Dec. 3, 2014, 2:00 PM
- A research paper published in the Advanced Energy Materials journal last month suggests a new electrode design utilizing nanoparticles could dramatically reduce charging times for lithium-ion batteries.
- Detailed tests by the academic researchers indicated that an experimental "porous interconnected" tin-oxide anode could be charged in 30 minutes with the same capacity as a 10-hour charge under the old design.
- The development could have implications some day for Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY) with their lofty Gigafactory goals.
Oct. 25, 2014, 5:37 PM
- Funai will reportedly buy the unit's TV business by early next year, Nikkei says.
- The sale is part of an effort to turn around Panasonic's TV ops.
- Sanyo is struggling in North America because of fierce price competition from Chinese rivals.
- Sanyo's annual North America TV sales are about $275M. They account for ~10% of Panasonic's global TV sales in volume.
- Funai sells Philips-brand, Emerson-brand and other LCD TVs in North America through Wal-Mart. North America accounts for 70% of Funai's TV sales.
Oct. 22, 2014, 8:07 AM
- A new report from Advanced Automotive Batteries dissects Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) and its gigafactory battery project.
- It's quickly noted that most major automakers are designing EVs around government mandates instead of looking to be transformative.
- The research firm forecasts Tesla and Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY) will strike a deal which will stage in Panasonic's investments through 5- to 10-GWh plant capacity additions at a time.
- Cost reduction benefits from the gigafactory are expected to kick in after 2018.
- Tesla's annual unit sales could eclipse the 200K level by 2020 if demand in China is strong.
- Extracts from Tesla battery report (.pdf)
Oct. 7, 2014, 2:38 AM
- Panasonic's (OTCPK:PCRFY) initial investment in Tesla Motors' battery factory will amount to "tens of billions" of yen, says Chief Executive Kazuhiro Tsuga.
- Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder Elon Musk said in July that he expected Panasonic to contribute 30%-40% of the battery factory’s total cost, which is likely to reach $5B. Tesla will cover about half the amount.
- Tsuga also announced that his company would find it desirable for rates to remain stable, and that the dollar rising as high as ¥120 would be "excessive."
Oct. 3, 2014, 8:06 AM
- Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY) says it has set up a company in the U.S. to handle its lithium-ion battery production
- It's not a surprise that the startup will be located in Sparks, Nevada where Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) is setting up its gigafactory.
- The Japanese electronics giant will fund Panasonic Energy Corporation of North America with $5M in capital.
- Details on the total investment Panasonic plans to make in the gigafactory haven't been released.
- PR from Panasonic (.pdf)
Jul. 31, 2014, 7:01 AM
- Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) confirms it struck a deal with Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY) on the construction of a battery plant in the U.S.
- Panasonic will help manufacture cylindrical lithium-ion cells for Tesla vehicles.
- The Gigafactory plant is expected to generate 35GWh of cells and 50 GWh of packs per year by 2020.
- TSLA -0.5% premarket
Jul. 28, 2014, 1:25 PM| 34 Comments
Jul. 7, 2014, 1:23 PM
- Intel (INTC -0.4%) has been hired by Panasonic (PCRFY) to manufacture SoCs aimed at A/V products. The chips will be made using Intel's next-gen 14nm process (recently began ramping).
- Panasonic joins a list of Intel foundry clients that includes Altera and (reportedly) Cisco. The chip giant is leveraging its manufacturing process lead to further its efforts to be a "selective" foundry focused on high-margin deals. Nonetheless, many fabless chipmakers remain wary about having a rival handle IC manufacturing.
- Pansonic's SoCs have been used in TVs, set-tops, and Blu-ray players. The Intel deal comes after an agreement by Panasonic to hand off 3 fabs to a 49/51 JV owned in tandem with TowerJazz.
Jun. 20, 2014, 6:57 PM
- The Nikkei reports Panasonic (PCRFY) plans to sell 60% of a 120K-sq. meter Japanese TV plant to Daiwa House Industry by next spring for ~¥10B ($97M).
- Panasonic is also thinking of selling the rest of the plant to other buyers. No TVs have been made there in 2012, but the facility is still used for maintenance work (among other things).
- The struggling electronics OEM has already been busy restructuring. It recently transferred 3 chip manufacturing plants to a 49/51 JV owned in partnership with Israel's TowerJazz (TSEM). Panasonic received 870K TowerJazz shares (current value of $8.2M) in return.
- The efforts are yielding results: Panasonic expects to end the current fiscal year (ends March '15) with no net debt for the first time in 6 years.
May. 28, 2014, 5:41 AM
- Panasonic (PCRFY) will recall 43,140 battery packs used in notebook computers after three overheated and caught on fire.
- The issue was discovered after two incidents occurred in Japan and another in Thailand.
- Batteries will be replaced free of charge after the company identifying a problem in the manufacturing process between April and July of 2011.
May. 15, 2014, 8:11 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk sees exploding demand for low-cost lithium-ion batteries.
- The exec forecasts the automobile industry alone will need 200 gigafactories to supply it. Ground breaks on Tesla' first gigafactory in June.
- The Musk thesis is based on cars powered by electric batteries winning out over hydrogen cars, hybrids, and gas-powered vehicles. Toyota (TM) is expected to have a lot to say on that issue.
- Lithium plays: PCRFY, ARTX, SQM, ENS, WLCDF, FMC, LIT
May. 13, 2014, 11:23 AM
- The sell-off in Panasonic (PCRFY) is overdone, according to JPMorgan.
- The investment firm thinks the company's involvement in Tesla's Gigafactory will be a positive factor in boosting its bottom line.
- Panasonic's investment won't materially impact cash flow and the Gigafactory project should provide a consistent long-term revenue stream, predicts JP
May. 9, 2014, 9:12 AM
- Polypore International (PPO) +7.7% premarket after announcing a five-year lithium-ion separator supply agreement with Panasonic (PCRFY), and authorizing a repurchase of up to 4.5M common shares.
- Q1 results were mixed, however, with earnings falling short of expectations but revenues rising 10% Y/Y; sales of lead-acid battery separators rose 4% while lithium battery separator sales jumped 23% due to higher volumes in electric drive vehicles.
- DA Davidson upgrades shares to Buy from Neutral and raises its price target to $42 from $36, citing PPO's flexibility to increase capital investments in strategic growth opportunities through the recent debt restructuring and subsequent lower interest rates.
Apr. 28, 2014, 11:09 AM
- Skyworks (SWKS - unchanged) and Panasonic (PCRFY) are forming a JV to develop SAW filters for mobile devices and other products.
- Skyworks will pay $148.5M in cash for a 66% stake in the JV, which will be have 590 employees and facilities in Japan and Singapore. The deal is expected to close by the end of calendar Q3, and be immediately accretive to margins and EPS.
- Rival Avago (AVGO -1.4%) is trading lower. Avago has differentiated its RF modules (particularly for 4G designs) partly through the use of FBAR filters (a type of BAW filter) offering better performance than SAW alternatives
- Morgan Stanley estimated last fall Avago has a ~70% share of the premium filter market, and predicted the market will grow to $1.75B in 2015 from slightly over $800M in 2013. TriQuint (TQNT -0.2%), about to merge with RF Micro (RFMD +0.8%), was estimated to have the remaining 30%.
- Skyworks asserts the JV is complementary to its ongoing BAW filter investments, and that Panasonic is the leader in the growing market for high-performance TC SAW filters - typically more expensive than traditional SAW filters, but cheaper than BAW filters. The company predicts the deal will allow it to "develop customized solutions for any band configuration where filter technology is applicable."
Mar. 27, 2014, 7:20 AM| 95 Comments
Mar. 1, 2014, 12:54 PM
- The new Gigafactory from Tesla Motors (TSLA) could consume as much as 17% of the current global lithium output in a development that could ease concerns on oversupply, forecasts Goldman Sachs.
- The EV automaker is expected to build the large facility in either Nevada, Arizona, Texas, or New Mexico - regions which are all close to major lithium factories.
- Panasonic (PCRFY) will play a major role in the roll-out of the Gigafactory. Shares of the ADRs were up over 10% this week as enthusiasm built up over some of the potential down the road for the company in battery production.
- Goldman notes that lithium producers such as Rockwood Holdings (ROC) could be well-positioned if Tesla's Gigafactory helps support market demand for lithium.
- A rising tide lifts all lithium boats: If lithium demand improves, other companies to watch in the lithium-ion battery industry include Arotech (ARTX), Polypore Internationak (PPO), Western Lithium (WLCDF), FMC Corporation (FMC), EnerSys (ENS), and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM).
- Related ETFs: LIT
PCRFY vs. ETF Alternatives
Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, comprised of over 634 companies. It manufactures and markets a wide range of products under the Panasonic brand to enhance and enrich lifestyles all around the globe.
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