Johnson Investment Counsel Increases Position in Tesla Motors (TSLA); Greenbrier Partners …

… quit this bad habit to make sure Microsoft was a success; 10/04/2018 – C3 IOT & MICROSOFT REPORT PARTNERSHIP TO ON AI IN ENTERPRISE; …

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Greenbrier Partners Capital Management Llc increased its stake in Microsoft Corp (MSFT) by 60% based on its latest 2019Q1 regulatory filing with the SEC. Greenbrier Partners Capital Management Llc bought 30,000 shares as the company’s stock rose 6.56% . The hedge fund held 80,000 shares of the prepackaged software company at the end of 2019Q1, valued at $9.44 million, up from 50,000 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Greenbrier Partners Capital Management Llc who had been investing in Microsoft Corp for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $ market cap company. The stock increased 1.08% or $1.45 during the last trading session, reaching $134.84. About 14.62M shares traded. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has risen 29.33% since August 26, 2018 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 29.33% the S&P500. Some Historical MSFT News: 07/03/2018 – ISG Smartalks™ Webinar to Reveal Best Practices for Doing Business with Microsoft; 16/03/2018 – FTI Consulting’s Carlyn Taylor Named a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy; 09/05/2018 – Media Alert – IBI Group, Microsoft, EllisDon, The Weather Network, and Slate Announce New Toronto Smart Cities Initiative; 25/04/2018 – LiveU and Griiip Team Up to Create Dynamic Cost-Effective Live Broadcasting for Entry-Level Formula Motorsports; 29/05/2018 – Over the past 12 months, Microsoft has surged 40%, more than five times Alphabet’s gain, and has again become the more valuable of the two; 10/05/2018 – Bill Gates struggled to quit this bad habit to make sure Microsoft was a success; 10/04/2018 – C3 IOT & MICROSOFT REPORT PARTNERSHIP TO ON AI IN ENTERPRISE; 26/04/2018 – Microsoft 3Q Intelligent Cloud Revenue $7.9B; 05/04/2018 – Determine, Inc. President, CEO and Director Patrick Stakenas Featured in Nationwide Media Distribution by Business Rockstars; 29/03/2018 – TimeXtender Announces New Alliance With Neal Analytics, Microsoft 2017 Business Analytics Partner of the Year

Johnson Investment Counsel Inc increased its stake in Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) by 19.2% based on its latest 2019Q1 regulatory filing with the SEC. Johnson Investment Counsel Inc bought 1,128 shares as the company’s stock rose 3.25% . The institutional investor held 7,003 shares of the capital goods company at the end of 2019Q1, valued at $1.96 million, up from 5,875 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Johnson Investment Counsel Inc who had been investing in Tesla Motors Inc. for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $38.30 billion market cap company. The stock increased 1.14% or $2.4 during the last trading session, reaching $213.8. About 4.50M shares traded. Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has declined 16.74% since August 26, 2018 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 16.74% the S&P500. Some Historical TSLA News: 21/05/2018 – CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS TESLA MODEL 3 FALLS SHORT OF A CR RECOMMENDATION; 12/04/2018 – TESLA SAYS CO WITHDREW FROM PARTY AGREEMENT WITH NTSB BECAUSE IT REQUIRES THAT TESLA NOT RELEASE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTOPILOT TO THE PUBLIC; 01/05/2018 – Can @Tesla make the shift away from producing limited numbers of luxury cars and into being a mass-market manufacturer? It’s not looking great; 26/04/2018 – Tesla’s Autopilot Hit With More Turmoil as Leader Departs for Intel; 03/05/2018 – The company’s earnings report on Wednesday showed a narrower-than-expected loss as Tesla continued to burn through cash — but investors seemed to have weathered all of that just fine; 14/05/2018 – Tesla establishes electric vehicle outpost in China; 14/05/2018 – Tesla Files to Create Wholly Owned Company in Shanghai; 15/05/2018 – Tesla may be able to product 500 Model 3 cars per day this week, says a leaked email; 27/03/2018 – Moody’s downgrades Tesla credit rating on Model 3 production delays; 03/04/2018 – SPECULATIVE-GRADE DEFAULT RATE SEEN FALLING TO 2.0 PCT A YEAR FROM NOW VS CURRENT 3.6 PCT – MOODY’S

Investors sentiment decreased to 0.93 in Q1 2019. Its down 0.53, from 1.46 in 2018Q4. It is negative, as 96 investors sold TSLA shares while 158 reduced holdings. 57 funds opened positions while 179 raised stakes. 86.83 million shares or 10.41% less from 96.91 million shares in 2018Q4 were reported. Etrade Cap Ltd Limited Liability Company stated it has 0.03% in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA). Los Angeles Management Equity holds 0.05% of its portfolio in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) for 29,758 shares. Quantitative Investment Mngmt Ltd owns 91,000 shares. Moors Cabot holds 0.03% in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) or 1,602 shares. Moreover, Meiji Yasuda Asset Communications Ltd has 0.05% invested in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tudor Investment Corporation Et Al has 0.2% invested in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) for 17,100 shares. Nelson Roberts Inv Advisors Limited Liability Company holds 0.01% or 80 shares. Pnc Services owns 13,611 shares. New York-based Qci Asset Mgmt Incorporated Ny has invested 0% in Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA). Fcg Advisors Ltd Liability Co invested in 0.07% or 786 shares. Zurcher Kantonalbank (Zurich Cantonalbank) accumulated 0.07% or 28,620 shares. Aqr Cap Management Limited Liability reported 4,006 shares. 128 were reported by First Personal Financial Services. Huntington Bancorporation holds 0% or 515 shares in its portfolio. 9,660 are owned by Bnp Paribas Asset Mngmt Sa.

Since May 2, 2019, it had 3 insider buys, and 0 insider sales for $25.31 million activity. DENHOLM ROBYN M bought 1,000 shares worth $232,720. $25.00M worth of Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were bought by Musk Elon.

Johnson Investment Counsel Inc, which manages about $8.19B and $4.68B US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Nike Incorporated Class B (NYSE:NKE) by 6,324 shares to 296,614 shares, valued at $24.98M in 2019Q1, according to the filing. It also reduced its holding in Energy Select Sector Spdr Fund (XLE) by 14,449 shares in the quarter, leaving it with 42,975 shares, and cut its stake in Vanguard Total International Stoc (VXUS).

More notable recent Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) news were published by: Seekingalpha.com which released: “Tesla: Q2 Is More Than Just A Disaster – Seeking Alpha” on July 31, 2019, also Seekingalpha.com with their article: “Tesla turns to LG Chem – Seeking Alpha” published on August 23, 2019, Nasdaq.com published: “Tesla (TSLA) 2nd Quarter Earnings: What to Expect – Nasdaq” on July 24, 2019. More interesting news about Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) were released by: Fool.com and their article: “Better Robotaxi Stock: Alphabet or Tesla? – The Motley Fool” published on August 25, 2019 as well as Seekingalpha.com‘s news article titled: “Tesla’s Advantage In Behaviour Prediction For Autonomous Driving – Seeking Alpha” with publication date: August 11, 2019.

Greenbrier Partners Capital Management Llc, which manages about $373.15 million and $562.82M US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) by 50,000 shares to 450,000 shares, valued at $75.01 million in 2019Q1, according to the filing.

Investors sentiment decreased to 0.91 in Q1 2019. Its down 0.03, from 0.94 in 2018Q4. It is negative, as 64 investors sold MSFT shares while 922 reduced holdings. 159 funds opened positions while 742 raised stakes. 5.41 billion shares or 1.21% less from 5.48 billion shares in 2018Q4 were reported. Advisory Serv holds 21,015 shares. Plancorp invested in 25,623 shares. Schwerin Boyle Incorporated accumulated 1.36% or 104,925 shares. Heritage Investors Management Corp, Maryland-based fund reported 391,276 shares. Lee Danner Bass holds 108,449 shares or 1.41% of its portfolio. Fagan Assoc Inc invested in 96,593 shares. Waratah Capital Advsr stated it has 103,888 shares or 1.29% of all its holdings. Tiaa Cref Inv Lc has 3.6% invested in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Wharton Business Gp Incorporated Lc reported 38,898 shares stake. Moreover, Sachem Head Mngmt LP has 10.75% invested in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Flow Traders Us Limited Liability Company invested in 0.04% or 6,541 shares. Old Point Tru And Financial Serv N A reported 65,911 shares. Bridges Inv Mngmt reported 467,895 shares or 2.25% of all its holdings. Cambridge has invested 3.41% in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Fort Washington Investment Advsrs Oh holds 2.80M shares.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Institutional Positions Chart

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The Driverless-Car Pile-Up and the Folly of ‘Industrial Policy’

One early backer, the firm Lux Capital, recently raised a $1 billion fund based on the company’s success as a crown jewel in its portfolio. It’s one of a …
A fleet of Uber self-driving cars at a technology demonstration in September 2016. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)

If our best and brightest venture capitalists can’t pick winners, the government doesn’t stand a chance.

The idea that the government might successfully support and steer innovation is making a comeback as wonks both left and right show a renewed interest in “industrial policy.” But faceless functionaries steering anything from D.C. should terrify us all. Even the most credible, savvy venture capitalists and entrepreneurs fail at an astonishing rate. Why would a bureaucrat with a ton of money do better?

To see how difficult it is to push the frontier, take the coming wave of innovation in the auto industry.

Over the past three years now, I have watched from my perch at the corner of Broadway and Front Street in San Francisco as a small fleet of SUVs suffers the most dreadful punishment outside my office window. Circling and circling, sometimes farther and sometimes closer, but always coming back like two-ton boomerangs, these SUVs have taken the same routes around the same city blocks, every day, day after day.

It would make Sisyphus weep, so I can only imagine how the drivers must feel. Why would anyone condemn them to this fate? The rack of lidar sensors, radar, and cameras on top of each vehicle gives it away. Their owner, a startup down the street called Zoox, believes that if the fleet captures enough data — if it encounters enough wildly different urban anomalies that might pop up on the road (a plastic bag in the air, a bike on the back of a car, a child chasing a ball in the rain) and learns to recognize and plan around them — then boom! The age of self-driving vehicles will have arrived, ushering in the greatest tectonic shift in transportation since the Wright brothers took off at Kitty Hawk.

Zoox is a five-year-old company worth over $3 billion, having raised $800 million from some of the best venture capitalists out there. One early backer, the firm Lux Capital, recently raised a $1 billion fund based on the company’s success as a crown jewel in its portfolio. It’s one of a number of companies — including Aurora, GM’s Cruise, Alphabet’s Waymo, and even Tesla — betting on the super-intelligent Mr. Magoo theory of self-driving cars. Like Mr. Magoo, their vehicles experience technical hitches due to near-sightedness and a stubborn refusal to admit the problem. Their hope is that if they jack up Mr. Magoo’s brain to superintelligent power and have him circle the block a trillion times, his poor eyesight won’t stop him, because the recognition algorithms running on his visual cortex will be able to identify the intentions of another driver from the faint blur of a mere handful of pixels, even at a 150 yard distance while traveling 60 miles an hour.

Good luck with that, especially at night in the rain.

Of all the Magoos, Tesla at least has the advantage of drawing data from 500,000 cars let loose on the roads. As of this spring, Tesla was training and updating its self-driving software from the experiences of 500,000 cars with a radar, eight cameras, and twelve ultrasonics. “All the cars being produced have all the hardware necessary — computer and otherwise — for full self-driving,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at his company’s Automation Day presentation on April 22 of this year. “I’ll say that again: All Tesla cars being produced right now have everything necessary for full self-driving. All you need to do is improve the software.”

Full self-driving hardware! Just take Mr. Magoo around the block a few trillion times and he’ll be fine. They’ll update his brain. Of course, as the many videos of Teslas self-parking on YouTube will attest, Musk’s cars park like, well, Mr. Magoo: poorly and slowly. Perhaps failure to live up to Musk’s proclamation explains why 32 Tesla executives have been fired or asked to step down in the 18 months or so.

Musk has to exaggerate because Tesla is a car company whose stock trades like a tech company. Tesla might sell 400,000 cars this year. By contrast, Ford might sell 6 million, GM 8.5 million. Granted, the Tesla Model 3 looks and drives like a dream. But when you count salaries and overhead according to Tesla’s own quarterly statements, it costs more to make a Tesla than people are willing to pay for it. And that calculus includes the federal subsidies that will dry up on December 31 of this year. Ford is worth $35 billion and makes money on its cars. Tesla is worth $40 billion and doesn’t. How is this math possible?

Tesla’s stock trades at such a large multiple of its revenue because Musk has convinced shareholders that it’s not a car company, but an artificial-intelligence company that happens to use a fleet of 500,000 cars to collect and label data. It’s a clever sleight-of-hand, but it’s not fooling those who matter. As a fund manager on Wall Street once told me, “You’re not a hedge-fund manager until you’ve shorted Tesla at least once.”

Well, win some, lose some, wreck some. The venture-capital industry and the autonomous-vehicle market wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if some people didn’t get sacked, sued, go under, blow up, or beg for mercy in Chapter 11 proceedings every so often. For those in the grandstands watching the tech world, it’s lights out and away we go. The industry is one or two hairpin turns away from a colossal crash of bankruptcies, acquisitions, foldings, and consolidation. If the prize is rich and the future a golden promise, there is still a long way to go, and in the short term things are going to get nasty.

In fact, we estimate that ninety percent of the startups in the autonomous-vehicle space today will not exist in five years. A startup called Drive.ai was putt-putting on fumes when Apple scooped it up for pennies in an acquisition this summer. Driving-assist startup Scotty Labs was just acquired by DoorDash. Intel bought the automotive-camera maker MobileEye for $15 billion. Ford and Volkswagen recently announced they were teaming up instead of going at it alone. For the industry itself, this is the beginning. But for many of the players, the end is near.

The big crunch is coming because, over the next year, all the major auto and trucking companies will decide on who will be the suppliers for their main production lines in 2022. This won’t be for full self-driving, but for something a little more modest if still vitally important: a car so safe it is incapable of crashing. Once the major auto companies settle on their suppliers, once the music stops, it’s going to be kaput for anyone else who doesn’t have a chair.

To lay my cards on the table, my own venture-capital company, the 1517 fund, is betting that the Magoos’ labor will continue to yield weak results. Our biggest investment is in Luminar Technologies, a company making a perception system using a wholly unique lidar. Instead of only giving self-driving cars a brain, Luminar wants to give them better-than-human eyes, too. With key improvements on four core components — laser, receiver, microchip, and scanner — Luminar’s lidar is the only one that currently satisfies the major auto companies’ technical requirements for full autonomy in a vehicle. In other words, the data coming into the Luminar system is so rich that recognition algorithms can work faster and more accurately with less time to learn, even at night or in the rain.

Given these advantages over the Magoos, our fund fully expects to have a chair when the music stops. Our bet is that all the genius VCs backing contrarian founders and all the CEOs of companies commanding fleets that drive in circles for years will end up disappointed, while the rest of us building the future without lies and exaggerations celebrate. This is provided, of course, that government bureaucrats aren’t allowed to tip the scales and ruin the fun in the meantime, as I certainly hope they aren’t.

After all, if Elon Musk, Google, Apple, Intel, and the best and brightest VCs in the business could make such a colossal miscalculation, a federal pencil-pusher doesn’t stand a chance.

Michael Gibson is a co-founder of 1517 Fund and was previously the vice president for grants at the Thiel Foundation.

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Former Tesla VP Of Engineering Stuart Bowers Joins Greylock

Stuart Bowers recently joined Greylock Partners as an Executive in Residence. Bowers used to be the VP of Engineering at Tesla Motors and oversaw …
  • Stuart Bowers recently joined Greylock Partners after working as the head of the Autopilot software at Tesla Motors

Stuart Bowers recently joined Greylock Partners as an Executive in Residence. Bowers used to be the VP of Engineering at Tesla Motors and oversaw the Autopilot software built into the vehicles.

In the past few months, there were a number of reports that suggested Tesla was restructuring the Autopilot software team and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was taking charge of the changes.

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Before Bowers’ departure, a number of his responsibilities were removed and some of the team members under him were promoted and are going to directly report to Musk, according to Electrek. For example, Milan Kovac was promoted to Director of Autopilot Software Engineering at Tesla after working in several positions on Tesla’s Autopilot team.

“Most recently, Stuart led the Autopilot Software Team at Tesla, where he managed a team of more than 100 engineers. He focused on taking what was happening with both hardware and computer vision, and packaging it with all the planning, controls and testing, and the operating system to make a viable product that goes on top of people’s cars,” said Greylock partner Josh McFarland in a blog post. “Prior to Tesla, he worked at Snap, Inc. where he led the company’s monetization engineering organization, building a way to monetize their product from the ground up. He focused on understanding users, combining these insights with machine learning, and then turned it into massive scale to make billions of predictions everyday. During his time at Snap, he grew the team from 18 to 200+ engineers and worked with Sales and Product Management to grow annual revenue from $58M in 2015 to $1.18B in 2018.”

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And Bowers spent a decade at Microsoft and Facebook switching between the roles of product manager and programmer. At Facebook, he worked on the ad infrastructure team and built Facebook’s first machine learning platform called FBLearner. FBLearner scaled to train models for nearly all aspects of Facebook’s business including ranking the News Feed, making recommendations, and selecting ads.

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Tesla Solar Panels Had Allegedly Caught On Fire At An Amazon Warehouse

According to the company, the solar panels installed by the Tesla SolarCity division have caught on fire on the roof of one of Amazon’s …

It’s only been a few days since we found out that Walmart has sued Tesla after a number of solar panels installed by the company at the retailer’s shops have caught on fire and already another similar accusation has made an appearance over the same issue – this time it comes from Amazon.

Tesla Sued By Walmart Over Solar Panel Fires

According to the company, the solar panels installed by the Tesla SolarCity division have caught on fire on the roof of one of Amazon’s warehouses, located in Redlands, California.

Amazon has e-mailedBloomberg with the information, though it’s been a while since it happened: the fire allegedly occurred in June of 2018. A Tesla spokesperson has toldGizmodo that, indeed, an ‘isolated incident’ did happen at one Amazon site at the time. Since then, Amazon has decided to not install any other Tesla systems.

Tesla responded to the information Amazon provided via a spokesperson who told Gizmodo that “All 11 Amazon sites with solar from Tesla are generating energy and are proactively monitored and maintained.Last year, there was an isolated event that occurred in an inverter at one of the Amazon sites. Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to root cause the event and remediate.” The statement adds that the company “also performed inspections at the other sites, which confirmed the integrity of the systems. As with all of our commercial solar installations, we continue to proactively monitor the systems to ensure they operate safely and reliably.”

Walmart on the other hand, had already installed the solar panels at around 240 of its stores before the fires happened and, according to the lawsuit against Tesla, the fires in question “originated in the Tesla solar panels.”

In addition to that, Tesla’s own safety inspections in 2019 only found 175 items that needed to be replaced or repaired but 48 of them were recorded as “reflecting conditions that rendered the sites unsafe or potentially unsafe.”

Walmart and Tesla eventually released a joint statement that they are working together on solving the problems.

Walmart and Tesla look forward to addressing all issues and re-energizing Tesla solar installations at Walmart stores, once all parties are certain that all concerns have been addressed.” The statement says. “Together, we look forward to pursuing our mutual goal of a sustainable energy future. Above all else, both companies want each and every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely.”

The Walmart lawsuit and the Amazon allegations are not the first SolarCity has had to deal with: in October, Tesla had to hand over $13 million to the state of Oregon after an investigation revealed that SolarCity had not been completely honest about the real cost of a number of solar power projects installed within the state.

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Tesla Pickup Final Details Taking Shape: What To Expect

… the Tesla Model Y launch early this year for people to get an idea what a cyberpunk truck, something that CEO Elon Musk coined, actually looks like.

Tesla’s pickup truck is already shaping up to be one of the EV company’s most successful vehicle in its stable despite the general public not actually getting a glimpse of the vehicle.

For months, Tesla fans and analysts had to rely on an obscure teaser shared during the Tesla Model Y launch early this year for people to get an idea what a cyberpunk truck, something that CEO Elon Musk coined, actually looks like. We have relatively very little information about the pickup which seemingly makes it more exciting to watch out for.

Now, we know that the final details of the new Tesla vehicle are already being completed, and based on Musk’s recent statements, it won’t take long before we finally get to see the elusive vehicle.

“We’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months,” Musk said on Twitter, revealing the Tesla Truck’s schedule.

So what are the final details that we can determine to be true of the Tesla pickup? There are a few actually. Based on statements that Musk revealed during Tesla’s 2019 Annual Shareholder Meeting, the enigmatic CEO highlighted the vehicle’s towing capacity and performance. We know for sure that the truck’s towing capacity is going to be impressive at 300,000 pounds. Musk proceeded to compare the upcoming truck with the classic Ford F-150.

He also said that the truck will be “better” than the Porsche 911 which we can only conclude that the pickup is going to be fast. Considering this, the pickup will most likely accelerate from 0-60 mph in four seconds. This would put the Tesla at par with the Rivian R1T pickup truck which claims to run from 0-60 mph in three seconds.

Next, we’re pretty sure the pickup will be relatively “affordable” at $49,000 for the base model – something that both Ford and Rivian might have a hard time competing against.

“You should be able to buy a really great truck for $49k or less,” Musk said during Ryan McCaffrey‘s Ride the Lightning podcast. In comparison, the R1T will start at $69,000. The Rivian, however, will sport a more traditional look which could work to their advantage in the long run. Musk once admitted that the futuristic look of the Tesla pickup might not appeal to traditional pickup owners and they might come up with a more traditional design.


Tesla pickup on a Tesla truckTesla pickup on a Tesla truckPhoto: Tesla Inc.

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