Weekend Reading

28 April 2018 | by Paul Perrino, CFA

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry (Jeremy Hodges, @jeremylawhodges, Bloomberg)

China is in full speed in deploying electric buses to combat pollution. Shenzhen replaced all 16,359 buses with electric buses. China is rolling this out in other cities throughout the country. “Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance.” Buses fuel consumption is approximately 30 times cars. This is starting to impact the oil industry. “BYD estimates its buses have logged 17 billion kilometers (10 billion miles) and saved 6.8 billion liters (1.8 billion gallons) of fuel since they started ferrying passengers around the world’s busiest cities.”

Insight: Waymo – Google’s self-driving division (Jim Holder, @Jim_Holder, AutoCar)

Waymo’s CEO says “We are not the enemy. Yes, you can have self-driving cars and enthusiasts’ cars.” The goal appears to be to “disrupt the utilitarian market, because we can likely cover those needs in a cost-effective way.” Unlike other car start-ups, they quickly realized that building their own car was difficult and “is best left to the experts.”

Expensive stocks may not be so dear after all (John Stepek, @John_Stepek, MoneyWeek)

Financial metrics offer a quick and easy way to talk about a company. Be careful about creating an investment strategy focused on them. In a study of companies from 1993 to 2017, Travis Fairchild at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, shows that “firms with negative book value (ie, liabilities apparently worth more than their assets), and companies that looked expensive on a p/b basis, but cheap on other measures, tended to beat the wider market. In other words, if you avoided these stocks on the basis of the p/b, you’d miss out.”

Visa, Mastercard Talk About Cooperating in Online Shopping (AnnaMaria Andriotis, @AAndriotis, WSJ)

To compete against PayPal’s payment tab and the growing competition in the payment industry, MasterCard and Visa created their own in 2012 and 2014, respectively. After years of testing they got together and decided to adopt a single pay tab for both MasterCard and Visa.

 

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