Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.02.01]






Walmart is expanding its pickup and delivery centers

Walmart wants to make contactless shopping more efficient.

Walmart is adding more stores, in dozens of locations, that double as local fulfillment centers for delivery and pickup orders, the company said Wednesday. A local fulfillment center is a small warehouse, stocked with frequently purchased items, that's housed inside or attached to a Walmart store.

The centers are designed to offer customers more availability, more efficiency and faster order fulfillment. For instance, Walmart says it's implementing speedy, automated bots to grab items in the warehouse, to avoid the time an associate would spend walking through the store to fulfill an order. Don't worry, though: Human personal shoppers will take care of your fresh produce, meat, seafood and larger general merchandise from the sales floor.


Shell (RDS.A) Seals a Deal to Buy EV Charging Firm Ubitricity

Royal Dutch Shell plc. RDS.A recently announced that it will purchase the entire stake in Ubitricity, one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) charger providers in the UK in terms of individual devices in operation.

With this deal, Shell further strengthens its position in the rapidly-increasing on-street EV charging market, offering critical competencies and helping the company better its overall EV charging offer. This also involves nearly 1,000 ultra-fast and fast-charging points at around 430 Shell retail spots. Further, it includes worldwide access to more than 185,000 third-party EV charging points at a number of public places like forecourts, motorway service stations and destinations.

The deal, which advances Shells objective to switch to lower carbon vehicles is slated to close by this year-end and is contingent on certain regulatory conditions. Upon completion of the deal, Ubitricity will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Shell.


Apple demolished Q1 earnings estimates and set a new record with $111 billion in revenue

Apple's quarterly revenue is a big milestone that analysts were expecting it to set - Wall Street estimated the company's Q1 sales to surpass $100 billion, specifically estimating Apple's average revenue to be $103.3 billion in Q1. The record-breaking revenue was in part driven by the holiday season.

The company released the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro on October 23, meaning new sales missed the mark for Q4, when Apple typically sees a revenue increase from iPhone. Instead, the iPhone 12 lineup, equipped with 5G technology, boosted Apple's Q1, while analysts were expecting $60.33 billion. Wall Street had been concerned about the iPhone 12's performance, and the company said previously that sales had been 'off to a great start.'

Wall Street expects Apple to deliver about 220 million iPhone units in 2021.


Daimler 2020 operating profit beats guidance and forecasts

Up a whopping 52% over 2019 in fact

FRANKFURT Daimler said on Thursday a strong fourth quarter helped it post better-than-expected 2020 group operating profit and that it was optimistic for 2021.

The Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks warned, however, that current shortages in semiconductors and COVID-19 disruptions would probably affect the first quarter.

Thanks to cost savings and a faster-than-expected recovery in the auto sector, group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for 2020 came to 6.60 billion euros ($8 billion), above consensus projections of 5.25 billion euros, the carmaker said, citing preliminary figures. That is up 52% from 4.329 billion euros for 2019.

'Given the development of successful cost discipline continued in the fourth quarter and expected good underlying demand, Daimler also anticipates a positive business development in 2021,' the company said.


Tesla releases Q4 FY 2020 $TSLA results: Record deliveries herald path to record profits

The following are the key points in Teslas Q4 FY 2020 Update Letter.


Tesla reported a revenue of $10.7 billion for the fourth quarter. In comparison, Wall Street expected Teslas Q4 2020 revenue to be at $10.3 billion, while Estimize was more optimistic at $10.657 billion. As per the EV maker, total revenue grew 46% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Vehicle average selling price (ASP) also declined 11% YoY as the product mix shifted from the Model S and Model X to the Model 3 and Model Y.


Tesla shareholders saw non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.80 in the fourth quarter. In comparison, Wall Street consensus expected Tesla to report a gain of $1.04 per share. Estimizes numbers were a bit more optimistic at $1.08 per share.


Teslas operating cash flow less CAPEX stands at $2.8 billion in 2020. The companys war chest was also bolstered to $19.4 billion in the fourth quarter. Free cash flow in Q4 also stands at $1.9 billion.


For the full year 2020, Tesla posted a $721 million GAAP net income, $2.5 billion non-GAAP net income. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter stands at $270 million, while non-GAAP net income for Q4 2020 stands at $903 million.


Tesla has also officially announced the details for the Model S and Model X refresh, which featured a completely revamped interior that includes a massive 17touchscreen, the same size as the one found on the Cybertruck prototype, a new yoke steering wheel, and an 8display for the rear passengers


'Alpha Global' | Google workers in 10 countries form international union alliance: Report

Barely three weeks after Google employees in the US registered a minority union, an international amalgam is coming to the fore. Employees of the search engine giant, spread across 10 countries, have reportedly formed 'Alpha Global' - an international union alliance.

The coalition's stated objective is to hold Alphabet Inc - Google's parent company - 'accountable', The Verge reported. The alliance includes 13 unions, and has been registered with UNI Global, the report added.

The affiliation with UNI Global holds significance as the group was responsible for organising the coordinated 'black friday strikes' in 2020 to pressurise Amazon Inc to raise the minimum wages of their workers.

Before the emergence of Alpha Global, the AWU was formed on January 4. The union, after starting with a miniscule strength of 250 members, raised its overall membership to over 700 within a week.


Chevron and Exxon discussed merger last year after Covid pandemic devastated oil prices, reports say

The CEOs of Chevron and ExxonMobil last year discussed the possibility of merging the two companies, multiple outlets reported Sunday.

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported that Chevron CEO Michael Wirth and Exxon CEO Darren Woods spoke about the prospect after the Covid-19 pandemic began to negatively impact oil prices.

The talks are not ongoing and were described as preliminary, according to the Journal.


Walgreens Boots Alliance Appoints Rosalind Brewer as Chief Executive Officer, and Stefano Pessina as Executive Chairman of the Board

DEERFIELD, Ill.-- Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. today announced the appointment of Rosalind (Roz) Brewer as the companys Chief Executive Officer, effective on March 15, 2021. Brewer will also join the WBA Board of Directors upon assuming the role. She succeeds Stefano Pessina who, as previously announced, will transition to the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of WBA.

Pessina has served as the CEO of the combined company for six years following the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014. During his tenure, he transformed and modernized the company into a global pharmacy, health and wellness leader, significantly expanding WBAs retail footprint and investing in digitalization. Pessina will replace James (Jim) Skinner as Executive Chairman of WBA in March 2021. Skinner will remain on the WBA Board as a non-executive director to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.


Microsoft seeks to fill void if Google exits Australia

Microsoft has a 'Plan B available' if Google follows through on threats to leave Australia over plans to compel digital giants to pay news organisations for content, local media reported Monday.

Australia's government has designed a mandatory news media bargaining code that would force Facebook and Google to compensate local publishers for hosting news stories on their platforms.


Gazprom and LUKOIL sign Master Agreement to develop two fields in Nenets Autonomous Area

Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Vagit Alekperov, President of LUKOIL, signed the Master Agreement on the terms of the development of the Vaneyvisskoye and Layavozhskoye subsurface areas in the Nenets Autonomous Area.

The signing ceremony was also attended by Yury Bezdudny, Governor of the Nenets Autonomous Area.



bye! IBM China Research Institute

IBM China Research Institute, one of IBM’s 12 largest research institutions in the world and the most influential research institution in China, has been revealed to be completely closed.

Recently, according to Weibo netizen @ horsepower in Zhiqun, IBM CRL (IBM China Research Institute) was closed, and accompanied by exclamatory words to miss this once brilliant Research Institute, “silent”. The wheel of history rolls forward.

IBM China Research Institute, founded in September 1995, is now 25 years old. Many well-known scientific and technological achievements have come out of this department, including the famous artificial intelligence program Watson.

After verification, the news is basically true, “IBM China Research Institute has been closed recently, but IBM China Development Laboratory, IBM China system laboratory and customer innovation center are also in the same building. IBM’s future R & D layout in China may be based on these R & D laboratories and innovation centers. ”


Wells Fargo Bans Advisers From GameStop, AMC Recommendations

Wells Fargo & Co. banned its advisers from making stock recommendations on GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., whose shares have surged on a push from online retail traders.

“As of today, Wells Fargo Advisors is not allowing solicitation of those two securities,” a spokesperson for the bank said Wednesday. Clients can still call their advisers to initiate trades in those stocks, she said.


Sony TV 2021: every Master Series and Bravia OLED announced so far

The Sony TV 2021 lineup may just be the smartest, fastest and most feature-rich lineup of TVs the Japanese company has ever released. Thats big praise, of course, but with a new Cognitive XR Processor coming to every new Sony TV, from the high-end Master Series all the way down to the mid-spec X900J, it sounds like it might be true.

Every year we see the worlds biggest TV brands unveil their annual ranges at the CES expo, and CES 2021 is no different. Sony doesnt have quite the scale of Samsung, perhaps, when it comes to TVs, but weve still got our eyes on a good handful of new televisions coming this year and, now that the Sony PS5 is released, were saved any more disappointment over the kind of dud logo announcements we saw last year.


Intel rehires 33-year company veteran Sunil Shenoy to lead design engineering group

Intel has announced it will appoint Sunil Shenoy as the new senior vice president and general manager of its Design Engineering Group.

The new appointment will see Shenoy return to his Intel roots, having worked at the company for 33 years before leaving in 2014.

He will lead Intel's work of design, development, validation, and manufacturing of intellectual properties and system-on-chips for client and data centre applications, the company said.

'Sunil is a proven engineering leader who has deep experience in microprocessor and SoC design and R&D,' outgoing Intel CEO Bob Swan said.