Wall Street tends to be conservative on GM, Ford, relatively bullish on Tesla

Wall Street has turned conservative on the outlook for shares of General Motors (GM) and Ford (FORD) amid factors such as cost-driven inflation, rising interest rates and a persistent shortage of parts. In contrast, electric car maker Tesla (Tesla) is still bullish on the grounds that Tesla’s fundamentals are strong and will support future stock performance.

“Barron’s” reported that on March 28, Citigroup analyst Itay Michaeli issued a research report, lowering the estimated value of GM’s operating profit in 2022 from $14.7 billion to $13.9 billion. The forecast range is $13 billion to $15 billion. Michaeli lowered his price target on GM’s stock to $95 from $100, but remains a top pick.

Michaeli cut GM’s price target, citing rising costs, weak sales in China, factory shutdowns due to chip shortages, and Japan’s SoftBank Group (SoftBank) selling off all of its stake in self-driving car company Cruise, which GM will take over for $2.1 billion.

Michaeli also lowered Ford’s 2022 operating profit forecast to $11.6 billion from $12.2 billion, falling on the lower edge of Ford’s forecast range of $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion. He lowered his price target on Ford to $18 from $23 with a “Hold” rating.

Ford shares have fallen about 18% over the past two months, while GM shares have fallen 16% and the S&P 500 has risen about 4% over the same period. Tesla shares have been relatively supportive, rising 10% over the past two months.

The report pointed out that Tesla’s stock price was strong, including Wall Street analysts were bullish on Tesla’s fundamentals. For example, on the 25th, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) analyst Joseph Spak revised up his forecast for Tesla’s first-quarter delivery numbers to more than 325,000 from the original 316,000.

Mercedes-Benz electric car EQG launch time confirmed, expected to go on sale in 2024

In recent years, Mercedes-Benz has continued to expand the electric vehicle market. Last year, it showed the first EQG concept car at the “2021 IAA Munich Motor Show”. A few days ago, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz finally revealed the launch date of this electric off-road vehicle. In 2024, the G Class will be officially added to the sales ranks of the EQ series of electric vehicles.

It was previously rumored that the EQG electric off-road vehicle would not be launched until 2024. CEO Ola Kallenius personally confirmed in an interview with foreign media that the EQG is indeed planned to be launched in 2024. The reason for the wait is that Mercedes intends to focus on production of new models such as this year’s EQE SUV and EQS SUV first.

The EQG is not built on a new electric vehicle platform, but based on the G-Class chassis. It is expected that the EQG will have a ladder-type girder structure chassis. Mercedes has also said that the EQG is equipped with four independently operating electric motors and a two-speed gearbox to ensure that the EQG has the same off-road capability as the G-Class series. It is also rumored that the EQG will use a 107.8kWh battery pack. While the engineers will do their best to improve the aerodynamics, the size and weight will be a huge challenge to achieve a premium range.

Recently, Mercedes announced that it will cooperate with Envision Power (AESC), a Chinese smart battery technology company, to set up a battery factory and an automobile assembly plant to provide power batteries and modules for the new generation of Mercedes-Benz pure electric SUVs EQS and EQE. The EQE SUV is expected to join the production line by the end of this year, with the EQG launching in 2024.

UAE: Russia will always be a member of OPEC+ and must not be excluded during negotiations

Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), insisted that Russia will always be a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+).

CNBC reported that Al Mazrouei said in an interview on the 28th that no country can match the energy output of Russia, and OPEC+ cannot lose focus due to political issues when managing the energy market.

“Russia will always be part of the community and we have to respect them,” Al Mazrouei told CNBC host Hadley Gamble at the Atlantic Council’s sixth annual Global Energy Forum in Dubai. He said that Russia cannot be excluded when energy importers negotiate with OPEC+.

The United States, Europe and Japan have repeatedly called for oil-producing countries to find ways to cope with the high oil prices caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war and supply shortages. However, Al Mazrouei said Russian crude would have to play an important role if it was to meet the target. “Who can replace Russia today? I can’t think of any country that can replace these 10 million barrels of crude oil in one year, two years, three years, four years or even 10 years,” he said.

Al Mazrouei pointed out, “Our goal is the same as theirs, they all want to stabilize the market, bring supply and demand back into balance…but you can’t sanction a hydrocarbon that cannot be replaced unless you want the price to go up. They act, But expecting the opposite direction, the expectations are doomed to fail.”

OPEC and non-OPEC ministers will hold a video conference on March 31 to decide the next phase of oil production policy. OPEC alone supplies 40% of the world’s crude oil.

After the war between Russia and Ukraine, the second country flicks its tail, and Canada announces that it will purchase F-35 fighter jets

Since Russia and Ukraine went to war on February 24, Germany immediately decided to purchase 35 F-35 fighter jets to replace the Tornado. Yesterday, Canada also changed its attitude since 2012 and announced that it would purchase 88 F-35s to replace the old CF-18A/B. with the F/A-18A/B fighter.

In the F-35 development stage, Canada has invested 150 million US dollars in the JSF program.

However, in 2012, the country cancelled the procurement case because the price was too high, which made the bidding case have to run again. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in 2015 that he would seek fighter jets other than the F-35 as an alternative, so The Canadian fighter jet bidding case has been in operation for many years.

After eliminating the French Rafale and European Typhoon fighters, the Boeing-proposed F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornet was also eliminated in December last year, leaving the F-35A and the Swedish JAS-39E Griffin. The (Gripen-E) fighter enters the final stage.

Yesterday, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand announced that the country will spend 19 billion Canadian dollars (about 15.2 billion U.S. dollars) to purchase 88 F-35As to replace a total of 93 CF-18A/B and F/A-18A/B in active duty. .

Annand said the Canadian and U.S. governments and Lockheed Martin would move to the final stages of the procurement process after “rigorous evaluation and discussion,” while the Canadian military would improve two current major air bases, Cypress in Quebec. Bogotvill and Cold Lake in Alberta to ensure smooth future operations of the F-35A.

In terms of the candidate models of this bidding case, the F-35, as the only fifth-generation stealth fighter, is technically superior to the other four-and-a-half-generation fighters, but considering the JAS-39E in the final selection stage, it is obviously a Considering the budget, it is believed that the JAS-39E with the lowest overall price can meet the needs of Canadian air defense.

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, not only European countries hurriedly rearmed their armaments, but it also quickly shortened the Canadian government’s consideration of choosing a new fighter aircraft. The F-35A’s technological and combat advantages immediately became the most important consideration at this time.

Canada’s largest military investment in three decades is expected to begin receiving its first F-35As in 2025, making it the 17th country to field the Lightning II.

A new alternative to palm oil? Microalgae edible oil may reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Palm oil has a low price and high stability. In addition to being one of the most common edible oils at present, it can even be found in daily necessities such as shampoo, detergent and cosmetics. Alternatives to fat are available, and oils made from algae may be able to replace them.

At present, the world’s largest producer of palm oil is Indonesia, followed by Malaysia. Deforestation is just for the economic benefits of palm oil, causing environmental damage and impacting biodiversity. Even if it contributes to the economy, it is putting the cart before the horse; on the other hand Palm oil is also 52% saturated fat, which may contribute to cardiovascular disease or other health problems.

To that end, a scientific team from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the University of Malaya in Malaysia set out to study an oil-producing microalgae called Chromochloris zofingiensis.

Compared with palm oil, microalgae oil contains more polyunsaturated fatty acids and less saturated fatty acids, which helps reduce “bad” cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

The process is not difficult. The team first added pyruvate to the microalgae solution, and then placed it under a laboratory UV lamp to stimulate photosynthesis. After 14 days, the algae were removed, cleaned and dried, and then methanol was used to break the algal protein and photosynthesis. The role of the algae protein in the production of oil, and ultimately the production of a new generation of edible oil.

Fortunately, scientists have also discovered that pyruvic acid can also be produced by fermenting organic agricultural wastes such as soybean residue and fruit peels. In large-scale production facilities, ultraviolet rays can also be used to replace sunlight, and algae can also absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide during the growth process and convert it into biomass.

The team claims that the quality of the new algal oil is comparable to that of palm oil, but the current 160 grams of microalgae oil can only satisfy a 100-gram chocolate bar.

William Chen, Chair Professor of Food Science and Technology at NTU, said the team hopes to find potential uses of waste through the concept of circular economy, and finally return the waste back to the food chain. Today we rely on nature’s key process of “fermentation” to convert organic matter into a nutrient-rich solution that can be used to cultivate algae, which not only helps reduce palm oil dependence, but also reduces carbon.

There is another Chinese factory “Apple Bite”, what is Apple’s strategy of dispersing suppliers?

Apple’s supply chain list has always been the focus of the market. Regardless of single component supply or product assembly, Apple often does not allow only a single manufacturer to take orders, but suppliers who have the opportunity can bite a “sweet and juicy apple”, but a single What’s wrong with manufacturers taking orders, and making Apple spend so much effort to find cooperative manufacturers?

In the past, most of the reasons were “price”, which appeared several years ago; most outsiders believe that Apple’s halo has gradually receded after the death of former CEO Steve Jobs, and his successor Tim Cook is good at supplying Chain management, the management strategy is to continue to find cooperative manufacturers to take orders, and use these cooperative manufacturers to “grab orders” from each other to lower the order price.

Taking the assembly plant as an example, in addition to assembling the iPhone from Hon Hai and Pegatron, Apple has also supported the Chinese manufacturer Luxshare in recent years. In addition to assembling the iPhone, Luxshare has also won AirPods assembly orders.

But apart from assembly, Apple doesn’t want to miss any chance to cut prices, even supplying the internal parts of the device. Recently, it is reported that the iPhone’s Flash supplier has added China’s largest memory manufacturer, Yangtze Memory (YMTC). In the past, Apple’s iPhone’s Flash suppliers were mainly SK Hynix and Kioxia. Now YMTC has also taken a bite of Apple, which is bound to compress the two manufacturers. order volume, allowing Apple to lower the price of Flash again.

In addition, Mini LED has been highly discussed in recent years. Originally, the Mini LED of iPad Pro was supplied by Fucai, but in early March, it was reported that Sanan Optoelectronics, a Chinese LED manufacturer, has obtained Apple certification and will join the Mini LED supply chain in the second quarter of this year as soon as possible. . Of course, it is understandable that Chinese manufacturers compete for low-cost orders, which is bound to impact Taiwan’s Apple suppliers.

In a word, apart from giving Apple the opportunity to lower prices by dispersing suppliers, the shortage of materials caused by the outbreak of the new crown epidemic is also one of the factors that make Apple continue to diversify suppliers. After all, if there are no chips for chips and no panels for panels, many manufacturers are unable to deliver them, which also delays the release of the 2020 iPhone by a month. Apple’s scattered suppliers also bite Apple’s Yangtze River Storage and Sanan Optoelectronics. Great example.

GPU prices fall, Asus graphics cards expected to drop in April

Recently, the graphics card market has been affected by the decline in GPU costs and the decline in demand for cryptocurrencies, and prices have continued to decline. According to data, the price of graphics cards has been the lowest since January 2021. According to media reports, the board leader ASUS expects to reduce the price of graphics cards in April.

Foreign media “TomsHardware” reported that GPU prices, whether NVIDIA or AMD, are on a downward trend, even the lowest prices since January 2021, and graphics card prices have also loosened. An email from ASUS, a major domestic board card manufacturer, confirmed that the price reduction of graphics cards will begin in April, covering entry-level, mainstream and high-performance graphics card models.

Foreign media have reported that since entering 2022, the average prices of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series have declined, and the price trend report shows that neither Huida GeForce RTX 30 series or AMD Radeon RX 6000 series will drop to January 2021. The lowest in the month, in addition to the graphics card supply situation which is the best since the beginning of 2021 and continues to improve, retailers in North America or Europe have more stocking, and the demand for cryptocurrency has decreased recently, and the demand for mining graphics cards has decreased.

ASUS is one of the largest graphics card brands, and this price reduction plan is quite valuable for market reference. In January and April 2021, ASUS raised the price of graphics cards on the grounds of tariffs, components and high market demand, and then led the price trend of the graphics card market. At present, ASUS graphics cards have two product lines, NVIDIA and AMD, and there should be Intel graphics cards next. But this price cut announcement only mentions NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards.

Although the reason for Asus’ price reduction is tariff adjustment, it should not be the only reason. In addition, the price reduction is not a one-off, and not all manufacturers have reduced the entire range of products. It remains to be seen how much the price of terminal products will drop. Combining all aspects of information, the price of graphics cards will gradually fall in the future, which seems to be an inevitable trend.

New lander version split in two, Perseverance Mars samples delayed until 2033

In order to bring the samples collected by the Perseverance rover back to Earth, NASA has plans to launch new landers, rovers and Mars ascent vehicles to connect the samples. But after some thought, NASA and ESA decided to revise the lander design to reduce the risk of failure and postpone the sample return mission to 2033.

NASA’s Perseverance rover is wandering around the Jezero crater and is expected to collect dozens of surface samples during its work period, waiting for the SRL lander (Sample Retrieval Lander) to take the Mars Ascent Vehicle (Mars Ascent Vehicle) in a few years. , MAV) arrived with another fetch rover, took these samples and handed them over to MAV, which then launched from the surface of Mars into Mars orbit, transferred the samples to the ERO orbiter, and finally brought the material back to Earth in 2031.

However, after further analysis, since a single lander needs a larger heat shield protection, the diameter is estimated to be 5.4 meters, which in turn requires a larger fairing to fit into the lander; in addition, whether the large lander can enter smoothly , descent and landing on Mars “unproven”, so NASA and ESA decided to change the design and split the SRL lander into two, one to carry the rover and the other to carry the MAV, so that the dual lander can be designed to carry the same The same system on Perseverance and Curiosity.

After the design change, the launch of the dual lander will be postponed to 2028, the launch of the ERO orbiter will be postponed from 2026 to 2027, and the Mars sample return mission will be postponed to 2033. NASA has yet to decide who will build the SRL2 lander that will carry the rover, which is expected to be announced in June.

TSMC and Samsung demand a fair fight for $52 billion in subsidies, Lu Xingzhi: so as not to become a rival vocational training center

Bloomberg reported that TSMC and Samsung are urging the United States to allow foreign companies to participate in a $52 billion semiconductor program that focuses on boosting domestic chip production. The Biden administration has made expanding domestic manufacturing capacity a priority to ensure a stable supply of semiconductors.

However, Intel once hinted that U.S. taxpayer money should only flow to domestic companies. Although CEO Pat Gelsinger avoided repeating this in recent remarks, TSMC and Samsung are also worried about unfair subsidies.

In response to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s request for funding for the chip industry, TSMC stated that “arbitrary favoritism and preferential treatment based on the location of corporate headquarters is not an effective use of funding, but ignores the reality of public ownership by most leading semiconductor companies.”

TSMC believes that the United States should not try to replicate the existing supply chain, but should focus on developing advanced technologies to improve competitiveness, while calling on the United States to revise immigration policies so that the United States can attract foreign talent and promote innovation.

Samsung also endorsed TSMC’s comments, stressing that the U.S. government should ensure that all eligible companies, regardless of their country of origin, can level the playing field for U.S. funding.

In response to TSMC and Samsung’s bid for US subsidies, well-known semiconductor industry critic Lu Xingzhi pointed out that in this incident, TSMC and Samsung mainly considered whether to suspend high-cost investment in Arizona if they could not get reasonable subsidies, so as not to become a competitor’s vocational training center.

Lu Xingzhi also analyzed TSMC’s response. First of all, TSMC said that the U.S. government subsidizes semiconductor companies. It should not be viewed as the location of the headquarters, but also who owns the company. TSMC currently holds nearly 80% of foreign capital, and U.S. funds should exceed 50%; moreover, TSMC seems to be about to A bunch of employees in Taiwan invited to the United States to help open up new territories, but the US immigration law doesn’t seem very friendly.

Finally, TSMC suggests that the development of semiconductors in the United States should focus on advanced technology research and development, rather than copying existing processes and production capacity in a market. But Lu Xingzhi thinks this part is a bit nonsense, because new entrants seem to have to copy and then innovate. Only a few technology companies in the world start disruptive innovation. They lack execution and have a high failure rate.

TSMC is currently building a $12 billion factory in Arizona and is expected to mass-produce 5-nanometer chips in 2024; Samsung is building a $17 billion factory in Texas, aiming for mass production in two years.

At the same time, Intel announced a new $20 billion wafer center in Ohio and two new factories in Arizona to increase domestic production capacity.

However, the House and Senate still need to negotiate how to combine different versions of the bill, including $52 billion in subsidies for the semiconductor industry. In any case, the final plan is unlikely to be finalized before the end of May.

Sakakihara British capital: If the devaluation exceeds 130, intervention is required, and it is harder to prevent depreciation than to increase

The yen has been depreciating sharply recently, and once fell below 125 on the 28th (that is, the dollar rose above 125 against the yen), hitting a new low in 6 years and 7 months. And the former Japanese financial officer Sakakihara Hideo, known as “Mr. Yen”, said that under the current yen exchange rate, the Japanese government/Bank of Japan (BoJ, BOJ) does not need to take any policy response, but if the yen falls below 130, then, We must intervene, but it will be more difficult to stop the decline than to stop the rise.

According to a Reuters report, former Japanese Finance Minister Eiko Sakakihara, known as “Mr. Yen”, said in an exclusive interview on the 28th that the current exchange rate level of around 123 yen per US dollar does not require any policy response by the Japanese government/BoJ. However, if the yen falls below 130 (USD/JPY rises above 130), measures such as intervention or monetary policy adjustments must be carried out. Sakakihara said intervention to prevent the yen from falling would be more difficult than preventing the yen from rising.

Regarding the current depreciation tendency of the yen, Sakakihara said, “It is good for Japan’s exports, but for imports, although it will lead to higher costs, but because Japan is currently in deflation, although there are some voices worried about inflation. , but the current depreciation of the yen will not make Japan’s economy suddenly worse.”

Regarding the forecast of the future trend of the yen, Sakakihara Ying Capital pointed out, “The main view of the market is that during 2022-2023, it will fall in the range of around 130, and if the yen falls to 130 or 135, it will become a problem.” It is necessary to intervene or adjust the monetary policy of the Bank of Japan to respond. For example, the Bank of Japan can raise interest rates.

Sakakihara said that to stop the yen’s depreciation, it would need to use the foreign exchange reserves that Japan has, but there are limits to the amount of dollars that can be sold, so it will be more difficult than an intervention to stop the yen from rising.

USD/JPY surged by 1.38% to 123.85 on March 28 (that is, the yen depreciated violently), and rose to a high of 125.10 during the session, which was the first time since August 2015 that it exceeded the 125 level, a record for about 6 years and 7 months (2015 August 12, 2008) new high.

As of 13:12 on the 29th, Taipei time, the dollar was at 123.38 against the yen, and the dollar has surged more than 7% against the yen so far this year.