Apple Car Spoils Tesla's Big Day
Tesla's long-awaited first day of trading as a member of the S&P 500 started out with a tweet from co-founder and CEO Elon Musk congratulating those who helped the company get to this point.
"Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make Tesla successful," Musk tweeted. "My heart goes out to you."
With speculation about what would happen to Tesla's share price once it officially joined the S&P 500 growing in recent weeks, no one expected a report about Apple's vehicle ambitions to spoil Tesla's party.
A late afternoon Reuters report sent Tesla shares lower after detailing Apple's intentions to build a self-driving vehicle with the goal of having a passenger vehicle based on its own battery system available by 2024. Sources that spoke to Reuters said the initiative is called Project Titan and has been ongoing on and off since 2014.
Apple reportedly debated designing only software for vehicles at one point before deciding it wants to produce a consumer vehicle. Project Titan is being overseen by Doug Field, who previously worked at Tesla for five years before returning to Apple for a second stint at the company in 2018.
The sources told Reuters that Apple has been working on a battery that could "radically" reduce cost while expanding a vehicle's range through a unique "monocell" design. Apple's plans could still change and the company could decide to focus on just building an autonomous driving system that could be installed in other manufacturer's vehicles.
"It's next level," the source told Reuters regarding Apple's battery technology. "Like the first time you saw the iPhone."
The expectation is that if Apple were to build an Apple-branded car that it would partner with a manufacturer to assemble components from various suppliers. The hope that Apple may choose a supplier for lidar, which is a key component for self-driving cars, caused shares of companies in the space such as Velodyne and Luminar to soar.
While the report offers similar details as to what has been rumored for years, Apple investors cheered the news as they hope Apple may finally try to dominate the automobile market the way it has the consumer electronics market.
Peloton acquires Precor. Peloton announced it will acquire exercise equipment manufacturer Precor for $420 million to expanding manufacturing and keep up with demand for its products. The deal gives Peloton two manufacturing sites with a combined 625,000 square feet of manufacturing space and nearly 100 R&D employees. "By combining our talented and committed R&D and Supply Chain teams with the incredibly capable Precor team and their decades of experience, we believe we will be able to lead the global connected fitness market in both innovation and scale," Peloton president William Lynch said.
Coronavirus outbreak shuts Amazon warehouse. Amazon is temporarily shutting a warehouse in New Jersey known as PNE5 until December 26 following an outbreak of asymptomatic coronavirus cases. Employees at the location will be paid for the shifts that they'll miss as a result. "Through our in-house COVID-19 testing program, we detected an increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at our PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey and have proactively closed the site until December 26th out of an abundance of caution," Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski told CNBC.
Lockheed Martin acquires Aerojet Rocketdyne. Lockheed Martin announced it has agreed to acquire rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne in a $4.4 billion deal. Lockheed Martin is paying $56 per share in cash for Aerojet Rocketdyne but will be reduced to $51 per share after the payment of a pre-closing special dividend. "This transaction enhances Lockheed Martin's support of critical U.S. and allied security missions and retains national leadership in space and hypersonic technology," Lockheed Martin president and CEO James Taiclet said. "We look forward to welcoming their talented team and expanding Lockheed Martin's position as the leading provider of 21st century warfare solutions."
Thoma Bravo acquires RealPage. Private equity company Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire property management software provider RealPage in a $10.2 billion deal. Thoma Bravo is paying $88.75 per share, representing a premium of 30.8% over RealPage's closing stock price on Friday. "RealPage's industry leading platform is critical to the real estate ecosystem and has tremendous potential going forward," Thoma Bravo founder and managing partner Orlando Bravo said. "Together, RealPage and Thoma Bravo can partner to grow the company’s market offerings and enhance its current capabilities to capitalize on the increasingly complex and expanding real estate market."
Crypto fund inflows soar. Investors have poured $5.6 billion into cryptocurrency funds and products so far this year, according to CoinShares. The crypto sector now has nearly $19 billion in assets under management compared to just over $2.5 billion at the end of last year. Investors have now put more than $15 billion into bitcoin products and funds so far this year, while ethereum has attracted almost $2.5 billion.