|Bid||179.10 x 1100|
|Ask||179.25 x 4000|
|Day's Range||178.61 - 180.18|
|52 Week Range||129.77 - 195.72|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.87|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||51.24|
|Earnings Date||Oct 31, 2019 - Nov 4, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||223.03|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hong Kong’s IPO market is unexpectedly coming back to life. It may be a brief revival.Companies from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s Asian unit to Megvii Technology Ltd. aim to raise more than $10 billion selling shares before the year is out. It’s a turnaround that appeared improbable as recently as mid-August, when the Hang Seng Index erased its gain for the year amid anti-government protests and concerns over weakening global growth.Hong Kong’s benchmark stocks gauge has bounced 8% since Aug. 13, among the best-performing indexes worldwide in that period, as traders bet that China’s government will try to buoy investor spirits in the run-up to Oct. 1, when the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. That’s created a window of opportunity for companies that previously struggled to generate enough investor interest.Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd. is the prime example. The unit of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, pulled what would have been the world’s biggest initial public offering in mid-July after failing to draw sufficient demand for the $9.8 billion sale. The company is back with a pared-down $5 billion offering and aims to list by the end of September, Carol Zhong, Julia Fioretti, Jinshan Hong and Crystal Tse of Bloomberg News reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter.The brewer is seeking to list minus its Australian operations, which the company agreed to sell to Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion soon after withdrawing its IPO in July. That hived off a slower-growing part of its operations, which may help attract investors who balked at Budweiser Brewing’s valuation last time around.Other than a rising stock market, a simple technical reason may account for the brewer’s haste to try again. A company that seeks to list within six months of its first application doesn’t need to prepare a new set of accounts, meaning Budweiser Brewing can just strip the Australian operations from its financials when pitching to investors this time around.Others lining up at the IPO well include Megvii, a Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup that’s seeking $1 billion; consumer lender Home Credit NV, which is targeting as much as $1.5 billion; Chinese sportswear retailer Topsports International Holdings Ltd., which aims to raise about $1 billion; and ESR Cayman Ltd., a logistics real estate developer backed by Warburg Pincus that earlier shelved a $1.2 billion deal. The first to list of the current crop may be biotechnology firm Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc., which has already started taking orders for a $477 million sale.The biggest flotation of all may come in October, when New York-traded Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will seek to raise as much as $15 billion in a secondary listing, Reuters reported last month.The resurgence in the IPO market is a tonic for Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which has faced skepticism over its $36.6 billion bid for London Stock Exchange Group Plc and whose shares have dropped 16% from this year’s high. Hong Kong has slipped in the pecking order of global stock exchanges after topping the rankings in 2018. Companies raised $10.8 billion in IPOs this year through Sept. 13, less than half of the total in the same period last year.The question is whether there will be enough investor demand to soak up all the stock that an eager and growing group of listing candidates is waiting to thrust on buyers. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s economy is deteriorating and the protests haven’t gone away. Companies must also consider whether China’s feelgood efforts will extend beyond Oct. 1.Time may be of the essence for this crowd. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The Alibaba Group follows a business model that differs from e-commerce leaders in the United States and allows the firm to play the middleman to various types of buyers and sellers across the globe.
Over the past decade, Wall Street has witnessed the meteoric rise of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). With a market cap of about $910 billion, AMZN stock is now one of the largest publicly listed companies. In the U.S. as well as in many other countries, it is the dominant online retailer. In recent years, Amazon has also expanded into other growth areas such as cloud computing where it has already become a leader.Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com However, since early July, long-term AMZN shareholders have been somewhat concerned with the stock's price action. On July 11, Amazon stock hit an 52-week high of $2035.80. On Aug. 26, it saw a recent low of $1743.51. Currently the Amazon stock price is hovering around $1850.Now many investors are wondering if this quarter AMZN stock goes and stays over $2000, a price that has become an important resistance level.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession Until its next earnings report on Oct. 24, I expect AMZN to stay range-bound, possibly between $1750 and $1900. In other words, Amazon stock would need to show strong Q3 financial numbers that would act as catalyst to push the stock over $2,000 again. Here is why. Amazon Stock's Unimpressive Q2 EarningsIn July, when Amazon reported earnings for its second fiscal quarter of 2019 , it missed on the bottom line as it warned profits would disappoint in Q3, too. Amazon stock's EPS in the quarter was $5.22, compared to the forecast EPS of $5.56.The retail giant beat analysts' average revenue estimate by a small amount. Its Q2 revenue came at $63.4 billion. Wall Street was looking for $62.5 billion. In Q2 2018, Amazon had posted $52.9 billion in sales.Amazon stock's revenue comes from five main segments: * Retail Products (about 65% of its revenues) * Retail Third-Party Sellers (about 12% of its revenues) * Amazon Web Services, or AWS (about 15% of its revenues) * Subscriptions such as Amazon Prime (about 5% of its revenues) * Other, such as credit card agreements and advertising (about 3% of its revenues)During the quarter, Amazon's U.S. sales increased by 17% to $35.8 billion. The group's international sales grew by 9% to $16.2 billion.Amazon stock's AWS segment is the growth driver operating at high margins. The group especially uses the cash generated from AWS to fund the growth in other segments.Wall Street noted that Subscriptions, which mainly constitute Amazon Prime members, were up 37% to $4.7 billion.Investors noted that the group's renewed investments into the company are paying off as sales increased. However, this sales growth is coming at the expense of lower profit margins.Since the release of the quarterly results, investors have decreased growth expectations for the coming months, as partly reflected by the sharp drop in the AMZN stock price. Wall Street Needs to See Revenue Growth in AMZN StockNot only has Amazon stock changed the world of e-commerce, but the company has been disrupting how consumer shop overall. Yet, these earnings results show that the revenue growth of Amazon's online store, third-party sellers, and subscriptions has been decelerating.Furthermore, AWS, or Amazon's cloud business, reported its slowest growth rate in several years. Its AWS revenue hit $8.4 billion. However, the consensus estimate was for $8.5 billion. In Q2 2018, the unit revenue had been $6.1 billion. Investors were especially concerned that the growth in AWS is not offsetting the top-line declines of other segments.Over the past few years, revenue and operating profits of AWS have grown extremely quickly. However, its mouth-watering operating margins have also attracted serious competition from other tech giants.Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure, Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Cloud, and Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) cloud operations have become important competitors.Going forward, Amazon expects its investments to increase, another factor that will negatively affect its bottom line and potentially Amazon stock in the near future. The company is expected to invest heavily in its advertising business, Prime Video, international growth, shipping, and logistics.When the company releases Q3 earnings in late October, analysts will be paying attention to the various growth metrics that Amazon reports. Management gave Q3 net sales guidance to be between $66-$70 billion. This guidance would mean a growth of between 17% and 24% compared with third-quarter 2018.To me, earnings results in the past few quarters show that AMZN stock is becoming increasingly dependent on AWS for revenue growth. Therefore, in Q3 I would be interested to see the metrics for each segment. Is It Time to Buy Amazon Stock Now?If you are wondering whether you should buy Amazon stock right now, the answer depends on your evaluation of Amazon's fundamentals and on your investing time horizon.In the coming weeks, I expect AMZN stock to trade in a range between $1,750 and $1,900. If Amazon stock stays above the $1,820 level, it is likely to test $1,900 and above soon.Year-to-date AMZN share price is up over 21%. If you already own AMZN stock, you might want to hold onto your shares. However, within the parameters of your portfolio allocation and risk/return profile, you may consider placing a stop loss about 3%-5% below the current price point, especially if you want to protect your paper profits.AMZN is a is a high beta stock at 1.55. The stock market has a beta of 1.0. Therefore Amazon stock's beta measures its volatility in relation to the market. In other words, in general, AMZN stock rises more than the market in bullish conditions and decreases more when markets are falling. Short-term traders should exercise caution if they want to participate in Amazon stock's wide daily swings.Patient investors who continue to believe in AMZN may see any price dip towards or below the $1,750 level as an opportunity to go long AMZN stock and ride out its daily volatility.Amazon stock will need to stabilize and build a base again before it can deliver a long-term, sustained rally that would take the shares over $2,000. The Bottom Line on AMZN StockWhen Amazon next reports its Q3 results in October, investors will scrutinize the company's fundamentals. If the results show that the company's growth has slowed further, investors may decide that Amazon is now a maturing company. As a result, they may think that the current valuation of Amazon stock is excessive.Nonetheless, it is important to remember that a mega-company with fundamentals as robust as Amazon's could withstand several months of uncertainty. And, eventually, AMZN's management will make decisions that will move the company forward.On Sep. 25, Amazon will be holding its next hardware event. Wall Street would be looking to see what Alexa-enabled products may be introduced in the coming months.Management also continues to invest heavily in original video content development and online streaming services. I'd also continue to observe that space for its potential effect on AMZN stock revenue.In two to three years, I expect AMZN stock investors to be rewarded handsomely. Eventually, fundamental catalysts will drive Amazon stock higher, and the stock price will rise above $2,000 again.As of this writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post New Highs for AMZN Stock Will Come After Growth Challenges End appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Alibaba stock has been a big winner since its debut in September 2014. With solid fundamentals and a bullish chart, the case for more upside is a strong one.
Language barriers can hinder international commerce, but that problem is increasingly being solved by machine-based translation programs, which are becoming sophisticated enough to enable people in different countries to communicate as if they spoke the same language. Lily Chen, a sales manager with electronic-forklift company Taixing Jichuan Hydraulic Machinery Co. Ltd. in China, said she’s used Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s (BABA) built-in translation tools to communicate with buyers in Europe and the U.S. In an interview with MarketWatch using the technology, she explained that her English was “not very good” when she began as a salesperson and the translation software first helped her conduct professional communications with a customer in Germany and, later, with other buyers.
Multinational Chinese tech company Baidu has taken proactive steps to counter market uncertainty. It has plans to expand into areas of emerging technology.
In breaking news on Wednesday, President Trump announced that he would delay scheduled tariffs against China by two weeks. As he put it, the delay represents a goodwill gesture to China, and comes at the request of China's Vice Premier, Liu He. And on the surface, this development seemingly bodes well for JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) and by extension JD.com stock.Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com After jumping to a strong start earlier this year, JD stock encountered upside resistance around the $31 level. In the beginning of April, shares tried to break past this level, but failed, sparking a downward slide. Later in May, JD.com stock tried to break beyond $31, but the markets again stymied the effort.During the past summer, the e-commerce and technology firm enjoyed some strong sessions. In fact, JD.com stock moved beyond the aforementioned resistance level a few times. Unfortunately, the efforts ultimately went for naught.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn the one-year chart for JD stock, we can clearly see a consolidation pattern. As InvestorPlace's Tom Taulli noted recently, this pattern is setting shares up for either a breakout or a breakdown. My colleague argues for the former, noting some strong fundamental catalysts. These include a robust and growing Chinese middle class, greater allocation of Chinese GDP to domestic consumption, and an upwardly moving e-commerce market. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September Significantly, Taulli also mentioned that the trade war could be beneficial for JD stock. That's because the dispute has driven China to focus on its domestic economy, bolstering JD in the process.With this latest gesture from an otherwise strident Trump, it seems the case for JD.com stock breaking out is won. So, should you act on this diplomatic news? JD.com Stock Remains UnconvincingObviously, President Trump extending a small but meaningful olive branch is important. In the nearer term, no one should be surprised to see names like Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) jump higher.When it comes to China-related developments, the news seemingly kept getting darker for JD stock. With the U.S. and Chinese administration set to discuss their differences, this is the positive narrative that the bulls needed.But the story doesn't end there. Even from early in his administration, President Trump earned a reputation for flip-flopping. Granted, every politician contradicts themselves; otherwise, they wouldn't be politicians. That said, Trump can turn on a dime.Infamously, Trump stated in 2017 that North Korea will be met with "fire and fury" if the hermit nation threatened the U.S. In June of this year, Trump characterized his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as a "great friendship."Therefore, JD.com stock has a credibility problem, but it has nothing to do with the underlying company. Instead, we really don't know what's going to happen next. Of course, uncertainty is something that Wall Street dislikes.I'm not sure what the probabilities are regarding a trade deal in the nearer term. But based on Trump's unpredictable nature, I wouldn't bet too high on a resolution. Remember, Trump must look strong to his voting base because he's losing support elsewhere.Therefore, if a deal doesn't materialize, JD stock risks significant volatility. While many China bulls tout the country's massive middle class, we got to put those numbers into context. With a population size of over 1.4 billion people, on a GDP-per-capita basis, the Chinese are still poor. Plus, initiatives to push into China's lower-ranked cities may not pan out due in part to the country's sizable percentage of agricultural workers. What Happens If We Get a Deal?Suppose though that we do get a deal. Does that optimistic scenario spell game on for JD.com stock?Here again, I remain hesitant. I hate to bring up a politically controversial subject, but questions exist regarding China's economic data. For instance, in June of this year, the Chinese city of Guanghan allegedly falsified its economic data.This scandal brings up an uncomfortable topic: when we say that China's middle class is growing robustly, what data is that based on?Additionally, I'm inclined to believe the negative reports as opposed to the fluff stats. Because if China's middle class is booming, why are their auto sales plummeting? Other metrics are falling too. A trade deal probably won't fix these core problems. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now Therefore, the smart move is likely to wait out JD stock. Sure, the technical pattern is interesting. But with a volatile President and an even more volatile economic situation, gambling here seems more risky than rewarding.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post A Tempting Chart and Possible Trade War Truce Won't Save JD.com Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Tapestry, Inc. (NYSE: TPR), the New York-based house of luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, said Thursday it has partnered with with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - ADR (NYSE: BABA)'s Tmall, a China-focused e-commerce platform. Tapestry said it will be one of the first companies to collaborate with Tmall in adopting the recently unveiled Flagship Store 2.0 beginning later this month. The platform will provide Tapestry's brands with tools to feature customized content and offer shopping experiences for customers.
President Trump delayed China tariff hikes to Oct. 15 in a China trade war "gesture." The ECB cut rates and will restart monetary stimulus. Dow Jones futures and Apple rose.
The challenges facing Chinese streaming video play iQiyi (NASDAQ:IQ) are myriad, and they've pressured IQ stock.Source: natmac stock / Shutterstock.com iQiyi stock has rallied so far this year, gaining 21%, but it's faded of late. Those gains, meanwhile, are coming after the stock hit an all-time low in late 2018.In recent months, at a cheaper price, I've come around to the bull case for IQ stock. In June, I called it the best play for those still bullish on China long-term.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat's not to say the risks weren't, and aren't, significant. The Chinese economy continues to struggle amid a trade war with the U.S. Competition is intense, most notably from Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) unit Youku Toudo. iQiyi still is burning cash as it grows. Majority owner Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is struggling, leading to the possibility of further sales of iQiyi stock.iQiyi's second-quarter report last month seems to highlight, if not increase, those risks. Investors largely have shrugged off the report, as IQ stock trades above where it did before the release. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September But on this site, Luke Lango argued the report wasn't enough, and I'm inclined to agree. iQiyi still has an intriguing long-term case, but the near-term risk to IQ stock seems to be rising. Growth Slows, but IQ Stock Holds UpFrom a headline standpoint, iQiyi's second-quarter earnings report looks close to disastrous. Revenue growth decelerated dramatically. In Q1, revenue in yuan increased by 43% year-over-year. Growth in Q2 was just 15%.To be fair, there's a key culprit outside of the company's control: the Chinese macroeconomic environment. Advertising revenue declined 16% year-over-year in the second quarter, after a ~flat performance on the same basis in Q1. CEO Tim Gong Yu noted that "a lot of advertisers constrained their advertising budgets," on the Q2 conference call.In the subscription business, iQiyi generated new members toward the end of the quarter thanks to new content. And so membership revenue increased just 38% despite a 50% increase in the quarter-end subscriber count.Both factors are understandable, and indeed the 15% increase was in line with Street estimates. That said, Q3 guidance for revenue growth of just 4-10% suggests a further decline in the top-line growth rate.At the same time, iQiyi's spending isn't going anywhere. Operating loss widened by over 40% year-over-year. Content costs increased by just 7%, but selling and marketing expenses both rose sharply.Perhaps surprisingly, investors saw the quarter as reasonably in line: iQiyi stock only fell 1% the following day. It may be that 50% subscriber growth and decent performance in a tough environment was good enough, particularly given the fact that IQ stock had slid heading into the release. The Risks to iQiyi StockThat said, there are some concerns in the report upon closer inspection. One, in particular, is the fact that subscriber growth came in toward the end of the quarter. As management noted, that boost came as the content was released, which itself is a bit of a concern.The worry is that iQiyi essentially can't stop spending on content, or else subscriber growth slows or stops. It's an echo of the worry facing Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), to which iQiyi is often, and somewhat incorrectly, compared.The bullish case for both stocks is that building out a content library with upfront spending will result in enormous cash flow down the line, as that content is monetized. If, however, consumers come to expect more and better content in perpetuity, the hamster wheel never stops spinning. The correlation between content spend and subscriber growth thus is somewhat discomfiting, even at this early stage in iQiyi's growth.The other concern is on the advertising front. Macro weakness is a headwind, to be sure. But iQiyi management also noted an increase in the supply of online advertising inventory, which is pressuring pricing.That's a big risk. Price reductions come off the operating profit line at almost 100%. And the combination of higher inventory and macro concerns suggests ad revenues can be pressured into 2020 at least. Investors hoping for near-term profitability may have to wait longer than they expected. Dented, but Not BrokenTo be sure, Q2 earnings don't break the case for IQ stock. Investors in U.S. markets seem reasonably content with the idea that Chinese companies may struggle for a few quarters. The long-term opportunity, however, still remains.That's true for iQiyi as well. That said, it's hard not to see near- to mid-term risk rising after the second-quarter report. This still is a company with a market cap of over $13 billion, no profitability, and decelerating growth. That's usually a recipe for disaster.Add in the underlying concerns in both the subscription and advertising businesses, and IQ stock at least seems like a candidate for a decline when broad markets stumble. And if Q3 shows further revenue deceleration and wider losses, it may not take a market sell-off for iQiyi stock to start falling again.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post Things Look Precarious for IQ Stock Post Q2 Earnings Disappointment appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Germany will finally get another major listed tech company when software maker TeamViewer AG completes a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.5 billion) initial public offering this month -- the biggest in the industry in almost two decades.While Germany has several established tech companies, including software giant SAP SE, there have been few sizable newcomers since chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG listed in 2000. TeamViewer will provide a boost to the weakest European IPO market in years and comes as Germany’s economy teeters on the brink of a recession. The share sale, which is oversubscribed, will be the country’s largest so far this year.Founded in 2005, TeamViewer has developed from a local provider of remote computer access tools to one that offers connectivity to customers in about 180 countries. The company plans to further expand in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and will add to its offerings for large corporate customers to help them connect anything from mobile phones and tablets to machine sensors, smart farming equipment or wind turbines.With a sudden influx of new offerings in Europe, IPO investors have a lot to choose from. Apart from TeamViewer, private equity firm EQT Partners AB is also marketing its initial public offering, with a management roadshow kicking off next week. On Thursday, Helios Towers Plc -- one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest mobile-phone tower operators -- announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.TeamViewer’s owner, private equity firm Permira, plans to sell as many as 84 million shares for 23.50 euros to 27.50 euros each via holding firm TigerLuxOne, the company said late Wednesday. TeamViewer stock is expected to start trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Sept. 25.The price range would give the company a market value of between 4.7 billion euros and 5.5 billion euros. Bloomberg News previously reported the valuation could be 4 billion euros to 5 billion euros. The listing will improve TeamViewer’s brand recognition and make it easier for it to grow organically and via “selected acquisitions,” spokeswoman Martina Dier said.TeamViewer may hire more people in the U.S. and opened offices in China, Japan, India and Singapore last year to expand sales in those markets. In China alone, TeamViewer has “tens of millions” of free users, more of whom the company wants to convert into paying customers, according to Chief Executive Officer Oliver Steil.“Our big growth combined with strong profitability -- even if market conditions have been difficult -- makes our financial profile attractive to investors,” Steil said in an interview last month.TeamViewer’s cash billings grew more than 35% in the first half, faster than last year’s 25% growth, to over 140 million euros, the CEO said. The company posted a cash operating profit margin of more than 50% during the period. It says its software has been installed on more than 2 billion devices.Permira bought the company for 870 million euros in 2014. It has since partnered with firms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Salesforce.com Inc. to bolster its cloud offerings.The free float, a measure of company stock available to trade, will be 30% to 42%, depending on the size of the IPO, according to the statement.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are arranging the IPO, with Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and RBC Capital Markets. Lilja & Co. is acting as an independent adviser to Permira and TeamViewer.(Updates with company comment in sixth paragraph. An earlier version of the story was corrected to remove reference to IPO proceeeds)To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at email@example.com, Andrew Blackman, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It would seem like the news has been pretty good of late for Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) stock … with one obvious exception. The last two earnings reports have looked impressive. The overhang of a major stockholder is ending. And yet Alibaba stock has stayed stuck, trading sideways since February.Source: Nopparat Khokthong / Shutterstock.com To be sure, the U.S.-China trade war presents an apparent stumbling block in front of BABA stock. But rival JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) has outperformed Alibaba shares of late, while facing the same trade-driven macro headwinds at home.JD isn't the only Chinese stock with better returns. Yes, Alibaba Group shares have returned 27% so far this year. That's better than the 16% average of China's 21 U.S.-listed large-cap (>$10 billion) stocks. But that return puts BABA stock just seventh in the group, well behind leaders New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NYSE:EDU) and Pinduoduo (NASDAQ:PDD), the latter of which has almost doubled in the last two-plus months.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSo, relative underperformance, a cheap valuation, and Alibaba's market-leading status would seem to clear a path for BABA stock to finally break through $200 and beyond. After all, it's hard (though not impossible) to see external conditions being much worse, yet Alibaba has grown earnings and Alibaba stock has managed to rise.That path is open. But the concern has to be that if BABA shares stay stuck, it could signal they're going to be stuck for a very long time. What's Gone Right (and Wrong) for Alibaba StockAlibaba Group has had some headwinds in 2019. The trade war has pressured consumer and business confidence in China, as several companies have noted in recent months. Protests in Hong Kong have only added to the geopolitical risk, and likely led to Alibaba's decision to delay its listing on the Hong Kong exchange. * 7 Deeply Discounted Energy Stocks to Buy Major shareholder Altaba (NASDAQ:AABA) is liquidating its Alibaba stock. According to Alibaba's second quarter release, that company (formerly Yahoo!) sold almost 10% of Alibaba shares outstanding between May 20 and August 9.There are pressures on the business and pressures on the stock. And yet Alibaba has posted strong back-to-back earnings reports. Revenue increased 51% year-over-year in the fiscal fourth quarter (ending March) and another 42% in Q1. Adjusted EPS handily beat Street estimates in both quarters.Meanwhile, BABA stock hasn't exactly soared -- but it's held up. The stock bounced from levels around $150 in late May, amid the Altaba selling, and has neared $180 three times in the past few weeks.Given those external pressures, the case for BABA stock here is that in a tough environment, investors still were happy to buy and/or own shares. So what happens when that environment gets better? After all, Altaba's liquidation is likely over at this point. The trade dispute should be resolved at some point, even if that point isn't necessarily anytime soon. Put another way, it seemingly only can get better for Alibaba Group, and for Alibaba stock, from here. Long-Running Concerns About BABA StockThe catch is that for some investors, it's not going to get better for BABA stock. To bears, Alibaba has significant structural problems. Its VIE structure -- shareholders actually own a piece of a variable interest entity in the Cayman Islands, not Alibaba itself -- makes BABA a no-go for some investors.Accounting issues have long dogged the company. They were raised again in the decision to go forward with the Hong Kong listing. As I noted at the time, it was strange for Alibaba to sell stock at seemingly cheap prices to raise capital when it had plenty of cash already. Indeed, the company is paying $2 billion to acquire Kaola from NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES), a deal it is financing from cash on hand. * The 8 Worst Stocks to Buy Before the Trade Turmoil Cools Off There have been worries about self-dealing, highlighted by Alibaba's move of Alipay to former CEO Jack Ma. And many investors ignore Chinese stocks altogether, worried about a "hard landing" or, worse, an implosion of the economy still run by a nominally Communist single party. Can Alibaba Group Stock Finally Rally?Those skeptics admittedly could be wrong. "Hard landing" predictions, for instance, have been made for at least this entire decade. The VIE structure could change once Chinese regulations do. And, to at least some extent, a 20x forward P/E multiple incorporates those risks.But at least for now, those skeptics and that skepticism seem to matter. They're at least one reason why a proverbial lid has stayed on BABA stock. (Shares at this point haven't moved for two years now.) They're why, to some investors, Alibaba stock seems like a generational opportunity: an e-commerce leader in a country with over a billion citizens trading at a discount to many U.S.-based large caps with minimal growth. Other investors simply see the stock as a trap at almost any price.If the news around Alibaba stock gets better, particularly with the Altaba overhang gone, BABA stock has to rally. Otherwise, BABA starts to look like a stock that looks cheap - and will always look cheap, given the structural risks assigned by the market. As bearish as I've been on BABA, I can see that path to $200+. If Alibaba stock doesn't take that path, however, it might be time to worry.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post If Alibaba Stock is Going to Rally Again, Now is the Time appeared first on InvestorPlace.
In the pantheon of U.S. companies, there have been instances where the CEO and/or founders are inextricably linked to those firms and, to some extent, the performance of the stocks. Think Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BKR-B), the late Steve Jobs at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Jeff Bezos at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).Source: Shutterstock The best comparison offered by a Chinese company is Jack Ma of Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA). All Ma has done is build Alibaba into the largest e-commerce company in the world's largest internet market, while overseeing a double in Alibaba stock price since its initial public offering (IPO) roughly four years ago.Described by some as flamboyant, Ma departs the $460 billion behemoth he founded on Tuesday. He will be succeeded by softer spoken accountant Daniel Zhang. On the surface, the Ma-to-Zhange transition looks a little bit like the move to Tim Cook at Apple after Jobs passed away. Alibaba stock investors can only hope Zhang can deliver appreciation that is even in the ballpark of what Cook has delivered for Apple investors.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September Ma, China's richest man, has pledged to stay on in some capacity, likely mentoring management. They found hand-picked Zhang, so that could be an important factor for Alibaba stock owners.Zhang "has the logic and critical thinking skills of a super computer, a commitment to his vision, the courage to wholeheartedly dare to take on innovative business models and industries of the future," said Ma when he made the announcement last year. BABA Making DealsLike Amazon in the U.S., Alibaba is an e-commerce juggernaut in China, but that status does not mean it's a true monopoly. As is the case with Amazon on domestic, Alibaba must contend with e-commerce competitors in China, including JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) and Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). To take the Amazon comparison even further, Alibaba's playbook is similar to its American rival in that the Chinese company has become a player in other businesses beyond online retail.In the case of Alibaba stock, catalysts include growth in the cloud computing and mobile payments arenas, among many others. To the point of spreading its week, Alibaba has recently been on a shopping spree of its own.In recent days, the company agreed to buy e-commerce business Kaola from Chinese gaming company NetEase for $2 billion. That deal is aimed at getting Alibaba in front of more luxury shoppers."Kaola, launched by NetEase in 2015, aggressively targets shoppers in China by offering products from top brands such as Gucci, Shisheido and Burberry, primarily sourcing goods directly from suppliers to resell to consumers," according to Reuters.The deal also features an investment in Netease Cloud Music, which could be a catalyst down the road for Alibaba stock because it would better enable the company to compete in an arena dominated by rival Tencent."While TME's market position looks very strong, with more capital raised by Netease Cloud Music and possible future deeper collaboration with Alibaba's Xiami and its overall digital entertainment and SuperVIP membership program, we believe the joining force between Netease and Ali will likely strengthen Netease Cloud Music's competitive positioning against TME," said Citibank analyst Alicia Yap. Bottom Line on Alibaba Stock: Don't Forget the CashAnother catalyst for Alibaba stock is cash. At the end of the second quarter, the company had cash on hand of $33.72 billion, a year-over-year increase of almost 15%. That's a large enough stockpile to enable the company to do more acquisitions and probably some of size because with Alibaba stock commanding a market value of $460 billion, bolt-on deals are nice, but purchases of scale likely make the most sense.Additionally, Alibaba is likely to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) around 30%, implying the 20.34x forward earnings multiple Alibaba stock is attractive if not inexpensive. Plus, China's expanding e-commerce market, one that is helpful for competitors to Alibaba, benefits the entrenched giant, too."The growth in recent quarters from all platforms in the industry gives us the comfort that the growing (e-commerce) sector is probably the last to be impacted even in a prolonged period of macro turbulence," said Bernstein analyst Davi Dai.Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post Acquisitive Alibaba Confronts Life Without Jack Ma appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Europe is getting its own version of Softbank Group Corp. with the Amsterdam listing of tech investment firm Prosus NV. The move will likely help it avoid the fate of Yahoo Inc., the erstwhile Silicon Valley titan which has since fizzled away as a holding company.South African media and internet firm Naspers Ltd. has spun most of its technology investment out into Prosus. That new company, like its parent (which retains a stake of more than 73%), derives almost all of its 121 billion-euro ($133 billion) market capitalization from a 31% stake in Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese internet behemoth behind WeChat. That’s much like Softbank, which trades at a discount to its investment in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Bob van Dijk, the chief executive of both Prosus and Naspers, intended the Amsterdam listing to reduce the discount to the $131 billion value of the Tencent investment.Naspers came to constitute about 20% of the Johannesburg stock exchange; that means index funds had to sell shares in order to meet limitations about concentrating too much ownership in one stock. The stock started to underperform Tencent shares the moment it exceeded a 10% weighting, as Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Davies has pointed out.On that basis, the listing has so far been a success. When Naspers announced the spin-off in March, it was trading at a near 30% discount to its Tencent stake, taking into account its net cash position. Now Prosus is trading at a discount of just 3% to its Tencent shares, net of cash but not including other investments.Prosus is home to more than just the Tencent stake. It houses most of the technology investments made by Naspers, including stakes in Delivery Hero AG, Mail.Ru Group Ltd. and PayU. The value of the publicly-traded entities alone is 4.1 billion euros. Including these, Prosus still has a discount of perhaps 20% to its sum-of-the-parts valuation.The question for van Dijk and his team remains to what extent they can break the stock’s lockstep with the Tencent share price. If they can’t, then Prosus risks becoming little more than a proxy investment, and follow the fate of Yahoo.That American firm, after selling its eponymous internet assets to Verizon Communications Inc. in 2017, rebranded as Altaba Inc., and became a holding company for investments in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan Corp. Their combined value persistently exceeded Altaba’s valuation by some 25%. It is now dissolving those holdings and shutting up shop.Some sort of mark down is always likely to be the case, partially because Prosus shareholders, like those of Altaba, have no real say in the running of the firm’s biggest investment. Tencent management is after all not directly accountable to Prosus investors. And there continue to be overhanging concerns about governance, as I have written before.Given all that, the relatively slim Prosus discount – compared to Altaba, at least – suggests investors are in fact affording some value to its portfolio of investments besides Tencent. Does that mean they would rather van Dijk reduce the Tencent stake (he says he has no plans to do so) and reinvest the proceeds elsewhere? Probably not.There are reasons why Prosus might continue to close the valuation gap. Inclusion on Amsterdam’s Euronext indices over the next few months ought to attract index funds, for instance. And some more lucrative exits such as the the 1.6-billion-euro profit Naspers made on India’s Flipkart would reassure shareholders that van Dijk is making the right investment calls.Van Dijk has taken a healthy step to bring the company more in line with the value of its holdings. But now he can’t as readily point towards technicalities as a reason for the discount, he needs to prove his ability to deliver the investment returns that justify spending shareholders’ money.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of Chinese premium electric vehicle (EV) maker NIO (NASDAQ:NIO) have been on a roller coaster ride ever since the company went public about a year ago. Over the course of the past year, the NIO stock price nearly doubled from a $6.26 IPO price to $12 within its first few days on Wall Street. That gain was clawed back to $6 over the next few months. Then, the ride took off again in early 2019, going to $14. Then, investors kicked shares lower over the past six months to where they are now, just above $3.Source: THINK A / Shutterstock.com Amid all this volatility, I've consistently sounded a cautious and bearish tone on NIO stock. My thesis has been pretty simple.There are a lot of EV brands in China. Not all of them will make it long term. In fact, very few of them will actually survive. Right now, probabilities and fundamentals suggest that NIO won't be one of the survivors. As such, while NIO stock could go boom long term, the more likely outcome is for the stock to go bust.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsI maintain that cautious thesis today.To be sure, there are signs that China's auto market and economy are re-accelerating. That's good news for NIO stock. But, until this company can impress investors with numbers that it will remain a relevant player in China's booming EV market for the foreseeable future, I don't think NIO stock will stage a meaningful move higher.As such, there's no rush to buy into NIO stock today. In this situation, patience is your friend. Monitor the China EV market and NIO's trends in that market from the sidelines. If signs appear that NIO is improving its competitive positioning, buy into NIO stock. Until then, stay away. The Good News For NIOThe good news for NIO stock is that China's economy and auto market appear to be bouncing back after a multi-quarter slowdown. * 7 Deeply Discounted Energy Stocks to Buy On the broad economic front, most data coming out of China implies that the worst of the country's multi-quarter economic slowdown -- which started in early 2018 -- is now in the rear-view mirror. Retail sales trends, in a downtrend since early 2018, have gradually improved over the last few months. PMI readings, similarly in a downtrend since early 2018, have stabilized over the last few months. Industrial profit growth rates have shown consistent improvement throughout 2019. The OECD's composite leading indicator for China has actually improved for five straight months. Many of China's biggest companies -- like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and JD.Com (NASDAQ:JD) -- have actually reported better-than-expected numbers over the past few months.Meanwhile, on the auto front, we are seeing similar signs of a turnaround. Specifically, China's auto market has declined for 13 straight months, with many of those months posting sizable declines. But, in July, the market dropped only 4.3%, one of the smaller declines in recent memory. There has also been a push from the government to further support EV adoption in urban areas through the removal of certain auto purchase restrictions which have constricted demand.Overall, then, the economic data coming out of China broadly implies that this country's economy is finally starting to turn the corner, and that China's auto market is following suit. That's all great news for NIO stock. The Bad News For NIOThe bad news for NIO stock is that re-accelerated economic and auto market expansion in China might not create a tide which lifts all boats.The big, overarching problem with NIO is that it is one of 486 EV companies in China. You read that right. There are 486 EV companies in China. That's far too many. In America, there are no more than 20 to 30 electric vehicle companies. In the long run, as China's EV market matures, rationalizes, and consolidates, it will down-size to something very similar to the U.S. EV landscape -- or, about 25 EV companies.In other words, 95% of China's EV companies today, probably won't be around by 2030. Those aren't good odds for NIO.Current trends are similarly unfavorable. NIO's delivery volume peaked in the fourth quarter of 2018 at nearly 8,000 deliveries. Ever since, delivery volume has dropped … significantly. In the first quarter of 2019, NIO delivered less than 4,000 cars. In the second quarter, it delivered around 3,500 cars. This quarter, the company is on track to deliver about 2,500 vehicles. * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market In other words, from late 2018 to today, NIO's quarterly deliver volume rate has shrunk nearly 70% and that's with NIO launching a new vehicle in mid-2019.Those are ugly trends. Broadly, they imply that NIO may not have what it takes to last long term in China's auto market. So long as the trends support that thesis, NIO stock will remain depressed. Bottom Line on NIO StockLong term, NIO stock could go boom if the company does turn into the go-to premium EV brand in China's booming electrics market. But the data right now simply does not support this thesis. Instead, it supports the thesis that NIO will be among the 95% of China EV companies that ultimately goes bust instead of boom.As such, the best move right now with NIO stock is to wait-and-see. Wait for more numbers to come out of NIO and China. See if NIO's trends are improving, or not. If they are improving, buy into the rebound bid. If they aren't, continue to stay away until they do.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long BABA and JD. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post Why There's No Rush To Buy Into NIO Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
After two decades of leading Alibaba (BABA), Chairman Jack Ma stepped down today. Daniel Zhang, Alibaba's current CEO, will serve as the new chairman.