Thursday headlines include: Tesla's Musk predicting 200 gigafactories, another recall at General Motors, Walmart missing earnings estimates, Citigroup firing 11 people over fraud at Banamex and Cemex's board getting together to talk about a new leader.
Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors (TSLA) said Wednesday at the World Energy Innovation Forum that he expects the company's “gigafactory” will reduce cost of lithium-ion batteries by more than the 30 percent originally anticipated. He also said that he envisions a future where demand for batteries is so high that “just to supply auto demand you need 200 gigafactories.” Musk said last week that groundbreaking on the gigafactory could happen as early as June. In addition to supply batteries for electric cars, the facility will supply batteries for solar and wind power providers, including one of Musk's other companies, Solar City (SCTY).
In other automaker news, General Motors (GM) is recalling 140,067 Chevrolet Malibu's to fix braking problems. The recall applies to cars from the 2014 model year that have a 2.5 liter engine with the automatic stop/start option. Documents posted online Thursday by the National Transportation Safety board say that the hydraulic boost assist can become disabled, requiring additional effort and distance to stop the car.
Retail giant Walmart (WMT) said Thursday that it earned $1.11 per share on net sales of $114.2 billion in the first quarter. The company said earnings from continuing operations were $1.10 per share. Walmart said bad winter weather cost it three cents per share during the quarter. Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.15 per share on $116.27 billion in revenue. Looking forward, the company said it expects second-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $1.15 per share to $1.25 per share. The mean estimate calls for earnings of $1.28 per share.
Financial giant Citigroup (C) fired 11 people yesterday for failing to prevent or discover the $400 million fraud that recently rocked the company's Mexican banking unit. CEO Michael Corbat said the company's investigation is ongoing and more people will likely be punished. Those fired include four managing directors.
Staying in Mexico, the board of directors of cement giant Cemex (CX) will meet this week to discuss succession planning in the wake of the death of CEO Lorenzo Zambrano. A new leader will not necessarily be chosen at the meeting.