Nio Mobileyes Intel watching you Detroit meme

Nio’s Self-Driving Intel

Great Ones, it’s time to get your motor running and head out on the highway.

We’re looking for adventure, and Nio’s (NYSE: NIO) got us covered … whatever comes our way.

Yeah, Intel’s (Nasdaq: INTC) Mobileye is gonna make it happen. Take the EV world in a love embrace…

What I'd miss keep Greatness flowing meme

OK, that’s enough Steppenwolf for one day Mr. Great Stuff. Get to the point, man!

Some days y’all are no fun. You know that?

But I get it. Nio’s never been an easy rider of an investment. And Intel has yet to show it’s worth any of your investment capital.

But together? They’re like electric vehicle (EV) Voltron! You know … if Voltron was two major corporations instead of like five robot lions…

Again … the point? Is there a point coming?

Impatient today, aren’t we?

So last week — shortly after Nio released its Q2 earnings report — Mobileye, Intel’s self-driving AI division, announced some major Nio news: Mobileye is now testing Level 4 self-driving technology in Detroit with more than 50 Nio ES8s.

That’s a lot to unpack, so let’s see what’s actually going on here.

First, there are six levels of self-driving tech:

  • Level 0 — No automation.
  • Level 1 — Driver assistance via a single automated system, e.g., cruise control.
  • Level 2 — Partial automation via multiple automated systems, e.g., steering assist and acceleration.
  • Level 3 — Conditional automation via multiple automated systems. These systems can perform most driving tasks, but the driver is still required to make most decisions.
  • Level 4 — Elevated automation that almost removes the driver from all driving tasks. A driver still has the option to override, but almost all tasks are handled by AI.
  • Level 5 — Fully automated self-driving with no driver input required.

In short, Level 4 self-driving is a pretty big deal. In fact, it’s one of the few areas that Intel remains a market leader in. Furthermore, the fact that Intel is using Nio EVs in this test is a really big deal, as it proves that Nio is a major contender in the EV and automation markets.

And the irony that Chinese EVs are being tested with self-driving AI in Detroit? Well, that’s just a little too delicious given how much the “Big Three” have dragged their feet on both EVs and self-driving.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank analyst Edison Yu just issued a rather bullish research note on Nio this morning, doubling down on the EV maker’s good news.

According to Yu, it’s “finally time for the stock to shine bright.” His reasoning is that the new Nio ET5 premium sedan is selling really well based on initial reports and that Nio’s price point on its existing EVs “represents thoughtful pricing and emphasis on branding [plus] service.”

Translating Yu’s comments into layman’s terms: Nio’s new sedan is selling well, and its EV pricing works for both customers and Nio’s profit margins. That’s a sweet balance for sure.

So Nio is starting to make a name for itself stateside, and it continues to outperform back home in China.

I’m liking NIO stock even more lately and am this close to adding the stock back in the Great Stuff Picks Portfolio. I feel like a “buy” recommendation is right around the corner on NIO stock.

Stay tuned, Great Ones!

If you’re more interested in the self-driving tech itself … you’re interested in lidar. Lidar is the answer.

Almost every other carmaker is betting on this one company to bring lidar tech into the limelight: Audi alone is investing $16 billion … GM, $27 billion through 2025 … BMW, $35 billion.

Click here to see what all the hype is about.

(Hint: It’s exactly why Elon Musk is so paranoid about lidar lapping at Tesla’s tail…)

Going, Going...Gone!

Going: Carvana Drains You

Carvana bankrupt vending machine for vending machines meme

Carvana (NYSE: CVNA) is likely a combination of “car” and “nirvana,” but the company has been far from either so far this year. Heck, for CVNA’s investors, the stock has been more akin to “Nevermind” or “Come as You Are” at the best of times, and like “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” or “I Hate Myself and I Want To Die” at the worst of times.

Those are some pretty grim Nirvana references there, Mr. Great Stuff.

True, but not everyone views the struggling online used-car marketplace as “Dumb.”

In fact, Piper Sandler upgraded Carvana this morning, noting that while the company faces an “array of possible outcomes,” some of those outcomes “imply substantial upside.”

Not convinced? Here’s more of the analyst’s argument:

Before we get to the punchline, please note that yes, we are aware that used vehicle prices are falling. We know that rising interest rates are a risk, and we know that bankruptcy is a real possibility. … Due to deteriorating market conditions and a hefty debt burden, there are definitely some scenarios that imply fair equity value of $0/share.

So for those reasons, we should buy Carvana? Because it might go up? Because it might avoid bankruptcy?

Sure. Sure, Piper Sandler. It sounds like you need to up your dose of “Lithium.”

Going: Occidentally On Purpose

Buffett Occidental Petroleum 20% stake meme

Hey! Remember when I badmouthed the oil market all over the place following OPEC’s production cut that wasn’t really a production cut?

At the time I wrote:

I’m not saying there are no good investment opportunities in the oil market. But there will be heavy consolidation in the next few years as companies look to shore up their bottom lines in the midst of declining demand.

Well, the old Oracle of Omaha apparently has the inside track on which oil company you should invest in to ride the coming consolidation wave in the oil patch.

According to a federal filing on Friday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway now owns 20.2% of Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY). And it has the approval to buy up to 50% of Occidental’s outstanding shares.

That’s a lot of oil stock. In fact, that’s nearing takeover or “activist shareholder” levels of company ownership.

Now, I often say that if you aren’t a billionaire, don’t invest like a billionaire. And this time might just be another one of those instances where Buffett has already made his money and is biding his time before exiting. But if you’re interested in investment ideas in the oil sector, you could do worse than following the Oracle’s lead here.

I mean, I’m not going to do it. But then, I don’t like oil stocks to begin with. You do you, Great Ones. I’m just the messenger here.

Gone: That’s A Bold MicroStrategy, Cotton…

MicroStrategy fever for more cowbell meme

MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is supposedly a software company that provides enterprise analytics software and services worldwide. But … you wouldn’t be able to tell that from any of the company’s news reports from the past couple of years.

Why? Because MicroStrategy has basically bought so much bitcoin that it is now essentially a bitcoin proxy.

And wouldn’t you know it? The company is back in the headlines today for — buying more bitcoin. Come on, don’t tell me you’re surprised?

What is surprising is that MicroStrategy is not only just buying more bitcoin … it’s going to sell more MSTR stock to do so. $500 million in new MSTR stock, to be precise.

Now, I like cryptocurrencies … especially bitcoin. But I’d never…

Let’s put it this way, y’all. This is like using your student loans to buy meme stocks. It’s like taking a loan against your 401(k) to buy anything in the stock market. It’s like taking out a reverse mortgage in the middle of a Fed interest rate hike spree. It’s like short-selling on margin.

Sure, there’s a slim chance you’re gonna make bank. But that kinda risk is gonna drive you insane.

I hope for MSTR investors that the company is right about bitcoin … because if it’s not, there’s going to be hell to pay down the road for MicroStrategy. Just saying…

So if you’re like me and you’re interested in investing in cryptocurrencies, but you are only looking for the best opportunities … and not this MicroStrategy nonsense, today’s your lucky day:

Experts predict this Next Gen Coin will become 20X bigger than bitcoin. Details here.

In the meantime, here’s where you can find our other junk — erm, I mean where you can check out some more Greatness:

Joseph Hargett. Editor of Great Stuff