David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
At the Sohn Investment Conference in Manhattan on Monday, Greenlight Capital founder and president David Einhorn said Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s promises about Tesla’s self-driving vehicles amounted to “a lot of horse—t.”
Greenlight is famously short shares in the electric car maker, and Einhorn is regarded as one of the most prominent and vocal critics of Musk as well.
Last year, Einhorn and Musk clashed over Greenlight’s short position in 2018, after the hedge fund suffered losses from Tesla’s rising share price in the second quarter. After that clash, Musk fans at Chubbies, a mens’ apparel business, sent a box of short-shorts to Einhorn.
At the Sohn Conference, Einhorn quipped: “Napoleon once said, ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake,’ so I won’t. Just watch the screen.”
He then presented a few slides showing Elon Musk’s frowning face behind captions which were promises and proclamations he made recently, including:
- “It’s financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla. They will be like owning a horse in three years,” – Elon Musk, April 22, 2019
- “A Tesla will be worth $150,000 to $250,000 in 3 years.” – Elon Musk, May 2, 2019
“That’s a lot of horse—t,” Einhorn concluded, with a slide that showed a poop emoji replacing Musk’s face in the slide, inspiring some chuckles from the audience.
Einhorn then moved on to a presentation about planes, trains and leasing, and some new investments at Greenlight.
The Sohn Conference convenes fund managers who volunteer to present investment ideas to raise money to fight pediatric cancer.
UTX CEO optimistic Raytheon merger will be completed within 9 months
UTC and Raytheon announced they had agreed an all-stock merger earlier this month. The deal, which the two companies called a “merger of equals,” would bring together a booming aerospace company with a giant government defense contractor.
It is expected to close in the first half of 2020.
However, the proposal has raised questions among regulators and shareholders about the economic benefits and costs of large mergers.
“If you think about the regulatory landscape, which is the first question in terms of the timing, there is zero overlap,” Greg Hayes, CEO of UTC told CNBC’s Phil LeBeau at the Paris Airshow on Monday.
“From a regulatory standpoint, we think nine months at the outsight to get this done. Ten countries, it does not require Chinese approval, so we think we have got a pretty clear path,” Hayes said.
Raytheon has been ‘on our radar for a long time’
President Donald Trump told CNBC in an exclusive interview last week that he was a “little concerned” the proposed deal could harm competition and make it more difficult for the U.S. government to negotiate defense contracts.
Raytheon and UTC have both since dismissed concerns about a possible reduction in competition, saying they have very little overlap that would generally spark concern among anti-trust regulators.
“As far as objections from shareholders, I think, again, the more we talk about technology, the more they see the benefits, the easier this is going to be to convince people,” Hayes said.
The new company, to be called Raytheon Technologies, would become the second-largest aerospace and defense company in the U.S. after Boeing with an estimated $74 billion in sales.
Raytheon International CEO John Harris told CNBC Monday that he could not remember a time when the two companies were competing over the past 35 years.
United Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Harris also said he did not see the Raytheon and UTC deal as an indication of more mergers in the aerospace industry.
“As we have talked to the customers, as we have talked to the Department of Defense, they have been very intrigued by the opportunities that the merger gives,” UTC’s Hayes said.
“Obviously, investors were a little bit surprised. I tell people, look, this is the final piece of the puzzle for UTC in terms of our journey from a conglomerate multi industry to a focused A&D (aerospace and defense) company.”
“I was joking with the folks at Raytheon that they have been on our radar for a long time. Of course, they are the preeminent company in the world,” he added.
ADNOC and OCI form regional and global fertilizer exporting powerhouse
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Netherlands-based OCI, a producer and distributor of natural gas-based fertilizers and chemicals, are joining forces, the companies announced Monday.
The new joint venture will create the world’s largest exporter of nitrogen fertilizer, as well as the largest producer in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Abu Dhabi, OCI CEO and Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris pointed to consolidation as a key strategy for improving returns.
“This is an industry that is not very proud that we can’t achieve high single-digits return on capital employed. We have to do something to improve the returns and one is consolidate our various manufacturing platforms, pool them together and be able to serve our customers along multiple geographic regions,” he said.
The joint venture aims to expand the companies’ market share and the diversity of its Middle Eastern and African production channels.
“ADNOC is very well positioned to serve the Asian market, our assets in Egypt are well-positioned to serve East Africa as well as Eastern Europe, our assets in Algeria are incredibly close to the Western European markets as well as Latin America,” the CEO added. “So this platform will be unique in terms of its ability to deliver to our customers the products in a timely manner and in a cost-efficient way in terms of mitigating freight costs.”
Allan Baxter | The Image Bank | Getty Images
The entity will have a production capacity of 5 million tons of urea and 1.5 million tons of sellable ammonia, according to an ADNOC press release, which listed annual revenues for the combined entity at $1.74 billion, based on 2018 pro forma figures.
OCI and ADNOC will own a 58% and 42% stake in the venture, respectively, which will be based in Abu Dhabi and registered with Abu Dhabi Global Market.
The move is the latest step in ADNOC’s strategy to expand its downstream portfolio. The company has inked a number of new petrochemical partnerships this year, including with Austria’s OMV and Borealis in March. It’s also sold stakes of its refining units to international firms and signed pipeline infrastructure deals with institutional investors in the U.S.
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, ADNOC group CEO and UAE minister of state, said in a statement: “Pooling our assets and capabilities is a value enhancing step for both companies, allowing us to leapfrog competitors to become the top nitrogen export platform globally. It will also enable us to access new markets, benefiting both existing and new customers.”
Virgin Atlantic chooses Airbus A330 to update fleet
A Virgin Atlantic plane taxis past a Delta plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport in N.Y.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
In its second major announcement at the Paris Air Show, Airbus has announced that Virgin Atlantic is to buy 14 A330-900 aircraft.
Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Shai Weiss said at a press conference Monday it was the airline’s “biggest ever fleet transformation,” and that by 2025 the Virgin fleet would have halved its average age.
The list price for the deal was $4.1 billion dollars, although it is expected that Virgin negotiated a much cheaper deal.The commitment from Virgin was for eight aircraft from Airbus and six additionally leased from Air Lease Corporation.
U.S. firm Delta Airlines owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic and Weiss said the firm had input into the purchase decision.
Weiss added that the order of the A330neo plane will replace Virgin’s A330ceos from 2021 and was part of a plan to double its fleet size flying out of Heathrow.
Earlier on Monday, Airbus announced the launch of a long-range, single-aisle airliner. The company also announcement that it agreed to sell 100 planes to the U.S. plane lessor Air Lease Corporation.
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