Tesla on Wednesday is expected to report a profit for the fifth consecutive quarter, putting it on track to report its only annual profit since its founding in 2003.
But the company will also face questions about whether the strong sales growth it has enjoyed over the last few years is tapering off.
Analysts believe Tesla’s sales in the United States have already slowed, and they have said it may be suffering from sluggishness in other parts of the world. In China, Tesla has cut prices several times this year and sales of the Model 3 sedans it makes in Shanghai declined slightly in September compared with August and July. In Europe, the company faces growing competition from traditional automakers.
“Tesla is losing ground in Europe to fierce competitors” that have offered more affordable electric models, Vicki Bryan, the chief executive of Bond Angle, a research firm, said in a report. Ms. Bryan also said Tesla’s Model Y hatchback seemed to be taking sales away from the Model 3 rather than adding to the company’s sales.
Tesla said this month that it delivered 139,000 cars in the third quarter. That was about a 50 percent increase from the second quarter, when sales and production were severely hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, last month appeared to temper expectations when he forecast that sales would rise 30 to 40 percent this year, implying a range of 482,000 to 514,000 cars.
Tesla would have to sell 182,000 cars in the fourth quarter to sell more than 500,000 cars for the year. Most analysts expect sales for the full year to fall short of that mark, however. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the company delivered 112,000 cars.
Analysts expect Tesla to report earnings of 55 cents a share for the third quarter, according to a consensus compiled by FactSet. The company earned 50 cents a share in the second quarter, and 78 cents a share in the third quarter of last year.
Tesla’s profits have often been helped by the sale of credits to other automakers who need them to meet environmental regulations. In the second quarter, the company reported $428 million in credit revenue.
While several automakers have introduced electric vehicles, Tesla so far has faced little serious competition. But that could change over the next year or so.
On Tuesday evening, General Motors offered a preview of a battery-powered and technology-packed Hummer pickup truck that it plans to begin selling in about 12 months. The Hummer EV is supposed to go 350 miles or more on a single charge — in line with Tesla’s top models. Cameras embedded all around the truck allow drivers 18 different views of where the vehicle is going and what it is driving over. All four wheels will have the ability to turn, allowing it to drive diagonally, a feature G.M. is calling “Crabwalk.” G.M. promises the truck will be able to charge enough to travel 100 miles in just 10 minutes.
The first edition will start at $112,595. Other editions due in 2022 and later will be available under $100,000.
The Hummer EV is meant to compete with Tesla’s pickup, the Cybertruck, which is supposed to go into production late next year.
U.S. stock futures were little changed on Wednesday, losing earlier gains, suggesting that markets on Wall Street could follow Europe’s benchmark stock indexes lower at the start of trading. Many European indexes declined by more than 1 percent in early trading, as the region’s central bank warned of the risk to Europe’s economy from the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.6 percent. France’s CAC index dropped 0.8 percent, Germany’s DAX index was 0.6 percent lower and Britain’s FTSE index was down about 1 percent. Some stock markets in Asia ended their trading day higher, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index up 0.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index up 0.8 percent.
U.S. Treasury bonds fell, with the yield on 10-year notes rising to 0.81 percent, the highest since June. An index of the dollar fell 0.3 percent as traders weighed the possibility that a stimulus deal could be reached soon in the United States.
Netflix shares were lower in premarket trading after the company reported Tuesday that it had signed up fewer new subscribers last quarter than expected. Stock in Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, surged on its report that it had recorded a big increase in users.
On Tuesday, stocks were whipsawed by conflicting comments about the state of the stimulus talks, but ended the day up half a percent. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “optimistic” a deal could be reached with the Trump administration in the coming days, comments that were followed a few hours later by Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, telling Republicans that he had advised the White House not to strike a deal. Later still, Ms. Pelosi’s spokesman said in talks between her and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, they had found “common ground as they move closer to an agreement.”
Late on Wednesday, Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, said that the surprisingly early resurgence of the virus in Europe, before the winter months, was “not a good omen” and a “clear risk” to the economic outlook.
In England, measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, including restrictions on hospitality, are being introduced to more parts of the country.
The best performing stock in the Stoxx 600 was Ericsson. Shares in the Swedish telecomm company rose nearly 8 percent after Ericsson said it had seen a limited negative impact on its business from the pandemic. It reported a profit for the third quarter driven by demand for 5G in the United States and China.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s major airline, on Wednesday said it would slash thousands of jobs and scrap its subsidiary carrier, Cathay Dragon, in a major restructuring intended to cope with the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the airline industry.
About 8,500 jobs, or 24 percent of the company’s head count, would be cut under the new plan. Of those, about 5,300 Hong Kong employees would be made redundant. Executives would also take pay cuts, and company will also suspend salary raises next year.
“The global pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on aviation and the hard truth is we must fundamentally restructure the group to survive,” Augustus Tang, the chief executive of the company said in a statement.
“We have to do this to protect as many jobs as possible,” he said, adding that the company had already scaled back capacity, frozen recruitment and cut executives’ salaries, but was still burning up to about $260 million monthly. Mr. Tang said he hoped to reduce that to about $65 million under the restructuring, which will begin to take effect immediately.
So far, the pandemic has slashed more than 90 percent of international flights, and it could take until 2024 for passenger traffic to reach pre-Covid-19 levels, according to the International Air Transport Association. Internationally, a number of airlines have canceled routes and cut budgets, while some regional carriers have shuttered completely.
Even before the pandemic, Cathay Pacific was grappling with a drop-off in Hong Kong tourism because of last year’s sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations. Many mainland Chinese passengers avoided the airline because of the perception that some Cathay Pacific employees supported the pro-democracy movement.
The Justice Department accused Google on Tuesday of illegally protecting its monopoly over search and search advertising. The agency accused Google of locking up deals with giant partners like Apple and throttling competition through exclusive business contracts and agreements.
The lawsuit, which may stretch on for years, could set off a cascade of other antitrust lawsuits from state attorneys general. About four dozen states and jurisdictions, including New York and Texas, have conducted parallel investigations and some of them are expected to bring separate complaints against the company’s grip on technology for online advertising. Eleven state attorneys generals, all Republicans, signed on to support the federal lawsuit.
The New York Times is covering developments between the government and Google. Read more about what’s been going on:
U.S. Accuses Google of Illegally Protecting Monopoly
A victory for the government could remake one of America’s most recognizable companies and the internet economy that it has helped define, Cecilia Kang, David McCabe and Daisuke Wakabayashi report.
It’s Google’s World. We Just Live in It.
Googling something was all we once did with Google. Now we spend hours a day using its maps, videos, security cameras, email, smartphones and more, our personal technology columnist Brian X. Chen writes.
Google Up Against Laws That Thwarted Microsoft (and Others Since 1890)
The Justice Department’s antitrust case points to restrictive contracts, a focus that a professor said “is as old as the Sherman Act,” Steve Lohr reports.
What Is Happening With the Antitrust Suit Against Google?
Steve also put together a primer on the case, explaining what the government hopes to achieve and how Google might defend itself.
Google Antitrust Fight Thrusts Low-Key C.E.O. Into the Line of Fire
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google’s parent company for less than a year, already faces the internet giant’s biggest threat in its 22 years, Daisuke explains.
One of the fronts in the Justice Department’s case against Google is a 13-year-old agreement between Apple and Google that has evolved into a multibillion-dollar deal with enormous consequences for both companies and many of their rivals.
When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, Google was the device’s default search engine. In return, Google paid Apple a chunk of the ad revenue it collected from the millions of Google searches conducted on iPhones.
Today that arrangement covers all Apple devices, which now account for nearly half of all Google search traffic, according to the Justice Department’s lawsuit. As a result, Google pays Apple an estimated $8 billion to $12 billion a year, according to the suit. That has made Apple and Google hugely reliant on one another, while edging out other search engines and, according to the U.S. government, protecting Google’s monopoly.
“By paying Apple a portion of the monopoly rents extracted from advertisers, Google has aligned Apple’s financial incentives with its own and set the price of bidding for distribution extraordinarily high — in the billions,” the Justice Department said in its lawsuit.
With billions of dollars on the line, the partnership is critical to both companies.
Google officials said they weren’t aware of the Justice Department’s “Code Red” allegation and that the company’s deal with Apple is no different than Coca-Cola paying a supermarket for prominent shelf space.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Netflix attracted 2.2 million new subscribers for the third quarter, about one million lower than what investors were expecting and short of the 2.5 million Netflix itself had forecast, the company reported Tuesday. Consumer interest in Netflix accelerated earlier in the year as households in lockdown streamed films and shows more than usual, giving the company a record number of new subscribers.
Britain’s postal service, Royal Mail, announced it would start to pick up parcels from residential houses as the country sees a surge in online shopping. It will cost 72 pence per package, or nearly $1, for the service.
Pioneer Natural Resources, a leading shale oil producer, said on Tuesday that it would buy Parsley Energy for $4.5 billion to expand its operations in the Permian Basin, the oil field that straddles West Texas and New Mexico. A day earlier, ConocoPhillips announced that it was acquiring Concho Resources, another Permian producer, for $9.7 billion. These and other acquisitions signal that oil and gas companies are looking for ways to cut costs because they do not anticipate a quick recovery in demand for their products, which tumbled this spring when the pandemic took hold.
Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, said revenue for the third quarter was $678 million, up 52 percent from a year ago, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $559 million. While some analysts had predicted that Snap’s growth would tail off as people returned to school, its number of daily active users rose 18 percent to 249 million. But the company posted a net loss of nearly $200 million in the quarter, narrower than the loss of $227 million a year ago. The company’s stock jumped on the news.
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, told Republican senators privately on Tuesday that he has advised the White House not to strike a deal with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a new stimulus bill before Election Day, cautioning against reaching an agreement that most in the party cannot accept.
Mr. McConnell’s counsel, confirmed by three Republicans familiar with his remarks, threw cold water on President Trump’s increasingly urgent push to enact a fresh round of pandemic aid before he faces voters on Nov. 3. It came just before Ms. Pelosi’s spokesman gave an upbeat assessment of talks on Tuesday between her and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, saying they had found “common ground as they move closer to an agreement.”
Ms. Pelosi had said earlier on Tuesday that she was “optimistic” a deal could be reached with the Trump administration in the coming days. But Mr. McConnell’s remarks underscored the divisions among Republicans that have long hampered a compromise, and which have broken out into an extraordinarily open intraparty feud just two weeks before the election.
Republicans are growing increasingly anxious that Mr. Trump and his team are too eager to reach a multitrillion-dollar agreement and are conceding far too much to the Democrats. They fear that a vote on any large bipartisan stimulus would force colleagues who are up for re-election into a difficult choice of defying the president or alienating their fiscally conservative base by embracing the big-spending bill he has demanded.
Senate Republicans were also concerned that any vote on such a package could interfere with the Senate’s hasty timetable for confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by early next week. Mr. McConnell said he told the White House he was particularly concerned a deal before then could inject unwanted unpredictability into the schedule, according to the Republicans, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss a closed party luncheon.
Mr. McConnell made it clear that he knew his counsel was likely to leak, making reference to the possibility that his remarks could appear in the news media, two of the Republicans said.
A short time later, outside the hearing room where Republicans met privately, Mr. McConnell told reporters the Senate would consider a broad bipartisan stimulus deal if the White House and Democrats struck one. But he would not say if it would hold a vote before Election Day, and members of his leadership team have warned that Republican votes could be hard to come by in the chamber.
“If a presidentially supported bill clears the House, at some point we’ll bring it to the floor,” he said, without elaborating on the timetable.
He made his comments around the same time that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin were speaking by phone, in what Drew Hammill, Ms. Pelosi’s spokesman, described as a productive discussion that would continue on Wednesday. He said her target of reaching a deal by the end of the day had yielded progress.
“Today’s deadline enabled the speaker and secretary to see that decisions could be reached and language could be exchanged, demonstrating that both sides are serious about finding a compromise,” Mr. Hammill wrote on Twitter.
Yet Mr. McConnell was pursuing a different track. He forced a test vote Tuesday afternoon on a narrow measure that would revive the Paycheck Protection Program, a popular small-business loan program. While Democrats support the program, most of them opposed the narrow bill, contending that a far broader package was needed. It received support from a majority of senators, 57-40, but fell short of the 60 votes that most major legislation needs to advance.
Morgan Stanley’s two most senior commodities executives are leaving the firm after the bank caught them using the encryption app WhatsApp against company policy and failing to monitor other employees’ use of unauthorized communication channels, according to a person familiar with the bank’s operations who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The news was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.
An internal review by the bank found that Nancy King, the global head of commodities, and Jay Rubenstein, head of Morgan Stanley’s commodities trading operations, had communicated over WhatsApp and had not stopped their employees in the division from using other platforms that Morgan Stanley has outlawed, the person said.
Neither Ms. King nor Mr. Rubenstein could be reached to comment.
Morgan Stanley found no evidence that anyone in its commodities division had engaged in wrongdoing while using the forbidden communication platforms, the person said.
Nevertheless, the division is being restructured. Its new leaders will be Jay Hallik and Jakob Horder, two executives who oversee fixed income trading at the bank. Ms. King is retiring from the firm, while Mr. Rubenstein is leaving.
The bank prohibits the use of certain apps and devices for communications related to sales and trading because it cannot see what is being said on them. Regulators require banks to monitor their employees’ messages to ensure that they are not doing anything illegal.
In the past, Wall Street traders have used chat platforms to skirt financial regulations. Over the past decade, for instance, authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom have filed criminal charges against major Wall Street banks after their traders were caught using instant messaging apps to make secret deals to manipulate markets in interest rates, foreign currencies and metals.
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