Author: Rachit Vats

AAPL – Apple iPhone Sales In China Picking Up Pace, Expect Continued Strength With iPhone 13 Launch, Says Analyst

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seeing huge demand for iPhones in China, ahead of the expected launch of a newer version sometime next month, Barron’s reported on Wednesday, citing a Morgan Stanley analyst. 

What Happened: Apple’s iPhone shipments in China in July were up 79% on a year-over-year basis, as per estimates by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

While iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the most popular models in China, iPhone 11 sales remain “resilient,” the analyst said. 

The jump in July numbers far outpaced China’s own handset vendors, which saw just a 27% increase over the same period.

Apple’s share of the installed base of smartphones in China grew by 90 basis points in July to 20.7%, a 27-month high. 

The brokerage estimates that both Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies lost market share in China in July while domestic phone makers such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi saw small market share gains.

See Also: How To Buy Apple Stock

Huberty said the demand indicates iPhone can see continued shipment strength after the launch of the new iPhone 13 model this fall.

Why It Matters: China is a key market for Apple. Sales in the region grew 58% to $14.76 billion in the quarter ended June. 

Apple reportedly shipped 7.9 million smartphones in China in the June quarter, up merely 2% from 7.7 million a year ago, according to a market research firm Canalys.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp overtook Apple in the second quarter to become the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker. In China, Vivo and Oppo have the bigger smartphone market share ahead of Xiaomi and Apple, as per the latest Canalys report. 

Price Action: Apple shares closed 2.55% lower at $146.36 on Wednesday.

Read Next: Watch For These New Product Launches From Apple This Fall, Says Mark Gurman

TSLA – Elon Musk Reports Unexpected Last Minute Issues With Tesla FSD 9.2 Release And Shares More Updates

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said on Sunday a delayed update for its advanced driver-assist system is in the works and coming soon.

What Happened: Musk tweeted to explain that there had been some unexpected last-minute issues and the full self-driving software’s newest update should go out in the “next day or two.”

The second update comes close on the heels of Tesla’s FSD Beta 9 launched about a month ago.

Earlier this month, Musk had said that Tesla will have updates every two weeks on Friday at midnight, California time. 

Musk also shared the details on the improved updates for the FSD Beta 9.2 and listed a series of improvements and fixes in the newest update that include a clear to-go boost through turns on minor-to-major roads.

See Also: Tesla Launches Full Self Driving Subscription Package At $199 Per Month, Aims To Deliver Level 5 Full Self-Driving System

Why It Matters: The latest FSD updates come ahead of Tesla’s AI Day scheduled for August 19 that aims at recruiting top talent to join the electric vehicle maker’s autonomous driving pursuits.

The Palo Alto, California-based Tesla launched the FSD last month for $199 per month, which otherwise costs $10,000 for a one-time payment. The FSD subscription costs $99 a month for those who previously bought the Enhanced Autopilot package.

Tesla has recently switched to strictly cameras and stopped using radar sensors. Musk has said that camera-based vision is more accurate than radar, finding critics who claim such a system could face challenges in low-light conditions such as in dark areas, poor weather conditions as well as sunny glares.

Price Action: Tesla shares closed 0.70% lower at $717.17 on Friday.

Click here to check out Benzinga’s EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news.

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

RIDE – Lordstown Shares Shoot Up 5% As EV Maker Strikes Optimism In Q2 Earnings Report: Here's What You Need To Know

Lordstown Motors Corp (NASDAQ: RIDE) shares jumped 5% in the after-hours trading on Wednesday as the electric vehicle startup said it is on track to begin limited production by the end of September and is in talks with multiple partners that could lead to additional capital infusion.

What Happened: Lordstown Motors executives told investors in a post-earnings call that it expects to secure regulatory approvals for Endurance, its electric truck, between December to January.

Commercial delivery of Endurance will begin in the first quarter to selected early customers followed by commercial deliveries in the second quarter.

Lordstown also said it is making efforts to raise fresh capital and exploring a variety of other financing options, including non-dilutive private strategic investments and debt. 

See Also: Cash-Strapped Lordstown Motors Raises $400M Through Private Placement

The company, which has been under intense regulatory and investor scrutiny, said it is exploring new revenue options and is in “serious” discussions with several partners that are seeking ready-to-go manufacturing capabilities and could make use of its unused 6.2 million square foot manufacturing plant in Ohio that it acquired from General Motors Co (NYSE: GM). 

“This is a significant market. Serious discussions are now underway with several potential partners, and we expect that many more will become attracted to the potential of our factory, as word of our decision to unlock its full potential spread through the marketplace,” Angela Strand, Chairwoman, Lordstown Motors said. 

Lordstown posted a $108 million loss in the second quarter ended June 30, and ended the quarter with $366 million in cash. The company expects to finish the third quarter with more than $225 million on hand, barring any additional capital raise. 

Why It Matters: The electric vehicle startup came under regulatory scrutiny earlier this year following short seller Hindenburg Research’s report that claimed Lordstown Motors was misleading investors and overstating the demand for the Endurance.

A special board committee formed to investigate the short seller’s allegations, found some company statements around truck pre-orders were inaccurate but rejected the report as false and misleading in significant respects.

The company had in June issued a grim warning that, without additional funding, it couldn’t scale commercial truck production and had serious doubts about whether it could survive the year.  

Price Action: RIDE shares closed 4.29% lower at $5.58 on Wednesday but rose 5.38% in after hours trading. 

Click here to check out Benzinga’s EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news.

Photo by the Trump White House Archive on Flickr

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

COIN – Coinbase Joins Google, Salesforce Among Most Active Venture Capital Investors

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc’s (NASDAQ: COIN) venture funding arm Coinbase Ventures was the third-most active corporate venture capital fund in the first half of 2021, according to data compiled by CB Insights, which keeps a track on private investments.

What happened: New to the list, Coinbase Ventures nearly doubled the number of investments it made in the first half this year, compared with the total deals that it made last year. 

With 37 deals, Coinbase Ventures invested in startups such as Vega Protocol, which is building a decentralized network for trading derivatives, Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) self-storage startup Casa, and trading firm Fractal among others. 

See Also: Cathie Wood Buys Another $15.5M In Bitcoin-Play Coinbase, Further Trims Nvidia

Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) private investment arm Google Ventures was on the most active fund and made it to the top of the list for the first-half with 64 deal counts.It is on track to exceed its 2020 investment activity of 82 deals.

Salesforce Ventures, the global investment arm of Inc’s (NYSE: CRM) was close second at 59 deals, a roughly 50% increase from the first-half of 2020.

Why It Matters: Global CVC-backed funding reached $79 billion across 2,099 deals in the first half of 2021 — more than the $74 billion invested in all of 2020.

See Also: Elon Musk’s Neuralink Raises $205M From Google, Others In Series C Funding

Corporate venture capital is the investment of corporate funds directly in external startup companies and have the potential to sign large cheques, thanks to their well-funded, bigger parents. 

Price Action: Coinbase shares closed 1.08% higher at $258.26 on Friday. 

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© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

ZY – Zymergen Holds 'Deep Intrinsic Value' Despite Wobbly Short-Term Outlook, Says Cathie Wood's Ark

Cathie Wood-led Ark Invest said on Friday it continues to believe Zymergen Inc (NASDAQ:ZY)’s platform holds deep intrinsic value despite the recent setback and a lowered short-term outlook. 

What Happened: Zymergen shares rallied 75% a day after Wood’s firm snapped up shares in the biofacturing company, reversing the losses of the previous day.

See Also: As Zymergen Crashes 76%, Cathie Wood Piles Up $2.5M Worth Of Shares

The newly listed synthetic biology company’s massive slide took the stock to the lowest, since its April debut, after the company said its 2021 revenue will be immaterial and announced the departure of its chief executive officer. 

The stock is down more than 50% compared to the IPO price of $31 per share.

“While our confidence has been reduced in its short-term outlook, we  believe that Zymergen’s platform holds deep intrinsic value,” Wood’s firm said, adding that the total addressable market for products produced with synthetic biology is vast enough for multiple approaches and models to flourish simultaneously. 

Zymergen has announced that several of its early-access customers had faced challenges integrating its lead biofilm asset, Hyaline, into their manufacturing processes. 

Price Action: ZY shares closed 14.7% lower at $12.33 on Friday. 

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights