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Investors love electric cars. They’re starting to like Volkswagen too

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A lot can change in a week. You just have to ask Volkswagen.

A week ago, nobody thought of a trendy stock, the largest European car maker. Next, CEO Herbert Diess unveiled plans on Monday for open six “gigafactories” of battery manufacturing in Europe by 2030.

Volkswagen went even further on Tuesday, saying it would sell more than 2 million electric vehicles by 2025, hire 6,500 coding experts over the next five years, launch its own operating system and become the second largest software publisher in Europe behind SAP.

It was a wave of announcements, and it resonated with investors: Volkswagen’s major shares in Frankfurt rose nearly 20% last week, taking its gains from 2021 to 45%. Meanwhile, its less liquid common stocks are up 65%, even with a steep drop on Friday.

U.S. retail traders also joined in the action, pushing up the company’s thinly traded U.S. Certificates of Deposit (ADRs) significantly. ADRs allow investors to buy and sell foreign stocks on the US stock exchanges.

Volkswagen has been clear on the scale of its electric ambitions by investing $ 35 billion ($ 42 billion) in technology, making it difficult to fully explain the timing of the skyrocketing inventory.

Call it the Tesla Effect: The electric automaker led by Elon Musk has a market value of around $ 625 billion, compared to Volkswagen’s $ 170 billion. Tesla sold around 500,000 cars last year, while Volkswagen shipped 9.3 million.

But Volkswagen is now more like Tesla in the way investors care the most. Tesla could go on sale by Volkswagen as early as 2022, according to analysts at UBS, who predict that the owner of Audi and Porsche will sell 300,000 more electric vehicles than Tesla in 2025.

Volkswagen’s technological ambitions matter even more. It is working hard to upgrade its software capabilities and announced this month that the first wireless updates will arrive on the ID.3 this summer.

Diess even behaves a bit more like Musk. The German CEO has joined Twitter, and his presentations to investors and media are starting to give them a “tech start-up” feel, with well-designed decks.

UBS analysts told reporters last week that investors did not appreciate the speed at which Volkswagen was gaining ground over Tesla.

“We are more confident than ever that Volkswagen will deliver the unique combination of volume growth, which will make it the biggest [electric] automaker, with Tesla, as early as next year, “UBS analyst Patrick Hummel recently said,” while their margins will be stable or even increase from here. This is something that is absolutely not appreciated. “

Investors are also taking a second look at other traditional automakers. Shares of General Motors and Ford have gained around 45% so far this year, with executives unveiling more details of their electric ambitions.

Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford are good examples of established companies finding new ways of doing business in the face of the huge changes caused by the climate crisis.

Energy companies face similar challenges. One of the reasons is that the International Energy Agency said last week that demand for gasoline had peaked.

“Gasoline demand is unlikely to return to 2019 levels as efficiency gains and the shift to electric vehicles overshadow robust growth in mobility in the developing world,” the IEA said in a statement. report.

What will we learn from GameStop revenue?

It was a wild start to the year for GameStop.

The besieged retailer was at the center of a trading frenzy in January sparked by retail traders on the Reddit WallStreetBets forum. Redditors cheered as GameStop soared. They displayed diamond emojis (a reference to holding a stock for a long time) and headlines like “NEXT STOP IS THE MOON BABY” with rocket emojis, representing a belief that the action will continue to grow. upward trajectory.

Here’s the thing: some of these traders invested in GameStop because they wanted to punish hedge funds who bet the stock would drop. But others believe the company is undervalued and could benefit from growing interest in video games and new consoles during the pandemic.

GameStop will release its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2020 after the closing bell on Tuesday. He will set up a conference call with investors at 5:00 p.m. ET the same day.

Do the results suggest a rebound? It’s not clear. But do the results matter to the Reddit crowd? Also unclear.

following

Monday: Sales of existing homes in the United States; Tencent Music revenue

Tuesday: New home sales in the United States; Adobe and GameStop revenue

Wednesday: EIA report on crude inventories; General Mills Results

Thursday: Unemployment claims in the United States; US GDP in the fourth quarter (third estimate)

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