Tesla says health epidemics are a risk as US confirms 15th case

Tesla’s latest annual 10-K filing revealed a new risk to its business: “health epidemics.” In the filing, the electric automaker said its gigafactory in Shanghai was closed for a brief time as the coronavirus spread in China. “It is unknown whether and how global supply chains, particularly for automotive parts, may be affected if such an epidemic persists for an extended period of time,” the company said. “We may incur expenses or delays relating to such events outside of our control, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition.” At the end of January, CEO Elon Musk had downplayed the risk, but two more weeks of coronavirus feared seem to have changed Tesla’s mind. —Kolodny

United Airlines is scaling back its service to Barcelona after the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest telecommunications show, was called off because of coronavirus concerns. Organizers of the event called it “impossible” to hold because of the outbreak, which has now sickened more than 60,000 people, mostly in China. United had ramped up service ahead of the event, which last year drew around 100,000 people, as part of a trend among U.S. airlines to target high-paying travelers going to major conferences like MWC, the Consumer Electronics Show, and other events like political conventions and sporting events. United had added four round-trips between San Francisco and Barcelona and it will cancel two of them — leaving San Francisco on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 and use smaller aircraft for the others. It will also use smaller planes for Newark-Barcelona flights than it planned. — Josephs

Royal Caribbean has had to cancel 18 sailings in Southeast Asia and modify itineraries for several other cruises. The result: a big blow the bottom line. The company expects 65 cents will be shaved off its 2020 earnings per share. If the outbreak continues and it’s forced to cancel all of its trips in the region through the end of April, profits would take an additional hit of 55 cents per share. The company added it’s in regular conversation with the CDC, the WHO and other health authorities and has put in place measures to protect passengers and crew. Among those steps is denying the boarding of people who have travelled to and from mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days. “It is important that every organization acts responsibly, and we have already taken aggressive steps to minimize risk through boarding restrictions and itinerary changes,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. Royal Caribbean shares were down more than 1% in extended trading. Shares have fallen nearly 15% since the start of the year. — Cheddar Berk

Roku CFO Steve Louden said the novel coronavirus has affected many companies that rely on manufacturing in China. So far, however, Roku has “only experienced minor impacts.” Still, he warned there is the possibility that more of its business could be affected if the situation worsens. Louden’s comments followed the release of its fourth-quarter results, which were better than analysts had expected. —Feiner

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/13/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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