Chinese local brands are having a tough time. Bad timing for Daimler joint venture partner BAIC (which also has a joint venture with Hyundai Motor of Korea as well as its own in house developed brands) which will list on Friday. Just two days after Chinese automaker Geely announced a profit warning, sending its stock tumbling nearly one fifth, electric car maker BYD is the latest to take a dive. BYD, in which highly regarded investor Warren Buffett has a 10 per cent stake, fell by nearly one half in afternoon trading in Hong Kong. Volumes by the 4pm close were nearly 40 times the prior day’s fifteen day moving average. There has been no news or announcement explaining the fall.

BYD has had a troubled few years, delivering losses in seven out of the past ten quarters. Estimates for 2015 are for the company to deliver earnings per share of Rmb0.76 – just shy of the Rmb0.81 eps made in 2007, and well below the Rmb1.77 achieved in the 2009 peak. Up until today’s fall, it was trading at around 40 times next year’s earnings estimates based on the hoped-for recovery.  

Europe and Japan are fighting deflation, emerging markets look wobbly and political risk is everywhere. Bond yields are minuscule. The default solution – buy big cap US stocks. How could this trade go wrong? Join the discussion at midday (London time). 

Lending Club may be the most intriguing company to reach the public markets in years. Is it a financial institution? Is it tech company that is going to challenge the banking sector? Is it just a nifty website that is going to be copycatted by everyone who sees the opportunity in “peer-to-peer”, excuse me, “marketplace” lending? Or will Uber just buy Lending Club and deliver the cash in the back of its sedans? We’ll discuss here starting at 9am NY time, 2pm GMT. 

Profit warnings come in threes? Not at Tesco. The UK based retailer has issued a fourth warning, sending the shares down another tenth. At some point they will bottom out, and anyone brave enough to have bought the shares at the right time will make enough money to start shopping at Waitrose. But is now that time? Join in the discussion, starting at midday UK time.  

British and Irish budget airlines continue to dominate their European rivals on price and cost efficiency. Ryanair and easyJet in particular have set their sights on the major flag carriers. Will the drop in jet fuel prices, coupled with a shift towards business passengers, make these budget airlines even stronger in the next year?
Join Lex live at 12 (UK time) to discuss. 

In a Lex note today, we told the story of Schlumberger, the $120bn market cap oilfield services monster. Tuesday it said it would impair some of its ships used for offshore oil exploration, a tangible move in response to falling oil prices.

But in our note, we suggest that perhaps oilfield services companies may remain a relative bright spot in the energy sector. These two charts from Credit Suisse explain why. 

Lex has long argued that Amazon, despite being a stunningly successful and wildly interesting company, is overpriced. Our astute friend Chris Rossbach, CIO at the long-term value house J. Stern and Co., thinks we’ve got it all wrong, and wrote us the brief manifesto below explaining his view. It’s well worth a read, and makes an interesting contrast to our own view (on which more later):

Keeping Calm and Clicking On 

Lex live from the FT Banking summit.
Bank returns have been hit by increased regulation, continued low interest rates and slow economic growth. Have lower returns on equity and competition from non-banking competitors rendered many banking business models obsolete? Can universal banks, in the long term, produce better ROEs than more specialist banks?

Join us at midday UK time for a live discussion. 

There has been a range of reactions to our recent big read urging consolidation on the European telecoms carriers.

By far the most well-argued comes from New Street Research. They think Lex has completely lost the plot.

They were kind enough to send us the detailed dissent below: 

The prime minister has called a snap election for next month to help delay a tax increase. The central bank governor thinks inflation may fall below 1 per cent “for the time being”. The stock market is up a fifth in a month.

Japan is a curious place for an investor at the moment. And yet Japanese equities seem to be one of the great trades of 2015 – if Abenomics works. Lex weighs the merits, in this live session…