FB Jan 2021 140.000 put

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
7.95
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 12:17PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close7.95
Open7.90
Bid8.20
Ask8.85
Strike140.00
Expire Date2021-01-15
Day's Range7.90 - 7.95
Contract RangeN/A
Volume89
Open Interest3.9k
  • How blockchain is being deployed for ESG
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    UPDATE 2-YouTube finds influence campaign tied to Hong Kong protests

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  • YouTube Closes 210 Accounts Tied to Hong Kong Influence Campaign
    Bloomberg

    YouTube Closes 210 Accounts Tied to Hong Kong Influence Campaign

    (Bloomberg) -- Google said it disabled 210 YouTube channels involved in “coordinate influence operations” around the Hong Kong protests, following similar measures earlier this week by social media companies Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.The Alphabet Inc. unit didn’t specify which channels were shut down in Thursday’s blog post announcing the decision. But the post said the company discovered accounts “consistent with recent observations and actions related to China” from Facebook and Twitter.The social media companies said earlier this week that they had removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government that were pushing messages meant to undermine the legitimacy of the protests in Hong Kong. Twitter also blocked advertising from state-controlled media. Facebook and Google have not made similar moves on advertising.YouTube, like Google search and other social media services, does not operate in China.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Alphabet Stock Has Recession-Resistant Trump Cards
    InvestorPlace

    Alphabet Stock Has Recession-Resistant Trump Cards

    Although most investors consider the venerable Dow Jones as the benchmark index, in reality, folks should instead consider names like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). After all, an investment toward Alphabet stock gives you wide-ranging exposure to the most relevant and lucrative sectors.Source: Valeriya Zankovych / Shutterstock.com Unfortunately, being relevant doesn't necessarily protect you from a broader market downturn. Since the U.S.-China trade war has ratcheted up several notches in intensity, equities have not offered much stability. That goes for the GOOGL stock price, along with the market values of the internet giant's peers.Of course, it's now very tempting to go discount shopping on big tech firms. For instance, Alphabet stock has shed more than 4% since gapping up on July 26. During this same period, rivals AMZN and FB have lost 6% and 8%, respectively.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThis gamble might pay off for the speculator. But if your investing style leans more to the conservative end of the spectrum, there's nothing wrong with waiting. Yes, the GOOGL stock price below $1,200 is enticing. Based on the longer-term chart, shares really want to bust through the $1,300 level decisively. * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill However, we could have a very ugly recession threat on our hands. Primarily, President Donald Trump may be losing control of the situation. Recently, he declared himself the "Chosen One" as he defended his aggressive stance on China. To me, this is the sound of panicking and bodes poorly for Alphabet stock in the interim.That's because history shows us - like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act - that wrong high-level choices have severe consequences. Therefore, you don't want to go crazy on GOOGL stock. The Risky, but Fundamentally Sound Case for Alphabet StockBut should you avoid GOOGL stock indefinitely?I'm going to be upfront. If you want both a defensive position and to stay in equities, I'd go for the boring companies: Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB), and Home Depot (NYSE:HD). These are companies that have consistent demand. In my opinion, they're too boring to disrupt, giving them an Amazon moat.However, if you can handle some risk, I'd buy Alphabet stock on the next big dip. Why? Ultimately, the tech giant is a play on everything relevant.Principally, most analysts focus on the dominant presence that Alphabet levers in the U.S. digital-ad space. Together with Facebook, the fearsome duo takes home about 60% market share. Obviously, this is a compelling reason to consider Alphabet, especially if the GOOGL stock price tanks. Equity losses won't immediately translate to a loss in ad dominance.While competitors like Amazon are butting into the arena, GOOGL has a very sizable lead. And this synergizes well with Alphabet's supremacy in the search engine space.Let's zoom out to a wider angle. Even if we suffer a recession, we won't suddenly transition to a "Mad Max"-like society. Instead, people will do normal things, like look for a job. For such a purpose, Google (and Facebook) will see a lift in traffic, helping Alphabet stock move higher.Also, businesses desperate to gain traction will likely advertise through Google. Again, just because we're in a recession doesn't mean our behaviors will incur a paradigm shift. In this digitized economy, traditional advertising channels have become obsolete. Thus, if you want to do anything, you must do so digitally. It's unfair perhaps, but it's also a driving force for Alphabet stock. Multi-faceted Tech Business Supports GOOGL StockIf the digital-ad presence wasn't enough of a convincing reason, then investors should zoom out even wider.Whether or not you agree with the Trump administration's stance on China, the Asian power has compromised U.S. interests. In his world view, President Trump must hold China accountable for their actions.But underlining the events that led up to the trade war is China's desire to dominate world affairs. Their government even has a name for it: "Made in China 2025." And it's not just the second-biggest economy that's tired of American geopolitical hegemony. In recent years, Russia's actions harken back to the Soviet Union era.What does this have to do with Alphabet stock? The tech firm attained leadership in many of the categories for which our adversaries wish to dominate, such as artificial intelligence. Right now, U.S. government agencies are taking a close look at big tech's anti-competitive behaviors.But that prosecution will probably fade into the background if we have a recession, especially one related to an adversary. Instead, an economic downturn could translate to a rallying cry for GOOGL stock.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 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post Alphabet Stock Has Recession-Resistant Trump Cards appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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  • MiMedx Has Changed, But Its Critics Haven’t
    Bloomberg

    MiMedx Has Changed, But Its Critics Haven’t

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- This is the second of two columns about MiMedx and the short-sellers. Read the first here.Most of the time, Eiad Asbahi, the 40-year-old founder of Prescience Point Capital Management, is a short-seller.According to its website, the firm, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, specializes “in extensive investigations of difficult-to-analyze public companies in order to uncover significant elements of the business that have been overlooked or ignored by others.” Such investigations usually lead to the discovery of problems that will cause the stock to fall once they become known.“But every now and then,” Asbahi says, “we find a company that is incredibly hated and where the shorts have it wrong.” SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., which has been hammered for its treatment of its whales and dolphins, was one such company. Two years ago, Asbahi bought the stock, believing that “the mispricing was extreme.” He was right. Since it bottomed out in November 2017, SeaWorld’s shares have more than tripled.On Jan. 8 of this year, Prescience Point released a report about its latest big investment idea: MiMedx Group Inc., a company that was under siege by Marc Cohodes and a handful of other short-sellers. After six months of research, Asbahi concluded that the thesis developed by the shorts — which had helped push the stock from $18 to $1.15 — was wrong.Contrary to what Cohodes et al were claiming, Prescience Point’s research suggested that MiMedx products were “legitimate and sustainable”; that it had positive cash flow; and that, while “channel stuffing” to improperly boost revenue at the end of the quarter had taken place, the company’s critics had “failed to produce any smoking guns to support their claims of massive fraud.”“In our view MDXG is one of the largest mispricings we have ever identified,” the report concluded. At the time it was issued, MiMedx stock was at $2.16. Prescience Point predicted that it would quadruple.When I spoke to Asbahi a few weeks ago — by which time the stock had topped $5 — he went further in his criticism of Cohodes and the other short-sellers. In his view, MiMedx’s stock had tanked in 2018 as much because of what the shorts had gotten wrong as what they had gotten right.“What we found,” Asbahi said, “is that they had some credible channel stuffing allegations” — and then they made a series of additional, less credible accusations. There was never any bribery or Medicare fraud, Asbahi said. And MiMedx’s products, often maligned by the shorts, were considered “best in class” by many doctors. “It is not a short activist campaign they’re running,” Asbahi concluded. “It is a smear campaign.”Cohodes’s initial allegations were serious enough that the MiMedx board hired a law firm to investigate. That investigation led to the discovery of the channel stuffing and the dismissal of several top MiMedx executives, including chief executive Parker Petit. But as I noted Monday, even after Petit and the others resigned, Cohodes kept MiMedx in his crosshairs, vowing to take down the company “if it’s the last thing I do.” Once Asbahi released his MiMedx report, Cohodes added Prescience Point to his list of targets.Within days of the report’s release, Cohodes was tweeting that it was “false & misleading” and that Prescience Point “will be ruined.” He has kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism ever since. Just a few weeks ago, he called Prescience Point a “pump-and-dump operation,” a charge he’s made several times before.This last allegation is ludicrous. Prescience Point is MiMedx’s largest shareholder, with 7.7% of the stock. In May, it launched a proxy fight that led to the company agreeing to add six new board members. Three of them were Prescience Point’s nominees.When I asked Cohodes what proof he had to back up the pump-and-dump charge, he replied (via email) that it was his understanding that Prescience Point had purchased the stock at between $6 and $10 a share — and was now “obviously attempting to generate positive interest to make back its investment.” He also said that Prescience Point had sold MiMedx stock after publishing “glowing information about the company.”In truth, Prescience Point bought the stock at an average price of about $2.60 a share, a fact that can be easily found in government disclosure documents. Although the firm sold some stock, it did so only to avoid triggering the company’s poison pill. Once the proxy fight ended — and the poison pill was a nonissue — Prescience Point bought more stock. “We set up a single-idea fund to invest in MiMedx with a two-year lockup,” Asbahi told me. “Does that sounds like a pump-and-dump scheme?”Today, MiMedx is a very different company from when Petit was running it. Of Petit’s 16 top executives, 13 are gone. Its new chief executive, Timothy Wright, has been a top level executive at a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, the big generics manufacturer.Among the new directors is Richard Barry, a respected health-care investor. He is so bullish about MiMedx’s prospects that he bought 3% the stock. All of this information is readily available. Yet Cohodes and his allies refuse to acknowledge that MiMedx has changed. Instead they are making the same allegations they’ve been making all along — except louder and more insistently.Why?Cohodes gave me two reasons. The first, he said, was that the company was still engaged in “criminal activity.” “Doctors have been bribed by MiMedx. And all the perps who carried out the fraud are still there doing it,” he told me.The second reason, he said, was that MiMedx’s products are deeply flawed. “This is a public health deal. This stuff is so bad, and they are taking advantage(1) of veterans. I have to speak out.”Let’s examine the bribery issue first. One doctor the shorts have targeted — including online — is Brandon Hawkins, a podiatrist in Bakersfield, California. He is a major buyer of MiMedx’s primary product, a wound graft made from placental tissue called EpiFix. Indeed, Hawkins told me he is probably the fourth or fifth biggest user of EpiFix in California. He has been paid by MiMedx to give occasional lectures, a common practice in medicine, which he discloses. His brother-in-law is a MiMedx salesman. And he lives quite well, something one can glean from the family’s Facebook page.The MiMedx critics have linked these facts to claim that Hawkins is on the take. But Hawkins says he uses EpiFix for a perfectly sensible reason: It works better than competing wound grafts. “Wounds that would normally heal in 12 to 20 weeks sometimes heal in four weeks with EpiFix,” he said. He added that there is a high incidence of diabetes in Bakersfield, and EpiFix has been an important tool in healing the foot ulcers that often develop in diabetics.Matthew Garoufalis,(2) a Chicago podiatrist, explained that diabetics are often “so immunocompromised” that their ulcers don’t heal. Studies show that some 20% of diabetics who develop foot ulcers will eventually have part or all of a leg amputated below the knee. But the placental-cell formula used in EpiFix “stimulates the wound healing cycle” even with ulcers that are not responding to other healing products, Garoufalis said. He also told me there are lots of good data affirming the efficacy of EpiFix. A 2016 study published in the International Wound Journal concluded that the technology used by EpiFix “is superior to standard care” in healing foot ulcers. After my first MiMedx column was published Monday, several of Cohodes’s short-selling allies took to Twitter, saying they had proof that MiMedx was guilty of bribing doctors. As Bloomberg News reported last year, three employees of a South Carolina Veterans Affairs hospital were indicted for accepting payments and other inducements from the company that resulted in “excessive use of MiMedx products.” One of the three was a doctor. The indictment, however, does not allege any wrongdoing by MiMedx. You see, MiMedx had contracts with the three VA employees — just as it has contracts with doctors all over the country. And MiMedx itself didn’t play a part in the conduct that got the VA employees into hot water. The employees were supposed to get the contracts approved by the hospital. But apparently that didn’t happen. The case wasn’t about bribery; it was about violating government rules. Within five months of the indictments, prosecutors had concluded that the case wasn’t worth going to trial over. The three employees agreed to “pretrial diversion,” meaning that if they paid the money back — about $3,500 in two cases, and about $20,000 in the third — the indictments would be dismissed. That happened in April.  What about Cohodes’s charge that MiMedx’s products are creating a public health hazard? This should also raise an eyebrow (or two). The product he is primarily criticizing is AmnioFix. It also uses placental tissue, but it’s processed in such a way that it can be injected. AmnioFix’s primary purpose is to relieve degenerative joint and tendon pain — pain that is currently difficult to treat. It’s a relatively new product, and many of those who are long MiMedx stock think it has blockbuster potential.Cohodes, however, says that AmnioFix has never been proved effective for anything, and that it hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. “MiMedx was and is selling unapproved products to an unsuspecting and vulnerable public,” he said in an email. “People in pain often search for solutions in the unapproved drug world when they have run out of options. MiMedx has exploited that vulnerability and that is tragic.”Let me offer an alternate take. In December 2017, the FDA issued new guidelines for injectable tissue — and gave companies three years to come into compliance and get approved indications for their products. With a year and a half to go, MiMedx is in the middle of a Phase III trial for the use of AmnioFix to relieve plantar fasciitis, and a Phase II trial for osteoarthritis. MiMedx bulls think it will have the indications approved by the December 2020 deadline.Studies indicate that the technique MiMedx is pioneering with AmnioFix works: One showed that three months after an injection, 91 percent of patients felt significant pain relief. And the FDA is on record as saying that AmnioFix “has the potential to address unmet medical needs.” My exchanges with Cohodes left me with the distinct impression that he views AmnioFix as some kind of rogue drug, operating outside the FDA system. Based on everything I've learned, it’s not.Digging into Cohodes’s claims, I concluded that Asbahi is probably right: The short-seller and his allies are conducting a smear campaign intended to damage the company. I say this with a heavy heart. I’ve written in the past about companies Cohodes and his former partner David Rocker exposed, and I’m a big believer in the importance of short-sellers. Investors need to listen to skeptical voices as well as bullish ones. As a general rule, those who bet against companies are performing a service for all investors.But it’s also important that short-sellers tell the truth about what they find and have an open mind if a company, say, changes its tactics and its senior management. Stretching the facts to push a stock down is as bad as stretching them to push a stock up. And flogging a misguided narrative about products that could help millions of patients is just wrong. Campaigns like Cohodes’s against MiMedx give short-sellers a bad name.In an email, I asked Cohodes why he remained so obsessed with MiMedx. “You call it ‘obsessed,’ he replied, “but that’s the wrong word. I am committed to truth and always have been.”There was a time when I would have believed him. Not anymore.*****A postscript: On Monday afternoon, Bloomberg and I received a lengthy letter from Cohodes’s lawyer, David Shapiro, claiming that my first MiMedx column was “false and defamatory” and demanding a retraction. The letter reminded me of how this all started for Cohodes: with a presentation at a 2017 investment conference in which he denounced MiMedx and its then-CEO Petit for having sued three of the company’s critics. “Quit intimidating the shorts, the critics, the free speakers,” Cohodes said then. “It has to stop.”Apparently, Petit isn’t the only one willing to use intimidation tactics to quiet his critics.(1) Bloomberg’s standards regarding foul language prevent me from repeating his actual words.(2) I spoke to a third doctor, Raymond Otto of Boise, Idaho, who also praised EpiFix as a superior wound product. I should note that all three doctors have given lectures on MiMedx’s behalf. Garoufalis told me that the typical lecture fee is $1,500 or less.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at jnocera3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at sshick@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 5 Pros (And 5 Cons) About Apple Stock
    InvestorPlace

    5 Pros (And 5 Cons) About Apple Stock

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But, the near term will probably be choppy, and that choppiness isn't something I'm too interested in buying into.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWithout further do, then, let's dive into five pros and five cons about AAPL stock, and see how the risks and rewards balance each other out here. 5 Pros About Apple StockIn no particular order, here are five pros about Apple stock right now.The Secular Growth Narrative Remains (Largely) Robust. Apple remains the Western world's favorite consumer technology company, with its products dominating the smartphone, laptop and smartwatch worlds. Sure, unit growth in those consumer hardware arenas is maxing out. But, Apple is successfully pivoting towards a software-driven growth narrative wherein Apple monetizes its extensive hardware install base with multiple subscription software services. Consumers are buying these services, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future because they are addicted to the iOS ecosystem. In the long run then Apple's revenues and profits should grind higher, as should AAPL stock. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential China Headwinds Are Easing. China has been a big problem for Apple because: 1) Apple's big growth engine is the China market, 2) China's economic growth is slowing, and 3) elevated trade war tensions between the U.S. and China create increased pricing risk for Apple's products. But, there are signs emerging that China's economy is starting to stabilize, and it appears elevated trade tensions are now cooling. Currency headwinds are also moderating. As such, Apple's China numbers should improve in the back-half of 2019.Big Services Catalysts Are on the Horizon. Apple has a few very big services catalysts on the horizon, including the launch of Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade in the last few months of 2019. If those services gain widespread traction quickly -- and they should, given that they have been hyped up and that Apple is pouring billions of dollars into them -- then investors will grow increasingly bullish on the long-term growth prospects of Apple's services business as we head into the close of 2019. That investor sentiment boost should provide a lift to AAPL stock. Click to EnlargeThe Chart Looks Pretty Good. In late 2018, Apple stock put in a multi-year bottom. Ever since, the stock has been a solid uptrend, forming a healthy multi-quarter support line which the stock has tested and held multiple times. So long as the stock keeps holding this support line, its technicals remain favorable for AAPL stock to stay in an uptrend.The Stock Is Cheap Relative to its Peer Group. AAPL stock presently trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 16.6. That is about as cheap of a forward earnings multiple as you will find in big tech. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) all trade over 20x forward earnings. 5 Cons About Apple StockAlso in no particular order, here are five cons about Apple stock right now.Some Cracks Are Starting to Form in the Secular Growth Narrative, Especially on the iPhone Side. The secular growth narrative of Apple pivoting into software growth as hardware growth has maxed out looks good. But, it's built on this idea that Apple will maintain a huge hardware install base. There are signs that Apple's hardware install base is already shrinking, though, as multiple reports (see here and here) point to the iPhone actually losing global market share over the past several quarters. If this trend accelerates -- admittedly, a big "if" -- then Apple's secular growth narrative could weaken dramatically.China Is a Wildcard With More Turbulence Coming. Apple's China headwinds are easing right now. But, the U.S.-China trade war is cyclical. It goes from "things are progressing," to more tariffs, to "things are progressing, again" -- and cycles through those phases back and forth. As such, there is another shoe waiting to drop here, and when it does drop, AAPL stock could get hit.Holiday iPhone Sales Will Likely Be Weak. Apple's 5G iPhones are set to launch next year. What about this year's new iPhone? It won't incorporate 5G, and that's big because other smartphone manufacturers are launching 5G phones in 2019. Thus, this holiday season, the smartphone landscape will include non-5G iPhones, and 5G "other smartphones." That isn't a favorable backdrop for healthy iPhone sales.Antitrust Risks Loom Large. I mostly subscribe to the idea that the legal fight against big tech amounts to just noise. Nonetheless, noise creates uncertainty, and investors tend to shy away from uncertainty. Thus, antitrust risks are an optical negative for AAPL stock.The Stock is Expensive Relative to its Historical Standard. While AAPL stock may be cheap next to its peers, it's also expensive relative to its historical standard. Specifically, Apple stock's five-year-average forward earnings multiple is about 14X -- roughly 25% below the current forward earnings multiple. The premium is being warranted by this idea that Apple's new software-driven growth narrative is higher margin and has more stability. Thus, if this software-driven growth narrative deteriorates at all, AAPL stock could be due for a sizable valuation pullback. Bottom Line on Apple StockThere are things to like about AAPL stock here -- good growth, easing headwinds, big catalysts, favorable technicals and a relatively cheap valuation. There are also things not to like about AAPL stock here -- cracks forming in the growth profile, wildcard trade and antitrust risks on the horizon, weak iPhone sales expected this holiday season and an above-average valuation.Putting all that together, it becomes fairly clear that the risk-reward profile on Apple stock is balanced. Until it tips one way or the other, I'm content on watching the Apple show from the sidelines.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FB, GOOG, AMZN and NFLX. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks That Could See 100% Gains, If Not More * 11 Stocks Under $10 to Buy Now * 6 China Stocks to Buy on the Dip The post 5 Pros (And 5 Cons) About Apple Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JP Morgan, Mastercard, Facebook and IBM

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JP Morgan, Mastercard, Facebook and IBM

  • Benzinga

    Microsoft The Latest To Be Criticized For Using Humans To Listen To User Audio

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    Market Realist

    Has Amazon Outperformed SPY in the Past Five Days?

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  • 5 Huge Questions About Snap Stock
    InvestorPlace

    5 Huge Questions About Snap Stock

    If I told you in late 2018 that social media company Snap (NYSE:SNAP) would be one of the market's hottest stocks in 2019, you probably would've laughed at me. After all, in December 2018, SNAP was a $5 stock that had lost about 80% of its value over roughly 18 months.Source: ArthurStock / Shutterstock.com But that's exactly what has happened. SNAP stock has turned into one of the market's biggest winners in 2019. So far this year, SNAP stock price is up about 200%.The big question is: will the rally of Snapchat stock continue?InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn order to answer that question, we need to first answer five other questions which will give us more insight into how big Snap's opportunity is, how much of that opportunity Snap will capture, and how much higher SNAP stock price can go. * 10 Marijuana Stocks That Could See 100% Gains, If Not More How Much International Growth Potential Does Snap Have?One of the core tenants of the bull thesis on SNAP stock is that this company's overseas user base can increase tremendously.The logic behind this belief is pretty solid. For a long time, Snap had a bad Android. app, but it recently revamped its Android app, and it's finally good. Most overseas consumers utilize Android . Thus, Snap's Android revamp should improve the experience of a ton of its international users. That, in turn, could enable Spark's international growth to accelerate for a long time.Recent data supports this thesis. Following the Android revamp, Snap added 9 million international users in the second quarter versus the first quarter, its largest sequential net increase of overseas users in a long, long time.But, on the other hand, Snap is jumping into an international market that is already saturated with Stories apps. Specifically, Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger apps all have Stories. Thus, why would overseas consumers who are already using any of those four apps to communicate with Stories jump to Snapchat because of the revamp of its Android app?They might not. As a result, there are some question marks surrounding just how much more Snap's international user base can realistically grow. Will Young Consumers Stick With Snap As They Grow Up?A core tenant of the bear thesis on SNAP stock is that it's a "kids only" app. That is, no one over the age of 35 uses the app, and those are the consumers with most of the money, so being dominant among teenagers really isn't that valuable.Bulls reply by telling bears to take a look at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). That was a "kids only" app at one point in time. Now, over 2 billion people use it all around the world. Bulls argue that Snap will retain its users, too.I have a tough time buying that argument. Facebook launched at a time when there were very few other social media platforms. Thus, as consumers went from their 20s to their 30s, there was no other social media platform to "graduate" into, so consumers just stuck with Facebook. Today, there are plenty of social media platforms which consumers can "graduate" into as they grow older: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), etc.As a result, I still have a tough time buying the argument that there will be a bunch of 30- to 40-year-old consumers running around in five to ten years, snapping each other with as much frequency as they used when they were in their 20s. Instead, I think Snap will forever largely be a "kids only" app. How Valuable Are Young Users to Advertisers?Assuming that Snap does largely remain a "kids only" app for the foreseeable future, then one has to ask just how valuable being a "kids only" app is.After all, kids don't make much money. Sure, they are heavily influenced by what they see on social media and in digital ads. But they don't have much purchasing power. As a result, SNAP stock bears argue that Snap's hold on Generation Z isn't all that valuable, unless SNAP maintains that advantage as those consumers get older.There's merit to that argument. However, brands aren't going to stop spending an arm and a leg on advertisements targeted to Generation Z. Ads get people to think more about companies' products, and that's reason enough to justify the spending.As a result, having a hold on young consumers should prove to be pretty valuable for Snap in the long-run. though not as valuable as attracting other demographics like Facebook and Twitter have,. As a result, Snap's unit revenues look poised to be lower at their peaks than those of FB and TWTR. Where Will SNAP's Margins End Up?One important question regarding Snap's long-term profit potential relates to where exactly its margins will be at the end of the day. Specifically, where will its gross margins wind up?Snap hosts a lot of expensive content. Storing and saving videos and photos in data centers is a lot more expensive than storing and saving texts. Considering pretty much all of Snap's content is photos and videos, the company presumably will have a higher hosting cost rate than pretty much all of its peers.Indeed, Snap's gross margins are depressed today. They are making progress, and they will continue to make progress for the foreseeable future. But will Snap's margins hit Facebook-type 80%-plus levels? Probably not, both due to Snap's lack of size and its higher content hosting rates. What Does Snap Stock Price Reflect Today?Perhaps the biggest question has to do with the valuation of Snap stock; how much is priced into SNAP stock today?Snap has around 200 million daily active users. Twitter has around 140 million daily actives. Yet the market cap of SNAP stock is about 30% below Twitter's market cap.From that perspective, SNAP stock may actually be undervalued.But each of Twitter's users generates way more value than each of Snap's users. Specifically, over the last 12 months, Snap's users have produced an average of about $6 of revenue and no profits. Each user on Twitter has produced an average of over $24 in revenue and tons of profit.Of course, the bull thesis on SNAP stock is that one day, Snap's users will generate as much revenue and profits as Twitter's users, and that because Snap has more users than TWTR, it will be more valuable than Twitter. But that scenario probably won't materialize, given the demographic and content differences I outlined above. If it ever happens, it will take five to ten years to materialize.Thus, SNAP stock is richly valued. Yes, there's runway for it to grow into the valuation. But there's also plenty of room for SNAP to fall if the company doesn't execute as expected. The Bottom Line on SNAP StockI think SNAP is a company that has been firing on all cylinders, but whose future growth outlook relies on a lot of hope, which is clouded by fundamental challenges.I'm not convinced the company's international opportunity is that tremendous, given that Facebook's properties already dominate that market. I'm also not convinced that Snap's user base will stick with it as they grow up, nor am I convinced that Snap can extract that much value out of each user if its user base forever consists of mostly young and broke consumers. Margins are also a big question mark for SNAP stock going forward.The valuation underlying SNAP stock seems to ignore all these risks. But perhaps Snap will execute exactly as expected, and maybe Snap will become the next big thing in social media.I just have a tough time believing that scenario now. There are too many risks facing SNAP stock, and not enough of those risks are reflected by SNAP stock price. As a result, I'll watch the Snap show from the sidelines. Hopefully, I won't be kicking myself in a year.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FB. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks That Could See 100% Gains, If Not More * 11 Stocks Under $10 to Buy Now * 6 China Stocks to Buy on the Dip The post 5 Huge Questions About Snap Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • It Looks as If Facebook Stock Could Be the Best of the FAANG Stocks
    InvestorPlace

    It Looks as If Facebook Stock Could Be the Best of the FAANG Stocks

    Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is having a great recovery year in 2019. Up 40.2% year to date through August 20, Facebook stock is closing in on $200, a mere 16% from its all-time high of $218.62. Source: Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com That's got me wondering if Facebook stock the best FAANG stock to buy at the moment. To help me, I'm going to lean on my good friend, free cash flow, to determine the answer. For those of you that are unfamiliar with free cash flow, it is the cash a business generates that's not required to carry on routine operations. Free cash flow can be allocated for dividends, share repurchases, acquisitions, debt repayment, and keeping it in the bank for a rainy day. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Free Cash and Facebook StockFacebook's current free cash flow in the trailing 12 months ended June 30 is $17.9 billion. In the first six months of the year, Facebook used $1.65 billion to repurchase 9.3 million shares, an average price paid of $177.42, a return on investment of 3.6% based on a current share price of $183.81. Facebook paid no dividends during the quarter and doesn't intend to in the future. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential During the first six months of the year, it made no material acquisitions. As for debt, it has a $2 billion credit facility, but none of it has been drawn. It finished the second quarter with $48.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, $3.9 billion of which was added in the past six months. A useful metric for determining a stock's relative value is free cash flow yield, which is defined as free cash flow divided by enterprise value [market cap plus debt minus cash]. The company's current enterprise value is $483.6 billion. Its free cash flow yield is 3.7%. Value investors consider 8% to be the bare minimum. However, for a growth stock like Facebook, 3.7% isn't outrageous. How do the other FAANG's rate? Here's a chart. FAANG Free Cash Flow YieldsCompany Free Cash Flow (TTM) Enterprise Value Free Cash Flow Yield (%) Facebook $17.9B $483.6B 3.7% Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) $22.1B $908.1B 2.4% Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) $58.3B $964.5B 6.0% Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) -$3.1B $138.5B N/A Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) $27.4B $703.8B 3.9% The ConclusionsAnyone who follows Netflix knows that it will have negative free cash flow for the foreseeable future because it spends so much money on content for its video streaming service. Earlier this year Netflix did state that free cash flow should improve in 2020 and beyond. However, it's had negative free cash flow every year since 2011. While I like Netflix stock , negative free cash flow eliminates it from contention as best FAANG stock to buy now.Although Amazon has the lowest free cash flow yield at 2.4%, the fact that it has three major revenue streams: e-commerce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and advertising, provides a strong pathway to higher free cash flow generation and overall revenue growth. I believe 2.4% isn't terrible given the upside potential of its business. Although I'm a big fan of Jeff Bezos and Amazon stock, some of Amazon's business practices are less than friendly. For this reason, I'll pass on AMZN. While Alphabet's got the second-highest free cash flow yield at 3.9%, the fact that it's still a one-trick pony with advertising as its chief revenue generator suggests it doesn't warrant a higher ranking than Amazon. Therefore, it also doesn't make the cut. As for Apple, it's been the value FAANG stock for at least the last two years. Now that its services revenues are coming on and iPhone sales appear to have plateaued, it will have to continue to build the services side of its business. The latest earnings report suggests its plan for growth is working, but investors are failing to recognize this fact. Ultimately, I believe that Tim Cook's strategy will be successful. At a free cash flow yield of 6.0%, there's few better tech buys at the moment. The Bottom Line on Facebook StockThe privacy issues nagging Facebook will continue to act as a headwind on its stock price. That said, at a 3.7% free cash flow yield, you're getting Facebook stock at a reasonable price at the moment despite a 40% YTD increase. For me, I'd rank the best FAANG stocks to buy in this order:* Apple* Amazon* Tie between Facebook and Alphabet* NetflixAt the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post It Looks as If Facebook Stock Could Be the Best of the FAANG Stocks appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Financial Times

    Facebook’s attempt to prove impartiality looks doomed to failure

    Any day now, Facebook will conclude its global hunt for 40 men and women wise and impartial enough to decide what speech should be allowed in the world’s digital town square. The infallible 40 on its planned Oversight Board represent an attempt at a new kind of supranational governance. A supreme court for social discourse, set to rule on whether Facebook applies its own content rules fairly, it is meant to create a bulwark against claims that the company itself exercises too much control over the world’s speech.