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Tesla’s Market Cap Zooms Past $20 Billion

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The stock-market feats for Tesla Motors Inc.TSLA -0.04% keep piling up.

Shares jumped as much as 6.9% on Monday and surpassed $170 for the first time in Tesla’s history as a publicly-traded company. The rally also pushed the electric-car maker’s market capitalization above $20 billion, a big, round number that wasn’t on many people’s radars earlier this year.

Shares are up more than 400% this year. At Monday’s high, Tesla’s stock-market value touched $21 billion. By comparison, Ford MotorF +0.93% Company sports a $64 billion market cap and General MotorsGM +0.18% has a market cap of $48 billion.

A bit of perspective to illustrate just how far Tesla has rallied: The company delivered just 1,400 Model S electric sedans in July, according to researcher Autodata Corp. That amounts to about 1% of Ford’s U.S. sales for the month.

Yes, just 1% of sales. And yet Tesla’s market cap is now about 1/3 the size of Ford’s value.

The rally continues to confound analysts and investors alike. Last Thursday, Stifel Nicolaus started coverage of Tesla with a hold rating. “We think Tesla is a stand out even among history’s most successful auto start-ups,” Stifel said in a note to clients. “No other auto maker could (or would) have been able to capitalize on current political and consumer momentum for electric vehicles, in our view.

“But, we believe valuation discussions must now shift focus from “one-hit wonder” to ‘long-term sustainability,’” the firm added. “Risks ahead are significant and we think under-appreciated.”

Earlier this month, WSJ reported CEO Elon Musk and other company officials have said that they foresee a company that builds 400,000 or 500,000 cars a year, and can achieve a market capitalization of as much as $43 billion by 2022. That is the level at which Mr. Musk can collect a chunk of stock under a multi-step compensation plan adopted by Tesla’s board last year.

Tesla is not a member of the S&P 500. But if it were added to the broad stock index, its $21 billion market cap would fall in the top half of biggest companies in the S&P 500.

“Simply put, we believe Tesla is seeking ‘Automotive Nirvana,’” Stifel says.

Judging by the stock price right now, that isn’t such a far-fetched analogy.

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Ford Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Program Achieves Record 39 Percent Growth

Press Release: Ford Motor Company – Mon, Sep 2, 2013 12:05 AM EDT

RELATED QUOTES

Symbol Price Change
F 16.34 +0.15

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Through August, the company recorded 228,000 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury certified vehicle sales, representing 39 percent growth versus 2012
  • A robust CPO program keeps more vehicles in the dealer network, improves residual values, enhances dealer profitability, brings more customers to Ford and Lincoln dealerships, and may ultimately result in lower vehicle costs

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is on pace to set an all-time Certified Pre-Owned vehicle sales record this year. Through August, the company recorded 228,000 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury certified vehicle sales, representing 39 percent growth versus 2012.

“A robust CPO program keeps more vehicles in the dealer network,” said John Felice, general manager, Ford and Lincoln sales. “It improves residual values, enhances dealer profitability, brings more customers to Ford and Lincoln dealerships, and may ultimately result in lower vehicle costs for our customers.

“As sales of our new products continue to grow, so will the demand for high-quality, low-mileage pre-owned Ford and Lincoln vehicles,” Felice added.

Based on a new CPO warranty the company introduced in February 2012, customers who buy Ford CPO vehicles receive 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty coverage, with a seven-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. Customers also receive seven years of Roadside Assistance and free Sirius Radio for three months on vehicles equipped for the service. In 2013, the programs have been further enhanced to begin at the end of new Ford and Lincoln vehicle warranties.

Lincoln CPO customers receive six-year/100,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty coverage. They also receive six years of Roadside Assistance and free Sirius Radio for three months on equipped vehicles.

The multiple-point inspection process on both Ford and Lincoln Certified Pre-Owned vehicles covers new technology such as MyFord Touch® and MyLincoln Touch, adaptive cruise control and Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.

Todd Fites, national CPO sales manager, says Ford and Lincoln CPO programs enable customers to get a like-new car with new-car peace of mind, and allow many to enter a vehicle segment – luxury, SUV, etc. – they couldn’t otherwise afford.

“Fifty percent of these customers are new to the Ford and Lincoln brands, and research shows a new CPO customer is twice as likely to come back and buy a new Ford Motor Company product in the future,” Fites says.

Top five Ford CPO volume vehicles – calendar calendar year to date, August

  • F-150
  • Fusion
  • Escape
  • Focus
  • Edge
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It’s official: Apple will hold Sept. 10 event

  • apple event invite

Apple sent out an invitation to a Sept. 10 event, where it is expected to launch the iPhone 5S.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

It’s official: Apple sent invitations for a much-buzzed about event in Cupertino on Sept. 10.

Hype has been building for weeks that the company would unveil new products the second week of September, but Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) made it official Tuesday.

The company has all but confirmed it will be launching a new iPhone, and the invitation does nothing to quell the rumors. The invite is bursting with bright pastel bubbles in the same color scheme that’s used for the iOS 7 operating system on which its new iPhone will likely run.

Related: 5 rumors likely to come true

Along with a new iPhone, reports are split on whether a refreshed iPad is also on tap. There’s a lot of speculation about what products Apple might come out with next, including a low-cost phone, an iWatch and its long-awaited TV.

The event comes at a crucial time for the company. While sales for the iPhone and iPad have mostly been rising, Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android is growing at a much faster clip. Thus far, Apple hasn’t been able to pump the brakes on the trend.

Part of the problem is that Apple hasn’t launched a new smartphone or tablet in about a year, while rivals are releasing new devices far more frequently.

Shares of the company were up about 1% in midday trading.

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Bulls and Bears Both Facing Difficulties-Sep 6 Week

Markets have been in utter chop, making it relatively difficult for both bulls and bears.

Overall under the hood action has not been good at all. Not necessarily bearish, just plenty of indecision. Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN) are all hanging relatively lower from last weeks levels, but not significantly lower to make any shorts worthwhile.

Banks have been slowly bleeding as well, but not in a true bearish fashion. This is the mark of a market that has no players in it. Buyers and sellers are probably coming back from vacation on the last bit of Labor Day hoorah, so be on the look out for any type of bid on the markets.

The Syria news has not been solidified, as many shorts thought the rumor to attack was the catalyst for a true short. Nonetheless, the markets proved them otherwise by ripping a few handles the day after. Overall, traders should probably sit on the sidelines until a real catalyst moves the markets or real buyers and sellers come back to play.

This market is brutal for shorts and not very rewarding for the longs. Traders should watch Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) to bounce off the 169 and possibly test new highs. It’s a stock picker’s markets, find your mover, play it and get it.

There’s too much indecision across the board for a mass market move.

 

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iPhone 5C Will Help Apple Expand Smartphone Domination

According to the latest research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone has grown its market share 7.8 percent from July 2012 to remain the most popular smartphone in the U.S.

The iPhone now has a 43.4 percent market share in the U.S. While smartphones running on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform still dominate the U.S. market, at 51.1 percent, the Apple growth came at the expense of Android, with Android’s share falling 7.6 percent versus a year ago. Apple and Android combined make up 94.5 percent of the smartphones in America. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone made a small gain during the year, and BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) share continued to slip.

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The Kantar study also looked at the performance of different smartphones in markets around the world. Apple’s iOS remained the second-most popular platform in every country surveyed except Mexico. Apple’s marketshare grew in every major region except Germany and China, with the largest growth found in the U.S. and Britain.

The Kantar study also revealed interesting data about Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which gained an 8.2 percent share across the five biggest markets in Europe. According to Kantar, though Apple and Android continue to dominate the smartphone market around the world, the cheaper Windows Phone has become an important third player, with many first-time smartphone buyers turning to less expensive Nokia (NYSE:NOK) devices powered by the Windows platform.

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“Windows Phone, driven largely by lower priced Nokia smartphones such as the Lumia 520, now represents around one in 10 smartphone sales in Britain, France, Germany and Mexico,” said Dominic Sunnebo of Kantar, who led the study. ”For the first time the platform has claimed the number two spot in a major world market, taking 11.6% of sales in Mexico.”

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it decided to buy Nokia’s mobile phone unit, patents, and mapping services for $7.2 billion, according to a Reuters report. Nokia’s market share has shriveled since 2007, when the company accounted for 40 percent of mobile devices sold, to just 15 percent of all wireless phones and 3 percent of smartphones it sells now.

Nokia head Stephen Elop decided to use Microsoft’s Windows platform for Nokia’s smartphones rather than try develop a unique operating system for Nokia or use Android, which has almost become an industry standard — and it looks like the move is beginning to pay off for first-time smartphone buyers or consumers in the market for a cheaper device.

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But Microsoft and Nokia shouldn’t get too comfortable with their recent gains made by offering cheaper devices targeted toward those switching from feature phones. Apple is expected to release a less expensive, basic version of the iPhone called the iPhone 5C in the coming weeks. According to a recent report from Apple Insider, Apple could win over the 65 percent of the market it doesn’t currently serve with its high-end devices by introducing a basic iPhone like the 5C.

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Leaked Photos Supposedly Showing Apple’s Low-Cost iPhone In Its Packaging

Here Are Leaked Photos Supposedly Showing Apple’s Low-Cost iPhone In Its  Packaging

Apple is holding an event on September 10 where it will reveal the next iPhone as well as a low-cost version of the  iPhone called the iPhone 5C.

Ahead of the event, photos that claim to show the iPhone 5C are leaking via  Chinese social media sites. Mark Gurman at 9 to 5 Mac grabbed a few. This one here  seems to be the best of the bunch.

The iPhone 5C will be in clear plastic packaging,  much like an iPod. If the photos are correct, then Apple plans to ship each  phone with a solid wallpaper that matches the color of the phone’s case.  Interestingly, these have a black faceplate. We would have thought it would be  white.

iphone5c in packaging

 

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September Key Dates

3 Dates to Circle in September

 

September is here, and there’s plenty to watch as the market goes back to school. Let’s go over a few of the upcoming days to watch.

Sept. 10 This could be the day Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL)  fans and shareholders have been waiting for. Reports of Sept. 10 as the iPhone 5S presser have been circulating for a couple of weeks. Recent reports that Apple blocked vacation requests for dates later in the month virtually confirm that the consumer-tech giant is bracing itself for heavy demand in the coming days.

What will we get? The loudest chatter is for the new iPhone to have the same form factor as the iPhone 5, with added features including the ability to use fingerprint detection to unlock the screen. That’s pretty yawn-worthy stuff. The rest of the world will keep an eye on the potential of a cheaper iPhone, allowing Apple to market an entry-level device without having to sacrifice modern features.

Apple stock has surrendered more than 30% of its value since peaking the day the iPhone 5 came out, so there’s pressure on the tech bellwether to come up with something new.

Another event taking place earlier in the day will be unlikely to generate the same kind of media buzz, but there’s something interesting about seeing Green Mountain Coffee Roasters  (NASDAQ: GMCR)  host its first ever Investors Day presentation.

Don’t be surprised if we see more innovation out of Green Mountain than from Apple. The company behind the Keurig brewer has hinted at entering new markets, including carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and even soups.

Sept. 12 The retailer that turned yoga apparel into a premium mall category will report a week from Thursday — and there’s a lot riding on lululemon athletica‘s  (NASDAQ: LULU)  fiscal second-quarter report.

Has the company truly gotten away from the embarrassing recall earlier this year of its Luon yoga pants that were practically see-through? It seemed to be bouncing back in its most recent quarter, but now it will be time to see whether one of the fastest growing retailers still has legs.

There will be a lot to prove. Analysts see Lululemon’s sales growth decelerating to 21% for the period, with earnings per share clocking in lower than a year earlier.

Sept. 17 There’s plenty of buzz surrounding the release of Grand Theft Auto V in two weeks. That’s not surprising, since it’s been more than five years since Take-Two Interactive‘s  (NASDAQ: TTWOGrand Theft Auto IV wowed the market, scoring initial sales records for the video-game industry.

That also happens to be around the same time the industry peaked in terms of the sale of hardware and disc-based software. New consoles are coming in November, and it will be interesting to see whether that plays a part in the initial demand for this particular release in mid-September.

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Tesla Motors Presents A Terrific Shorting Opportunity

 

Global stock markets have been on an amazing run since March of 2009. Developed markets, with the U.S. out-front, have spearheaded this surge, powered by the twin engines of central bank purchases and global monetary base growth. Within the U.S. markets, a group of technology orientated, fundamentally challenged companies have posted the strongest gains. Star performers hailing from this group, in terms of common stock percentage gainers, have included Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM) and Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA). While a positive future case can be made for each of these companies, each one poses present-day challenges in calculating their current respective valuations, and this is true even if rosy future assumptions prove accurate. Going further, I believe that each of these companies represents an attractive short opportunity. Collectively, shorting them makes up one half of my dream pair trade. The other half of this pair trade would involve going long the undervalued, under-loved, under-owned commodity stocks. Standing out even among its over-valued, over-loved, over-owned peers, Tesla presents a terrific shorting opportunity, especially if it gallops higher after the company releases its second quarter earnings, which are scheduled for August 7th, 2013, after the stock market’s close.

Spectacularly Overbought

Since the beginning of April of 2013 when Tesla announced it would post its first quarterly profit, Tesla’s stock has been on a non-stop, parabolic advance. This move higher gained momentum with the release of TSLA’s first quarter earnings on May 8th. As of this writing on August 5th, TSLA’s stock is now trading over 140% higher than its 200-day moving average. The chart below shows how extreme this advance looks visually.

(click to enlarge)

For perspective, I wanted to show TSLA’s recent share performance compared to AMZN and NFLX, two “story” stocks that have captured the attention of investors (and the scorn of shorts) over the lifespan of the current cyclical bull market. We will look at Amazon first:

(click to enlarge)

Amazon’s advance has been remarkably orderly, trading at a price that approached 100% of its 200-day moving average only once. This occurred in October of 2010. One takeaway from AMZN’s chart is that subsequent advances above the 200-day moving average, after the peak thrust achieved in the October 2010 move, have generally had less and less momentum, meaning the percentage gain above the 200-day moving average achieved has generally been smaller and smaller as the stock’s advance has matured. Now let’s take a look at NFLX:

(click to enlarge)

At first glance, Netflix definitely has had a more volatile stock price. The separation above and below the 200-day moving average is apparent, more so than in the case of Amazon. In the first quarter of 2013, Netflix traded at a similar premium to its 200-day moving average as Tesla does presently. However, in the sustained advance of NFLX’s stock price from October of 2008 to July of 2011, NFLX’s stock did not achieve the same thrust above its 200-day moving average that TSLA currently exhibits. This means that TSLA may even be more loved from a sentiment standpoint than NFLX was during the heyday of its advance, putting its stock price at risk if the behavioral pendulum swings the other direction. From a fundamental perspective, TSLA and NFLX have more in common than TSLA and AMZN. These similarities include market capitalizations that are in the same range, in addition to high degrees of short-interest at various points in their stock histories. Overall, the key takeaway for me is the massive drop in NFLX’s stock price from July of 2011 through October of 2011. I think that this drop is indicative of a fall that TSLA’s stock could have if it fell out of favor with the momentum crowd for some reason that is not readily apparent right now.

Tesla’s Stock Could Surge Higher Before Faltering

The number of Tesla shares sold short remains very high, increasing the probability of a final blow-off phase of the continued short squeeze. Additionally, traders in the options universe are bearishly positioned, with puts substantially outnumbering calls in the front month option contracts, adding further potential fuel to a last gasp run for the exits for trapped shorts. Thus, shorting Tesla ahead of its second quarter earnings exposes an investor or trader to the risk of one final surge as the four-month-old short squeeze finally runs its course. While Tesla is an attractive fundamental short right now, from a risk/reward perspective, it would be more prudent to short after the upcoming earnings, ideally on a pop in TSLA’s share price.

Bottom Line – Reversion To The Mean Will Halt Tesla’s Advance

Tesla’s stock price has been in a relentless advance since the beginning of April, creating an increasingly favorable risk/reward opportunity to short Tesla’s stock in anticipation of the eventual reversion to mean. The extreme magnitude that Tesla’s stock is extended compared to its 200-day moving average is striking, even in comparison to the stock price increases of Amazon and Netflix in the current cyclical bull market. Netflix’s stock price offers the closer corollary, as its historical short interest and market capitalization more closely resemble Tesla’s. The extreme volatility of Netflix’s stock price should serve as a note of caution to Tesla’s current shareholders, as Netflix’s stock price plunged dramatically when it fell out of favor with its momentum oriented shareholders before staging a dramatic recovery. The current high level of short interest in TSLA’s stock and the bearishly positioned options traders suggest caution in shorting Tesla’s stock ahead of its earnings on August 7th. Any spike in TSLA’s share price from levels that are already extremely overbought is likely the last gasp of the current short squeeze, and thus, it would provide an optimal shorting opportunity.

Source: Tesla Motors Presents A Terrific Shorting Opportunity

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Aug 30 Premium Picks Updates, Wins-9,Miss-1, Even-1

1)GMCR 87.5 Calls Aug 30 at 1.55 sell at 2+ -HIT
2)FB 41.5 Puts Aug 30 at .65 exit at 1+- HIT 400%
3)LNKD 240 Puts Aug 30 at 1.25-1 -HIT 400%
4)AAPL 505 Puts Aug 30 at 3.6 exit at 5+- HIT 500%
5)GLD 138 Calls Aug 30 at .35 sell at 1- HIT 200%
6)NFLX 285 Puts Aug 30 at 1.1 sell at 2- HIT 100%
7) F 17 Calls Aug 30 -Miss
8)LNKD 235 Puts Aug 30-HIT
9)FB 39.5 Puts Aug 30-HIT
10)NFLX 270 Puts Aug 30-Even
11)NFLX 285 Puts -HIT

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