Displaying items by tag: tech
For a lot of people, BlackRock brings two things to mind: fixed income and ETFs. Therefore, the firm making a bold call about a handful of single name stocks comes as somewhat of a surprise. However, BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world and is also a leader in equities. The call they are making today is that big tech companies are looking strong and likely to keep seeing price expansion. On the one hand, this is a very easy call to make given tech stocks have been soaring, but on the other, it is somewhat of an interesting and risky call because many fear FAANGs can really only go down in the short-term. BlackRock says that the cash flow producing abilities of tech companies (a factor proven to be vital in this downturn) will be critical to their continued success.
FINSUM: There might be some short-term tailwinds, but in our view, big tech companies are going to keep moving higher because this crisis has created a huge opportunity to grab market share as more of life moves online.
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.
It might be obvious if you are paying close attention to the stock market, but today we are covering a list of the top performing stock/companies during COVID. Most of the names are what you would expect, but there are a few surprises. No one would be surprised to see Amazon and Microsoft atop the list, with Tesla, Facebook, and Alphabet all in the top ten, but how about PayPal and Shopify (numbers 9 and 15 respectively). Zoom is also in the top 15, but Audi and Home Depot are also in the top 25. Salesforce is number 33.
FINSUM: Certain companies have boomed under COVID for a variety of reasons, and looking at a consolidated list is a great way to get a perspective on what is performing well.
You may or may not have heard of Shopify, but if you haven’t, it is probably time to take a hard look. Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company—a fact which has meant it has been somewhat overlooked by those outside the tech space—that makes offering ecommerce and in-store payment collection easier for small businesses. The idea is to offer the scale and robustness that large companies have to small businesses selling online. It makes its money from subscription fees and add-on services. After initially falling during the lockdown, it has nearly doubled in value and is now worth around $100 bn.
FINSUM: This has been a big run higher, but Shopify sits at the intersection of ecommerce and fintech and may be the long-term competitor to Amazon.
The market has seen some very healthy (or perhaps not) gains in the last few weeks, but many are still worried about a plunge to come as the full impact of the COVID lockdown reverberates through the economy. Tech stocks have been big beneficiaries of the rally, with the big companies adding $250 bn to their market caps recently. Those gains look more sustainable than elsewhere too. Fund managers have been seeking refuge in the shares, and their business models look more defensible than most.
FINSUM: We are very bullish on big tech stocks. This whole lockdown is going to shift habits more towards ecommerce (and not just online retail, but food ordering etc), which means Google and Facebook are going to be able to collect their digital advertising tax on a bigger pot than ever.