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Tesla posts surprise Q3 profit; Ford lowers 2019 guidance; Daimler beats Street

TOP NEWS

* Electric-car maker Tesla Inc.'s shares surged 17.6% to $299.50 in after-hours trading as the company posted profit for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, beating analyst expectations. The carmaker reported non-GAAP net income attributable to common stockholders of $342 million, or $1.91 per share. Analysts had expected a loss of $40.7 million, as per data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Ford Motor Co. lowered its full-year guidance despite posting third-quarter adjusted EPS and revenue above analysts' estimates as it prepares for higher fourth-quarter costs and lower volumes in China. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker reported an adjusted diluted EPS of 34 cents, beating the mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of 26 cents for the quarter ending Sept. 30, according to Market Intelligence. For the fourth quarter, it anticipates higher warranty costs, lower volumes in China and higher-than-planned incentives in North America.

* Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG reported a 2% increase in third-quarter earnings per share, beating analyst expectations, helped by increased sales of Mercedes-Benz cars and vans. The German premium automaker posted diluted EPS of €1.61, up from €1.58 in the same period of 2018 and above the €1.54 forecast by five analysts polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Revenue rose 8% to €43.27 billion compared with €40.21 billion. Shares in Daimler rose as much as 6.4% to €53.65 during morning trading in Frankfurt.

CARMAKERS

* Former Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Chairman Carlos Ghosn pleaded not guilty on all charges of financial misconduct. His legal team called for all charges to be dropped, arguing that Ghosn was a victim of "conspiracy" between other Nissan executives, Nissan and the Japanese government, Bloomberg News reported, citing documents submitted to the Tokyo District Court. Ghosn, who accused Nissan executives of "playing a really dirty game" is charged with understating income, receiving unauthorized salaries, and using company funds for personal reasons.

* Hyundai Motor Co. said net income in the third quarter jumped 50.5% year over year to 460 billion South Korean won due to currency impacts from weak won and strong sales of high-margin SUVs, but fell short of analyst expectations. The South Korean carmaker sold nearly 1,078,000 units worldwide during the three months, down 2.7% year over year largely due to falling sales in South Korea, India and China.

* Kia Motors Corp. said net income for the third quarter jumped to 325.8 billion won, up 9.33% year over year but missing the Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of 396.76 billion won. The South Korean carmaker attributed the increase to weakened currency and rising SUV sales. During the quarter, Kia sold 691,151 vehicles, up 0.6% year over year.

* Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.-owned Volvo Cars said third-quarter net income more-than-doubled to 2.38 billion Swedish kronor, up from 1.14 billion kronor in the prior-year period. Sales grew 7.7% year over year to 166,878 cars sold, the carmaker said.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said it will have electrified all European models by 2022, three years ahead of schedule. Honda Europe will also launch six electrified models over the next three years, with the lineup to be led by the Honda-e and a hybridized version of the Jazz.

* Tesla said it will start producing its electric semi-truck, the Tesla Semi, in 2020 with "limited volumes," Electrek reported, citing Tesla Semi head Jerome Guillen.

* Nissan built a twin-motor, all-wheel-control prototype car based on its electric Leaf e+. The vehicle, which will be powered by front and rear motors, will be the first in Nissan's next generation of electric vehicles.

AUTONOMOUS AND CONNECTED VEHICLES

* Toyota Motor Corp. said it will open its self-driving vehicle service to the Tokyo public from July to September 2020. The Japanese carmaker said the vehicles, dubbed P4s, are equipped with Level-4 autonomous driving software and will operate in the Odaiba district.

* Russia's Yandex NV will begin testing its fleet of driverless cars in the U.S. in summer 2020, Reuters reported, citing a statement. In partnership with Hyundai Mobis, Yandex will launch a self-driving taxi fleet in Detroit in June for the North American International Auto Show, a spokesman said.

* Tesla released third-quarter safety figures for its Autopilot self-driving software and said Autopilot is nine times safer than average driving on a per-mile basis, Electrek reported.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* The Trump administration sued California for signing a climate agreement with Quebec that would link their emissions-trading programs, Reuters reported, citing Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark. California, which is locked in another legal battle with the U.S. to keep its right to set its own auto emissions standards, reportedly "veered out of its proper constitutional lane" by entering an international emissions deal with the Canadian province.

* Automobiles and auto parts made up about 60% of the ¥150 billion hit Japan took in the U.S.-China trade war, the Japan Times reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Swedish auto safety supplier Autoliv Inc. said attributable net loss for the third quarter came in at $133 million, compared to a loss of $68 million in the prior-year period. The parts supplier cut its 2019 outlook to a "low-double-digit" decline in sales, compared to a high-single-digit drop it previously predicted.

* South Korean auto-parts maker Hyundai Mobis said its third-quarter net income surged 29.4% year over year to 582 billion won, driven by strong sales in electric and core auto parts.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* O'Reilly Automotive Inc. saw third-quarter net income jump to $391.29 million, up 6.86% year over year and beating the Market Intelligence estimate of $370.52 million. The American aftermarket parts retailer, which saw diluted EPS climb 13% year over year to $5.08, said it expects full-year diluted EPS to come in between $17.75 to $17.85 and fourth-quarter diluted EPS between $4.12 to $4.22, according to the release.

* Australian auto dealer AP Eagers Ltd. said it completed its acquisition of local rival Automotive Holdings Group Ltd.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

* Commercial vehicle registrations in Europe dropped 10% year over year in September to 160,446 vehicles, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng jumped 0.87% to 26,797.95, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.55% to 22,750.60.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 0.69% to 1,099.00, and the Euronext 100 increased 0.68% to 1,098.98.

On the macro front

The durable goods orders report, the jobless claims report, the PMI composite FLASH report, the new home sales report, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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