Brigham Young University-Idaho warned on Monday about accounts of college students “intentionally” trying to contract COVID-19 in order to make money by donating plasma with antibodies. 

The Idaho university issued a statement saying officials were “deeply troubled” by the alleged behavior and “is actively seeking evidence of such conduct among our student body.”

Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed,” the university stated.

“The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter,” the statement continued. “Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community.”

University officials noted that they had previously cautioned last month that if Idaho or Madison County continue to experience surges in cases, the university may have to switch to fully online learning. 

The release also encouraged students who are participating in this behavior to consult financial and mental health resources, saying, “There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet.”

Brigham Young University-Idaho has confirmed 109 COVID-19 cases among students and 22 cases among employees.

The Food and Drug Administration permitted convalescent plasmas from COVID-19 survivors to be used as an emergency therapy for those with coronavirus. The FDA states that the plasma that has antibodies “may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks.”

Two potential plasma donation locations near the university are the Grifols Biomat USA Rexburg location and the BioLife Plasma Services, NPR reported. The first’s website says it gives donors $100 per visit and East Idaho News reported the latter provides $200 for each of the

It’s hard to justify Workhorse’s (WKHS) current ~$3 billion valuation, considering that the Street expects the company to make less than $150 million in revenues next fiscal year. The major reason why the stock trades so high is due to the fact that the company might win some portion of USPS’s $6.3 billion contract to deliver its EV trucks to the country’s biggest postal service. Other than that, we don’t see any other reason to justify Workhorse’s recent share price appreciation. In addition, the lack of capacity to manufacture trucks at scale on its own is likely going to hurt the company’s margins even if it wins the contract. Considering this, we believe that Workhorse is overvalued.

Lots of Red Flags

By being a pioneer of the EV business, Workhorse worked on various electrification projects with General Motors (GM) and Mercedes for more than a decade and only later decided to sell its own EV vehicles under its brand name. Currently, the company has slightly more than 100 employees and it’s on track to deliver up to 400 C-Series EV trucks by the end of 2020.

Earlier this year, Workhorse benefited from the injection of liquidity to the markets by the Fed, as stocks managed to quickly recover from their March lows and reached new all-time highs shortly thereafter. By being an EV company, Workhorse’s stock followed the upside trend of other stocks like Tesla (TSLA), Nikola (NKLA), and NIO (NIO) and quickly appreciated and reached its own all-time high. In addition, the company was able to keep its momentum by reaching the final stage of the bidding process for USPS’s $6.3 billion contract to manufacture vans for the postal service.

While Workhorse’s growth prospects look good, its financials are not as impressive as some might think. In Q2, Workhorse’s

Fluor Corporation FLR has been benefiting from continuous contract wins over the past few months. Recently, the company’s subsidiary — Fluor Marine Propulsion LLC — has received a contract from the U.S. Navy.

This is a $1.12-billion cost-plus-fixed fee modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise the fiscal 2021 option for naval nuclear propulsion work at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory.

The contract work — which is expected to be completed by September 2021 — will be carried out in Pittsburgh, PA (48%); Schenectady, NY (42%); and Idaho Falls, ID (10%).

Fluor has been riding high on strong end-market prospects, solid backlog level and a good business portfolio mix. In March, Fluor Marine Propulsion received a $1.8-billion contract modification for work at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory. The deal is a modification to a contract awarded in July 2018 that included options that, if exercised, would bring the total value of the same to $13.1 billion. The scope of the contract includes work on naval nuclear propulsion technology, including research, design, construction, testing, operation, maintenance and ultimate disposition to support operation of the country’s aircraft carrier fleets.

It has a solid track record of receiving awards, and management remains optimistic about continuation of this trend in the future as well, which is expected to drive growth. Recently, the company filed an annual report on Form 10-K for 2019. Full-year new awards from continuing operations and government were $12.6 billion, and ending consolidated backlog was $31.9 billion, which hints at further growth. Fluor, being an industry leader in nuclear remediation at government facilities throughout the United States, is expected to benefit from rising demand for energy across the globe.

Meanwhile, the company’s market diversity remains a key strength that helps it mitigate the cyclicality of markets in which it operates. The company’s

General Motors has pushed back the closing date on its pending partnership with Nikola Corp., most likely to renegotiate the terms after Nikola’s stock price has plummeted.

GM said it will be an all-electric carmaker one day and has partnered with Nikola Corp. on making an all-electric Badger heavy-duty pickup for Nikola. Here is GM's Design Dome in Warren, Michigan where GM hosted a week-long event on its EV technology earlier this year.

© General Motors
GM said it will be an all-electric carmaker one day and has partnered with Nikola Corp. on making an all-electric Badger heavy-duty pickup for Nikola. Here is GM’s Design Dome in Warren, Michigan where GM hosted a week-long event on its EV technology earlier this year.

The Phoenix-based electric-truck company faces allegations of fraud, but GM has said it intends to complete the deal with the company.

On Tuesday, GM issued a statement that read: “Our transaction with Nikola has not closed. We are continuing our discussions with Nikola and will provide further updates when appropriate or required.”

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

GM was tentatively due to close on a 10-year deal Wednesday. The deal would allow GM to share technology and parts with Nikola in exchange for stock and achieving other cost savings.

But that Sept. 30 closing date was always just an “anticipated” date, according to Nikola’s U.S. Securities and Exchange filing. The filing also said: “The subscription agreement may be terminated by either the company or GM Holdings if the closing has not occurred by December 3, 2020.”

logo: Nikola Corporation, Sept. 21, 2020, 4141 E. Broadway Rd., Phoenix, Arizona.

© Mark Henle/The Republic
Nikola Corporation, Sept. 21, 2020, 4141 E. Broadway Rd., Phoenix, Arizona.

Some analysts have questioned whether GM should do a deal, or at least renegotiate its original deal with Nikola, after a short seller’s report alleged Nikola had committed “intricate fraud” in the past.


Load Error

Even before that report, Bloomberg had reported that when Nikola showed its Nikola One tractor-trailer in 2016, Nikola falsely said that it was a working prototype even though

The life insurance industry will see a contraction in premium income this year on the back of the COVID-19 crisis, despite people’s rising awareness on health, the Indonesian Life Insurance Association (AAJI) has stated.

AAJI chairman Budi Tampubolon said on Sept. 25 that the association expected the industry’s premium income to contract 2.5 percent year-on-year (yoy). 

The life insurance industry’s premium income has contracted 2.5 percent yoy to Rp 88.02 trillion (US$5.9 billion) in the first half of the year from the same period last year. The decline in new premium income and renewed premiums contributed to the lower figure.

“Everyone is now focused on surviving. The second quarter was better than the first quarter but if the third and fourth quarter are similar to the second quarter, we will still see contraction this year, but just not too deep,” he said during a virtual press conference.

In comparison, the industry booked Rp 196.69 trillion in premium income last year, up 5.8 percent compared to 2018, according to AAJI data.

Insurance penetration in Indonesia has been low for a long time. According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s insurance spending in 2018 was only 1.79 percent of the country’s GDP, lower than in neighboring Malaysia, where it was 4.4 percent.

Read also: Need for insurance rises as pandemic poses risks

In the first half of this year, new premium income dropped 2.7 percent yoy to Rp 54.57 trillion, while renewed premium income fell 2.2 percent yoy to Rp 34.91 trillion, AAJI data show.

Despite the slowdown in premium income growth, Budi said the group saw improvement in new premium income in the second quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter.

He said that in the second quarter, new premium income had grown