217.25 -0.79 (-0.36%)
Pre-Market: 8:41AM EST
|Bid||217.11 x 800|
|Ask||217.69 x 1100|
|Day's Range||214.22 - 222.50|
|52 Week Range||147.95 - 231.14|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||62.35|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
The coronavirus outbreak is roiling China, but some startup technology companies are actually benefitting as isolated citizens flock to a range of solutions to achieve a sense of normalcy.
The huge surge in stocks like Tesla, Virgin Galactic and Stamps.com have brought back some trader memories of the heady days of the dot-com boom. But Robert Buckland, a global strategist at Citi, studied stock market distributions to show the market of now is not really that similar to that of the dot-com days.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and other rivals vied for a piece of the worldwide cloud infrastructure services market as spending rose 37% to top US$107 billion in 2019. What Happened Data released ...
(Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son will head to New York next month for the first time since the implosion of WeWork, seeking to persuade hedge funds and institutional investors that the fortunes of SoftBank Group Corp. have turned since the disastrous investment.The Japanese billionaire is scheduled to address investors on March 2. There, he could point to the approved sale of Sprint Corp., a rally in Uber Technologies Inc. shares and Elliott Management Corp.’s purchase of SoftBank stock as signs of progress at his company, said people familiar with the plans. It’s unclear where WeWork will fit into the agenda.Within SoftBank, there’s disagreement about how to convey the company’s strategy. Son, 62, is known for his eccentric financial presentations, which have included a “hypothetical illustration” of WeWork profitability and stock photos of ocean waves and calm waters. One memorable slide from 2014 contained only a drawing of a goose and the words: “SoftBank = Goose.” Many staff at headquarters in Tokyo love the founder’s showmanship, but some senior executives are exasperated and argue a clearer and more sober message is needed, said people familiar with internal discussions who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.Ultimately, Son will decide. He has downplayed any pressure from Elliott, a New York-based activist investor that disclosed a nearly $3 billion stake in SoftBank this month. Son called Elliott an “important partner” and said he’s in broad agreement with the investor’s arguments for buybacks and increasing the stock price. Son has signaled less receptiveness to Elliott’s other suggestions: selling more of the stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and reining in the Vision Fund, a $100 billion investment vehicle that accounted for more than $10 billion of losses in the past two quarters.In private meetings with SoftBank, Elliott raised issues over the clarity of SoftBank’s strategy, people familiar with the talks said. SoftBank is planning to make hires within its investor relations department to help shape the message to shareholders. SoftBank declined to comment. A spokesperson for Elliott declined to comment.“Right now, serious heat is being applied on Son,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “Son has to be seen actually doing something.”Son’s heading into the meeting with one win under his belt: T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint have agreed to new terms for their pending merger, a key step toward completing a transaction that will unload the loss-making carrier and unlock new capital for SoftBank. Its shares rose as much as 3.3% in Tokyo Friday.T-Mobile, Sprint Renew Deal as Merger Clears Regulatory HurdlesAlthough next month’s event was scheduled before Elliott disclosed its stake and is not designed to specifically address the activist investor’s involvement, it will be a focus for attendees, said people familiar with the preparations. Executives are bracing for questions about Elliott’s intentions and how far the shareholder will go to boost the stock’s value.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is organizing the March event, the people said. The firm, which helped Japan’s Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. in their dealings with activist investors, is vying for the job of advising SoftBank on Elliott, said a different person said. However, SoftBank is likely to manage the relationship in-house, another person said. The job may fall to Marcelo Claure, the chief operating officer who’s helping oversee the WeWork debacle; Katsunori Sago, the chief strategy officer and a former Goldman Sachs executive; or Ron Fisher, a director and trusted adviser to Son. A Goldman representative declined to comment on SoftBank.Dogs and PizzaSoftBank is recovering from a series of stumbles in recent months. WeWork’s plan to go public last year imploded, forcing SoftBank to arrange a rescue financing of $9.5 billion in October. Uber, despite a two-month surge, is still trading about 10% below last year’s offering price. The Vision Fund has suffered other high-profile setbacks, including investments in failed online retailer Brandless Inc., dog-walking app Wag Labs Inc. and pizza robot company Zume Pizza Inc.Elliott has said it took the stake in SoftBank because the Japanese company’s shares are woefully undervalued compared with its assets. Son himself has been pleading the case with increasing frequency. SoftBank’s own sum-of-parts calculation puts its total value at 12,300 yen a share ($111). That’s more than double SoftBank’s actual share price, which values the company at about $104 billion. Elliott has pegged SoftBank’s net asset value at about $230 billion, people familiar with the discussions have said.The disconnect between what SoftBank and Elliott say the company is worth and the market value can be explained by several quirks of how the business is run, according to a report from Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at New Street Research. Many shareholders would like the company to return more capital and improve its governance, he wrote. Risks associated with the Vision Fund and a lack of details about tax liabilities associated with cashing out its investments are other factors.SoftBank recognized the need for more oversight as early as 2018, when it charged Claure with a broad review of operations across SoftBank companies. Claure, the former head of Sprint, spent months assembling a team of about 40 executives. In the end, he was forced to cede control of the so-called SoftBank Operating Group to the man it was supposed to be overseeing: Rajeev Misra, the head of the Vision Fund.Elliott wants SoftBank to set up a special committee to review investment processes at the Vision Fund. Elliott argues the fund has dragged down the share price despite making up a small portion of assets under management, said people familiar with the discussions.Some at SoftBank are resistant to the idea of an oversight committee. Instead, SoftBank is seeking to resolve issues at the Vision Fund with new governance standards for the companies it invests in. The new rules will encompass how the fund approaches the composition of the board of directors, founder and management rights, rights of shareholders, and mitigation of potential conflicts of interest.Son has conceded that missteps with the original fund is making it difficult to raise money for a successor. He said last week that SoftBank may need to invest in startups using solely its own capital for a year or two.‘Black Swan’Elliott is also calling for a buyback of as much as $20 billion. A repurchase of that scale could boost SoftBank’s shares by 40%, Ferragu estimated. SoftBank’s last share repurchase was announced about a year ago, a record 600 billion yen. It sparked a rally that pushed the stock to its highest price in about two decades.Selling Alibaba shares to pay for a buyback, as Elliott has proposed, could be a point of contention with Son. In the past, Son has used the shares as collateral to borrow money for big acquisitions, including the $32 billion purchase of chip designer ARM Holdings. Son said last week during a quarterly financial briefing that he’d prefer to sell as little as possible and that there’s “no rush” to do so.SoftBank said on Wednesday it plans to borrow as much as $4.5 billion against shares of its Japanese telecom unit. The company, which had 3.8 trillion yen of cash and equivalents at the end of December, said it was raising capital for operations. SoftBank’s debt load exceeds $120 billion.Son’s reliance on debt is raising alarms, said Tang, the financial analyst. “He’s going to get wiped out if there is some black swan event,” Tang said. “SoftBank needs to de-leverage, and the best way to do it is to sell the Alibaba stake.”Elliott has a tradition of using strong-arm tactics to get its way with target companies, but there’s little chance of that happening with SoftBank. Elliott’s stake enables it to call an emergency shareholder meeting, but pushing through a proposal without the founder’s backing is a long shot. Son, who often goes by the nickname Masa, controls more than a quarter of SoftBank stock through various vehicles, and the company bylaws require two-thirds of votes to pass any proposal made through the board, according to a person with knowledge of the rules.“Unless everyone is against him,” said Tang, “it’s not possible to dislodge Masa.”(Updates with share action in the seventh paragraph)\--With assistance from Scott Deveau.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Giles Turner in London at email@example.com;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Mark Milian, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In our experience one of the best tools for ordinary investors who are on the hunt for new ideas is 13F filings. Once every quarter, hedge funds with at least $100 million in total positions in publicly traded US stocks are required to disclose the number of shares and the total value of its positions […]
The new coronavirus from China has predictably saddled equities in the world's second-largest economy with recent losses. Chinese internet and consumer cyclical stocks, such as Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and JD.com (NASDAQ: JD), haven't been immune to coronavirus pressures, but an interesting scenario is emerging. Month-to-date, the Direxion Daily CSI China Internet Index Bull 2X Shares (NYSE: CWEB) is up about 20%, making it one of Direxion's best-performing leveraged exchange traded funds since Feb. 1.
Virtus Vontobel Global Opportunities has notched stellar performance by consistently seeking out quality companies whose growth can continue.
Alibaba is “the China e-commerce category killer with a large secular growth opportunity ahead,” Susquehanna Investment Group’s Shyam Patil said.
The new coronavirus from China is weighing on a variety of Chinese assets, including some well-known internet equities. The first documented case of the deadly respiratory illness was reported just over ...
Futures fell as Apple warned on sales, citing the coronavirus impact on iPhone output and demand. Walmart earnings missed. InMode earnings are due.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- HSBC Holdings Plc is embarking on a radical overhaul while it continues the hunt for a permanent chief executive. For investors, the strategic muddle of this bizarre situation should be at least as troubling as the stinging cuts, $7.3 billion of charges and suspension of buybacks that the bank announced with its earnings Tuesday.The London-based lender will cut as many as 35,000 jobs, reduce gross assets by more than $100 billion by 2022, shave annual costs by $4.5 billion and slash the size of its investment bank in Europe and U.S. in the biggest raft of changes for years. All this will be overseen by Interim Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn pending the appointment of a permanent successor to John Flint, who was ousted last August.Quinn was left to present the plan even as HSBC declined to confirm him in the job. This is bad on two levels. First, it undercuts the authority and investor confidence that Quinn might otherwise be expected to enjoy, should he eventually be appointed. At the very least, the delay signals that the board has harbored doubts about his suitability. Second, going ahead with the revamp may impede the search for a replacement.Any chief executive worth his or her salt will expect to put a personal stamp on the company. But the biggest decisions have already been made. This reshaping will have Quinn’s fingerprints all over it. That may narrow the options for HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker. Stephen Bird, Citigroup Inc.’s former top executive in Asia and the leading external candidate for the job, already has ruled himself out, the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported last weekend, citing unidentified sources.HSBC might argue that waiting wasn’t an option after years of sub-par performance. “Parts of our business are not delivering acceptable returns,” Quinn said in Tuesday’s statement. HSBC will shift resources to higher-returning markets, while squeezing the cost base and exiting some business lines. “The current strategy is in no man’s land,” as one investor told Bloomberg News pre-earnings.No one could accuse HSBC of sparing the knife this time. The job cuts are equal to about 15% of the workforce. They’re also an answer to those who, like this writer, have criticized the bank for being overly timid in the past. Still, the overhaul may end up exacerbating some of the vulnerabilities they seek to address.The restructuring makes the bank even more hostage to the fortunes of Hong Kong and mainland China, two economies struggling with slowing growth aggravated by the coronavirus outbreak. Hong Kong was already the source of 90% of HSBC’s profit in the third quarter. The city is going to become an even more glaring presence in its books.Besides an economy in recession, competition is getting tougher for HSBC in the city, as online lenders backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. prepare to launch this year. Hong Kong’s dominant bank has also had to navigate political minefields, including being the target of the public ire last year after it closed an account linked to pro-democracy protesters.China, meanwhile, remains a challenge. HSBC is still struggling to extricate itself from Beijing’s bad books for providing U.S. prosecutors with information that led to the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer in late 2018. And disruption to supply chains from the virus outbreak may lead to more credit losses, the bank has said.That means it’s going to take a long time before HSBC achieves the returns Tucker seeks. While 2019 adjusted pretax profit of $22.2 billion beat analysts’ estimates, HSBC’s fourth-quarter return on tangible equity was a mere 8.4%. That’s much lower than the more than 11% target it abandoned in October. Even its new goal of 10%-12% by 2022 looks unambitious beside the 18% return of JPMorgan Chase & Co. HSBC shares closed 2.8% lower in Hong Kong after the earnings, the biggest decline in more than a year.Ultimately, HSBC’s biggest risk may be that Quinn’s cuts cause the lender to double down on greater China just as growth in this part of Asia is uncertain. Outside CEOs won’t be clamoring to steer this ship. Quinn may just be stuck with the job. 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 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Moody's Investors Service says in a new report that Chinese internet and logistics companies are helping combat the coronavirus outbreak by identifying affected areas, transporting and distributing medical supplies, and addressing customer demand for online medical services and daily essentials, a credit positive for these companies in the long run. "Companies like Baidu and Alibaba are leveraging their strong technology platforms, robust supply chain capabilities and large user bases to help the government combat the outbreak, which we expect will further strengthen their leading market positions, primarily through higher user stickiness," says Lina Choi, a Moody's Senior Vice President. Meanwhile, members of the public have relied on Tencent Holdings Limited's (A1 stable) various media and social networking platforms, including Tencent News and Weixin, to stay up-to-date on the latest professional medical advice and government measures.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Apple Inc. has thrown out its March-quarter revenue guidance three weeks after providing it.Despite factoring in possible downside from the China coronavirus outbreak in its original forecast, the iPhone maker realized that things have deteriorated much more than it had anticipated. It gave no new figure and merely said the old one no longer applies, an admission that the company really can’t quantify the impact.While we should expect similar downbeat tones through the rest of the sector, this really means we should keep tabs on the one company that sits at the heart of the global technology supply chain: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.Apple is TSMC’s largest customer. When the chipmaker gave its own first-quarter and full-year forecasts Jan. 16, the world had barely heard of the disease now riveting its attention.Since then, Apple has shut stores in China and downstream assemblers like Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. have struggled to ramp up production after the Lunar New Year break amid continuing quarantines and a shortage of workers willing to return to the factory floor.Nvidia Corp., which designs graphics chips, is another major client of TSMC. On Feb. 13, it said the virus had cut its forecast by $100 million. That’s only around 3% of expected revenue for the quarter, but it all eventually adds up. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., not a direct customer, forecast a decline in revenue from its core businesses as consumers on its e-commerce platform shy away from spending. At least some of those lost sales will be electronics products, which use chips made by TSMC.Chinese companies, including Huawei Technologies Co., accounted for 20% of TSMC’s revenue last year. With numerous enterprises in China on lockdown, adding to the squeeze on both demand and production, it’s unlikely such clients will be able to escape the impact.And last week, wireless industry association GSMA scrapped its annual Mobile World Congress scheduled for Feb. 24 in Barcelona because most of its major participants had already pulled out. This isn’t a consumer event, but the cancellation shows the breadth and reach of the outbreak’s impact on business. Whichever way you look at it, the global tech slowdown leads back to TSMC. Revising guidance mid-quarter isn’t without precedent, and TSMC usually does with a statement filed mid-afternoon Taipei time. It did so a year ago this week, cutting its sales and profit outlook after facing troubles with chemicals used in the manufacturing process. The result was a 10% reduction in operating profit. Just a few months before that, a production hiccup caused by a computer virus in its equipment hurt gross profit by around 5%. An earthquake four years ago sliced operating income by about 7%. The biggest mid-quarter guidance cut I could find is the 25% hit to operating profit that it took in December 2008 as the financial crisis brought the world economy to a halt.To be sure, it’s not certain that a cut will be necessary this time. Clients may decide that they want to keep building up inventory of the chips that come out of TSMC’s factories. But at some point, end-demand may dictate a more cautious approach to procurement. This epidemic is proving hard to quantify, so TSMC’s biggest challenge may not be whether to revise guidance, but what new number to give. To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In China, coronavirus is forcing office workers to stay at home and adopt a range of online remote-working tools for the first time. The two trends — separate, yet simultaneous — are creating a boom for providers of technology that facilitate office-free collaboration, from messaging app Slack and videoconferencing provider Zoom in the US, to their newly bolstered rivals in China, including Alibaba’s Dingtalk and Bytedance’s Lark. “Remote working is getting towards a tipping point,” said Patrick McKenzie, a software engineer and marketer who has been a remote worker in Japan for 10 years, including the past three at San Francisco-based Stripe.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- SoftBank Group Corp. became vulnerable to activist attack by Elliott Management Corp. because of the harmful noise generated by the Japanese technology investor’s giant Vision Fund. That noise just won’t die down.Sunday brought a report in the Financial Times that Vision Fund head Rajeev Misra is looking to raise a multi-billion dollar fund to buy listed stocks. The blueprint was established last year with SoftBank’s investment in controversial German payments company Wirecard AG via a convertible bond. The new plan looks like a bid to do more unconventional equity investments in the same vein.The development marks a strategic departure. After all, the $100 billion Vision Fund was established to take stakes in private, tech-focused startups. SoftBank has already had to deny that there’s a “misalignment” between Misra and the group’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son over the idea of investing more in public companies. But it’s not hard to see why Son, and other SoftBank shareholders, might need persuading.Setting up a listed-equity vehicle would bring in new revenues from management and performance fees. It could also create capital gains (or losses) from any investments in the fund that are made using SoftBank’s own capital. Whether it would make such commitments — and the decision-making around any such moves — is unclear. The FT said funding of about $4 billion is being lined up from sovereign funds in Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan.There is some logic to Misra’s idea. It would, theoretically, marry SoftBank’s nous in emerging technology with the experience in trading and structured products possessed by a bunch of former bankers working for the Vision Fund. The result could bring a new dimension to SoftBank, similar to how the American buyout giants have become purveyors of real-estate, private-equity and credit strategies.The numbers being spoken of may be small relatively. But SoftBank’s core competence is in a specific sector, technology, and a specific category, late-stage venture capital. It needs to be crystal clear about why it would have an edge in the listed markets. The new offshoot would engage in financial engineering by wrapping listed investments in leveraged structures. But would it be looking to hire people or engage advisers with that expertise in a public-equity strategy if it didn’t already have it on the payroll? Or is the tail wagging the dog?SoftBank shares trade at a near 60% discount to net asset value, hence Elliott’s interest. That’s due largely to high-profile mishaps in the Vision Fund, such as WeWork, even though the fund still accounts for only a 10% slice of SoftBank’s overall managed assets. The risk is that, as with the Vision Fund, this venture has an outsized impact on sentiment toward SoftBank overall.Ironically, SoftBank has a huge opportunity already to dabble in the stock market and do financial engineering. The discount at which its shares trade means it could buy nearly $50 billion of underlying investments by spending $20 billion on its own stock. Son could fund such a buyback either by raising debt or selling some of SoftBank’s shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Sprint Corp., telecoms subsidiary SoftBank Corp. or even chipmaker Arm Holdings via a public offering. Maybe the brains in the Vision Fund could start by identifying which of these levers to pull.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.