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Tesla reaches milestone with first $1B quarterly profit

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Tesla reaches milestone with first $1B quarterly profit

Tesla’s quarterly profit has surpassed $1 billion for the first time thanks to the electric car pioneer’s ability to navigate through a pandemic-driven computer chip shortage that has caused major headaches for other automakers.

The financial milestone announced Monday extended a two-year run of prosperity that has erased questions about Tesla’s long-term viability raised during its early years of losses and production problems.

Tesla now has cemented its position as the leader in the shift away from gas-combustion that is expected to make it even more profitable than during its most recent quarter.

The Palo Alto, California, company earned $1.1 billion, or $1.02 per share, in the April-June period. That was more than 10 times its profit at the same time last year. Revenue nearly doubled from last year to about $12 billion.

Adjusted to exclude one-time times items, Tesla earned $1.45 a share in the latest quarter, easily topping the 94 cents expected by Wall Street analysts, according to FactSet.

Tesla now boasts a market value of roughly $630 billion, far more than any other automaker and 14 times more than what the company was worth just two years ago. Its mercurial CEO, Elon Musk, is now sitting on the world’s third largest fortune at an estimated $163 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s calculations.

For all its recent success, Tesla’s momentum could still be slowed by a persisting shortage of chips that have become vital parts in modern cars. While other major automakers had to dramatically curtail production during the first half, Tesla so far has been able to secure an adequate supply of chips to churn out vehicles at the fastest rate in its history.

In a Monday conference call, Musk said Tesla keep its manufacturing lines running largely by finding chips from alternate suppliers and then scrambling to rewrite some of the software in its cars to ensure all the technology remained compatible. Although he said things appear to be slightly approving, Musk described the chip shortage as still being “quite serious,” making it difficult to plan for the second half of the year.

“The chip supply is a governing factor on our output,” Musk said. “It is out of our hands.”

In a telling sign that Tesla isn’t immune to the shortage of chips and other components, the company disclosed that it will delay the introduction of a highly anticipated semi truck to some time next year. Its original plan was to introduce it this year.

Musk, who jokingly anointed himself as Tesla’s “Technoking” earlier this year, let investors know that he might not be the executive discussing how the company is faring during the second half of the year.

After holding regular quarterly updates since Tesla went public 11 years ago, Musk said he no longer intends to be on future calls with analysts unless he has something extremely important to say. He told analysts on Monday that he wants to use the time to focus on other work at Tesla. The company already has eliminated the department that communicates with reporters.

In its most recent quarter, Tesla produced more than 206,000 vehicles within a three-month span for the first time in its history. It is also gearing up to build the Model Y small SUV and other models at a new factory in Austin, Texas, that’s still on schedule to be completed later this year.

Despite Tesla is now on a production pace that has raised hopes it will be able to manufacture more than 800,000 vehicles this year. That would be a significant increase from nearly 510,000 last year, when government restrictions during the early stages of the pandemic forced the company to temporarily shut down its California factory.

The uncertainty about the chip shortage may have somewhat dampened the investor response to Tesla’s surprisingly strong quarterly results. The company’s stock gained more than 1% in extended trading Monday after the second-quarter numbers came out. The stock has fallen about 25% from its peak price reached six months ago.


SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP)

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Google illustrations has just upped the tech giant’s game

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Google

If you’re not keen on placing your personal picture on your Google profile, or even if you find it difficult to find a picture that represents who you are, the search giant just found the perfect solution for you. 

Google has recently published a number of images under the name Google Illustrations, providing a wide variety of pictures representing animals, technology, and even space figures. 

“The new library of illustrations indicates that Google is taking a different approach from avatars like Snap’s Bitmoji or Microsoft’s Xbox avatars, which can let you make stylized representations of what you look like,” explained The Verge

Instead, Google illustrations offer different categories of objects and places to use for your avatar. 

Before your serotonin levels spike up, you should note that the illustrations are only available for Android users, according to Google. However, the tech giant is currently “working on” providing the illustrations to iOS users. 

The collection of illustrations available will also witness an expansion soon. In case none of the available avatars suit your liking, check back when Google welcomes more images. 

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Brave launches a non-tracking video call feature

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Brave

Brave Software, a privacy and security-based software firm is welcoming a video conference feature under the name “Brave Talk’, emphasizing a privacy-conscious video chat option embedded into its own browser.

Through clicking on the camera icon or by visiting the page talk.brave.com, users of the Brave browser can enjoy a non-tracking video call option and even invite participants who do not have the particular browser built in their devices.

Brave, which is one of the Chromium-based browsers competing to become an alternative window to the web, is now vying to join the video conferencing space next to platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft teams. However, unlike other video calling apps, Brave is placing privacy as the number one priority.

Founded in 2016, the company prides itself with its privacy-conscious tools. The new non-tracking video call feature uses an open-source called ‘Jitsi as a Service.” Given that the source can be used directly in Brave, users won’t have to install any apps or software that can potentially compromise their devices.

This is the main differentiator between Brave and platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Skype, who all have the power to monitor your calls.

“Brave Talk users can enable multiple layers of encryption on calls, so an eavesdropper cannot listen in on users’ calls, and our servers don’t save metadata, so calls, images, and activities are never recorded or shared without user consent.” The company explained according to ZDNet.

The Brave Talk feature is offered free of charge for one-on-one video conferences.

The new option also includes video group watch, livestreaming directly from YouTube, and unlimited call times.

However, a paid version does exist, allowing for even more benefits such as team calls with three or more users, having the ability to record calls, mute other users and enter a passcode to join a video call.

The paid version costs $7 a month for all international users, but the Chromium browser-based Brave has plans to launch the free version of Brave Talk for all Android and iOS users.

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NBCU Warns YouTube TV Subscribers Could Be Blacked Out

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YouTube said it has been unable to so far reach a new carriage agreement with NBCUniversal. The current contract expires on 30 September. If no new deal is struck by then, NBCUniversal content, such as Sunday Night Football, Jimmy Fallon or Law and Order SVU, will no longer be carried by Youtube TV.

NBCUniversal is warning YouTube TV subscribers that they are in danger of losing 14 channels from their streaming lineup if Google and NBCUniversal are unable to come to an agreement on carriage agreement terms.

If you are a YouTube TV subscriber, you may lose NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network.

Google said that if it gets equitable terms, it will renew its agreement with NBCU. Otherwise, subscribers will get a discount for the duration of a blackout, which could begin Thursday.

“If we are unable to reach a deal by Thursday, the NBCU lineup of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $10, from $64.99 to $54.99 (while this content remains off our platform),” Google said.

It added: “You can sign up for NBC’s own direct-to-consumer streaming service, Peacock, which they offer for $4.99/month to continue watching NBCU content, such as Sunday Night Football.”

In a statement, NBCU said it is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV.

“Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news and sports programming from their paying customers,” NBCU said.

“NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands.”

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