Signage outside Lordstown Motors Corp. headquarters in Lordstown, Ohio, on Saturday, May 15, 2021.
Dustin Franz | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Struggling electric truck startup Lordstown Motors still plans to deliver the first examples of its Endurance pickup truck before the end of the year, the company said Tuesday, a day after it announced a new investment from Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn.
Lordstown said that it is now building the Endurance at “a very slow rate” while it works to build out its assembly line and awaits final regulatory approval to sell the trucks. The company now expects to build about 30 pickups for sale by year-end, and to complete the remainder of the first batch of 500 trucks by the end of June 2023.
Lordstown said in late September that it hoped to build 50 trucks by year-end. To date, it has completed 12 trucks.
Lordstown’s shares were up over 15% in premarket trading on Tuesday.
The company said late on Monday that Foxconn, which already owns a stake in Lordstown and bought its Ohio factory for $230 million in May, will invest an additional $170 million in three phases, with the first $52.7 million due later this month. Once those investments are completed, Foxconn will own about 18% of Lordstown and will have the right to designate two members of its board of directors.
Lordstown said it will use part of that investment to develop a new vehicle together with Foxconn. The companies had previously announced a joint venture to develop a new model; the new funding replaces that joint venture.
The investment helps address a lack of capital that has hindered Lordstown’s efforts to get the Endurance into production.
Lordstown previously told investors that its first batch of Endurance pickups will be limited to a maximum of 500 vehicles because the cost of building a pickup is currently “materially higher” than the company’s expected selling price. Additional investments in manufacturing tooling would bring the cost down, but CEO Edward Hightower has deferred those investments to preserve cash.
Lordstown said on Tuesday that it is actively seeking an automaker partner to help scale up production of the Endurance.
The updates came as part of Lordstown’s third-quarter earnings report. Lordstown, which doesn’t yet record revenue, reported a net loss of $154.4 million, or 73 cents a share, including nearly $75 million in non-cash accounting charges related to the sale of its factory to Foxconn.
The company had $204 million in cash remaining as of quarter-end.
Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather crypto scam lawsuit dismissed
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit by investors against the founders of the cryptocurrency EthereumMax, as well as celebrity endorsers including Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. over their promotion of the cryptocurrency on social media.
Investors who bought EMAX tokens alleged they had suffered losses after taking the word of the celebrity influencers about the value of the crypto. The suit claims the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to artificially inflate the value of the EMAX tokens.
Judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote that he recognized that the lawsuit’s claims raised legitimate worries about “celebrities’ ability to readily persuade millions of undiscerning followers to buy snake oil with unprecedented ease and reach.”
“But, while the law certainly places limits on those advertisers, it also expects investors to act reasonably before basing their bets on the zeitgeist of the moment,” wrote Fitzgerald, of the Central District of California.
The judge found that the plaintiffs’ allegations were insufficiently backed, especially “given the heightened pleading standards” for fraud claims, according to his ruling in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
In addition to Kardashian, Mayweather and former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, the defendants in the case included Steve Gentile and Giovanni Perone, the co-founders of EthereumMax, and Justin French, a consultant and developer for the cryptocurrency, court documents state.
Fitzgerald in his ruling said he would allow lawyers for the plaintiffs to refile their suit after amending some of their claims under a number of the statutes cited in the original complaint, which included the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.
“We’re pleased with the court’s well-reasoned decision on the case,” Michael Rhodes, a lawyer for Kardashian, told CNBC.
The dismissal came weeks after investors in fallen crypto exchange FTX filed a class-action lawsuit against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and celebrity advertisers for the company, among them NFL superstar Tom Brady, for allegedly overstating the value of the crypto tokens in promotional messaging.
And the ruling came two months after Kardashian agreed to pay $1.26 million, and not to promote cryptocurrency for three years, to settle claims by the SEC for her failure to disclose a $250,000 payment touting EthereumMax on her Instagram account.
Fitzgerald in his ruling Wednesday said the EthereumMax lawsuit reflects a broader conflict surrounding celebrity and influencer promotional schemes.
“This action demonstrates that just about anyone with the technical skills and/or connections can mint a new currency and create their own digital market overnight,” Fitzgerald wrote in his dismissal.
Investors sued EthereumMax and its celebrity advertisers in January after a slew of influencers started snagging sponsorships to promote cryptocurrencies to their millions of social media followers.
Kardashian’s Instagram post in June 2021 had written, “Are you guys into crypto??? This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends told me about the Ethereum Max token.”
Her post included “#ad” at the bottom, indicating she had been sponsored. But it did not disclose her $250,000 payment from EthereumMax.
Mayweather promoted EMAX at a boxing match and a large Miami bitcoin conference in June 2021.
But by January, the cryptocurrency had lost 97% of its value.
Fitzgerald at a hearing last month indicated he was inclined to dismiss the case.
Bloomberg News, in an article about that hearing, said that an attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit asked the judge to allow him to revise the suit’s racketeering claims to show how the statements by the celebrity defendants harmed the investors.
“If plaintiffs had known the true facts related to the promoters’ financial interest in the tokens, and that they were being paid to shill these tokens, they wouldn’t have paid as much for the tokens as they did,” the attorney, John Jasnoch, told Fitzgerald, according to a transcript cited by Bloomberg.
Cathie Wood says the Fed is making a serious mistake as bond market flashes worst signal since 1980s
How the U.S. became a global corn superpower
The United States has just about 90 million planted acres of corn, and there’s a reason people refer to the crop as yellow gold.
In 2021, U.S. corn was worth over $86 billion, according to calculations from FarmDoc and the United States Department of Agriculture.
According to the USDA, the U.S. is largest consumer, producer and exporter of corn in the world.
“We’re really good at [corn production],” Seth Meyer, chief economist at the USDA, told CNBC. “And that’s why you see big acres, big demand, export competitiveness.”
It’s not just what we eat.
“We turbocharged the value of corn through the application of science,” Scott Irwin, agricultural economist and professor at the University of Illinois, told CNBC.
Corn is in what we buy, including medications and textiles, and corn is turned into ethanol, which helps to fuel cars across the nation.
The rest of the world relies on U.S. corn, too.
At $2.2 billion in 2019, corn is the most heavily subsidized of all crops in the country.
“A lot of these subsidies … do get embedded into the cost of farmland and they essentially bid up the price of farmland marginally,” Joseph Glauber, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and former USDA chief economist, told CNBC. “So the benefits accrue largely to those who own land.”
The federal crop insurance program’s net spending is forecast to increase to nearly $40 billion from 2021 through 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
At the same time, farmland values have reached all-time record highs.
“Do we get the corn acres because we’ve got the support, or do we have the support because we have the corn acres?” Meyer said, posing the chicken-and-egg question about the nation’s grain superpower.
Watch the video above to learn more about how corn fuels the U.S. economy from its people to its vehicles, the power of the corn belt states, the role of subsidies and where government policy for the industry may go from here.
Sports8 months ago
William Saliba hints at Marseille stay ahead of ‘discussions’ with Arsenal
Sports8 months ago
Kansas City Chiefs still have a shot a being a dynasty
Entertainment8 months ago
Wendy Williams Shares Glam Photo Amid Absence From Show
Sports8 months ago
Rudiger rues Chelsea mistakes as holders denied epic comeback by Real Madrid
Entertainment8 months ago
22 Celebs Who’ve Talked About Growing Up Poor
Sports8 months ago
British Cycling suspends transgender policy amid Emily Bridges controversy
Business9 months ago
What AT&T Is Giving Investors in WarnerMedia Spinoff and How It Will Work
Tech10 months ago
Hands are used as secure passwords in a new contactless biometric system.