Eq: Tech

(New York)

Stocks woke up to a volatility explosion this morning. President Trump made a surprise announcement that he was considering boosting tariffs on China. Specifically, the president threatened to raise tariffs to 25%. Beijing is reportedly infuriated. The comments come towards the end of what seemed to be a smooth negotiation with Beijing about a new trade package. Therefore, they riled markets to a major extent. Headline indexes shed a couple percent at peak (so far) and sectors like technology and industrials sold off sharply. The trade delegation from Beijing is still expected to attended a planned tariff meeting this week.

FINSUM: It is very hard to know how significant this is (whether Trump actually wants to do this), or whether this is just a negotiating tactic.

(Los Angeles)

In what comes as a really eye-opening turn of events even for someone as outlandish as Masayoshi Son, SoftBank has announced a plan to IPO its $100 bn Vision Fund. The fund is already legendary, having invested $100bn in just two years in some of the world’s biggest startups. It currently holds positions in WeWork and Uber, for instance. Masayoshi Son is now raising for capital for another fund, so wants to access some liquidity from this first one, thus the plan to IPO.

FINSUM: This is a bonkers plan, but honestly, and interesting opportunity for investors to own pieces of some very exclusive private companies. This is like an early stage Berkshire Hathaway.

(New York)

There has been a lot of anger (and even legal action) about the big declines Lyft has seen since its IPO. The questions around publicly traded companies worth tens of billions of Dollars with annual losses of billions of Dollars are only growing more intense as Uber readies for its IPO. The big question is what investors should do about the stocks—stay away or buy in? TrimTabs Asset Management has some very salient thoughts on the issue. TrimTabs specializes in free cash flow oriented products and lent their expertise to this question. They conducted an in-depth study of how post-IPO companies with negative free cash flow, and negatively trending free cash flow, perform versus those with positive FCF. The results were stark, and in all instances showed major outperformance of FCF positive companies. For instance, over a 12-month horizon following IPO, $1 bn+ companies with positive FCF outperformed those with negative FCF by almost 16%, with the latter averaging losses of 6.41%.

FINSUM: This analysis from TrimTabs could not be more timely or insightful. We think it might be smart to stay away from Uber and Lyft until they at least have a clear path to profitability.

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