28 Oct WARNING: NO MORE ‘GREENWASHING’; WHO IS THE REAL MVP OF THE PANDEMIC?
Welcome to this week’s business and media intelligence update.
ELECTRIC DREAMS: TE$LA BECOMES A ONE TRILLION DOLLAR COMPANY 👏 👏 👏
After years of fending off the bears, the short sellers, and the US regulators, Elon Musk’s electric dream has finally become a reality. The electric vehicle pioneer joined the S&P 500 index in December 2020, and officially became a $1 trillion company this week, after notching a third consecutive record quarterly profit.
In the same week that Tesla joined the rarefied ranks of Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon, the company inked a record $4 billion deal to sell 100,000 electric vehicles to Hertz. Meanwhile, Uber announced that it would be making a 50,000 strong fleet of Tesla’s cars available to its army of drivers, making the Tesla Model 3 a ubiquitous car on American roads.
A couple of caveats from the New York Times’ DealBook: a) Tesla’s $10 billion in long term debt is still considered junk; b) It paid $40 million to settle an accusation of securities fraud from the Securities and Exchange Commission; and c) Its sales and earnings are still significantly lower than others in its class. It also has Chinese EV manufacturers BYD, Donfeng and Geely snapping at its heels.
Nevertheless, an inspiring story about following your dreams, even if they’re 18 years in the making.
WARNING: NO MORE ‘GREENWASHING’
Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned that it will crack down on companies that claim to have solid sustainability targets without also having concrete plans to achieve them.
Greenwashing, or the practice of providing misleading information about a company’s environmental credentials, could potentially expose directors or company officers to class actions from activist shareholders. The boards and management teams of oil and gas companies in particular, have been put on notice.
For management teams looking for a carrot to ASIC’s stick, investors have backed the Federal Government’s net zero goals, saying that they were prepared to push emissions intensive companies towards achieving their net zero goals.
WHO IS THE REAL MVP OF THE PANDEMIC?
Since the start of the pandemic two years ago, Australia Post has been under intense pressure as locked down households succumb to the temptations of online shopping. The result? A 32 per cent rise in parcel volumes.
Consumers have pushed delivery systems to their limits, with Australia Post delivering an average of more than 10 million parcels a week around the country.
Just this week, Australia Post announced it will spend $400 million to boost parcel operations ahead of an expected record online holiday season shopping splurge, with up to half a million parcels expected to be delivered each weekend until Christmas.
Read more here.
THE RETURN TO RESTAURANTS AND CAFES
During the peak of the pandemic last year, toilet paper was flying off the shelves, now, supermarket giants are suffering from a slowdown in sales.
Australia is moving to the “next phase” of shopping trends, as previously locked down households return to dining in cafes and restaurants after three months of home cooked meals. Fewer cooked meals at home; fewer grocery sales.
Another issue plaguing the supermarket industry is a global shortage of wooden pallets used by suppliers around the world. The phenomenon – coined as “pallet gate” by Coles CEO Steven Cain – is the result of the scarcity and higher price of wood, labour shortages and global supply chain disruptions.
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