Top US stocks to watch: Tesla, Chewy and Royal Caribbean Cruises

Tesla unveils the new Model S Plaid, Chewy’s earnings smash expectations, Royal Caribbean’s cruise is hit by the coronavirus, and a number of companies announce plans to go public including ride-hailing firm Didi, sporting goods retailer Signa and UK firm Vertical Aerospace.

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Tesla

Yesterday, Tesla launched its new Model S Plaid, a revamped and improved version of the original sedan launched back in 2012, and said it expects to be producing about 1,000 a week in the third quarter.

Founder Elon Musk said the car, capable of achieving 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 2 seconds, was ‘faster than any Porsche and safer than any Volvo’. He added that the car was proof thatsustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, be the safest cars, gonna be the most kick-ass cars in every way.’

The car is designed to cement Tesla’s position in the market as competition increases, although the company has suffered production issues due to the global supply crunch hitting the automotive market, which also prompted it to raise the cost of the Model S Plaid by $10,000 only days before the launch.

Chewy

Online pet supply store Chewy yesterday revealed earnings came in significantly higher than expected during the first quarter thanks to a jump in sales and better margins.

Net sales rose almost 32% to $2.14 billion and adjusted Ebitda rose to $77.4 million from just $3.4 million the year before. That beat analyst expectations for sales of $2.12 billion and earnings of $30.1 million.

‘2021 is already turning out to be an exciting and busy year for Chewy. We continue to execute against our growth roadmap, expand our customer base, increase share of wallet, and grow our addressable market-expanding verticals,’ said chief executive Sumit Singh.

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises said two of its guests on the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus just a week after the company hailed the successful launch of its first vaccinated cruise.

Both guests are asymptomatic and are now isolating. The ship is now conducting contact tracing to identify if it has spread. The cruise set sail on Saturday from the port of St Maarten and is on a seven-day trip around the islands of Aruba, Barbados and Curacao.

Didi Chuxing

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has filed paperwork to list its shares in the US in what would be one of the biggest listings of the year, with the company likely to achieve a higher valuation than the $65 billion price tag achieved during a funding round in 2018.

The valuation will be closely watched. Although Didi Chuxing is operating in a growth market, it has been severely hit by the pandemic, which caused revenue to fall around 8.5% in 2020 to RMB141.7 billion, roughly around $22 billion.

Things have improved since the start of 2021 and although its operations remained loss-making it has been able to remain in the black thanks to gains on its investments.

Signa Sports

Signa Sports United, the largest pure-play online sporting goods retailer in the world, has agreed to go public in the US through a SPAC deal to merge with blank-cheque company Yucaipa Acquisition.

The deal will value Signa at around $3.2 billion and raise around $645 million for the business. Notably, it intends to use some of those proceeds to buy online cycle retailer Wiggle, which has annual sales of around $500 million.

Signa said the combination with Wiggle would mean the business would have annual revenue of around $1.6 billion in the year to the end of September 2021.

Vertical Aerospace

UK-based engineering firm Vertical Aerospace, which is developing aircraft capable of taking-off and landing vertically, has announced it will merge with SPAC Broadstone Acquisition to go public.

Vertical Aerospace said the deal will give it an enterprise value of around $1.8 billion and raise $394 million in proceeds for the business. It has a number of big name backers including American Airlines, Rolls Royce and Microsoft.

American Airlines said it will invest $25 million into the business and has agreed to buy up to 250 aircraft as part of the deal, potentially worth a total of $1 billion, and there is an option to buy up to another 100. The orders focus on the VA-X4, a zero-carbon aircraft capable of carrying five people including the pilot and flying at over 200 miles per hour with a 100-mile range. American Airlines said the aircraft could be used to transport customers from urban centres to airports.

Atai Life Sciences

Atai Life Sciences has confirmed plans to go public by listing on the Nasdaq at a valuation of around $2.3 billion.

The German company focuses on researching psychedelic treatments for mental health disorders. It is planning to offer around 14.3 million shares at $13 to $15 per share. The top-end of the valuation compares favourably to its most recent $2 billion valuation.

The company wants to pursue areas such as using the psychoactive element of magic mushrooms, psilocybin, to treat disorders such as anxiety and depression. Following the evolution of the way marijuana is viewed, psychedelics could be the next big area for the medical space to explore.

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