by Shane Ormond
On Jan 21, 2020
Now that the Chinese factory is complete (and just in time for a deadly virus outbreak), self-proclaimed “Buff Mage” Elon Musk is turning his attention to Germany, where colonies of bats and unexploded World War II bombs threaten to undermine investor confidence. (Those are not metaphors.)
- Boeing Stock Falls as Execs Consider Axing 737 MAX
- Uber in Talks to Sell Uber Eats India for $400 Million
- The Best Performing Stocks of the Decade
- One Last Thing (for the Year)
Boeing Stock Falls as Execs Consider Axing 737 MAX
Boeing is considering suspending production of the 737 Max over growing concerns that folks don’t want to fly in a plane that tends to drop out of the sky and explode.
The higher-ups at the Lower-Down Plane Company are finally coming around to the idea of pausing production on the 737 Groundhunter, “people familiar with the matter” told the Wall Street Journal.
This report comes just days after U.S. regulators had sit down with an overeager little Boeing and tell ‘em to stop telling everyone that its little Crashmaster would be up in air any day now.
Executives said in October that the company hoped to resume deliveries of the 737 Nosedive in Q4, allowing them to clear up the backlog of planes that’s built up during the global flight ban.
However, Boeing’s buds at the FAA (who were perfectly happy to let the MAX fly as long as it only crashed and killed everybody on board once or twice every two years) had to step in and said: “Hold your horses there champ.”
In an email to lawmakers, the FAA said that Boeing’s return-to-service schedule was “not realistic” and accused the company of trying to bully regulators into fast-tracking Boeing’s case.
“The administrator is concerned that Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic due to delays that have accumulated for a variety of reasons,” said the email.
“More concerning, the administrator wants to directly address the perception that some of Boeing’s public statements have been designed to force FAA into taking quicker action.”
Some industry executives have said that getting the 737 MAX back in the air could take as long as two years. (Maybe Boeing’s execs meant Q4 two years from now?)
Following the grounding of the 737 Downmachine, monthly production of the aircraft was cut from 52 to 42. But that still leaves Boeing holding a metric butt load of planes they can’t legally sell right now. (Friends of the company might be getting 230-seat narrow-body aircrafts in their stocking this year).
Suspending or cutting down production would drastically inflate Boeing’s costs for this quarter, trigger charges against its financial results, and may result in layoffs across the aerospace industry.
According to the WSJ’s “people familiar with the matter,” Boeing management hadn’t made a decision on whether or not to suspend production as of early Sunday morning.
(People Familiar with the Matter is the title of my Wall Street rap album, available for the low, low price of whatever a bitcoin’s worth this time next year.)
That said, Boeing signaled to aviation officials last week to expect a big production-related announcement relating to its 737 Dirtseeking Missile. We’re probably looking at a significant rollback of 737 MAX output, if not a total suspension. (Or maybe the company will just say, “Screw it. We’re cranking out a million of these bad boys.”)
The price per share of Boeing’s stock (BA) dropped about 4.13% after the report dropped this morning.
Uber in Talks to Sell Uber Eats India for $400 Million
Uber is in talks to offload its India food-delivery service to local rival Zomato, as part of an effort to stop throwing millions of dollars into a giant hole in the ground.
The deal could be announced as early as this week, according to the Times of India. (I read it for the funnies. Man, that Indian Garfield sure does hate Somavar.)
According to Tech Crunch, Uber will continue to operate it’s rideshare service in India. But the company plans to offload its soggy-food-delivery arm to competitor Zomato (pronounced like tomato, which I realize doesn’t actually help much) for as much as $400 million.
As part of the deal, Uber may invest between $150 and $200 million in Zomato. As we write this, the 11-year old company is smack bang in the middle of a round of financing in which it’s expected to raise $600 million for a valuation of $3 billion.
Spokespeople for Uber and Zomato have been giving reporters seeking confirmation on the deal the damp elbow (a variation of the cold shoulder). But reports align with a statement made by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi during a conference call about last month’s earnings.
“We’re going to shoot to get to number one and number two in every market that we’re in,” said Dara when asked about the global strategy for Uber Eats. “If we can’t make it to that level, we’ll look to dispose or we’ll get out of the market.”
Since Uber’s disastrous IPO, Khosrowshahi’s mission statement has been to plug up the company’s notoriously leaky financials and somehow turn a profit in this lifetime.
Exiting the food-delivery business in India could save the company as much as $500 million of losses annually (it could save a fortune if it pulled out of every country and just shut the whole thing down).
Uber’s stock (UBER) jumped 6% this morning as the rideshare company unloaded one of the many albatrosses around its neck.
The Best Performing Stocks of the Decade
Well folks, that about does it for another decade.
It’s been a busy few years. The host of The Apprentice became the host of the entire United States. Cinema is mostly just dudes in tights wailing on each other now. And Kanye West is a priest or a cult leader or something.
It’s been a heck of a decade for stocks too, with the DJIA returning 165% from the end of 2009 through Dec. 5, 2019. The S&P 500 returned 244% during that time.
In Other News
ONE LAST THING
One Last Thing (for the Year)
Instead of your usual One Last Thing, I have some OLT housekeeping to do.
It ain’t the end of 2019 yet. But after a year of dumpster diving in the 24-hour news cycle, I need a vacation or my brain will turn into whatever Ajit Pai drinks from that giant-ass mug of his.
I’ll be taking some much needed R&R (resting & re-drinking) with relatives in Ireland. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting your daily dose of OLT.
For the holiday season, we’ll be counting down a list of the best/worst/most bizarre stories of the year. And you’re going to want to check these out.
While I was compiling these stories, it made me realize just how buck wild this year has been.
It’s been fun to write about. But, my god, this is a weird ass time we live in. Let’s scrap it all and try again next year.
I’ll be back in the New Year, rested and ready to go diving for fresh, hot news garbage. Until then, have a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, killer Kwanzaa, dope Diwali, and try not to burn the whole thing down before I get back.
Closing Data for 12/13/19
DIJA $28,139.70 ↑ 0.03%
S&P Index 500 $3,169.55 ↑ 0.03
NASDAQ $8,738.90 ↑ 0.25%
Gold $1,482.10 ↑ 0.67%
Silver $17.01 ↑ 0.37%
Bitcoin $7,283.20 ↑ 0.82%
- U.S. stocks push higher as data points to an improving Chinese economy, adding to optimism that some of the biggest market risks are clearing up.
- The governor of California rejected PG&E’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, saying it failed to meet the requirements of a newly enacted wildfire law.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the Vatican spends only 10% of its Peter’s Pence charitable donations on charitable works, with the rest used to plug the Vatican’s budget deficit.
Editor, One Last Thing