The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending April 8, 2022, closed at 5,275.76 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was down -2.32% (or 125.44 basis points) from the week ending April 1, 2022. Ten of the 25 RDWI members gained value from 2.21% (Johnson & Johnson) to 8.72% (Sanofi SA). Fifteen of the 25 RDWI members lost value from -1.12% (Facebook) to -9.61% (Ford Motor Co.).
Following four years of talks between groups which have been courtroom and policy adversaries, a compromise deal has been reached to boost hydroelectric power in the U.S. Groups supporting this deal include the National Hydropower Association, American Rivers, the Skokomish Indian Tribe, the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, and the Union of Concerned Citizens. The deal, which requires Congressional approval, seeks to grant approvals to add hydroelectric power to some existing dams in as little as two years. It would also speed approval in as little as three years of off-river pumped storage projects, which store surplus energy for later use. The deal would also give tribes, instead of the U.S. Department of the Interior, authority on the conditions put on permits. The proposal would amend the Federal Power Act, first passed in 1920. About a third of the 281 hydrogenerating facilities in the U.S. are up for re-licensing by 2030, a process that previously took more than seven years.
Real estate company Blackstone Inc., New York City, announced last week that its BioMed Realty Trust group was acquiring a 22-building life science complex in Boulder, Colorado, for $600 million. BioMed Realty plans to invest another $200 million to convert traditional office space to labs targeted at new and existing Boulder life sciences companies. BioMed believes that eventually half of the complex could be filled with life-science businesses due to localized demand in Boulder for specialized lab and office space.
RDW Index members General Motors, Detroit, and Honda Motor, Tokyo, announced last week that the two companies plan to jointly develop a line of affordable electric vehicles (EVs). They said that they would work together on underlying technologies which would be used to produce several models, including compact sport utility vehicles for North and South America and China. The companies said that splitting development costs by working together would reduce battery costs and allow them to drive down the price while producing EVs at scale globally. The companies are looking to price these EVs at less than $30,000. RDW Index member Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Michigan, is also planning on developing two EVs for the European market using technology developed by RDW Index member Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, Germany.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, announced last week that it has acquired more than 11% of computer and printer manufacturer HP Inc., Palo Alto, California. Buffett has also acquired substantial investments in RDW Index members IBM Inc. (sold out in 2018) and Apple Inc. (5.6% in 2021). Buffett is now the single largest shareholder in HP Inc.
RDW Index member Pfizer Inc., New York City, last week announced that it was purchasing ReViral Ltd., London, and its experimental respiratory drug, sisunatovir, for up to $525 million. The drug is currently in Phase 2 clinical development in infants. Pfizer is looking to expand its infectious disease business following its success in developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The ReViral drug treats lower-respiratory-tract infections that kill about 160,000 people annually worldwide.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Santa Clara, California, announced last week that it plans to buy chip and software startup Pensando, Milpitas, California, for $1.9 billion. Pensando gives AMD capabilities in networking, security, and other services in the data center market. Pensando chips and software speed data flow and lower operating costs for large server farms. AMD invested more than $1.5 billion in its R&D in 2020.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Harvard University president and internationally recognized economist Larry Summers last week in a New York Times interview urged the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates quickly. The slow rate now forecast by the fed is likely to lead to stagflation (persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand), said Summers. Unemployment and inflation both averaging more than 5% over the next few years are the possible result — and ultimately to a major recession.
A report issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that carbon-dioxide emissions must be halved by 2030 from 2019 levels and methane emissions cut by a third to stay within 1.5 C past pre-industrial levels, a target in the Paris Accord. There’s been some progress, more than 18 countries have reduced greenhouse gases for more than decade, but the big polluters — the U.S. and China — continue to increase their emissions. The report considers the role of carbon-removal technologies but recognizes that they have a limited role to play.
Computer manufacturer Lenovo, Beijing, announced last week that it plans to add 12,000 R&D staff members to their global ranks over the next three years. This is in addition to the 5,000 that joined Lenovo over the past year. Many of the current R&D hires are set to focus on the “client-edge-cloud-network-intelligence” program that Lenovo outlined last year. The new 12,000 hires will focus on emerging IT infrastructures, including artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems.
R&D World’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in R&D. The top 25 industrial R&D spenders in 2019 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2020 R&D Ratios & Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (10 companies), automotive (6 companies) and ICT (9 companies) who invested a cumulative total of nearly 260 billion dollars in R&D in 2019, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spent in the world by government, industries and academia combined, according to R&D World’s 2021 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D World Index are tabulated from NASDAQ, NYSE, and OTC common stock prices for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the online publication of the R&D World Index.