The R&D Index for the week ending March 16, 2018 closed at 4,302.54 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was down -0.91% (or 39.67 basis points) from the week ending March 9, 2018. Eleven R&D Index companies posted a gain for the week from 0.03% (Pfizer) to 2.37% (Astra Zeneca). Fourteen R&D Index companies posted losses for the week from -0.21% (GlaxoSmithKline) to -4.09% (Roche Pharm).
In response to the recently imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Nucor Corp. last week announced that it will build a $240 million steel mill near Tampa, Florida. The mill will produce reinforcing steel rods (rebar) for use in concrete construction. The company also announced in 2017 that it was building a rebar plant in Missouri. U.S. Steel last week also announced that it was firing up a steel blast furnace in Granite City, Illinois and Century Aluminum has said it will restart aluminum smelter lines in Kentucky that have been shuttered since 2015.
R&D Index member Volkswagen AG (VW) last week reiterated its plans to become the global leader in electric vehicles (EVs) when it announced it would build at least 16 new EV plants by 2025 in Europe, China, and the U.S., with nine of those plants becoming operational by 2020. VW expects to sell 3 million EVs a year by 2025. The company also stated that it would introduce a new EV every month starting in 2019. VW expects to increase its revenue by 5% in 2018 and has already invested about half of the $60 million it earmarked for battery research. VW is a serious EV competitor to Tesla, which is currently encountering production issues. VW already has a network of more than 100 global factories and is the global vehicle leader with annual production of more than 10.7 million vehicles compared to Tesla’s 100,000 output in 2017.
Ridesharing company Lyft Inc. last week announced it would develop hardware and software for autonomous vehicles with auto-parts supplier Magna International, which will invest $200 million into Lyft. Magna’s investment joins the $1.7 billion investment sponsored by R&D Index member Google/ Alphabet into Lyft last year. Other companies collaborating with Lyft include General Motors, Ford, India’s Tata Motors, and Aptiv (Delphi). Lyft’s strategy is to integrate its partners’ autonomous vehicles into its ride-sharing network. Lyft also already has a self-driving vehicle division in Palo Alto, California. Ride-share competitor Uber is also developing autonomous vehicle technologies, but is mostly performing the work in-house without big-name corporate supporters.
|R&D Index Week Ending March 16, 2018|
|Ticker||Exchange||2017 R&D billions$||03/09/18||03/16/18||3/16/18 to 3/9/18||3/16/18 to 1/1/17|
|9||Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||9,060||133.80||133.68||-0.09%||16.03%|
|18||Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||6,363||33.79||34.59||2.37%||26.61%|
|19||Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||5,759||55.14||55.67||0.96%||-5.44%|
|25||Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||4,489||79.61||80.49||1.11%||9.44%|
About the R&D Index
R&D Magazine’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in research and development. The top 25 industrial spenders of R&D in 2017 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2017 R&D Ratios & Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (11 companies), automotive (5), ICT (8) and conglomerate (1) organizations who invested a cumulative total of more than $209 billion in R&D in 2017, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spent in the world by government, industries and academia combined, according to R&D Magazine’s 2017 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D Index are tabulated from NASDAQ, NYSE, XETRA and OTC common stock prices (in U.S. dollars) for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the publication of the R&D Index in R&D Magazine’s R&D Daily eNewsletter.
The companies used in the R&D Index include Amazon, Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Volkswagen AG, Roche Pharma, Toyota, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, General Motors, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco, Qualcomm, Oracle, Honda Motor Company, Astra Zeneca plc, Merck & Company, Daimler, Bayer AG, Sanofi SA, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly Co. Stock prices are based on those stocks traded on the U.S. exchanges. R&D Index trends (in the stock prices) are just one indicator of the amount of capital available to these high-technology companies to invest in R&D and should not be implied to indicate the absolute value of R&D investments made by these organizations. The companies chosen for the R&D Index have very large sophisticated internal and global R&D organizations with each company investing between $4.5 and $17 billion annually on their R&D efforts.