In a sign of just how far Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have fallen from their heights, the CBOE has just scrapped its plans to continue to offer Bitcoin futures. Creating mainstream products around Bitcoin was all the rage until recently, but Wall Street’s appetite for doing so has tumbled alongside cryptocurrencies’ prices. Godman Sachs’ plans to create a bitcoin trading desk, much discussed early last year, have yet to materialize.
FINSUM: Have cryptocurrencies reached their zenith? In terms of prices, things are way off (Bitcoin at $20,000 in December 2017 to $4,000 now), but what about in terms of their place in the financial system?
The next couple of years is supposed to be the new golden age of tech IPOs. Huge Silicon Valley unicorns like Uber and Lyft ae supposed to IPO, as are a slew of less well-known, but still big, names. All the activity is supposed to kick off very soon as Lyft has just priced its IPO. The company is seeking a valuation of about $23 bn based on an offering of just over $2 bn of shares. Uber, its rival, is planning to IPO soon as well, and looking for a valuation north of $100 bn.
FINSUM: Let’s put the Lyft valuation in perspective—the company has $2.16 bn of annual revenue, but lost almost a $1 bn in the last year. Quite eye-opening.
Goldman Sachs is launching an interesting suite of new ETFs to help investors gain exposure to emerging areas of technology. The bank’s new offerings include ETFs for human genome research and robotic surgery. In total, the firm launched five new ETFs driven by a strategic partner specializing in calculating companies’ thematic beta. The other ETFs cover innovative financial, data, and manufacturing companies.
FINSUM: This could be an interesting small allocation to portfolios. Some clients are very hot on these new technologies and this might be a nice liquid way to access them. Fees are 50 basis points.
Have you been upset about missing out on some of the big tech companies in the last decade? Well, your chance to buy in is coming; or at least that is what Wall Street’s bankers want you to think. A string of big tech IPOs appear to be in the works. From Lyft, to Uber, and featuring Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack, and WeWork, a big Silicon Valley roadshow is coming to the market this year and next. The major question is how the companies will fair once public. The tech market has been hurt recently, and public market valuations have been wounded.
FINSUM: These companies have massive private market valuations, and it seems like they will underperform a bit when they do finally debut (at least in the short-term). That said, a couple of them will likely turn into incredible long-term holds.
Tony Mitchell is a well-known fund manager in the tech space. His tech mutual fund has outperformed the market for years. However, it has done so with a very interesting quirk—it has never held Amazon, until now that is. The reason why is that its P/E ratio always seemed to high at between 190 and 400. However, recently, Amazon’s P/E ratio has fallen back to earth. Its current ~80x is not cheap by any measure, except against its own history. The company’s web services division is growing strongly, its advertising business is surging, and it has a good foothold in the gaming industry. This means it could be a good time to pick up Amazon’s stock.
FINSUM: If you believe Amazon is going to continue its growth story, then right now does seem like an ideal time to pick up shares.
Looking for the best big tech stock to buy? Look no further than Google. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is a better deal than it seems on paper right now. Yes, it is trading for 24x forward earnings, a 50% premium to the S&P, but it has some very strong redeeming qualities. Get this—revenue growth at Google has raged from 21% to 25% per quarter for the last 14 quarters. Further, the important thing about that valuation metric above is that it does not include Google’s massive $105 bn in cash. If you strip that out, along with the loss from its “moonshots” division, and Alphabet is trading at 19x earnings—not bad for a company with that kind of growth! The stock has been beat up lately because of significantly higher spending, which has hurt margins.
FINSUM: Okay, so margins are down a bit, but the c-suite says they are investing for the future. We think this may present a good buying opportunity. We never thought we’d be talking about a FAANG as a value stock!