Displaying items by tag: social media
Facebook’s stock has taken a hit lately, and with good reason. Several large businesses have announced boycotts of Facebook because of their poor record on hate speech. A recent survey found a third of top US brands are planning to suspend their social media spending soon. That spending is of course not just limited to Facebook, but Twitter, and others as well. According to the World Federation of Advertiser’s, a trade body covering 90% of the world’s ad spending, the survey of 58 WFA members who account for $90 bn of ad spend worldwide found that combined with the one-third just mentioned, an additional 41% were still undecided about whether to pause campaigns. According to the CEO of the WFA, “In all candour, it feels like a turning point … What’s striking is the number of brands who are saying they are reassessing their longer-term media allocation strategies and demanding structural changes in the way platforms address racial intolerance, hate speech and harmful content”.
FINSUM: Hard to tell if this could be a sustained movement that could really hurt Facebook and other social media companies, or this will just be a few-week flash in the pan that will make no real difference. Our view is that the social media companies will respond strongly now that it is threatening revenue, and the advertisers will quickly fall back in line because the social media platforms are the bedrock of current customer acquisition strategies.
We have been saying this for months now, but Wall Street is also coming around to the idea: the COVID lockdown was ultimately going to be very bullish for ecommerce and the social media companies with which they are inextricably linked. According to Wedbush, the COVID lockdown has permanently changed shopping habits, and ecommerce’s share of total retail sales will maintain the big jump it saw over the last few months. With that in mind, here are six stocks to consider: Wix.com, GoDaddy, Shopify, eBay, Etsy, and Pinterest.
FINSUM: Just like work habits, people’s buying habits have changed, and they are likely to stay that way. That is a big victory for retailers who were winning the ecommerce race, those who support ecommerce (e.g. Shopify), and social media companies who benefit from increased advertising.
Big tech companies got hit badly in last quarter’s selloff. On top of that broad volatility, Facebook has been going through its own particular troubles, most specifically related to the potential impact of its data leaks. However, all the bearishness may be in the past, and right now could be an excellent time to buy the stock, at least according to Jefferies. “FB’s status as leader in Social is unchanged and we see continued upside for FB shares as it digests the social hangover … FB remains a tier 1 platform for advertising spend with Instagram showing positive drivers of growth”, says the bank’s research team. The big growth driver is Instagram, whose revenue is growing at an estimated 60% annually. “We believe over the course of ’19, shares will slowly re-rate as rev growth & margin outlook become clearer”, says Jefferies.
FINSUM: We would tend to agree with this assessment. Despite all the concerns over data privacy, Facebook still has a very solid underlying business that is growing strongly.
If you are a fan of behavioral economics and the way investor psychology impacts the market, then there is some interesting new data to look at. The amount of people searching the internet for “recession” and “bear market” has been spiking. People have been increasingly searching for such terms and their level of searches has hit its highest since 2008. Tweeting activity on such topics has also nearly reached a new peak in records going back to 2010.
FINSUM: This may seem like statistical noise, but when you consider that millions of Americans are calling their advisors in a panic, you can start to see how such concern starts flowing through to indexes.
As if there were not enough worrying indicators out there, Market Watch has featured a new worrisome measure. The paper interviewed a famous Wall Street quant who says that algorithms which track broad social media sentiment are showing significant risks of a serious decline in equities. The big worries on the public’s mind revolve around the escalating trade war between China and the US. The indicator also informs sector picks, to which strategist Yin Luo said “With U.S. stocks, we are bullish consumer discretionary, technology, and industrials over the medium horizon, and are negative on consumer staples and telecom services, where fundamentals remain relatively weak and momentum has been negative”.
FINSUM: We are always skeptical of these kinds of views because what people say on social media is not a very good reflection of what they are doing in their investment account. Further, there are likely mountains of people being assessed by the algorithms that have no trading/investment account, so their impact is nearly non existent.