fossil fuel development after 2021—“no new”, as in zero.  It’s because of pressure such as this that, even though US natural gas prices have done a Virgin Galactic to $5 this year, the natural gas drilling rig count has stayed flat.  The last time prices were this high there were three times as many working rigs.  It is the same story with oil production.  Most Americans don’t seem to realize it but the US has provided 90% of the planet’s petroleum output growth over the past decade.  In other words, without America’s extraordinary shale oil production boom—which raised total oil output from around 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to 13 million barrels per day in 2019—the world long ago would have had an acute shortage.  (Excluding the Covid-wracked year of 2020, oil demand grows every year—strictly as a function of the developing world, including China, by the way.) Unquestionably, US oil companies could substantially increase output, particularly in the Permian Basin, arguably (but not much) the most prolific oil-producing region in the world.  However, with the Fed being pressured by Congress to punish banks that lend to any fossil fuel operator, and the overall extreme hostility toward domestic energy producers, why would they?  There is also tremendous pressure from Wall Street on these companies to be ESG compliant.  This means reducing their carbon footprint.  That’s tough to do while expanding their volume of oil and gas.  Further, investors, whether on Wall Street or on London’s equivalent, Lombard Street, or in pretty much any Western financial center, are against US energy companies increasing production.  They would much rather see them buy back stock and pay out lush dividends.  The companies are embracing that message.  One leading oil and gas company CEO publicly mused to the effect that buying back his own shares at the prevailing extremely depressed valuations was a much better use of capital than drilling for oil—even at $75 a barrel. As reported by Morgan Stanley, in the summer of 2021, an US institutional broker conceded that of his 400 clients, only one would consider investing in an energy company!  Consequently, the fact that the industry is so detested means that its shares are stunningly undervalued.  How stunningly?  A myriad of US oil and gas producers are trading at free cash flow* yields of 10% to 15% and, in some cases, as high as 25%. In Europe, where the same pressures apply, one of its biggest energy companies is generating a 16% free cash flow yield.  Moreover, that is based up an estimate of $60 per barrel oil, not the prevailing price of $80 on the Continent. *Free cash flow is the excess of gross cash flow over and above the capital spending needed to sustain a business.  Many market professionals consider it more meaningful than earnings.  Therefore, due to the intense antipathy toward Western energy producers they aren’t very inclined to explore for new resources.  Another much overlooked fact about the ultra-critical US shale industry that, as noted, has been nearly the only source of worldwide output growth for the past 13 years, is its rapid decline nature.  Most oil wells see their production taper off at just 4% or 5% per year.  But with shale, that decline rate is 80% after only two years.  (Because of the collapse in exploration activities in 2020 due to Covid, there are far fewer new wells coming on-line; thus, the production base is made up of older wells with slower decline rates but it is still a much steeper cliff than with traditional wells.)  As a result, the US, the world’s most important swing producer, has to come up with about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of new output just to stay even.  (This was formerly about a 3 million bpd number due to both the factor mentioned above and the 2 million bpd drop in total US oil production, from 13 million bpd to around 11 million bpd since 2019).  Please recall that total US oil production in 2008 was only around 5 million bpd.  Thus, 1.5 million barrels per day is a lot of oil and requires considerable drilling and exploration activities.  Again, this is merely to stay steady-state, much less grow.  The foregoing is why I wrote on multiple occasions in EVAs during 2020, when the futures price for oil went below zero*, that crude would have a spectacular price recovery later that year and, especially, in 2021.  In my view, to go out on my familiar creaky limb, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  With supply extremely challenged for the above reasons and demand marching back, I believe 2022 could see $100 crude, possibly even higher.  *Physical oil, or real vs paper traded, bottomed in the upper teens when the futures contract for delivery in April, 2020, went deeply negative.  Mike Rothman of Cornerstone Analytics has one of the best oil price forecasting records on Wall Street.  Like me, he was vehemently bullish on oil after the Covid crash in the spring of 2020 (admittedly, his well-reasoned optimism was a key factor in my up-beat outlook).  Here’s what he wrote late this summer:  “Our forecast for ’22 looks to see global oil production capacity exhausted late in the year and our balance suggests OPEC (and OPEC + participants) will face pressures to completely remove any quotas.”  My expectation is that global supply will likely max out sometime next year, barring a powerful negative growth shock (like a Covid variant even more vaccine resistant than Delta).  A significant supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand recovers and exceeds its pre-Covid level.  This is a view also shared by Goldman Sachs and Raymond James, among others; hence, my forecast of triple-digit prices next year.  Raymond James pointed out that in June the oil market was undersupplied by 2.5 mill bpd.  Meanwhile, global petroleum demand was rapidly rising with expectations of nearly pre-Covid consumption by year-end.  Mike Rothman ran this chart in a webcast on 9/10/2021 revealing how far below the seven-year average oil inventories had fallen.  This supply deficit is very likely to become more acute as the calendar flips to 2022. In fact, despite oil prices pushing toward $80, total US crude output now projected to actually decline this year.  This is an unprecedented development.  However, as the very pro-renewables Financial Times (the UK’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal) explained in an August 11th, 2021, article:  “Energy companies are in a bind.  The old solution would be to invest more in raising gas production.  But with most developed countries adopting plans to be ‘net zero’ on carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier, the appetite for throwing billions at long-term gas projects is diminished.” The author, David Sheppard, went on to opine: “In the oil industry there are those who think a period of plus $100-a-barrel oil is on the horizon, as companies scale back investments in future supplies, while demand is expected to keep rising for most of this decade at a minimum.”  (Emphasis mine)  To which I say, precisely!  Thus, if he’s right about rising demand, as I believe he is, there is quite a collision looming between that reality and the high probability of long-term constrained supplies.  One of the most relevant and fascinating Wall Street research reports I read as I was researching the topic of what I have been referring to as “Greenflation” is from Morgan Stanley.  Its title asked the provocative question:  “With 64% of New Cars Now Electric, Why is Norway Still Using so Much Oil?”  While almost two-thirds of Norway’s new vehicle sales are EVs, a remarkable market share gain in just over a decade, the number in the US is an ultra-modest 2%.   Yet, per the Morgan Stanley piece, despite this extraordinary push into EVs, oil consumption in Norway has been stubbornly stable.  Coincidentally, that’s been the experience of the overall developed world over the past 10 years, as well; petroleum consumption has largely flatlined.  Where demand hasn’t gone horizontal is in the developing world which includes China.  As you can see from the following Cornerstone Analytics chart, China’s oil demand has vaulted by about 6 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2010 while its domestic crude output has, if anything, slightly contracted. Another coincidence is that this 6 million bpd surge in China’s appetite for oil, almost exactly matched the increase in US oil production.  Once again, think where oil prices would be today without America’s shale oil boom. This is unlikely to change over the next decade.  By 2031, there are an estimated one billion Asian consumers moving up into the middle class.  History is clear that more income means more energy consumption.  Unquestionably, renewables will provide much of that power but oil and natural gas are just as unquestionably going to play a critical role.  Underscoring that point, despite the exponential growth of renewables over the last 10 years, every fossil fuel category has seen increased usage.  Thus, even if China gets up to Norway’s 64% EV market share of new car sales over the next decade, its oil usage is likely to continue to swell.  Please be aware that China has become the world’s largest market for EVs—by far.  Despite that, the above chart vividly displays an immense increase in oil demand.  Here’s a similar factoid that I ran in our December 4th EVA, “Totally Toxic”, in which I made a strong bullish case for energy stocks (the main energy ETF is up 35% from then, by the way):  “(There was) a study by the UN and the US government based on the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gasses Induced Climate Change (MAGICC).  The model predicted that ‘the complete elimination of all fossil fuels in the US immediately would only restrict any increase in world temperature by less than one tenth of one degree Celsius by 2050, and by less than one fifth of one degree Celsius by 2100.’  Say again?  If the world’s biggest carbon emitter on a per capita basis causes minimal improvement by going cold turkey on fossil fuels, are we making the right moves by allocating tens of trillions of dollars that we don’t have toward the currently in-vogue green energy solutions?” China's voracious power appetite increase has been true with all of its energy sources.  On the environmentally-friendly front, that includes renewables; on the environmentally-unfriendly side, it also includes coal.  In 2020, China added three times more coal-based power generation than all other countries combined.  This was the equivalent of an additional coal planet each week.  Globally, there was a reduction last year of 17 gigawatts in coal-fired power output; in China, the increase was 29.8 gigawatts, far more than offsetting the rest of the world’s progress in reducing the dirtiest energy source.  (A gigawatt can power a city with a population of roughly 700,000.) Overall, 70% of China’s electricity is coal-generated. This has significant environmental implications as far as electric vehicles (EVs) are concerned.  Because EVs are charged off a grid that is primarily coal- powered, carbon emissions actually rise as the number of such vehicles proliferate. As you can see in the following charts from Reuters’ energy expert John Kemp, Asia’s coal-fired generation has risen drastically in the last 20 years, even as it has receded in the rest of the world.  (The flattening recently is almost certainly due to Covid, with a sharp upward resumption nearly a given.) The worst part is that burning coal not only emits CO2—which is not a pollutant and is essential for life—it also releases vast quantities of nitrous oxide (N20), especially on the scale of coal usage seen in Asia today. N20 is unquestionably a pollutant and a greenhouse gas that is hundreds of times more potent than CO2.  (An interesting footnote is that over the last 550 million years, there have been very few times when the CO2 level has been as low, or lower, than it is today.)  Some scientists believe that one reason for the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice in recent decades is due to the prevailing winds blowing black carbon soot over from Asia.  This is a separate issue from N20 which is a colorless gas.  As the black soot covers the snow and ice fields in Northern Canada, they become more absorbent of the sun’s radiation, thus causing increased melting.  (Source:  “Weathering Climate Change” by Hugh Ross) Due to exploding energy needs in China this year, coal prices have experienced an unprecedented surge.  Despite this stunning rise, Chinese authorities have instructed its power providers to obtain coal, and other baseload energy sources, such as liquified natural gas (LNG), regardless of cost.  Notwithstanding how pricey coal has become, its usage in China was up 15% in the first half of this year vs the first half of 2019 (which was obviously not Covid impacted). Despite the polluting impact of heavy coal utilization, China is unlikely to turn away from it due to its high energy density (unlike renewables), its low cost (usually) and its abundance within its own borders (though its demand is so great that it still needs to import vast amounts).  Regarding oil, as we saw in last week’s final image, it is currently importing roughly 11 million barrels per day (bpd) to satisfy its 15 million bpd consumption (about 15% of total global demand).  In other words, crude imports amount to almost three-quarter of its needs.  At $80 oil, this totals $880 million per day or approximately $320 billion per year.  Imagine what China’s trade surplus would look like without its oil import bill! Ironically, given the current hostility between the world’s superpowers, China has an affinity for US oil because of its light and easy-to-refine nature.  China’s refineries tend to be low-grade and unable to efficiently process heavier grades of crude, unlike the US refining complex which is highly sophisticated and prefers heavy oil such as from Canada and Venezuela—back when the latter actually produced oil. Thus, China favors EVs because they can be de facto coal-powered, lessening its dangerous reliance on imported oil.  It also likes them due to the fact it controls 80% of the lithium ion battery supply and 60% of the planet’s rare earth minerals, both of which are essential to power EVs.     However, even for China, mining enough lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, aluminum and the other essential minerals/metals to meet the ambitious goals of largely electrifying new vehicle volumes is going to be extremely daunting.  This is in addition to mass construction of wind farms and enormously expanded solar panel manufacturing. As one of the planet’s leading energy authorities Daniel Yergin writes: “With the move to electric cars, demand for critical minerals will skyrocket (lithium up 4300%, cobalt and nickel up 2500%), with an electric vehicle using 6 times more minerals than a conventional car and a wind turbine using 9 times more minerals than a gas-fueled power plant.  The resources needed for the ‘mineral-intensive energy system’ of the future are also highly concentrated in relatively few countries. Whereas the top 3 oil producers in the world are responsible for about 30 percent of total liquids production, the top 3 lithium producers control more than 80% of supply. China controls 60% of rare earths output needed for wind towers; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 70% of the cobalt required for EV batteries.” As many have noted, the environmental impact of immensely ramping up the mining of these materials is undoubtedly going to be severe.  Michael Shellenberger, a life-long environmental activist, has been particularly vociferous in his condemnation of the dominant view that only renewables can solve the global energy needs.  He’s especially critical of how his fellow environmentalists resorted to repetitive deception, in his view, to undercut nuclear power in past decades.  By leaving nuke energy out of the solution set, he foresees a disastrous impact on the planet due to the massive scale (he’d opine, impossibly massive) of resource mining that needs to occur.  (His book, “Apocalypse Never”, is also one I highly recommend; like Dr. Koonin, he hails from the left end of the political spectrum.) Putting aside the environmental ravages of developing rare earth minerals, when you have such high and rapidly rising demand colliding with limited supply, prices are likely to go vertical.  This will be another inflationary “forcing”, a favorite term of climate scientists, caused by the Great Green Energy Transition. Moreover, EVs are very semiconductor intensive.  With semis already in seriously short supply, this is going to make a gnarly situation even gnarlier.  It’s logical to expect that there will be recurring shortages of chips over the next decade for this reason alone (not to mention the acute need for semis as the “internet of things” moves into primetime).  In several of the newsletters I’ve written in recent years, I’ve pointed out the present vulnerability of the US electric grid.  Yet, it will be essential not just to keep it from breaking down under its current load; it must be drastically enhanced, a Herculean task. For one thing, it is excruciatingly hard to install new power lines. As J.P. Morgan’s Michael Cembalest has written: “Grid expansion can be a hornet’s nest of cost, complexity and NIMBYism*, particularly in the US.”  The grid’s frailty, even under today’s demands (i.e., much less than what lies ahead as millions of EVs plug into it) is particularly obvious in California.  However, severe winter weather in 2021 exposed the grid weakness even in energy-rich Texas, which also has a generally welcoming attitude toward infrastructure upgrading and expansion. Yet it’s the Golden State, home to 40 million Americans and the fifth largest economy in the world, if it was its own country (which it occasionally acts like it wants to be), that is leading the charge to EVs and seeking to eliminate internal combustion engines (ICEs) as quickly as possible.  Even now, blackouts and brownouts are becoming increasingly common.  Seemingly convinced it must be a role model for the planet, it’s trying desperately to reduce its emissions, which are less than 1%, of the global total, at the expense of rendering its energy system more similar to a developing country.  In addition to very high electricity costs per kilowatt hour (its mild climate helps offset those), it also has gasoline prices that are 77% above the national average.  *NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard. While California has been a magnet for millions seeking a better life for 150 years, the cost of living is turning the tide the other way.  Unreliable and increasingly expensive energy is likely to intensify that trend.  Combined with home prices that are more than double the US median–$800,000!–California is no longer the land of milk and honey, unless, to slightly paraphrase Woody Guthrie about LA, even back in the 1940s, you’ve got a whole lot of scratch.  More and more people, seem to be scratching California off their list of livable venues.  Voters in the reliably blue state of California may become extremely restive, particularly as they look to Asia and see new coal plants being built at a fever pitch.  The data will become clear that as America keeps decarbonizing–as it has done for 30 years mostly due to the displacement of coal by gas in the US electrical system—Asia will continue to go the other way.  (By the way, electricity represents the largest share of CO2 emission at roughly 25%.)  California has always seemed to lead social trends in this country, as it is doing again with its green energy transition.  The objective is noble though, extremely ambitious, especially the timeline.  As it brings its power paradigm to the rest of America, especially its frail grid, it will be interesting to see how voters react in other states as the cost of power leaps higher and its dependability heads lower.  It’s reasonable to speculate we may be on the verge of witnessing the Californication of the US energy system.  Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic, please be aware the IEA (International Energy Agency) has estimated it will cost the planet $5 trillion per year to achieve Net Zero emissions.  This is compared to global GDP of roughly $85 trillion. According to BloombergNEF, the price tag over 30 years, could be as high as $173 trillion.  Frankly, based on the history of gigantic cost overruns on most government-sponsored major infrastructure projects, I’m inclined to take the over—way over—on these estimates. Moreover, energy consulting firm T2 and Associates, has guesstimated electrifying just the US to the extent necessary to eliminate the direct consumption of fuel (i.e., gasoline, natural gas, coal, etc.) would cost between $18 trillion and $29 trillion.  Again, taking into account how these ambitious efforts have played out in the past, I suspect $29 trillion is light.  Regardless, even $18 trillion is a stunner, despite the reality we have all gotten numb to numbers with trillions attached to them.  For perspective, the total, already terrifying, level of US federal debt is $28 trillion. Regardless, as noted last week, the probabilities of the Great Green Energy Transition happening are extremely high.  Relatedly, I believe the likelihood of the Great Greenflation is right up there with them.  As Gavekal’s Didier Darcet wrote in mid-August:  ““Nowadays, and this is a great first in history, governments will commit considerable financial resources they do not have in the extraction of very weakly concentrated energy.” ( i.e., less efficient)  “The bet is very risky, and if it fails, what next?  The modern economy would not withstand expensive energy, or worse, lack of energy.”  While I agree this an historical first, it’s definitely not great (with apologies for all the “greats”).  This is particularly not great for keeping inflation subdued, as well as for attempting to break out of the growth quagmire the Western world has been in for the last two decades.  What we are seeing in Europe right now is an extremely cautionary case study in just how disastrous the war on fossil fuels can be (shortly we will see who or what has been a behind-the-scenes participant in this conflict). Essentially, I believe, as I’ve written in past EVAs, we are entering the third energy crisis of the last 50 years.  If I’m right, it will be characterized by recurring bouts of triple-digit oil prices in the years to come.  Along with Richard Nixon taking the US off the gold standard in 1971, the high inflation of the 1970s was caused by the first two energy crises (the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Revolution).  If I’m correct about this being the third, it’s coming at a most inopportune time with the US in hyper-MMT* mode. Frankly, I believe many in the corridors of power would like to see oil trade into the $100s, and natural gas into the teens, as it will help catalyze the shift to renewable energy.  But consumers are likely to have a much different reaction—potentially, a violently different reaction, as I noted last week.  The experience of the Yellow Vest protests in France (referring to the color of the vest protestors wore), are instructive in this regard.  France is a generally left-leaning country.  Despite that, a proposed fuel surtax in November 2018 to fund a renewable energy transition triggered such widespread civil unrest that French president Emmanuel Macron rescinded it the following month. *MMT stands for Modern Monetary Theory.  It holds that a government, like the US, which issues debt in its own currency can spend without concern about budgetary constraints.  If there are not enough buyers of its bonds at acceptable interest rates, that nation’s central bank (the Fed, in our case) simply acquires them with money it creates from its digital printing press.  This is what is happening today in the US.  Many economists consider this highly inflationary. The sharp and politically uncomfortable rise in US gas pump prices this summer caused the Biden administration to plead with OPEC to lift its volume quotas.  The ironic implication of that exhortation was glaringly obvious, as was the inefficiency and pollution consequences of shipping oil thousands of miles across the Atlantic.  (Oil tankers are a significant source of emissions.)  This is as opposed to utilizing domestic oil output, as well as crude from Canada (which is actually generally better suited to the US refining complex).  Beyond the pollution aspect, imported oil obviously worsens America’s massive trade deficit (which would be far more massive without the six million barrels per day of domestic oil volumes that the shale revolution has provided) and costs our nation high-paying jobs. Further, one of my other big fears is that the West is engaging in unilateral energy disarmament.  Russia and China are likely the major beneficiaries of this dangerous scenario.  Per my earlier comment about a stealth combatant in the war on fossil fuels, it may surprise you that a past NATO Secretary General* has accused Russian intelligence of avidly supporting the anti-fracking movements in Western Europe.  Russian TV has railed against fracking for years, even comparing it to pedophilia (certainly, a most bizarre analogy!).  The success of the anti-fracking movement on the Continent has essentially prevented a European version of America’s shale miracles (the UK has the potential to be a major shale gas producer).  Consequently, the European Union’s domestic natural gas production has been in a rapid decline phase for years.  Banning fracking has, of course, made Europe heavily reliant on Russian gas shipments with more than 40% of its supplies coming from Russia. This is in graphic contrast to the shale output boom in the US that has not only made us natural gas self-sufficient but also an export powerhouse of liquified natural gas (LNG).  In 2011, the Nord Stream system of pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from northern Russia began delivering gas west from northern Russia to the German coastal city of Greifswald.  For years, the Russians sought to build a parallel system with the inventive name of Nord Stream 2.  The US government opposed its approval on security grounds but the Biden administration has dropped its opposition.  It now appears Nord Stream 2 will happen, leaving Europe even more exposed to Russian coercion.  Is it possible the Russian government and the Chinese Communist Party have been secretly and aggressively supporting the anti-fossil fuel movements in America?  In my mind, it seems not only possible but probable.  In fact, I believe it is naïve not to come that conclusion.  After all, wouldn’t it be in both of their geopolitical interests to see the US once again caught in a cycle of debilitating inflation, ensnared by the twin traps of MMT and the third energy crisis? *Per former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasumssen:  Russia has “engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas”. Along these lines, I was shocked to listen to a recent podcast by the New Yorker magazine on the topic of “intelligent sabotage”.  This segment was an interview between the magazine’s David Remnick and a Swedish professor, Adreas Malm.  Mr. Malm is the author of a new book with the literally explosive title “How To Blow Up A Pipeline”.   Just as it sounds, he advocates detonating pipelines to inhibit fossil fuel distribution.  Mr. Remnick was clearly sympathetic to his guest but he did ask him about the impact on the poor of driving energy prices up drastically which would be the obvious ramification if his sabotage recommendations were widely followed.  Mr. Malm’s reaction was a verbal shrug of the shoulders and words to the effect that this was the price to pay to save the planet. Frankly, I am appalled that the venerable New Yorker would provide a platform for such a radical and unlawful suggestion.  In an era when people are de-platformed for often innocuous comments, it’s incredible to me this was posted and has not been pulled down.  In my mind, this reflects just how tolerant the media is of attacks on the fossil fuel industry, regardless of the deleterious impact on consumers and the global economy. Surely, there is a far better way of coping with the harmful aspects of fossil fuel-based energy than this scorched earth (literally, in the case of Mr. Malm) approach, which includes efforts to block new pipelines, shut existing ones, and severely restrict US energy production.  In America’s case, the result will be forcing us to unnecessarily and increasingly rely on overseas imports.  (For example, per the Wall Street Journal, drilling permits on federal land have crashed to 171 in August from 671 in April.  Further, the contentious $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan would raise royalties and fees high enough on US energy producers that it would render them globally uncompetitive.) Such actions would only aggravate what is already a severe energy shock, one that may be worse than the 1970s twin energy crises.  America has it easy compared to Europe, though, given current US policy trends, we might be in their same heavily listing energy boat soon. Solutions include fast-tracking small modular nuclear plants; encouraging the further switch from burning coal to natural gas (a trend that is, unfortunately, going the other way now, as noted above); utilizing and enhancing carbon and methane capture at the point of emission (including improving tail pipe effluent-reduction technology); enhancing pipeline integrity to inhibit methane leaks; among many other mitigation techniques that recognize the reality the global economy will be reliant on fossil fuels for many years, if not decades, to come.  If the climate change movement fails to recognize the essential nature of fossil fuels, it will almost certainly trigger a backlash that will undermine the positive change it is trying to bring about.  This is similar to what it did via its relentless assault on nuclear power which produced a frenzy of coal plant construction in the 1980s and 1990s.  On this point, it’s interesting to see how quickly Europe is re-embracing coal power to alleviate the energy poverty and rationing occurring over there right now - even before winter sets in.  When the choice is between supporting climate change initiatives on one hand and being able to heat your home and provide for your family on the other, is there really any doubt about which option the majority of voters will select? Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 19:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Precision Drilling Corporation Announces 2021 Third Quarter Unaudited Financial Results

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This news release contains "forward-looking information and statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. For a full disclosure of the forward-looking information and statements and the risks to which they are subject, see the "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements" later in this news release. This news release contains references to Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before income taxes, loss (gain) on repurchase of unsecured senior notes, gain on investments and other assets, finance charges, foreign exchange, gain on asset disposals and depreciation and amortization), Covenant EBITDA, Operating Earnings (Loss), Funds Provided by (Used in) Operations and Working Capital. These terms do not have standardized meanings prescribed under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies, see "Non-GAAP Measures" later in this news release. Precision Drilling announces 2021 third quarter financial results: Adjusted EBITDA (See "NON-GAAP MEASURES") of $45 million. Excluding the impact of share-based compensation charges our Adjusted EBITDA was $59 million. Revenue of $254 million was an increase of 54% compared with the third quarter of 2020. Net loss of $38 million or $2.86 per share compared with a net loss of $28 million or $2.08 per share in the third quarter of 2020. Generated cash and funds provided by operations (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") of $22 million and $34 million, respectively. Third quarter ending cash balance was $57 million, with available liquidity of $500 million. Third quarter and year to date debt reduction of $8 million and $60 million, respectively. Third quarter capital expenditures were $20 million. Recognized the Canadian government's Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program assistance of $6 million. Precision's President and CEO Kevin Neveu stated: "We believe current industry fundamentals are providing the most promising backdrop for our business that we have experienced in almost a decade. Strong oil and natural gas prices, a significantly improved Canadian market structure and rapidly declining drilled but uncompleted well inventories all point to higher drilling activity in our core markets. Although we are likely in the early innings, our firm bookings and current customer inquiries indicate substantially stronger demand for our services and improved fleet utilization as this rebound continues." "Our third quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $59 million, excluding share-based compensation, is a result of our continued focus on strict cost discipline, growing our Alpha revenue base and realizing improved spot pricing in our North American operations. Our results have begun to reflect the considerable operating leverage of Precision Drilling, although we expect the positive impact to be more pronounced in the coming quarters with increasing activity." "Our Alpha suite of digital technologies continues to act as both the tip of the spear with new customer relationships and as a means to strengthen existing customer relationships with retention levels of nearly 100% for Alpha customers over the past two years. We currently have 65 AC Super Triple rigs active in North America and nearly 40 of these rigs are running Alpha at commercial rates. During the quarter, we increased utilization days of AlphaAutomation, AlphaApps and AlphaAnalytics by 8%, 36% and 4%, respectively, compared to Q2. We continue to see our performance, consistency and scalability of Alpha as key competitive differentiators for Precision." "In the U.S., during the quarter, activity levels nearly doubled from the third quarter last year and increased 6% sequentially. We generated normalized average drilling day rate increases of approximately $700 and we expect this trend will continue. The higher daily operating costs experienced during the quarter were primarily a result of preparation for increased activity in the fourth quarter and certain mobilization costs which will be recovered over the next several months on contracted rigs. Our current active rig count in the U.S. is 45 rigs, slightly lower than our prior guidance due to some customer delays and the decision to decline certain opportunities based on lower price expectations by customers." "In Canada, our drilling activity was nearly triple our activity in the third quarter of 2020 and our 51 average active rigs during the quarter represented the highest third quarter average activity since 2018. We are operating 61 rigs today and believe the improved Canadian market structure is due to increased crude takeaway capacity, lower differentials and substantially improved customer cash flows allowing our customers to self-fund drilling programs while continuing to generate strong shareholder returns. Additionally, we expect the prospects of LNG exports materializing on the medium term will bolster the outlook for Canadian drilling activity." "We increased our 2021 capital spending plan to $74 million to support our improved activity outlook in North America. The increase primarily relates to advanced drill pipe purchases to take advantage of vendor discounts and lower cost vendor inventories that were secured early in the quarter and will address increased drill pipe needs into next year." "Our Completion and Production Services division continues to deliver strong operational and financial results. In particular, Precision Well Servicing is successfully differentiating itself by delivering high quality crews and High Performance, certified equipment to customer projects, while the broader industry is navigating the dual challenges of labor availability and equipment quality. For the quarter, the division generated Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $5 million." "Our international drilling operations continue at a steady pace with 6 rigs active in Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During the quarter, we received extension notifications for two Kuwait rig contracts, each for one-year. Regional bidding activity is robust, and we see opportunities to activate several of our idle rigs in the region early next year and are confident in our likelihood of success." "During the third quarter, we introduced our Evergreen suite of environmental and emission-reduction focused products and services to complement our Super Series drilling rigs and Alpha digital offering. Recently, we successfully deployed our first Evergreen hybrid battery storage, natural gas and low emission power generating system to a Super Triple drilling rig in the Canadian market. The system reduces GHG emissions and fuel costs, helping our customer achieve their GHG emission-reduction targets and improving their well construction economics. Later this year, we expect to deploy three real-time combustion fuel monitoring packages, using AlphaAnalytics to determine precise baseline emission data. These accurate baselines will enable us to make customer-specific recommendations to further reduce rig-generated GHG emissions." "We remain focused on strict cost discipline and debt reduction and are on track to meet our debt reduction goal of $100 million to $125 million for 2021. In the quarter, cash from operations was $22 million, funds from operations were $34 million and debt reduction was $8 million with year to date debt reduction of $60 million. We expect cash flow to be strong in the fourth quarter as we have only $3 million in cash interest payments due and expect minimal working capital increases. With no senior note maturities until 2026 and approximately $500 million of available liquidity, our balance sheet remains in excellent shape to support our business activities and allow for further deleveraging through cash flow," concluded Mr. Neveu. SELECT FINANCIAL AND OPERATING INFORMATION Financial Highlights   For the three months ended September 30,     For the nine months ended September 30,   (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts) 2021     2020     % Change     2021     2020     % Change   Revenue   253,813       164,822       54.0       691,645       734,065       (5.8 ) Adjusted EBITDA(1)   45,408       47,771       (4.9 )     128,891       208,140       (38.1 ) Operating earnings (loss)(1)   (20,762 )     (26,785 )     (22.5 )     (76,033 )     (23,375 )     225.3   Net loss   (38,032 )     (28,476 )     33.6       (150,050 )     (82,620 )     81.6   Cash provided by operations   21,871       41,950       (47.9 )     79,512       221,381       (64.1 ) Funds provided by operations(1)   33,525       27,489       22.0       89,562       135,445       (33.9 ) Capital spending:                                               Expansion and upgrade   5,998       -     n.m.       15,881       13,764       15.4   Maintenance and infrastructure   13,502       3,211       320.5       32,310       24,859       30.0   Intangibles   -       -     n.m.       -       57       (100.0 ) Proceeds on sale   (4,476 )     (5,705 )     (21.5 )     (10,390 )     (16,416 )     (36.7 ) Net capital spending   15,024       (2,494 )     (702.4 )     37,801       22,264       69.8   Net loss per share:                                               Basic   (2.86 )     (2.08 )     37.4       (11.27 )     (6.02 )     87.2   Diluted   (2.86 )     (2.08 )     37.4       (11.27 )     (6.02 )     87.2   (1)    See "NON-GAAP MEASURES."n.m. Not meaningful Operating Highlights   For the three months ended September 30,     For the nine months ended September 30,     2021     2020     % Change     2021     2020     % Change   Contract drilling rig fleet   227       227       -       227       227       -   Drilling rig utilization days:                                               U.S.   3,785       1,957       93.4       10,315       9,684       6.5   Canada   4,648       1,613       188.2       10,963       8,216       33.4   International   552       559       (1.3 )     1,638       1,974       (17.0 ) Revenue per utilization day:                                               U.S.(1) (US$)   20,331       28,334       (28.2 )     20,904       26,335       (20.6 ) Canada (Cdn$)   19,427       21,430       (9.3 )     20,295       21,593       (6.0 ) International (US$)   52,277       54,887       (4.8 )     53,095       54,631       (2.8 ) Operating cost per utilization day:                                               U.S. (US$)   15,120       16,037       (5.7 )     14,639       14,727       (0.6 ) Canada (Cdn$)   13,189       12,924       2.1       13,204       13,940       (5.3 )                                                 Service rig fleet   123       123       -       123       123       -   Service rig operating hours   32,244       15,599       106.7       93,777       54,666       71.5   (1)    Includes revenue from idle but contracted rig days. Financial Position (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except ratios) September 30, 2021     December 31, 2020   Working capital(1)   120,259       175,423   Cash   57,096       108,772   Long-term debt   1,162,841       1,236,210   Total long-term financial liabilities   1,241,708       1,304,162   Total assets   2,720,415       2,898,878   Long-term debt to long-term debt plus equity ratio   0.48       0.47   (1)    See "NON-GAAP MEASURES." Summary for the three months ended September 30, 2021: Revenue for the third quarter was $254 million, 54% higher than in 2020 and was the result of increased drilling and service rig activity, partially offset by lower drilling day rates. Drilling rig utilization days increased by 93% in the U.S. and 188% in Canada and well service activity increased 107% as compared with the third quarter of 2020. Our international drilling activity decreased slightly from 2020 due to the expiration of a drilling contract. Adjusted EBITDA (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") for the quarter was $45 million, $2 million lower than 2020. Our Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue was 18% this quarter, compared with 29% in the comparative quarter. Our current quarter Adjusted EBITDA was negatively impacted by higher share-based compensation charges due to our increased share price and lower average day rates, partially offset by improved activity. Excluding the impact of $13 million of share-based compensation charges, our third quarter Adjusted EBITDA was $59 million as compared with the prior year Adjusted EBITDA excluding the impact of $4 million of share-based compensation of $51 million. Operating loss (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") for the quarter was $21 million compared with $27 million in 2020. General and administrative expenses this quarter were $24 million, $12 million higher than in 2020 due to our increased share-based compensation charges and lower CEWS program assistance. Net finance charges for the quarter were $21 million, $7 million lower than in 2020 and was primarily due to reduced interest expense due to lower debt levels and lower average cost of borrowing. In the U.S., revenue per utilization day in the third quarter of 2021 decreased to US$20,331 compared with US$28,334 in 2020. The decrease was primarily the result of lower revenue from idle but contracted rigs, turnkey activity and lower fleet average day rates, partially offset by higher Alpha revenue. During the third quarter of 2021, we recognized revenue from idle but contracted rigs and turnkey projects of nil, as compared with US$10 million and US$2 million, respectively, in 2020. Our third quarter operating costs on a per day basis decreased to US$15,120, compared with US$16,037 in 2020, and was mainly due to lower turnkey activity. On a sequential basis, revenue per utilization day, excluding revenue from turnkey drilling and idle but contracted rigs, increased by US$692 primarily due to higher fleet average day rates, while operating costs per day increased by US$1,375 due to higher repairs and maintenance. In Canada, average revenue per utilization day for contract drilling rigs for the quarter was $19,427 compared with $21,430 in 2020. The lower average revenue per utilization day in 2021 was primarily due to our rig mix. Average operating costs per utilization day in Canada for the quarter increased to $13,189 compared with $12,924 in 2020. The increase was mainly due to industry wage increases, partially offset by fixed costs being spread over higher activity. During the quarter, we recognized CEWS program assistance of $6 million as compared with $8 million in 2020. CEWS program assistance was presented as offsets to operating and general and administrative costs of $5 million and $1 million, respectively, as compared with $6 million and $2 million in 2020. We realized third quarter revenue from international contract drilling of US$29 million in 2021, as compared with US$31 million in 2020. The lower revenue in 2021 was primarily due to lower day rates. The average revenue per utilization day for the quarter was US$52,277, 5% lower than in the third quarter of 2020. Cash and funds provided by operations (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") in the third quarter of 2021 were $22 million and $34 million, respectively, compared with $42 million and $27 million in 2020. Capital expenditures were $20 million as compared with $3 million in the third quarter of 2020. Capital spending included $6 million for expansion and upgrade capital and $14 million for the maintenance of existing assets, infrastructure spending and intangibles. During the third quarter of 2021, we reduced long-term debt by $8 million. Summary for the nine months ended September 30, 2021: Revenue for the first nine months of 2021 was $692 million, a decrease of 6% from 2020. Adjusted EBITDA (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") for the period was $129 million, $79 million lower than 2020. Our Adjusted EBITDA was negatively impacted by lower idle but contracted rig revenue, higher share-based compensation charges due to our increased share price and lower average day rates, partially offset by improved North American activity. General and administrative costs were $77 million, an increase of $27 million from 2020. The increase was the result of higher share-based compensation charges. Net finance charges were $71 million, a decrease of $12 million from 2020 primarily due to reduced interest expense due to lower debt levels and lower average cost of borrowing, partially offset by higher amortized debt issue costs. Cash provided by operations was $80 million in 2021 as compared with $221 million in 2020. Funds provided by operations (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") in 2021 were $90 million, a decrease of $46 million from the prior year comparative period of $135 million. Capital expenditures were $48 million in 2021, an increase of $10 million for the same period in 2020. Capital spending in 2021 included $16 million for expansion and upgrade capital and $32 million for the maintenance of existing assets, infrastructure spending and intangibles. As of September 30, 2021, we have reduced long-term debt by $60 million and repurchased and cancelled 155,168 common shares for $4 million pursuant to our Normal Course Issuer Bid. STRATEGY Precision's strategic priorities for 2021 are as follows: Grow revenue and market share through our digital leadership position – Precision exited the third quarter with 46 AC Super Triple Alpha-rigs equipped with our AlphaAutomation platform and 16 commercialized AlphaApps. Our third quarter paid AlphaApp days increased 36% compared with the second quarter of 2021, with the increase largely driven by operational performance, additional revenue generating days and further uptake of customers fully utilizing our suite of Alpha technologies. During the quarter, Precision added four new AlphaAutomation customers and increased paid AlphaAutomation days, AlphaApp days and AlphaAnalytics days quarter-over-quarter by 8%, 36% and 4%, respectively. Demonstrate operational leverage to generate free cash flow and reduce debt – In the third quarter of 2021, Precision generated $22 million of cash provided by operations (see "NON-GAAP MEASURES") and $4 million of cash proceeds from the divestiture of non-core assets. As of September 30, 2021, we have reduced debt levels by $60 million, leaving $40 million of further debt reduction to achieve the low end of our 2021 debt reduction target of $100-$125 million. Precision exited the quarter with a cash balance of $57 million, US$161 million drawn on our US$500 million Senior Credit Facility and available liquidity of $500 million. Deliver leading ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance to strengthen customer and stakeholder positioning – During the third quarter, we introduced our Evergreen suite of environmental solutions focused on emissions reduction products and services to complement our Super Series drilling rigs and our Alpha digital products. We successfully deployed our first Evergreen hybrid battery storage, natural gas and low emission power generating system to a Super Triple drilling rig in the Canadian market. The system reduces GHG emissions and fuel costs, helping our customer achieve their GHG emission-reduction targets and improving their well construction economics. We have seen strong customer appetite in both Canada and the U.S. for hybrid battery power systems and have multiple commitments to deploy several additional systems by mid-2022. In the fourth quarter, we expect to deploy three real-time combustion fuel monitoring packages, using AlphaAnalytics to determine precise baseline emission data. These accurate baselines will enable us to make customer-specific recommendations to further reduce rig-generated GHG emissions. OUTLOOK The continued rise in global energy demand, sustained periods of strong commodity prices and the multi-year period of upstream underinvestment provide a promising backdrop for the oilfield services industry. At current commodity prices, we anticipate higher demand for our services and improved fleet utilization as customers look to maintain and replenish production levels as drilled but uncompleted well inventories have depleted. In Canada, industry activity has surpassed pre-pandemic levels as takeaway capacity continues to improve, price differentials shrink and the startup of LNG exports is expected in the medium term. Interest in our Evergreen solutions has gained momentum as customers look for meaningful solutions to achieve their emission reduction targets, and in many cases, also improve their well economics. Our suite of Alpha digital technologies will continue to be a key competitive differentiator as our predictable and repeatable drilling results deliver exceptional value to our customers by reducing risks, time and well construction costs. The Government of Canada's $1.7 billion well site abandonment and rehabilitation program has supported industry activity levels and provided thousands of jobs throughout Western Canada. The program runs through to the end of 2022 with government funds provided in stages. Our well servicing business continues to capture opportunities because of our scale, operational performance and strong safety record. During the third quarter of 2021, our abandonment activity remained strong and we expect this momentum to continue through to the end of the program in 2022. During 2020, the Government of Canada introduced the CEWS program to subsidize a portion of employee wages for Canadian employers whose businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19. For the three months ended September 30, 2021, we recognized $6 million (2020 – $8 million) in CEWS program assistance, which is presented as offsets to operating and general and administrative expenses of $5 million (2020 - $6 million) and $1 million (2020 - $2 million), respectively. Unless extended, the CEWS program is expected to end in the fourth quarter of 2021. Contracts Year to date in 2021 we have entered into 28 term contracts. The following chart outlines the average number of drilling rigs under contract by quarter as of October 20, 2021. For those quarters ending after September 30, 2021, this chart represents the minimum number of long-term contracts from which we will earn revenue. We expect the actual number of contracted rigs to vary in future periods as we sign additional contracts.     Average for the quarter ended 2020     Average for the quarter ended 2021       Mar. 31     June 30     Sept. 30     Dec. 31     Mar. 31     June 30     Sept. 30     Dec. 31   Average rigs under term contract as of October 20, 2021:                                                                 U.S.     41       32       26       24       21       24       22       22   Canada     5       4       3       4       6       6       7       7   International     8       8       6       6       6       6       6       6   Total     54       44       35       34       33       36       35       35   The following chart outlines the average number of drilling rigs that we had under contract for 2020 and the average number of rigs we have under contract as of October 20, 2021.     Average for the year ended           2020     2021       Average rigs under term contract as of October 20, 2021:                     U.S.     31       22       Canada     4       7       International     7       6       Total     42       35       In Canada, term contracted rigs normally generate 250 utilization days per year because of the seasonal nature of well site access. In most regions in the U.S. and internationally, term contracts normally generate 365 utilization days per year. Drilling Activity The following chart outlines the average number of drilling rigs that we had working or moving by quarter for the periods noted.   Average for the quarter ended 2020   Average for the quarter ended 2021     Mar. 31     June 30     Sept. 30     Dec. 31     Mar. 31     June 30     Sept. 30   Average Precision active rig count:                                                       U.S.   55       30       21       26       33       39       41   Canada   63       9       18       28       42       27       51   International   8       8       6       6       6       6       6   Total   126       47       45       60       81       72       98   According to industry sources, as of October 20, 2021, the U.S. active land drilling rig count has increased 98% from the same point last year while the Canadian active land drilling rig count increased by 110%. To date in 2021, approximately 78% of the U.S. industry's active rigs and 56% of the Canadian industry's active rigs were drilling for oil targets, compared with 80% for the U.S. and 54% for Canada at the same time last year. Capital Spending Capital spending in 2021 is expected to be $74 million and includes $51 million for sustaining, infrastructure and intangibles and $23 million for expansion and upgrades. We expect that the $74 million will be split $68 million in the Contract Drilling Services segment, $5 million in the Completion and Production Services segment and $1 million to the Corporate segment. At September 30, 2021, Precision had capital commitments of $137 million with payments expected through 2023. SEGMENTED FINANCIAL RESULTS   For the three months ended September 30,     For the nine months ended September 30,   (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars) 2021     2020     % Change     2021     2020     % Change   Revenue:                                               Contract Drilling Services   226,957       150,773       50.5       613,032       682,060       (10.1 ) Completion and Production Services   28,143       14,443       94.9       81,354       53,631       51.7   Inter-segment eliminations   (1,287 )     (394 )     226.6       (2,741 )     (1,626 )     68.6       253,813       164,822       54.0       691,645       734,065       (5.8 ) Adjusted EBITDA:(1)                                               Contract Drilling Services   55,384       51,594       7.3       163,118       236,940       (31.2 ) Completion and Production Services   5,479       3,945       38.9       17,533       5,960       194.2   Corporate and Other   (15,455 )     (7,768 )     99.0       (51,760 )     (34,760 )     48.9       45,408       47,771      .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 21st, 2021

Toyota (TM) Bets High on U.S. Electric Future With $3.4B Investment

Toyota's (TM) latest investment will likely usher an era of more affordable EVs for the U.S. consumers. Toyota Motor TM recently announced the decision to invest $3.4 billion (380 billion yen) for automotive battery development and production in the United States through 2030.The investment, which comes through Toyota’s North American arm, also involves the plan to establish a new company and build an automotive battery plant in the United States, in collaboration with Toyota Tsusho. The plant, anticipated to enter production in 2025, involves an outlay of $1.29 billion for expansion until 2031, resulting in the creation of 1,750 new jobs.The venture will initially focus on producing batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (EVs). The new company's activities will also include aiding Toyota in enhancing its local supply-chain network and production expertise related to lithium-ion automotive batteries. Specific details of the project, including the location, production capacity and business structure, are yet to be revealed by the automaker. With the aggravating climate-change concerns, automakers across the globe have been revving up their EV efforts in order to roll out more environmental-friendly vehicles on the road. The development of batteries used to power EVs has become crucial in order to decarbonize the global economy. Global automakers have enhanced their investments in battery production as they compete with the EV behemoth Tesla TSLA. General Motors GM is committed to its goal of providing completely carbon-free transportation, and has pledged to invest $35 billion in EVs and autonomous vehicles by 2025. Last month, Ford F announced plans to spend a whopping $11.4 billion with South Korea’s SK Innovation to build battery and EV plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.Amid this changing scenario, Toyota has also been a pioneer in the mass production of solid-state batteries, revolutionizing the EV space. The latest investment is part of the global total of $13.5 billion (1.5 trillion yen) earmarked by the Japanese auto biggie last month for investment in battery development and production through 2030. Moreover, the latest project is expected to help Toyota advance its climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality in a sustainable manner.  Also, the investment is expected to usher an era of more affordable EVs for U.S. consumers.Toyota’s Electrification PushToyota has been the king of hybrid vehicles since the introduction of its popular Prius compact vehicle. It has also been investing in fuel-cell vehicles like the Mirai, and sells the UX300e in Europe and China. However, the auto giant has been relatively slower in the adoption of EVs into its line-up, and has no pure-electric offerings at the moment. Nonetheless, the automaker is set to roll out its first all-electric line-up next year in an attempt to quell criticism that it has been slow to shift to electric cars. The automaker plans to build about 70 hybrid or electric models by 2025, of which 15 will be fully electric. Also, Toyota targets to sell 8 million partially or fully electrified vehicles by 2030, of which about 2 million will be battery-powered cars and fuel-cell vehicles, while the other 6 million will be gasoline-electric hybrids or plug-in hybrids.The auto giant also intends to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more. It anticipates to achieve this goal by working on the raw materials used in the production of batteries and the way the battery cells are structured. The automaker also plans to optimize the power consumption of these batteries by 30%, starting with its upcoming compact SUV model — Toyota bZ4X. It aims to set up a total of 70 EV battery lines by 2030, capable of producing 200-gigawatt hours of battery power.  Further, to cater to the surging demand for clean energy vehicles in the United States, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company targets EVs to account for nearly 70% of its U.S. sales by 2030, up from almost 25% currently. The company expects it will sell as many as 1.8 million electrified vehicles in the United States by 2030, including the zero-emission models.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 19th, 2021

The 5 best cordless vacuum cleaners of 2021 - and Dyson didn"t make the cut

Battery-powered vacuums save you from having to look for a convenient outlet when cleaning. These are the best cordless vacuum cleaners in 2021. Connie Chen/Insider Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Cordless vacuums are convenient, but they shouldn't sacrifice cleaning power or comfort. The Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless Vacuum picks up all kinds of particles on a variety of surfaces. It reaches low and deep under furniture and has a cleaning path light. It's also reasonably priced. Compared to a clunky corded vacuum, a sleek cordless stick vacuum is a lot more convenient. Cordless vacuums tend to be lighter and more compact, and they don't have a long cord to trail behind you or trip you up. While the downside is that they have a limited battery life, we still love cordless vacuums for making the dreaded task of cleaning a bit easier - maybe even enjoyable. As with any other type of vacuum, the cleaning ability and suction power of a cordless vacuum are top considerations. The best cordless vac for most people should handle all kinds of small particles on a variety of surfaces, from smooth hardwood to thick carpet. Some cordless vacs are better suited to pick up pet hair or excel on hardwood floors, so it's also important to think about where and when you'd use your vacuum the most, and shop accordingly. Josh Mutlow, the Design Manager at Dyson, said, "The motor, cleaner head, cyclone, and filtration are the main key technologies that achieve the essential jobs of a vacuum cleaner." "Some [other] basic things to consider when you begin your search are the vacuum's dimensions, weight, canister size, and how long the cordless vacuum can run between charges," said Chris Doscher, a rep for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.Learn more about the differences between corded and cordless vacuums, additional features to consider, and vacuum FAQs. For our first major rewrite of this guide, we tested seven cordless vacuum models and landed on the top five. We're planning to test many more down the line. Here's how we tested the contenders on cleaning ability, ease of use, and battery life.Here are the best cordless vacuum cleaners in 2021Best cordless vacuum overall: Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless VacuumBest cordless vacuum on a budget: Hoover OnePWR Evolve Pet Cordless VacuumBest cordless vacuum for pet owners: Tineco Pure One X Smart VacuumBest cordless vacuum for hardwood floors: LG CordZero A9 Compressor Stick Vacuum with Power MopBest cordless vacuum for carpet: Hoover OnePWR HEPA+ Vacuum The best cordless vacuum overall Connie Chen/Insider The Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless Vacuum is a strong performer all around, picking up particles of most sizes on a variety of surfaces in a smooth and efficient fashion. We also love the light that illuminates your cleaning path and the flexible hose that lets you reach under low spaces better than any other cordless vac.Cleaning head size: 10.24 inchesWeight: 7.17 poundsDust bin capacity: 0.34 gallonsFilter type: Washable HEPA, no extra filters includedBattery life: 25 minutes Wall mount: No Attachments: Crevice tool, pet multi-tool, anti-allergen brushWarranty: Five years on parts and laborPros: Versatile, strong suction, cleaning path light, great for under-furniture cleaning, comes with attachments Cons: Loud and high-pitched noise, thick grip that may be uncomfortable for small hands, weaker on high-pile carpet and rug  This Shark vacuum isn't perfect and we can't guarantee it'll pick up every size particle you throw its way, but it gets pretty close and has the best overall cleaning performance of all our contenders. On hardwood and tile, it picked up every last bit of flour, cat litter, ground coffee, and dog hair with no problem, and it was the best at sucking up whole Cheerios (most of the other vacuums just pushed these large crumbs around). On a high-pile rug, it had a little difficulty moving back and forth smoothly, so you should only get this vacuum if you have low-pile rugs and carpeting, or if you're okay with buying a second vacuum for your carpet. It has a thick grip and somewhat heavy dust bin, making it a bit uncomfortable to use for long cleaning sessions. However, several other features make up for the slight discomfort. There are distinct settings for hardwood and carpet located near the grip and they're easy to slide between. There's also a power boost trigger that you can hold down whenever you need some extra suction power. Rolling the cleaning head around hardwood and tile feels very smooth and soft, instead of clunky and abrasive. The cleaning head also has two useful features: a light that shows you exactly what you're cleaning and highlights small particles you might've otherwise missed, and a green alert button that turns red when a blockage occurs, so you can address the problem right away. My favorite part of using the vacuum is how low and flat it can get. In other cordless vacuums, the stick can't be moved or repositioned, meaning you still have to bend down to reach under furniture. The Shark has a great design where you click a button in the middle of the stick and it bends into a flexible hose "elbow," allowing the entire bottom half of the stick to lay flat and get under beds, couches, chairs, and other tricky spots. Instead of bending my knees or waist, I could just drop my arm and continue cleaning with little disruption. The best cordless vacuum on a budget Connie Chen/Insider This affordable Hoover vacuum impressed us with its quiet but strong cleaning power. It feels light and easy to maneuver since the dust bin is located at the base of the vacuum, though this design also prevents you from cleaning under low spaces.Cleaning head size: 11 inches Weight: 8.2 poundsDust bin capacity: 0.3 gallons Filter type: Washable HEPA, no extra filters included Battery life: 30 minutes Wall mount: No Attachments: NoneWarranty: Three years on parts and laborPros: Quiet, cleans well on all surfaces, less tiring to use because dust bin is located at base of vacuum, large dust bin Cons: Doesn't come with attachments, dust bin location means you can't get under low spots, a little heavy You won't compromise cleaning ability and price in this budget-friendly vacuum. Though it may not come with bells and whistles like a storage dock and extra attachments and batteries, it picks up most small and fine particles effectively on carpet, hardwood, and tile. Faced with Cheerios, its performance is disappointing and it merely pushes the cereal around, so you'll be better off sweeping up with a broom. But for all other materials, the vacuum does an easy and thorough job. The vacuum is on the heavier side compared to others, but it doesn't feel like it because the dust bin is located near the cleaner head, rather than the handle. This makes vacuuming feel more comfortable and less tiring. It's also really quiet and smooth as it cleans, and you can barely tell it's picking small particles up (rest assured, it is). The dust bin placement does have its drawbacks. It obstructs access to low spaces under furniture, so you'll need to figure out another way to clean under your bed and couches. In addition, the power and various mode buttons are located on top of the dust bin, so you need to bend down any time you want to turn your vacuum on and off or change modes. Still, I loved this vacuum for its consistent and reliable cleaning ability, reasonable battery life (that's actually longer than the Shark's), and quiet motor. If you don't want to spend more than $200 or you only need a basic vacuum, this vacuum will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Along with our other Hoover pick in this guide, it's part of Hoover's ONEPWR collection, which was a 2020 Product of the Year winner.  The best cordless vacuum for pet owners Connie Chen/Insider Owners of constantly shedding pets will benefit from the lightweight yet powerful Tineco Pure One X, which picks up fine pet hairs from floors with its standard cleaning head, but also comes with attachments to get hair off of furniture, car seats, and delicate decor.Cleaning head size: 8.4 inches Weight: 3.5 pounds Dust bin capacity: 0.1 gallons Filter type: Washable HEPA, one extra filter included Battery life: 30 minutes Wall mount: YesAttachments: Mini power brush, crevice tool, dusting toolWarranty: 2 years on parts and labor of vacuum; 1 year on parts and labor of accessories and batteryPros: Really light, quiet, regular cleaning head and attachments all work well with fine pet hairs Cons: Small dust bin, feels a little cheap, weaker on high-pile carpet and rug  For the pet hair portion of the test, I spread clumps as well as individual hairs of my friend's Pekingese dog over various surfaces. All the vacuums I tested actually did a thorough job of picking up these long, fine hairs, but the Tineco stood out for its super lightweight and useful attachments. As any pet owner knows, you spend a lot of time picking up after your constantly shedding pets, which is why we recommend a vacuum that's comfortable to carry around and comes with specialized tools for those especially stubborn bits of hair.The Tineco has the smallest cleaning head and dustbin of our best picks, so you might need to empty it out a few times if you're cleaning a large house. However, the light weight and easy maneuverability more than make up for it. While you must press down the trigger every time to start the vacuum, there's a locking mechanism you can use if you don't want to hold a trigger the whole time. I knew exactly when I picked up dirt, hair, and other particles because there's a ring that lights up red when the vacuum is sucking up something and turns blue once the cleaning path is clear again. This vacuum also has a cleaning head light to illuminate your path. It's generally pretty quiet, but I noticed the wheels squeaked a little from time to time. The attachments also make cleaning pet hair from every surface other than your floor more manageable. The mini power brush is strong and goes deep into fabric upholstery and mattresses to pick up particles and hair you didn't even know were there, while the dusting tool lets you pick up errant hair sitting on shelves and blinds. The crevice tool fits into the cracks and crevices of your car, so you can take your pet on car trips without dreading the clean up afterward. It was when I was wriggling around my car seats that I really appreciated the light and compact design of the Tineco. The combo of convenience and suction power made the process so much faster, easier, and more comfortable. This vacuum is technically a "smart" one — it pairs with an app to provide cleaning performance information and maintenance reports, but I personally didn't find it useful and the vacuum itself is enough reason to justify the purchase. The best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors Connie Chen/Insider The LG Cordzero A9 is a vacuum that can turn into a mop, letting you clean your hardwood floors gently but thoroughly with just one appliance. It shines when cleaning super tiny particles like flour.Cleaning head size: 10.2 inches Weight: 5.95 pounds Dust bin capacity: 0.26 gallons Filter type: Washable HEPA, one extra filter includedBattery life: 35 minutes, one extra battery includedWall mount: YesAttachments: Power mop nozzle, combination tool, crevice tool, cleaning brushWarranty: 1 year on parts and labor of vacuum; 10 years on parts of smart inverter motorPros: Fairly light, adjustable stick, easy-to-use mop feature, comes with extra battery Cons: Struggles with large particles like Cheerios, disposal method could be more sanitary  This LG cordless vacuum is a sleek and beautiful model that gives you an all-in-one cleaning solution. In addition to the vacuum itself, you get tons of extra accessories like a wall mount, extra battery, and the unique Power Mop nozzle. It was one of the best performers in our flour test and picked up every last bit of flour on hardwood and tile, even in the cracks. It also did really well on high-pile rug, sucking flour out of the tall, loose loops. The only challenge might be with large particles like Cheerios; you'll have better luck picking those up with a manual sweep. For a truly thorough clean of your hardwood floors, the Power Mop nozzle is very useful. The process involves wetting and attaching the soft mop pads (the pack comes with four total), filling the water tank in the nozzle, and choosing the setting for more or less water. Then, when you start the vacuum, it starts to slowly spin the mop pads instead of activating suction. They're gentle and won't damage your floors. The attachment also has a built-in light so you can see what you're mopping. The vacuum is on the lighter side of all those we tested, and it has a comfortable grip. There's no trigger, just an on/off button. The stick and cleaning head pivot smoothly, and you can extend or shorten the stick depending on your height and how far you need to reach the vacuum. While I liked all the cleaning capabilities of the vacuum, the dust bin disposal design could be more sanitary. After clicking open the bottom of the bin, there's a lever that you push down to release the bin's contents. The problem is that the contents sometimes don't come out quickly, and you have to shake the bin quite a bit or reach inside. Other times, they spill out immediately. Either way, it's not a pleasant experience and we recommend wearing gloves when dealing with the dust bin after your cleaning session. The best cordless vacuum for carpet Connie Chen/Insider The Hoover HEPA+ vacuum has all the advantages of a trusty bagged vacuum cleaner: large cleaning head, large dust bag capacity, and powerful suction that easily takes on high-pile carpet and rug.Cleaning head size: 13 inchesWeight: 10.2 pounds Dust bin capacity: 2.25 gallons Filter type: HEPA filter bag, one extra filter includedBattery life: 25 minutes, one extra battery includedWall mount: NoAttachments: NoneWarranty: 3 years on parts and labor of vacuumPros: Powerful, can cover a lot of area, bagged design is more sanitaryCons: Heavy, can't reach under low spacesThe Hoover HEPA+ bears the most resemblance to a traditional corded vacuum. The only difference is the cord-free convenience. It's an all-around powerful performer and cleaned everything from finely ground coffee to grainy cat litter almost perfectly, every single time. And whereas I could tell some of the vacuums struggled on high-pile rug, the Hoover HEPA+ rolled over the rug smoothly and got deep between the rug fibers. The large cleaner head and bag make the vacuum heavy and unable to clean under low spaces. Plus, it's loud. But since the bag is so big, it'll take a long time before you have to replace it, and you can just throw it away directly without interacting with all the dust and other bits. Hoover also throws in an extra bag for you. The vacuum's power switch and two mode buttons (carpet and hardwood) are located at the large and ergonomic handle. The vacuum will also stop running if you bring it back to the upright standing position. Like a few of our other top picks, the cleaning head has a built-in light to show your cleaning path. Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't come with attachments, so you'll need to supplement it with a handheld vacuum for your other needs. As a main vacuum for a large house with lots of ground to cover, it's a reliable choice. What else we tested Connie Chen/Insider What else we recommend and whyDyson V11 Torque Drive ($359.99, currently out of stock): This Dyson model is powerful, reasonably priced, and has a long battery life (around 60 minutes on Eco mode). As a newer Dyson vac, it has a special LCD screen that lets you know exactly how much battery you have left on each mode (Eco, Normal, Boost). Because you must hold down a trigger to start the vacuum, it can be tiring on your hands. Dyson V11 Animal ($599.99): Based on testing from my colleague James, the V11 Animal is another great choice for picking up pet hair. It costs a lot more than the Tineco, it's less comfortable to hold, and the battery life is short, but it does do a thorough job at sucking up all kinds of pet hair on a variety of surfaces. What we don't recommend and why Dyson V11 Outsize ($799.99): For most households, this large and heavy vacuum is probably overkill. Though it has a great battery life (around 72 minutes on Eco mode), it's uncomfortable to hold and use for that long. In our testing, the cleaning ability and suction power did not outperform the other contenders. It was also difficult to move back and forth on a high-pile rug. Our testing methodology Connie Chen/Insider 1. Vacuuming ability: I tested each of the vacuums against five materials (flour, ground coffee, cat litter, whole Cheerios, and dog hair) on three different surfaces (carpet/rug, hardwood, and tile). I scattered half a cup of each material on each surface — resulting in 15 tests for each vacuum — and rated each vacuum on its ability to suck up the material powerfully, cleanly, and thoroughly. If the vacuum came with attachments, I also tested the attachments on appropriate surfaces (e.g. crevice tool on furniture cushions and car seats) and rated their effectiveness. An example of one of the test results:Cat litter testCarpetHardwoodTileShark Anti-Allergen Cordless Vacuum3/5: Powerful and thorough, but could only push forward. Got stuck when I tried to move backwards5/5; Sucked up all particles completely and quickly, cat litter did not fall back out of cleaning head5/5; Sucked up all particles completely and quickly, cat litter did not fall back out of cleaning head2. Battery life: I used each vacuum until its battery died and compared the actual battery life to the advertised battery life. 3. Comfort and ease of use: I noted the ergonomics of each vacuum: how tiring it is to hold, how easy it is to maneuver, and the effort required to activate the power button. I also noted whether it could fit under low spaces and any additional helpful features like a headlight to illuminate your cleaning path. 4. Disposal method: I evaluated the cleanliness and ease of emptying the dustbin after a cleaning session. How is the bin opened? Do I have to reach inside and touch dirt and dust that didn't empty out completely? 5. Storage: I noted how the vacuum breaks down into multiple parts and whether it comes with a wall mount or docking station. 6. Warranty and customer service: I registered each vacuum, noted warranty terms, and spoke to customer service reps to evaluate the ease of registration and quality of service. What we're testing next Walmart Eufy HomeVac S11 Go: We love Eufy's robot vacuums and we're interested in seeing how its cordless vacs compare. It has a lightweight body, powerful suction, and 40-minute run time, and it's reasonably priced for everything you get (a wall mount and attachments are also included). Roborock H6: This vacuum is efficient, quiet, and easily maneuverable, though some reviewers say it doesn't do well on tile so we're looking to test that directly. It has a five-stage HEPA filter purification system and a 90-minute advertised battery life. What to consider when buying a cordless vacuum The dust bin is often located at the top of a cordless vacuum, a design that lets your vac reach under low spaces but can also become tiring to hold. To power your vacuum, you may need to hold down a trigger or simply press an on/off button. Connie Chen/Insider Cordless vacuum vs corded vacuum: how do they compare? Cordless vacuumCorded vacuumPower sourceRechargeable batteryElectrical outletWeightLighter; 3-8 pounds on averageHeavier; 8-15 pounds on averageSizeMore slim and compact; width of 10 inches on averageLarger; width of 14 inches on averageNoiseUsually more quietLouderPriceUsually more expensive; $200-$300 on averageMore affordable; $75-$150 on averageFeatures to look for in a cordless vacuum Weight/distribution of weight: A cordless vacuum will feel heavier or lighter, and less comfortable or more comfortable, depending on where the bulk of the weight is. To allow for better flexibility and access, brands often place the dust bin near the top and handle of the vacuum. This can make it tiring to use a cordless vacuum over a long period of time. If the bin is placed at the bottom, near the cleaning head, the weight will be less of a burden, but that placement may get in the way of your cleaning. Size: Keep the size of your living space in mind as you shop for a cordless vac. If you live by yourself in a studio, for example, you can look for vacs with smaller cleaning heads and dust bins. Also pay attention to the length of the vacuum and whether it will be comfortable for your height. Some vacuums have adjustable sticks. Battery: Read product info carefully to see whether the advertised battery life refers to that of one battery or multiple batteries. Generally, we've found that advertised battery life is longer than actual battery life. Follow manufacturer directions on how to care for and dispose of batteries. Docking/storage: Cordless vacuums are typically composed of two to three parts that you put together yourself (not including separate attachments). This design also makes it easy to store your vacuum in a compact space. Some vacuums may come with a wall dock or mount, so you can hang your vacuum on the wall. Inclusion of other cleaning tools: Consider whether you might need additional attachments, such as a crevice tool or dusting brush. These may come with your vacuum, or can be available for separate purchase. Warranty: Look for a one year warranty (at minimum) on both parts and labor of your entire vacuum. Beyond that, the manufacturer may offer additional warranties on specific parts like the motor. Once you receive your vacuum, register it online to speed up the warranty process later. If you're comfortable shopping for a vacuum in the store, "there's no substitute for trying it out and seeing for yourself how it operates. Ask the retailer if you can turn on the vacuum and try it out before you make a choice," said Doscher. The best time to buy a cordless vacuumCordless vacuums tend to be more expensive than corded ones. The good news is that most brands discount their cordless vacuums around Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Weekend. We typically see discounts of $50 to $200 off Dyson, Hoover, and Shark cordless vacuums. If you're able to wait, your patience will pay off in big savings. Cordless vacuum FAQs Here's your sign to check and clean your vacuum filter. Connie Chen/Insider Are cordless vacuums worth it?In a word, yes. Cordless vacuums offer flexibility and ease of use that you just can't get from a corded vacuum. Modern cordless vacuums can be every bit as powerful as corded models, and allow you to effortlessly move from room to room without worrying about cords or outlets. They're also usually slimmer and quieter than corded models.How often should you clean and change your vacuum filter? The guidance varies model by model and there are different kinds of filters (cartridge, disk, foam, cloth), so you should check your product manual. Generally, you should wash and dry it when you notice a smell or if you observe a decline in vacuum performance. Some vacuums will also alert you when you need to change the filter. A clean filter is important for effective cleaning; a dirty filter restricts airflow and decreases suction power. Which cordless vacuums are allergy- or asthma-friendly? Look for cordless vacuums with HEPA filters, which are recommended for allergy and asthma sufferers. Without a HEPA filter, these small particles are likely to be released back into the air after being sucked up. All the vacuums we recommend are equipped with HEPA filters. What does a HEPA filter do? A true HEPA filter traps and removes at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. According to the EPA, 0.3 microns is the most penetrating particle size, so this specification refers to the worst case. If the particle is larger or smaller than 0.3 microns, it will be trapped with even higher efficiency. Why is my vacuum's battery life decreasing?If your vacuum's rechargeable battery is made from nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) or nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH), then it can experience "memory effect." Memory effect happens if you charge the battery when there's still some power left. Your battery starts holding less charge over time because it "remembers" how full it was the last time you charged it and won't charge past that point the next time. Even though the original power of the battery is the same, the maximum battery voltage has decreased. To prevent memory effect, you should drain your nickel-based battery completely before charging it. Lithium-ion batteries do not experience this effect. What's the difference between amps, watts, and volts? Which one matters most for cordless vacuums? Amps, watts, and volts are related to each other. Amperage is the electrical current (or volume of electrons), wattage is the rate of power flow (or how much power the motor is using), and voltage is speed at which electrons pass a specific point within a closed circuit (or the amount of power needed to support an electrical current). Watts = volts x amps. A high wattage means the vacuum will use a lot of energy, and thus more battery. Since the type of motor can also affect vacuum power, high wattage doesn't automatically equate to a powerful vacuum. Instead, you should focus on suction. "The motor is at the heart of driving the performance of a vacuum cleaner. The motor takes electrical power from the power source and converts it into mechanical power, or suction. So, the more powerful your motor is, the more air you're able to pull through the machine," said Mutlow.  We've decided to leave quantitative specs like wattage and voltage out of our reviews because they're not useful as standalone numbers. Instead, we focused on suction and evaluated that based on how well the vacuums sucked up different kinds of particles. Glossary Connie Chen/Insider HEPA: Stands for high efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter traps and removes at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns and can be found in air purifiers and vacuums. Whole machine filtration: The entire machine is sealed to prevent unfiltered particles from escaping. All air passes through the filter before it is expelled. Dustbin: Where all the dust, dirt, and hair are stored as you vacuum. The dustbin should be emptied out into the trash after you're done cleaning. Brush roll: A cylinder with bristles located in the cleaning head that rotates and helps release dirt from carpets and rugs. The bristles of a brush roll may leave scratches on hardwood and tile, so you should turn off the brush roll if possible. Replace your brush roll when the bristles wear out (like on your toothbrush). Crevice tool: A long, flat attachment with an angled tip. It's good for getting into tight corners including baseboards and stairs and between couch cushions. Dust brush tool: A small attachment with soft bristles. It's good for blinds, windowsills, and delicate objects. Upholstery tool: A wide, flat attachment that allows for strong suction. It's good for furniture with fabric upholstery like mattresses, chairs, and couches. Lithium ion battery: A type of rechargeable battery that uses lithium ions and can store high amounts of energy and deliver higher voltage than nickel-based batteries. It doesn't display memory effect, but it is less stable than nickel-based batteries and has a tendency to overheat. Nickel battery: A type of rechargeable battery that comes in either nickel-cadmium (Ni-Ca) or nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) form. It can store high amounts of energy, is more difficult to damage than Li-ion batteries, and suffers from memory effect. Check out our other guides to great vacuum cleaners iRobot The best robot vacuumsThe best vacuumsThe best affordable vacuumsThe best vacuums for pet hair For cleaning the rest of your floors, check out these guides Shutterstock The best mopsThe best floor cleaners Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 7th, 2021

The 5 best electric scooters of 2021

Electric scooters provide a reliable form of transportation no matter if you're commuting to work or running errands. Here are the best we've tested. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Electric scooters are a convenient and fun way to commute to work or run errands around town. The best electric scooters should have a reliably long battery range and travel at speeds of up to 20-plus mph. Our top pick, the Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4, has a dual-battery design that gets up to 28 miles of range. Electric scooters have gone from curious novelties to a bonafide form of transportation thanks to advancements in tech and the rise of e-scooter rental services like Lime and Bird.And I can't overlook the fact they're just plain fun to ride.But more people have also discovered that owning their own is incredibly convenient - I know I have. Whether it's a quick jaunt to the store, a ride to a friend's house, or just commuting from a distant parking lot to the office, there are numerous times when having an e-scooter has proved incredibly handy for me. If you've been considering buying an electric scooter of your own, I highly recommend it. But the most important question to ask yourself before buying is what you plan to use it for - after that, there are plenty of models that stand out from the crowd. To help, I've compiled the following guide of the best electric scooters I've tested, perfect for a variety of people and use cases.I've also included some insight into how to shop for an electric scooter, as well as how I tested each of the scooters featured in this guide. Here are the best electric scooters of 2021:Best overall: Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4Best on a budget: Gotrax XR UltraBest for commuters: Xiamoi Mi M365 Best for performance: Outstorm Maxx Ultra High-SpeedBest for kids: Razor E100 How I test electric scooters Each of the electric scooters in this guide went through a series of tests to determine how well they compared against these four categories: Range, portability, versatility, and value. Here's how I specifically considered each category while testing:Range: Most electric scooters are defined by the range they're capable of delivering, and this is the top factor to consider. To test this, we compared the on-paper range to how it fared in real-world tests. Where range begins to take a hit on almost every model is when you start riding uphill or traveling at its top speed for extended periods of time (and we've noted in the review of each model where this was the most significant).Portability: Being able to easily transport a scooter is a vital consideration for anyone living in an apartment building or someone who plans on commuting part of the way on a scooter. Portability means not just how much it weighs but whether it folds up and is easy to carry. Versatility: Versatility also means that a scooter can handle a wide range of uses, from fun rides to commuting to running errands. Judging a scooter's versatility meant seeing if it was capable of operating outside of its typical use case (within a set of safe parameters, of course).Value: Value is a combination of the three categories above and how it relates to what it actually costs. This can often mean that it's better to spend a little more on a quality scooter designed to last and function properly, as opposed to spending less on something you'll need to replace more often.  The best electric scooter overall Segway For excellent all-around performance, including good range and speed, the Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4 is a great option for riders looking for a versatile, easy-to-use model.Pros: Up to 28 miles of range on a single charge, features a dual-battery design, large wheels allow for very minimal offroad travel, speeds up to 18 mphCons: Long battery recharge timeThe Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4 has been on the market for several years and yet, it remains one of the top all-around models. Not only does it offer a solid and accurate range of 28 miles on a single charge, it can also hit top speeds in excess of 18 mph.That level of performance is due in part to its dual-battery design. Equipped with both a built-in and removable power cell, the ES4 provides good versatility when it comes to staying charged, too. The ES4's solid 8-inch wheels allow it to roll over large obstacles and provide a smooth ride on a variety of surfaces. Front and rear shock absorbers increase the level of comfort and help smooth out your commute. That's especially important when zipping along at top speed, which tends to amplify every bump in the road. Fortunately, the ES4 offers a relaxing and fun ride across a variety of terrain.Other nice features include a front-facing LED light, as well as user-customizable lights on the side and undercarriage to aid in visibility in lowlight conditions. A small, but easy to read, LCD screen displays current speeds and the battery's charge level, while electric and mechanical braking systems allow for a good sense of control. This model even folds down nicely for easy transport and comes with IPX54 water resistance for use in poor weather conditions. Because the ES4 uses two batteries to keep it running at such a high level, it takes a little longer than some other models in this guide to recharge. It can take more than six hours to power this scooter up to its full capacity, which can require a bit of planning depending on your needs. The ES4 can function as a traditional kick scooter in a pinch, though. Although there are other options that cost less, few of them offer the same level of performance and convenience in such a well-designed package as the ES4. The best budget electric scooter Amazon The budget-friendly Gotrax XR Ultra electric scooter provides good speed and range, along with more than few unexpected features, without putting a major dent in your wallet. Pros: Inexpensive, weighs 27 pounds, sturdy tires, has both disc and electric brakesCons: Limited featuresWhile the top end of the electric scooter market continues to push the envelope in terms of speed, range, and portability, many of those models remain too expensive for the general consumer. As with most products, however, the technology eventually trickles down to price points that are more palatable to the general public, delivering a lot of bang for the buck in the process. Such is the case with the Gotrax XR, a budget e-scooter that offers a level of performance that will meet most people's needs, without making them feel buyer's remorse afterward. The XR Ultra's top speed of 15.5 mph and a max range of 17 miles seems unimpressive when compared to other–more expensive—competitors. But its sub-$400 price tag makes this model a much more approachable option for those looking to dip their toe in the e-scooter waters. Put in other terms, this is the Toyota Camry of electric scooters. It is affordable, reliable, and offers good performance–just don't compare it to a Mercedes S Class. One of the best elements of the XR Ultra is its very smooth and comfortable ride. This scooter glides along at a steady pace, its 8.5-inch inflatable tires rolling over most obstacles with ease. The XR's folding frame and 27-pound weight should make it a favorite amongst budget-conscious commuters as well. In an effort to keep costs down, Gotrax didn't including any kind of suspension, however, which means this model performs best on smooth, paved surfaces. That isn't to say that the XR Ultra doesn't have a good feature set. The scooter comes with both a disc and electric braking systems with regenerative properties. It also includes a bright LED headlight and an LCD screen that displays speed, distance, battery life, and a number of other items. An integrated kickstand is a nice touch, as is the IP54 water resistance rating too. While I think the Gotrax XR Ultra is the best budget e-scooter on the market, it should be noted that there are plenty of other models that are available at a lower price. With those other options, you'll more than likely find yourself having to make compromises in terms of speed, range, and weight in order to save a little cash. The XR Ultra doesn't have any of those glaring compromises, bridging the gap between a truly budget scooter and the more expensive higher-end quite nicely. The best electric scooter for commuters Amazon Lightweight and capable of folding down to a surprisingly small size, the Xiaomi Mi M365 is an electric scooter built specifically with commuters in mind. Pros: Folds down for easy portability, weighs 27 pounds, comes standard with front and rear taillightsCons: Only rated to carry riders up to 220 poundsWhen selecting an e-scooter for use as a daily commuter, I want something that's lightweight and easy to carry around, without compromising on performance. That's exactly what I found in the Xiaomi Mi M365, which manages to provide 18.6 miles of range and a top speed of 15.5 mph while tipping the scales at a shade over 27 pounds. Add in a small battery charger and the ability to fold down to a smaller size and the M365 is easy to recommend to anyone who places an emphasis on portability. And don't let that lightweight fool you, it still has plenty of features packed into its design. For instance, it comes with front and rear lights, wide shock-absorbing tires, and an LED indicator for battery life. It also has a regenerative braking system that feeds power back into the battery, as well as a companion app for customizing settings and tracking distance, speed, and other metrics.This scooter even has a power-saving mode that helps extend the range by limiting the rate of acceleration and its top speed. Turning that mode on also makes the M365 more accommodating to beginners. It's clear Xiaomi put a lot of thought into making the M365 easy to use. This is especially evident in its folding mechanism, which allows it to shrink down to a more compact size in under three seconds. I appreciate that simplicity when entering and exiting trains, climbing stairs, riding elevators, or even taking the M365 in and out of a car trunk. While folding e-scooters are hardly a rarity, the speed and fluidity at which this one operates is a great feature.In order to achieve the M365's relatively low weight, Xiaomi used a minimalist design and a lightweight aluminum frame. Because of this, the scooter is only rated to carry riders weighing up to 220 pounds. The frame itself is plenty durable and can certainly support someone who exceeds that weight limit, but a heavier passenger cuts into performance, reducing both its range and speed.Weight limit aside, the Xiaomi Mi M365 is in a class by itself when used as a daily commuter. Lightweight and easy to carry, it offers a good blend of range and speed and delivers a smooth ride. The best electric scooter for performance Amazon If you're in the market for a fast scooter with long-range, the Outstorm Maxx Ultra-High-Speed is exactly what you're looking for. Pros: Up to 52 miles of range and speeds to 56 mph, maximum weight capacity of 485 pounds, can ride on gravel, dirt trails, and in sandCons: Extremely heavy at 100 poundsWhen moving up to the performance level of the e-scooter market, prices can increase substantially. While the models found at the top end of the scale are indeed fast and powerful, they can also cost several thousands of dollars. The Outstorm Maxx Ultra-High-Speed flirts with a $2000 price tag but ultimately delivers a lot of bang for the buck, striking an intriguing middle ground when it comes to performance and cost. So, what exactly does a performance scooter at this price point have to offer? In the case of the Maxx, it provides a top speed of 56 mph and a range of up to 52 miles. This is achieved thanks to its dual motors, which can produce as much as 3200 watts of power at their highest level of output. It also allows the scooter to carry a maximum weight of 485 pounds and ride not only on paved surfaces but also on dirt trails, gravel, and sand. The Maxx does well on hills too, powering up steep inclines without missing a beat. This scooter features three different speed modes and two power modes, which made it easy to find a good balance between speed and range. A digital readout prominently displays how fast the scooter is currently moving and shows battery life and distance traveled. A regenerative braking system helps feed energy back into the battery throughout the ride, while a bright LED headlight makes riding at night much safer as well. The Maxx also features a hydraulic shock system, 11-inch tires, durable running boards, and electronic cruise control. Of course, all the high-performance components used in the Maxx's construction come at the expense of weight. This model weighs in at a whopping 100 pounds, which means it isn't an especially good choice for commuting. Yes, it can fold down to a smaller size for ease of storage, but that doesn't make it any easier to lift or move around when the battery is dead. Thankfully, with its large 60V power cells, it doesn't run out of juice all that often. In terms of performance scooters, the Outstorm Maxx Ultra High Speed is a relative bargain, offering plenty of speed and range in an attractive package. But it also provides a smooth, comfortable ride as well, both on and off-road. Because it falls into the pricier end of the market, it definitely isn't a model for most people. Riders who are willing to pay the extra money will find that it more than delivers on its promise of exhilarating two-wheeled thrills. The best electric scooter for kids Amazon Built with kids in mind, the Razor E100 is stable, comfortable to ride, and easy to control, while managing to remain nimble and fun. Pros: Offers a stable ride perfect for kids to learn on, easy to maneuver, favors safety over performanceCons: Limited long-term durability, 26-pound weight could be a lot for kids to carry, not many featuresRazor has been designing scooters—both electric and kick models—for a variety of age groups for years. Over that time, the company has learned that the features that you look for in an adult model are quite different than those for kids. While speed and range are of the utmost importance to the former, safety and stability are the chief concerns for the latter. That design philosophy is evident with the E100, an e-scooter that is sure to delight younger riders. The E100 provides a top speed of 10 mph and offers a ride time of about 40 minutes between charges. Yes, the range of this model is measured in minutes rather than miles, which is another departure from the adult scooter market. Forty minutes of continous use is a fairly long time by kid standards, however, providing a reasonable amount of range before the battery runs dry. With its 8-inch pneumatic front tire, the E100 provides a nice, smooth ride. Coupled with the scooter's rear-wheel-drive system, this shifts much of the weight to the back, enhancing stability and balance as a result. Hand brakes and a thumb throttle make learning to ride quick and easy too, making this a scooter even younger kids will feel comfortable on quite quickly. As with any product designed for kids, long-term durability is always in question. To alleviate those concerns, Razor used a steel frame in the construction of the E100, giving it a very solid feel overall. Those materials do end up adding some weight to the scooter, which tips the scales at 26 pounds. By adult e-scooter standards, that is quite svelte but younger kids may find the E100 unwieldy to lug around.  Compared to most electric scooters designed for adults, the Razor E100 doesn't have a lot of features and amenities. Still, thanks to its ease of use and uncomplicated design, kids will find this model a lot of fun to ride around. After all, their goal isn't to commute to and from the office but to ride with friends and enjoy some time outdoors. For that, this is a wonderful choice. How to shop for an electric scooter As the electric scooter market has grown and diversified, there are now a number of categories that help to define it. The most obvious of those categories is whether or not a specific model is designed with kids or adults in mind.Those made for the younger crowd tend to be smaller, less expensive, and slower. They often have less battery life as well, which translates to a shorter range. Conversely, adult scooters are built for, well, adults, and as such, they are larger, faster, and heavier. They also tend to be more expensive. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to choosing an electric scooter, price is one of the major defining factors. At the lower end, you'll find budget models that come with less expensive components, smaller batteries, and slower top speeds. Mid-tier e-scooters typically fall into the commuter segment and offer a nice blend of range and speed, with prices reflecting those upgrades.At the high-end of the market, you'll find performance models that can potentially cost more than $1,000 but are also quicker, more nimble, and have a longer range than their competitors. RangeWhen shopping for an e-scooter of your own, there are some important specifications that you'll want to keep in mind. Probably the most important of those specs is the range a scooter offers. Each scooter manufacturer offers an estimated range for a given model, which is defined as the distance it travels on a single charge. That distance is directly impacted by the size of the battery, the weight of the rider, and the surface type of surface that it is ridden on.The outside temperature can also have an impact on the range, with colder temps drastically reducing the life of the battery. In real-world conditions, you can expect to ride anywhere from 10-40 miles before having to recharge.SpeedAnother defining characteristic of an e-scooter is its top speed. Its actual number varies greatly depending on the model and manufacturers will often boast of speeds in excess of 25 or even 30 mph, although in practice those numbers aren't always accurate.The size of the motor and battery, along with the weight of the rider, each have an impact on the level of performance. This results in many scooters cruising along in the 5-10 mph range, particularly when not riding on a flat, even surface. Still, shoppers are encouraged to consider the top speed of a model very carefully. A faster model may seem more fun, but it can be much more challenging to control. Quicker acceleration and more power can come in handy, particularly for commuters, but safety should be a primary concern as well.Inexperienced riders are encouraged to choose slower, more stable options while still learning to ride. Additionally, faster scooters also tend to burn through their battery life more quickly, reducing range as result. Portability and weightIf you're the kind of owner who plans to just keep your scooter in the garage and only ride it around the neighborhood, then portability probably isn't something you're all that concerned with.Those who plan to use a scooter for commuting should pay close attention to its weight. Lugging it on and off the subway, or up and down several flights of stairs, can be quite a challenge, especially if your particular model wasn't built with that in mind.As with buying a bicycle, the components used in manufacturing an e-scooter have a direct impact on how much it weighs. Budget models tend to have smaller batteries and motors, which of course weigh less than their larger, more powerful counterparts. However, the other components found on these types of scooters often weigh quite a bit more, which keeps the price down but pushes the weight up.More expensive models tend to have a more powerful drivetrain but are made from high-quality, lighter components. The result tends to be a scooter that costs more, performs better, and is easier to carry around. Some electric scooters that have been specifically designed with commuters in mind may even offer the option to collapse down to a smaller size for ease of transport. Scooters that fold up and can be stored in a carrying case or bag have become so common that they now fall into a category entirely of their own.Usually, these types of scooters sacrifice some performance for improved portability, making them very compelling options for those placing a high value on convenience rather than speed or range. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 7th, 2021

Albemarle (ALB) Inks Deal to Acquire Guangxi Tianyuan for $200M

Albemarle's (ALB) acquisition of Tianyuan is a part of its strategy to pursue profitable growth, which is in line with customer demand. Albemarle Corporation ALB recently announced that it has signed a definitive deal to acquire all of the outstanding equity of Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials Co., Ltd. The latter is a lithium converter located in Guangxi, China.Per the agreement, Albemarle will acquire all outstanding equity from Tianyuan's stockholders for roughly $200 million, subject to certain adjustments. Albemarle projects the deal to close in early 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.Tianyuan's operations include a recently-constructed lithium processing plant strategically located near the Port of Qinzhou in Guangxi. The plant has designed annual conversion capacity of up to 25,000 metric tons LCE. It is capable of producing battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. It is currently in the commissioning stage and expected to begin commercial production in the first half of the next year.Albemarle stated that the acquisition of Tianyuan, which owns and operates a newly- constructed lithium processing plant, is in sync with its strategy to pursue profitable growth, in line with customer demand. This will be an important component of its next wave of projects that will boost its conversion capacity in a capital-efficient manner in the coming years.With the rapid global transition to cleaner energy, this added lithium capacity will enable it to help the customers achieve their growth and sustainability ambitions, the company noted.Shares of Albemarle have surged 131% in the past year compared with a 18.2% rise of the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchAlbemarle, in its last earnings call, stated that it expects its performance for full-year 2021 to improve modestly on a year-over-year basis on a sustained recovery in global economic activities.The company expects net sales for 2021 to be between $3.2 billion and $3.3 billion. It sees higher Lithium sales and improving trends in Catalysts. However, expectations for the Bromine business are reduced due to an increase in raw material costs and supply chain disruptions.Moreover, Albemarle now expects adjusted earnings per share for 2021 in the band of $3.35-$3.70, up from its prior view of $3.25-$3.65.Albemarle Corporation Price and Consensus  Albemarle Corporation price-consensus-chart | Albemarle Corporation Quote Zacks Rank & Key PicksAlbemarle currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Nucor Corporation NUE, The Chemours Company CC and Methanex Corporation MEOH.Nucor has a projected earnings growth rate of around 534.4% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged 106.5% in a year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Chemours has an expected earnings growth rate of around 86.4% for the current year. The company’s shares have gained 34.3% in the past year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Methanex has an expected earnings growth rate of around 409.3% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have surged 93.3% in the past year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Nucor Corporation (NUE): Free Stock Analysis Report Methanex Corporation (MEOH): Free Stock Analysis Report Albemarle Corporation (ALB): Free Stock Analysis Report The Chemours Company (CC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 4th, 2021

Commodities" King Sees "Structural Supply-Side Commodity Inflation" Sending Oil To $200

Commodities' King Sees "Structural Supply-Side Commodity Inflation" Sending Oil To $200 As Omicron anxiety fades (and even morphs into talk of the end of the pandemic phase of COVID), oil demand fears have faded and crude prices have ripped back higher, erasing any losses enabled by Biden's SPR Release headlines also... And pushing WTI back up to its highest levels since 2014... So where does oil go next? Oil to $100 Easy, Putin thinks so! It is "quite possible" that the WTI Crude oil prices reach $100 per barrel in light of growing global demand for energy commodities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on a CNBC panel at the Russian Energy Week in October. Asked by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble whether the US benchmark could hit $100 a barrel, Putin replied "That is quite possible." Additionally, Trafigura, one of the world’s largest independent oil traders, affirmed Putin's thinking, noting that recovering global oil demand could send oil prices to $100 a barrel, despite COVID challenges to demand. Oil to $200? Building on that theme, Russian and OPEC ministers warned last year that if the 'Net Zero By 2050' plan is enacted, "we'll see $200 oil." If the world were to follow the International Energy Agency’s controversial road map, which said investment in new fields would have to stop immediately to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, "the price for oil will go to, what, $200? Gas prices will skyrocket," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said. The "euphoria" around the transition to clean energy is "dangerous," Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al Kaabi said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia in June. And after a magnificent year in 2021, commodities trader Doug King, who manages the $244 million Merchant Commodity Fund, said oil could soon hit $100 and even $200 over the next five years due to a lack of exploration and investment to maintain existing supplies. “We believe in structural supply-side commodity inflation that most will not have ever seen -- the highest since the 1970s,” he said in an interview. “Only OPEC will react to price metrics and they are undershooting every month.” As Bloomberg reports, OPEC and its partners are gradually increasing crude output after making deep cuts of almost 10 million barrels a day in 2020 when the pandemic first struck. While the group is meant to be pumping an extra 400,000 barrels a day each month, many of its members are struggling to reach their quotas. “In practice, a lot less oil is making its way to the market,” the Merchant Commodity Fund said in its investor letter. “Its members are simply unable to return to pre-covid levels of output. This is all down to a lack of investment.” Within the 23-nation OPEC+, the “only real spare capacity” resides in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, according to the letter. Even Russia, which leads OPEC+ along with the Saudis, can’t pump much more. “It’s no state secret that Russia is at, or very near, its maximum,” the letter said. “If not next month, then certainly by April it may not have any more barrels to give.” Goldman Sachs is “extremely bullish,” citing low spare capacity among oil producers And in fact, as we detailed previously, a number of traders are already placing bets on oil hitting $100... And even $200... These are bets that WTI will hit $200 by Dec 2022... “I haven’t seen crazy strikes like this in a long time,” said Mark Benigno, co-director of energy trading at StoneX Group Inc., referring to the price in the underlying asset at which the options become exercisable. “The momentum and trend is higher.” And finally, what about Oil to $300? It's possible... as we detailed previously, whether you think global warming is a hoax and no technology has done more to uplift billions of people out of abject poverty than the harnessing of fossil fuels, or you think the burning of fossil fuels is irreversibly destroying the planet and urgent action to halt their use should be the top priority of humankind, or even if you think both of these things, this article is for you. I can assure all sides the following: unless something substantial changes – and soon – the price of oil is going way higher... just ask NatGas buyers in Europe. On an energy-contained-in-oil-equivalency basis, natural gas prices reached the following levels in February: SoCal Citygate: $835 per barrel Chicago Citygate: $752 per barrel Houston Ship Channel: $2,320 per barrel Waha: $1,196 per barrel OGT: $6,919 per barrel Henry Hub: $137 per barrel Agua Dulce: $528 per barrel Sure, the price of natural gas didn’t stay there, but it went there. I use this extreme example to illustrate an important point. Fossil fuels are hugely inelastic commodities. Shortages send prices soaring because they are needed and there are not yet fungible substitutes. Society might hate fossil fuels, it might even hate them for very good reasons, but society is trapped in its need for fossil fuels, at least for the time being. Indeed with quotes like these... “We see a shift from stigmatization toward criminalization of investing in higher oil production.” – Bob McNally, former White House official, “This Time Is Different” Bloomberg May 30, 2021 “From today, halt all investment in new fossil fuel supply projects and make no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants.” – IEA Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 Perhaps $100, $200, $300 crude is not so far away. There is at least one person who is hoping that Doug King is wrong as we wonder just what would happen to the president's approval rating if Gas prices at the pump reached $4 (at $100 WTI) or $7 a gallon (at $200 WTI)... Source: Bloomberg Better start making some more calls Joe? Tyler Durden Fri, 01/14/2022 - 13:32.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 14th, 2022

Top 5 Momentum Picks for January Despite Market Volatility

We have narrowed our search to five large-cap (market capital > $10 billion) momentum stocks that have solid upside left for 2022. These are: XOM, ALB, SCHW, STM and IBKR. Wall Street successfully defeated the pandemic with astonishing performances in 2020 and 2021. However, U.S. stock markets have begun 2022 with volatile trading. Mounting inflation, and the Fed's reaffirmation of doing away with the pandemic-era easy money policies and a possible hike in interest rate after two years dented market participants’ sentiment.Nevertheless, the overall trend of the market will remain northbound based on the strong fundamentals of the U.S. economy. Moreover, a likely end of the pandemic after this winter should be another positive. At this stage, it will be prudent to invest in stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank that have strong momentum for the near-term. Five of them are - Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, STMicroelectronics N.V. STM, The Charles Schwab Corp. SCHW, Albemarle Corp. ALB and Interactive Brokers Group Inc. IBKR.Wall Street Starts 2022 With VolatilityThe U.S. stock market was in negative territory for the first eight trading sessions of 2022. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%, 0.8% and 2.9%, respectively. The small-cap benchmark the Russell 2000 dropped 3.1% during the same time frame.The United States has been suffering from soaring inflationary pressure since the second quarter of 2021. Growing inflation compelled Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to change his view on inflation at the end of last year as he commented that inflation is no longer transitory.The consumer price index (CPI) rose 7% year over year in December 2021, marking its highest monthly rise since June 1982. Excluding the volatile food and energy items, the core CPI rose 5.5% year over year, reflecting the highest monthly gain since February 1991. Several market researchers are concerned that globally the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus globally will make the sagging supply-chain system more disruptive, thereby fueling inflation in the future.Robust U.S. Economy to Drive Stock MarketsIn 2022, the biggest drivers of the U.S. stock markets should be the nation’s strong economic fundamentals. We expect the U.S. economy to become fully operational as the pandemic is expected to reach its peak this winter. Several major investment bankers and money managers have already started removing pandemic-related adjustments from their financial models.The U.S. economy will get more upside from the government’s infrastructure spending. On Nov 15, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan infrastructure bill of $550 billion in addition to the previously approved funds of $450 billion for five years. Total spending may go up to $1.2 trillion if the plan is extended to eight years.The infrastructure development project will be a key catalyst for the U.S. stock markets in 2022. Various segments of the economy such as basic materials, industrials, utilities and telecommunications should benefit immensely with more job creation.Moreover, the White House has put pressure on Congress to quickly pass legislation providing $52 billion to help computer chip manufacturers and ease the shortage of the components vital to many industries.Another near-term driver for U.S. stocks will be fourth-quarter 2021 earnings results. As of Jan 12, total earnings of the S&P 500 Index are expected to be up 19.9% from the same period last year on 11.9% higher revenues. Furthermore, on Jan 10, the Atlanta Fed reported that the U.S. economy grew 6.8% in fourth-quarter 2021.Our Top PicksWe have narrowed our search to five large-cap (market capital > $10 billion) momentum stocks that have solid upside left for 2022. These stocks have seen strong earnings estimate revisions within the last 7 days indicating that the market is expecting this companies to do good  business in the near-term.  Each of our picks carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has a Momentum Score of A.  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks in the past year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchExxon Mobil made multiple world-class oil discoveries at the Stabroek Block, located off the coast of Guyana. XOM has raised the estimate for discovered recoverable resources from the Stabroek Block to approximately 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels.Exxon Mobile’s bellwether status and an optimal integrated capital structure, which have historically led to industry-leading returns make it a relatively lower-risk energy sector play. The integrated oil behemoth expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in its upstream business. By the same time, XOM expects to reduce flaring and methane emissions by 40%.Exxon Mobil has an expected earnings growth rate of 21.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 2.7% over the last 7 days. The stock price of XOM has jumped 46.9% in the past year.The Charles Schwab remains focused on enhancing trading revenues, which have been under pressure for a few years. For this, SCHW continues to undertake several initiatives including lowering its basic online equity and ETF trade commissions to zero and reducing fees for the Schwab market cap-weighted index mutual funds.Further, it launched Schwab Stock Slices, through which investors will be able to own shares of any company in the S&P 500 Index starting at $5 each, even though these shares cost more. These efforts, aimed at building client base and the acquisition of TD Ameritrade, are likely to lead to further improvement in the trading income of Charles Schwab.    SCHW has an expected earnings growth rate of 20.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 4% over the last 7 days. The stock price of Charles Schwab has soared 59.3% in the past year.Interactive Brokers Group operates as an automated electronic broker worldwide. IBKR specializes in executing and clearing trades in securities, futures, foreign exchange instruments, bonds, and mutual funds.Interactive Brokers Group’s efforts to develop proprietary software (including IBKR Lite), its low level of compensation expenses relative to net revenues and an increase in emerging market customers will likely continue aiding its financials. The acquisition of the retail unit of Folio Investments will strengthen IBKR’s position in the online brokerage space.Interactive Brokers Group has an expected earnings growth rate of 5.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 2.3% over the last 7 days. The stock price of IBKR has gained 11.1% in the past year.Albemarle is likely to gain from long-term growth in the battery-grade lithium market. ALB is expected to benefit from its actions to boost its global lithium derivative capacity. Albemarle remains on track with its La Negra III and IV projects.ALB also remains focused on executing its cost-reduction program. Its cost-saving actions are also expected to support margins in 2021. Albemarle should also benefit from the synergies of the Rockwood acquisition. The buyout has provided ALB a complimentary product portfolio.ALB has an expected earnings growth rate of 51.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1.3% over the last 7 days. The stock price of Albemarle has climbed 34% in the past year.STMicroelectronics is a global independent semiconductor company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications.STM operates through Automotive and Discrete Group, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, and Microcontrollers and Digital ICs Group segments. STMicroelectronics’ products are primarily used in telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems.STMicroelectronics has an expected earnings growth rate of 32.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 5.5% over the last 7 days. The stock price of STM has advanced 18.6% in the past year. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM): Free Stock Analysis Report Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): Free Stock Analysis Report Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (IBKR): Free Stock Analysis Report Albemarle Corporation (ALB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

I tried out a luxury autonomous car considered the Chinese rival to Tesla — it was like driving an airplane

Touted as the Chinese rival to Tesla, the new electric car aims to redefine the image of the country's car industry. Nio may be "China's answer to Tesla" due to its innovative strength.NOK The Nio ET7 is being billed as the Chinese Tesla. The design is a joint effort from centers in Munich and Shanghai. It features an impressive interior and is ready for autonomous driving. See more stories on Insider's business page. Often, Chinese car manufacturers don't have the same reputation as those in Western countries. Historically, this has been down to poor production quality and the tendency of some manufacturers to copy European designs. Despite this, China has risen to quickly become one of the leading "car nations" — electric cars have been subsidized by the state in China for years. Electric cars account for a large share of new registrations each year.One manufacturer, Nio — which specializes in autonomous cars — was founded in Shanghai in 2014.The startup is considered "China's answer to Tesla" due to its innovative strength, and it's already produced over 100,000 cars there. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk commended the manufacturer on Twitter for reaching this milestone."Karuun" is a renewable material made mostly out of rattan that should theoretically be as resistant as plastic.NOKI was given the opportunity to take a ride in Nio's new luxury model and to talk to its design chief Kris Tomasson.Tomasson has previously worked at BMW and has also designed private jets, which is clear when you take a moment to appreciate the clean, no-frills finish of the ET7. The hatchback has a cW value of 0.23, but in terms of aerodynamics, it's outperformed by the world champion Mercedes EQS (0.20) and the Tesla Model S (0.208).According to Nio, the exterior design of the approximately 5.10-meter-long sedan was inspired by the distinctive silhouettes of the seventies. The roofline and C-pillar in particular are reminiscent of the Citroën CX or the Rover SD1. Behind the wheel, I felt like I was in an airplane cockpit.NOKAlthough the ET7 is a hatchback, the designers gave it a classic trunk lid."We did without a large tailgate because we wanted to optimize the space available in the interior. At the same time, we didn't want to design a conventional three-box sedan, as that wouldn't have fit the ET7's novel character," Tomasson explained this decision when asked by Business Insider. The model also has to do without a frunk (front luggage compartment). The rear luggage compartment, however, appears quite large at first glance.Record-breaking rear legroomAccording to project manager Tomasson, the in-house Eve study from 2017 served as the starting point for the design process. At first glance, there may be few visual parallels to the extremely futuristic-looking and fully autonomous concept car. The exterior design of the approximately 5.10-meter-long sedan was inspired by the distinctive silhouettes of the seventies.NOKAccording to the designer in charge, however, the proportions have been taken from the production model. With its 3.07-meter wheelbase, the ET7 has a similarly elongated appearance to the study. Together with the short overhangs, it should provide plenty of space in the interior.During my first seat test, I found that Nio wasn't exaggerating when it boasted about leg space — there was considerable room for my legs to the point where I could almost fully stretch them out.According to the manufacturer, the ET7 is even supposed to be the best in this category. The elbow and headrests were also very comfortable, with the latter curving inwards and adapting to the shape of the head.A spokesman for Nio said that the ET7 is "ready for the future," which is evident from looking at the car's exterior, too.NOKThe huge panorama roof, which extends almost all the way to the rear, means that the rear of the car is flooded with light. However, the headroom leaves a lot to be desired due to the steeply sloping roof. At just under 1.85 meters tall, my head was bumping into the roof. Tall people will probably have to slouch in the back seat.Sustainable wood instead of plastic Behind the wheel, I felt like I was in an airplane cockpit. There is a floating center console next to me and a screen displaying digital readouts in front of me. The infotainment system is operated by a 12.8-inch touchscreen mounted on top of the center console.But there's another, much more modern option: Nio itself has developed the NOMI digital assistant, which uses artificial intelligence and the latest version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors.I was also amazed by the attention to detail, which I wasn't expecting from a Chinese car.For example, the window control panels, often standardized by other manufacturers, aren't made of plastic but of metal. They have been beautifully designed.Nio itself has developed the NOMI digital assistant.NOKThe gear selector lever was also individually designed, while the air vents are very thin.Instead of lining the car with plastic, Nio consistently relies on a lighter and much more sustainable material for the interior of the ET7, which the Chinese developed together with German company "Out of space". "Karuun" is a renewable material made mostly out of rattan that should theoretically be as resistant as plastic.A spokesman for Nio said that the ET7 is "ready for the future," which is evident from looking at the car's exterior, too.On the roof, as well as in the mudguard, and on all sides, there are a large number of sensors, cameras, and a lidar. So the sedan is already ready for autonomous driving. Removable batteries and a range of up to 1,000 kilometersThe Shanghai-based manufacturer is also on the cusp of developing another future-critical technology — Nio wants to deliver the 480-kW ET7 in China with a solid-state battery as early as the fourth quarter of 2022. This would be at the same time as the market launch in Germany. The latter is not only lighter and more compact, but also offers a higher energy content. Nio expects the car's battery capacity to be at around 150 kWh, which should be enough for a range of an impressive 1,000 kilometers. In China, the company already operates 400 stations where batteries can be exchanged within a very short time.NOKUnits that have already been delivered can be retrofitted with the innovative battery. In China, the company already operates 400 stations where batteries can be exchanged within a very short time.Whether Nio can actually outstrip them in Europe and the US will depend on whether the Chinese carmakers can shed their cheap image. However, with sophisticated and appealing models like the ET7, this should happen quite quickly.The ET7 will compete with the BMW i5It's no coincidence that the brand has its European headquarters and one of its two design centers in Munich. Nio founder and chief executive William Li anticipates high demand for his cars in Europe. If sales go figures develop well, he hasn't ruled out manufacturing in the EU.Nio founder and chief executive William Li expects strong demand for his cars in EuropeNOKThe brand has targeted the fourth quarter of 2022 for market launch in Germany.While most Chinese manufacturers are trying to gain a foothold in this country with trendy SUV models, Nio is focusing on its new ET7 electric sedan. The high-seat ES8, ES6 and EC6 are likely to follow later.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 6th, 2022

Key Highlights of General Motors" (GM) Showcase at CES 2022

The star of General Motors' presentation at the CES 2022 event was the global debut of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. General Motors GM made a series of announcements aimed at accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in a virtual keynote at the CES 2022 event yesterday.The Detroit, MI-based automaker gave an insight into the major electrification strides it has been taking in its quest to achieve its vision of creating a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.The star of General Motors’ presentation at the event was the global debut of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. Chevrolet finally revealed its first all-electric pickup truck, the 2024 Silverado EV, based on General Motors’ Ultium EV platform and packed with the power and capability expected of Chevy Trucks. This re-imagined pickup truck has the major advantage of being built from the ground up as an EV.The truck will be available in two configurations, an RST First Edition and a fleet-oriented Work Truck (“WT”) model, with both flaunting a cutting-edge mix of performance, capability, technology and style.The first variant to arrive in spring 2023 will be the Silverado EV WT, with the largest battery pack promising a range of 400 miles on a full charge and up to 10,000 pounds of trailering capacity. The WT model boasts of its impressive capability to meet the company’s sustainable transportation goals. It will offer 510 horsepower and 615 lb-ft of torque, 8,000 pounds of towing and 1,200 pounds of payload. After initial launch, Chevrolet plans to roll out a fleet-exclusive model with up to 20,000 pounds maximum trailering. The WT variant will be priced from $39,900 (excluding destination and freight charges) with the standard battery pack.In the fall of 2023, Chevrolet will launch the fully loaded Silverado EV RST First Edition model with a 400-mile range, priced at $105,000 (excluding destination and freight charges). This model, as well as non-First Edition RST variants, will sport 664 horsepower and more than 780 lb-ft of torque, enabling 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 4.5 seconds. On the capability front, the RST will offer up to 10,000 lbs of maximum trailering and up to 1,300 pounds of payload.Customers splurging on the RST First Edition will also get access to features like four-wheel steering, Automatic Adaptive Air Suspension (raises or lowers up to 2 inches/50 mm), Multi-Flex Midgate that expands cargo capability while maintaining seating for a rear row passenger, and Available Multi-Flex Tailgate with power release, to name a few.Both the Silverado EV WT and RST will get standard DC fast charging at up to 350 kW and will offer up to 10.2 kW of offboard power at up to 10 outlets.Other Noteworthy Announcements at the CES 2022Beyond the Silverado EV, Chevrolet noted that it will expand its EV fleet in fall 2023 to include the Equinox EV, an affordable, functional, compact SUV with price starting from $30,000 in the United States. The Equinox EV, which will be launched with both fleet and retail versions, including LT and RS trims, will be built on GM’s Ultium Platform. Along with this, a larger Chevrolet Blazer EV SUV will also hit the markets in 2023. These three Chevrolet EVs aim to take the automaker’s EV game a notch higher and give intense competition to other established EV players.At the CES event, GM’s commercial EV business — BrightDrop — announced the addition of Walmart to its expanding roster of customers. It revealed that it has inked an agreement with Walmart to supply 5,000 EV600 and smaller EV410 electric delivery vans to cater to the retail giant’s growing last-mile delivery network and goal of operating a zero-emission logistics fleet by 2040.BrightDrop also announced the extension of its relationship with FedEx, which has signed an agreement with the former, reserving priority production for 2,000 electric delivery vans over the next few years. This agreement scales up FedEx’s initial reservation of 500 BrightDrop EVs announced last year. Further, FedEx is working on a strategy to add up to 20,000 more units in the years to follow and also has plans to expand its testing of BrightDrop’s EP1 electrified container to 10 markets in 2022.The decision of two major companies to adopt BrightDrop’s electric delivery vans as part of their sustainability goals demonstrates the growing momentum for BrightDrop’s electric delivery solutions.At the showcase, GM’s Cadillac expanded its vision of personal autonomous future mobility with the launch of the InnerSpace concept. InnerSpace expands the Cadillac Halo Concept Portfolio of vehicles with a vision to not only move passengers in a luxurious environment but rev up their well being. The company also gave a video glimpse of future luxury travel with another concept — the OpenSpace — to be introduced later. These two new concepts are building on the PersonalSpace vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, and the SocialSpace personal autonomous vehicle introduced at CES last year. Together, these four represent a potential future for multimodal luxury travel.Apart from this, the company revealed that Cruise remains on track to deliver the first personal autonomous vehicle by mid-decade. Further, the automaker’s first-generation ADAS — Super Cruise — will be made available on 22 models across GM brands by 2023, while Ultra Cruise, which will enable door-to-door hands-free driving, is set to enter production in 2023, with the Cadillac CELESTIQ premium sedan being among the first models to be integrated with the technology.Zacks Rank & Other Key PicksGeneral Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Other stocks in the auto space that investors can consider include -- Fox Factory Holdings FOXF, Genuine Parts GPC and LKQ Corporation LKQ -- all of which carry a Zacks Rank of 2 currently.Fox Factory has an expected earnings growth rate of 16.67% for the fourth quarter of 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by two cents in the past 90 days.Fox Factory’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, delivering an earnings surprise of 15.85%, on average. FOXF has surged 33% in the past year.Genuine Parts has an expected earnings growth rate of 4.61% for the fourth quarter of 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 7 cents in the past 90 days.Genuine Parts’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, delivering an earnings surprise of 15.97%, on average. GPC has surged 33.9% in the past year.LKQ Corp has an expected earnings growth rate of 11.59% for fourth-quarter 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by a penny in the last 90 days.LKQ Corp’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, delivering an earnings surprise of 34.37%, on average. LKQ has rallied 53.9% in the past year. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First To New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Genuine Parts Company (GPC): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report LKQ Corporation (LKQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Fox Factory Holding Corp. (FOXF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 6th, 2022

Cabot (CBT) Gains on Strong End-Market Demand, Acquisitions

Cabot (CBT) benefits from a recovery in demand from the pandemic-led slowdown, its targeted growth initiatives and acquisitions. Cabot Corporation CBT is benefiting from its growth actions, strong demand across regions and end markets and acquisitions.Shares of Cabot, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, have gained 21.5% over a year, compared with the 7% rise of its industry. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCabot should gain from a recovery in demand from the pandemic-led slowdown, its disciplined execution of operations and targeted growth initiatives. It saw strong results in the Reinforcement Materials and Performance Chemical segments in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021. Results in Reinforcement Materials were driven by higher volumes across all regions and strong pricing in Asia. Higher demand in automotive and conductive applications contributed to the upside in Performance Chemical.Cabot, in its fourth-quarter call, said that it sees continued strong end-market demand. It expects to benefit from higher volumes driven by strong forecasted levels of tire production and higher pricing in the Reinforcement Materials segment. In the Performance Chemicals segment, Cabot projects continued demand growth across its broad set of applications, with particular strength in battery materials and inkjet packaging.The company should also benefit from the acquisition of Shenzhen Sanshun Nano New Materials. The acquisition significantly bolsters the market position and formulation capabilities of Cabot in the high-growth batteries market, especially in China. The buyout is also expected to create opportunities to expand Cabot’s position in the rapidly growing energy storage market.Cabot, in Nov 2021, agreed to take over Tokai Carbon (Tianjin) Co., Ltd from Tokai Carbon Group for $9 million. The acquisition of the carbon black manufacturing facility, which was commissioned in 2006, is expected to boost growth of the company’s Battery Materials product line. The Tokai site has a present annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons of carbon black and Cabot’s planned investment will add more steam to the capabilities of battery-grade production.The buyout of Tokai Carbon is in sync with Cabot’s strategy of executing growth opportunities in high-growth and high-performance markets such as battery materials. The investment will enable it to better meet the demand for lithium-ion batteries and run its operations responsibly such that they reduce the environmental impact.However, the company is exposed to challenges from higher raw material costs and supply chain disruptions. It expects higher input costs in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 in the Performance Chemical unit. Higher raw material costs are likely to affect its margins.The company’s Purification Solutions segment also faces headwinds from planned turnaround activities in the fiscal first quarter. It expects higher maintenance costs related to turnaround activities in the quarter.Cabot, in Nov 2021, entered into an agreement to sell the Purification Solutions business to One Equity Partners. The company expects to recognize a pre-tax impairment charge in the range of $155-$165 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 in relation to the sale.Stocks to ConsiderBetter-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Albemarle Corporation ALB, Commercial Metals Company CMC and Olin Corporation OLN. Albemarle, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 49.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB's current-year earnings has been revised 9.2% upward over the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Albemarle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 22.1%. ALB has rallied around 39% in a year.Commercial Metals, carrying a Zacks Rank #1, has a projected earnings growth rate of 10.5% for the current fiscal year. CMC's consensus estimate for the current fiscal year has been revised 6.6% upward over the past 60 days.Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missed once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 7.4%, on average. CMC has rallied around 60% in a year.Olin currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). OLN has a projected earnings growth rate of 4.2% for the current year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Olin's current-year earnings has been revised 5.9% upward over the past 60 days. OLN shares have popped around 106% in a year. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Albemarle Corporation (ALB): Free Stock Analysis Report Commercial Metals Company (CMC): Free Stock Analysis Report Cabot Corporation (CBT): Free Stock Analysis Report Olin Corporation (OLN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 5th, 2022

BMW (BAMXF) Revs Up EV Game With All-Electric iX M60 SUV Debut

Scheduled to hit the markets this June, BMW's (BAMXF) iX M60 boasts 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque and a 0 to 60mph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds. BMW AG BAMXF virtually unveiled its upcoming, higher-performance version of the iX SUV – the M60 – at the CES 2022 yesterday.This is the German automaker’s second electric vehicle (EV) to be released under its racing-inspired M branding after the i4 M50 hit the market last year.This iX M60 is a 6000-pound beast, being the most powerful version of BMW’s iX platform, which combines the company’s flagship iX podium with the M-series nameplate’s focus on performance.Scheduled to hit the markets in June 2022, the iX M60 is integrated with the same massive 111.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack and dual electric motor setup as the standard iX. Nonetheless, while the iXxDrive50 produces 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque, the iX M60 has some impressive specs to flaunt. It boasts 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque and a 0 to 60mph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds when in launch control. Under normal operating conditions, the iX M60 produces 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Further, BMW forecasts a 280-mile range on a single charge for the iX M60 when fitted with its smaller 21-inch wheels. Additionally, the vehicle requires a meager 35 minutes to charge 80% battery power on a commercial DC Fast Charger.The interiors of the M60 are quite similar to other iX models. Still, the iXM60 promises to offer extra passenger comfort, thanks to air suspension and electronically controlled shock absorbers. The company also plans to rollout a whole new software package and advanced driver-assist features with the iX M60. A few features run by the vehicle’s new computing platform are partially autonomous driving and self-parking features.Owing to the boosted power and additional features, the iX M60is priced at $106,095, including a $995 shipping charge, making it approximately $22,000 more expensive than the iX xDrive50.Amid the heightening climate change concerns, automakers worldwide are changing gears to EVs. To keep up with the trending EV revolution, BMW is set for an electric transformation and has geared its manufacturing plants for e-mobility.So far, the German automaker has sold more than one million EVs -- including fully electric and hybrid vehicles. It plans to attain two million sales of purely EVs by 2025. Moreover, the carmaker targets at least 50% of its global sales to be fully electric by 2030.To achieve this goal, the auto bigwig has a raft of new EVs coming out in the next few years. Later this year, the company plans to introduce an electric version of its luxury sedan 5 series and 7 series as well as its entry-level X1 SUV. It commenced the deliveries of the much-awaited i4 electric sedan in Germany last November, with deliveries in the United States are set to begin this year.BMW M, which stands for “Motorsport,” was conceived in May 1972 to support the company’s racing efforts. The M division is also being integrated into BMW’s accelerated attempt to shift from internal combustion engines to green vehicles.With the debut of the latest M series EV, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company plans to take its electrification efforts a notch higher and poses serious competition to other established players in the EV space. This also brings the company one step closer to its carbon-neutrality goals.3 Key Auto PicksInvestors interested in the auto space can consider powering their portfolios with the following stocks -- Fox Factory Holdings FOXF, Genuine Parts GPC and LKQ Corporation LKQ -- all of which carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy) currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Fox Factory has an expected earnings growth rate of 16.67% for the fourth quarter of 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by two cents in the past 90 days.Fox Factory’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters. FOXF has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.85%, on average. FOXF has surged 54% in the past year.Genuine Parts has an expected earnings growth rate of 4.61% for the fourth quarter of 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 7 cents in the past 90 days.Genuine Parts’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters. GPC has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.97%, on average. GPC has surged 41.2% in the past year.LKQ Corp has an expected earnings growth rate of 11.59% for fourth-quarter 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by a penny in the last 90 days.LKQ Corp’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters. LKQ has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 34.37%, on average. LKQ has rallied 69% in the past year. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Genuine Parts Company (GPC): Free Stock Analysis Report LKQ Corporation (LKQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Fox Factory Holding Corp. (FOXF): Free Stock Analysis Report Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BAMXF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 5th, 2022

Albemarle (ALB) Up 39% in 6 Months: What"s Driving the Stock?

Albemarle (ALB) benefits from higher lithium prices and volumes, capacity expansion and cost-saving actions. Albemarle Corporation’s ALB shares have popped 38.7% over the past six months. The rally has resulted in the stock outperforming its industry’s rise of 2.7% over the same time frame. The company has also topped the S&P 500’s 9.5% rise over the same period.Let’s take a look into the factors that are driving this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Going in ALB’s Favor?Albemarle is benefiting from higher volumes in its lithium business on continued recovery in global economic activities. Healthy customer orders and plant productivity improvements are supporting volumes. Higher lithium prices due to tight market conditions are also supporting its performance.  Its bromine business is also gaining from higher demand, a rebound in certain end markets, higher pricing and cost-saving actions. Albemarle is seeing strong demand for flame retardants.The company is also strategically executing its projects aimed at boosting its global lithium derivative capacity. It remains focused on investing in high-return projects to drive productivity. The company is well placed to gain from long-term growth in the battery-grade lithium market.Albemarle is also benefiting from cost-saving and productivity initiatives. Its cost actions are expected to support its margins. The company expects to achieve $75 million of productivity improvement on a year-over-year basis for full-year 2021.The company also remains committed to deliver incremental returns to its shareholders. It has raised its annual dividend for the 27th straight year. Albemarle remains focused on maintaining its dividend payout. It remains committed to maintain adequate financial flexibility with ample liquidity. It had liquidity of around $2 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2021.Earnings estimates for Albemarle have also been going up over the past two months. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has increased around 11.1%. The favorable estimate revisions instill investor confidence in the stock.Other Stocks to ConsiderSome other top-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include The Chemours Company CC, Commercial Metals Company CMC and United States Steel Corporation X. Chemours currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CC's current-year earnings has been revised 9.2% upward over the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Chemours beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 34.2%. CC has gained around 29% in a year.Commercial Metals carries a Zacks Rank #1. CMC's consensus estimate for the current fiscal year has been revised 6.6% upward over the past 60 days.Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing it once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 7.4%, on average. CMC has rallied around 72% in a year.United States Steel currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for X's current-year earnings has been revised 5.9% upward over the past 60 days.United States Steel beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 24.5%. X shares have popped around 32% in a year. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report United States Steel Corporation (X): Free Stock Analysis Report Albemarle Corporation (ALB): Free Stock Analysis Report Commercial Metals Company (CMC): Free Stock Analysis Report The Chemours Company (CC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 4th, 2022