|Day's Range||109.09 - 110.03|
A potential "Friends" reunion is reportedly in the works at HBO Max, while Netflix has nabbed a one-time licensing deal with Paramount for the fourth installment of "Beverly Hills Cop" starring Eddie Murphy. Why streaming giants are relying on reboots to attract consumers. Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal breaks it down. Zack Guzman & Emily McCormick, along with Strictly Cookies CFO Courtney Comstock, join in on the conversation.
Instagram users in the U.S. are starting to see like counts disappear from their feeds. Social Chain Group CEO Steve Bartlett joins YFi AM to discuss how this could influence the social media landscape.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Do the poor suffer more from inflation than the rich? Recent reports to the contrary, the numbers are not complete enough to answer that question in a simple way. What’s clear is that diverging rates of price inflation are creating distinct winners and losers.Because the U.S. tech sector has advanced so much while many other parts of the economy have been relatively sluggish, the benefits from progress are now quite concentrated, though not in a way directly related to income. Rather, they accrue to people with a taste for a particular kind of novelty.Consider people who love to consume information, or as I have labeled them infovores. They can stay at home every night and read Wikipedia, scan Twitter, click on links, browse through Amazon reviews and search YouTube — all for free. Thirty years ago there was nothing comparable.Of course most people don’t have those tastes. But for the minority who do, it is a new paradise of plenty. These infovores — a group that includes some academics, a lot of internet nerds and many journalists — have experienced radical deflation.Another set of major beneficiaries is people who enjoy writing for fun (as distinct from professional writers). They can write to their friends or groups of friends on Whatsapp and Facebook, all day long, also for free. You might also put “people who love to argue” in this same lucky category, though whether that translates into lasting enjoyment is a question that we could … argue about.Lovers of variety are another big winner. You can use eBay to find that obscure collectible, or browse Amazon’s vast inventory, or watch a lot of different TV programs, ranging from Spanish-language news to curling to cooking shows. In short, it is a wonderful time for those who love to browse and sample. Maybe you discover a favorite category or genre and form a deep aesthetic commitment, or maybe you just want to keep on surfing. Either way, the opportunities are unprecedented.As a side note, I belong to all of those groups: I am an infovore, I write for fun (and for other reasons) and love variety. So I have been a big winner from the last 20 years, in a disproportionate and unrepresentative way — quite apart from any changes to my income.So who might be worse off in this new American world?People who like to spend time with their friends across town are one set of losers. Traffic congestion is much worse, and so driving in Los Angeles or Washington has never been such a big burden. In-person socializing is therefore more costly. On the other hand, the chance that you have remained in touch with your very distant friends is higher, due to email and social media. Those who enjoy less frequent (but perhaps more intense?) visits are on the whole better off for that reason. It is easier than ever to go virtually anywhere in the world and have someone interesting to talk to.Another group of losers — facing super-high inflation rates — are the “cool” people who insist on living in America’s best and most advanced cities. Which might those be? New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco? You can debate that, but they have all grown much more expensive. Many smaller cities, such as Austin, Washington and Boston, are going the same route. Alternatively, if you have more of a taste for isolation or desolation, or a high tolerance for boredom, your pocketbook is not being squeezed so tightly.Medical care is another area that has created big losers and winners. If you suffer from a common malady that simply requires care and attention from the medical establishment, you may well be worse off. The price of medical care is much higher, insurance coverage is by no means guaranteed, and the system has been growing more bureaucratic and arguably more frustrating.If, on the other hand, you have some kind of “frontier” condition, requiring innovative technology or new pharmaceuticals, your chances have never been better.What is the common theme here? It is that those who love or need “the new” are often doing relatively well. Those who value the old standbys — the crosstown friend, the Manhattan brownstone, the uncomplicated visit to the local doctor to have a broken ankle set — are in a more dubious position.As a result, there is an incentive to cultivate a taste for novelty. It’s fun, to be sure, but maybe also a bit confusing and alienating. So when people feel that way, and express it in unexpected ways, perhaps we should not be altogether surprised.To contact the author of this story: Tyler Cowen at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Police fired tear gas and water cannon as they attempted to storm a university in the early hours of Monday morning after 24 hours of violence that saw a group of protesters barricade themselves on campus and authorities block roads and exits. Hundreds of demonstrators were holed up at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where fires raged inside and outside campus and barricades had been erected to stop the police advance. JG Tang, president of the university, said in a statement that he had negotiated a temporary ceasefire with the police to allow protesters to leave the campus if they refrained from using force.
(Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son, after backing startups around the world, is engineering a complex deal on his home turf to create a national champion that can more effectively compete with global rivals like Google and Amazon.com Inc.Son’s SoftBank Group Corp. plans to combine its Yahoo Japan internet business with Line Corp. in a deal that values the country’s leading messaging service at $11.5 billion. SoftBank and South Korea’s Naver Corp. will take Line private and then fold Line and Yahoo Japan into a new joint venture. The deal requires shareholder approvals and is scheduled to close by October 2020.The two companies said the combination is driven by a sense of crisis that global giants are increasing their grip on the technology industry and countries like Japan risk falling behind. Together, Line and Yahoo Japan, which now operates as Z Holdings Corp., will be able to share engineering resources, access broader sets of data and invest more in areas like artificial intelligence, the chief executive officers said in a Tokyo press conference.“The internet industry often operates on the winner-takes-all principle and the strong only get stronger,” said Line co-CEO Takeshi Idezawa. “Even combined, our market capital, business scale and R&D expenditures are dwarfed by the global tech giants.”At the event, the CEOs gave unusual emphasis to their corporate vulnerabilities and the incumbent risks for Japanese consumers, perhaps in an attempt to preempt government scrutiny of a deal that will combine two of the country’s largest internet companies. The chiefs said they need to join forces to mount a serious challenge to much larger rivals from the U.S. and China.“We want to become an AI tech company that leads the world from Japan,” said Kentaro Kawabe, CEO of Z Holdings. Kawabe wore a bright green tie, Line’s trademark hue, while Idezawa donned one in Yahoo Japan red.Under the proposed transaction, Z Holdings and Naver will buy out Line’s public shareholders in a tender offer at a projected 5,200 yen per share, a 13% premium to Line’s share price before news of the talks. Each company plans to spend 170 billion yen ($1.56 billion) on the bid. Naver already owns 73% of Line, while SoftBank Corp., the domestic telecom arm of Son’s business empire, holds a roughly 44% stake in Z Holdings.The companies have been in talks about a possible alliance since June and settled on the idea of a merger in August, according to the statement. After taking Line private, SoftBank and Naver will undertake a reorganization that will eventually result in a 50-50 ownership of the new company. The combined entity will hold stock in Z Holdings, which will remain public with Yahoo Japan and Line as wholly-owned subsidiaries.SoftBank and Line have increasingly competed in fields such as digital payments, and an alliance may allow them to save money on expenses like subsidies. Both companies have also been investing in artificial intelligence to improve their services. While the announcement didn’t say how the mobile payment rivalry will be resolved, it said the resulting company aims to spend 100 billion yen annually on development of AI-powered products.“Big data is key for the future of both companies,” said Koji Hirai, the head of M&A advisory firm Kachitas Corp. “The merger will enable them to create a massive repository of client data.”Idezawa and Kawabe said there are potential synergies in a number of services areas spanning media content, fintech, advertising, communications and commerce, but didn’t give further details. The combined company will also have about 20,000 employees, a major benefit in an industry where competition for talent intensifies year after year, they said.Steps to the planned merger:Step 1 - Final signing of the deal planned for DecemberStep 2 - Naver and SoftBank to buy out Line’s public shareholders and create a new 50-50 joint ventureStep 3 - SoftBank moves its stake in Z Holdings to the JV, while Z Holdings issues 2.8 billion new shares to the JVStep 4 - Line and Yahoo Japan become fully owned subsidiaries of Z Holdings, which will be owned by the JV. The companies plan to complete the deal by October 2020Silicon Valley giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook Inc. and Chinese startups have taken the lead in both pushing AI development and turning the research into commercial products. That has left most other companies scrambling to attract scarce talent and collect the data necessary to conduct research in fields like deep learning.Line and Yahoo Japan are betting they can leverage local knowledge to stay in the race in their home country and markets where their services are popular, including South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Line and Z Holdings shares rose on the deal.Yahoo Japan was once the country’s leading search engine, web portal and major e-commerce player, but has lost ground as users migrated from PCs to smartphones. The company’s online shopping offering has been squeezed by Amazon and Rakuten Inc., while smartphone-native newcomer Mercari Inc. lured customers from its auction service. Yahoo Japan counts some 48 million daily active users across its portfolio of more than 100 mobile phone apps.Line’s origins date back to the turn of the century, when Naver dispatched Shin Jung-ho to Japan to promote its search engine technology. Shin led the company through its first decade in relative obscurity, distributing online games and dabbling in social networking services. In 2010, Line acquired Livedoor Inc., a once high-flying Japanese web portal that had fallen on hard times after its founder was thrown in jail for accounting fraud. It launched Japan’s dominant messaging service in 2011 and went public in 2016.Shin, who shares the CEO title with Takeshi Idezawa at Line, will become the newly created entity’s chief product officer. The post will give him control over the 100 billion yen AI budget and oversight of service development for both Line and Yahoo Japan.Line has 82 million monthly active users in Japan and is also the dominant messenger in Taiwan and Thailand, where it has 21 million and 45 million customers respectively. The company has been expanding into financial services by partnering with Nomura Holdings Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. It has also been developing a lineup of AI-powered hardware products, including speakers and earphones. Outlays on the new businesses have led to losses in four out of five past quarters.In the Tokyo press conference, the CEOs repeatedly spoke about getting outgunned by GAFA, or Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple Inc. They said they wouldn’t want see Japan lose out on world-leading services like search and e-commerce, but they want to create a local alternative that can address domestic needs and tastes.“GAFA’s biggest threat is the kind of loyalty they command from their users,” said Kawabe. “We want to give users a domestic AI option. By focusing on Japan’s unique challenges, we can offer services others cannot.”(Updates with the deal strategy from first paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
At first glance, Amy Dowd’s Facebook account appears perfectly normal. There is a smiling profile picture of a young woman surrounded by autumnal leaves and the date that she began a new job at Southeast Missouri State University.
on Monday, following a night of fire and ferocious clashes between riot police and protesters holed up on the campus. in the early hours of Monday morning but were beaten back by volleys of petrol bombs that set the main entrance to Hong Kong Polytechnic University ablaze. On Sunday evening, protesters defending a bridge near the campus set an armoured police vehicle on fire and repelled repeated police assaults with the help of petrol bombs fired off the roof of the university using large homemade catapults.
Investors are increasingly turning to equities with cash payouts for their nest eggs. But the strategies carry risk if not done right.
One of the best tools for ordinary investors who are on the hunt for new ideas is 13F filings. Hedge funds hire some of the smartest Ivy League graduates as their analysts, have access to industry insiders whom they "consult" with, unconventional data sources that cost tens of thousands of dollars, years of experience and […]
As Catherine Collinson’s octogenarian father and stepmother downsized from a 4,000-square-foot home to a 1,400-square-foot, single-story home in a retirement community, their message to the rest of the family was clear: No more stuff, unless it’s functional or of great sentimental value. “In the end, they were able to keep their most sentimental items for themselves or within the family — but the process of downsizing was an ordeal,” Collinson said. When her dad visited a few weeks ago, Collinson, her brother and her sister-in-law opted for a more personal gesture: bringing him to an Antarctic dinosaurs exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Some people are fuming at Facebook for allowing unfiltered political ads, while others are fuming at Twitter for banning them. There’s lots of confusion and speculation, but what we know is that these social media companies have fundamentally changed how people exchange information. What we need to figure out is whether they also change how people spread disinformation — and if so, how to fix it. It's a question researchers are actively investigating.After “fake news” became the catchphrase of the 2016 election, experts in psychology, political science, computer science and networks stepped up research on disinformation, learning in more detail how it travels through social media and why some things stick in people’s heads.There’s a good reason not to ban political ads on social media: People in democratic societies should be able to see and hear from candidates directly, not just through interview and debate formats. Social media ads are relatively cheap, so less well-funded candidates can still make themselves heard. The fear is that politicians might lie, mislead and manipulate on social media in ways that were impossible in the days of television and newsprint.Some see a particular threat in the way Facebook allows advertisers to precisely target ads based on personal data. “Facebook profits partly by amplifying lies and selling dangerous targeting tools that allow political operatives to engage in a new level of information warfare,” writes former Facebook insider Yaël Eisenstat in the Washington Post.How dangerous is this information warfare? Experiments show that people can be misled easily and that wrong ideas tend to stick. USC psychologist Norbert Schwarz says people tend to believe messages for many reasons that have nothing to do with credibility. People are more likely to believe messages when they’re presented simply, in an easy-to-read font or spoken without an accent, and repeated often. People are also more easily influenced by messages they think their friends also believe.Stephan Lewandowsky, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, says the extremely fine-grained targeting abilities of social media might interfere with a free marketplace of ideas. Rather than making claims in ads that anyone is free to see, politicians might tailor messages to individual social media users. The propaganda might never even be seen by fact-checkers or opponents who might challenge it. “My main concern is that we’re replacing public debate with manipulation,” he says.There is still hope for democracy, however. There’s little evidence that targeted ads have the power to to change minds or votes, says Harvard law professor Yochai Benkler, co-author of the book “Network Propaganda.” Belief in targeted ads in general is more faith-based than evidence-based, he says. Advertisers assume the targeting causes people to buy things — though this is far from proven.In 2018, there was outrage when it came out that the company Cambridge Analytica claimed it could use the seemingly superficial tastes of consumers to delve deep into their psyches, gain personality information that even their friends didn’t know, and, in theory, use it to manipulate their voting behavior. But in researching a 2018 column on the phenomenon, I learned that the evidence is thin to nonexistent that Cambridge Analytica was able to glean meaningful information or manipulate voting behavior.Dr. Benkler says if he had access to enough Facebook data, he and other researchers could find out who saw which ads, and infer from other information if and how people voted. But it probably isn’t in Facebook’s interest to give out that kind of information. It might reveal that Facebook ads are suppressing voting, or that the ads don’t matter. Either way, it could look bad for the company.Dr. Benkler points to a recent paper in the journal Marketing Science, which shows it’s not clear whether an ad causes people to buy a particular product, or whether the people who are targeted are already more likely to buy. Other research papers report on the limited power of fake news on Facebook and Twitter. For example, one study that looked at Twitter activity during the 2016 election concluded that 80% of fake news was shared by just 0.1% of users, making it a fringe activity.People tend to focus on new threats, Benkler says, when there are known masters of manipulation out there. The ads, fake news, and other so-called content on social media have been getting a lot of attention, but their impact still pales in comparison to that of old-fashioned platforms like cable news and radio. In research reported in his book, he and his co-authors trace stories using of certain words or phrases — like the child sex ring rumor or the conspiracy theories surrounding the Seth Rich murder — from their origins on small-scale blogs and fringe publications to Fox News and conservative talk radio, where they blew up.It’s true that there’s still a lot we don’t know about social media. But instead of giving Facebook more power — by encouraging it to police ads for misleading content — we should make rules to force the company to reveal its targeting practices.If someone sees a Trump ad because she went to church and stopped at the liquor store on the way home, she has the right to know it, says Benkler. And the more information Facebook and others provide, the better scientists can understand how much social media is shaping the free marketplace of ideas, and whether we should be focused on other, more substantial threats to democracy.To contact the author of this story: Faye Flam at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
To get you up to speed: Facebook, casting itself as a bastion of free speech, last month said it would let political advertising remain on the platform unchecked. from numerous Democrats, who warned that bad politicians would abuse the system while Facebook continued to cash their cheques. On Friday, the group announced some carve-outs to the policy — namely that it would continue to allow campaign groups to advertise on political issues, while businesses can do so as long as the adverts are not connected with specific legislation or elections.
Macy's and other department stores have not been able to find success or inspire much Wall Street confidence. Can it turn things around in Q3?
In the United States, the Communications Act prevents broadcast stations from rejecting or censoring ads from candidates for federal office once they have accepted advertising for that political race, although this does not apply to cable networks like CNN, or to social media sites, where leading presidential candidates are spending millions to target voters in the run-up to the November 2020 election. Facebook exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, allowing them to run ads with false claims.
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. is making some exceptions to its recent ban on all political advertising, announcing Friday that it will allow “cause-based” ads for some economic, environmental or social issues.There will still be certain restrictions for those promotions, also known as issue ads. Groups that promote content about a cause -- climate change, for example -- can’t link to a specific candidate’s landing page, promote the ad on behalf of a candidate or mention a particular piece of legislation. Such ads also won’t be able to target people using specific identifiers, like email addresses or zip codes.Candidates, elected officials and political parties will be banned from buying any ads at all, including ones about issues or causes.The point, Twitter said, is to allow advertisers to encourage discussion around certain subjects, but not directly influence elections.“While advertising should not be used to drive political, legislative or regulatory outcomes,” Twitter General Counsel Vijaya Gadde said on a conference call with reporters, the company believes “that there is certain cause-based advertising that can facilitate public conversations about important topics.”Twitter’s policy comes amid a presidential campaign in full swing less than a year before the election and runs counter to rules Facebook Inc. has established for its social network. Facebook does allow political advertising but doesn’t fact-check those ads the way it does with non-political ads. That policy has generated intense pushback from some candidates, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.Twitter won’t fact-check cause-based ads either. “One of the benefits of Twitter being a primarily public platform is that you can absolutely be called [out] and held accountable for what you say,” explained Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety. Advertisers will still need to follow the company’s existing ad guidelines, which prohibit things like hateful or sexual content.Twitter unveiled its new political ad rules to better prepare advertisers and the media before it plans to ban all political ads on Nov. 22. Still, the policy is complicated and bound to draw criticism. It could be challenging, for example, to determine when an advertiser crosses the line from promoting a topic for the sake of discussion, to pushing for some kind of political or regulatory outcome. “We tried to make this policy as clear and straightforward as possible, but there are going to be some areas that are going to be more subjective,” Harvey said.“When we find ourselves in those types of situations, we’ll be sure to be transparent about how and why a decision was made,” Gadde said. “But I want to be open that we’re also prepared that we’re going to make some mistakes.”Harvey said Twitter doesn’t expect this political ad ban will impact business in the short term, saying the company is “not anticipating any change to Q4 guidance.” Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said last month that Twitter made just $3 million in political advertising revenue around the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Sometimes, the big guys get the press for a reason. The six largest publicly traded companies have a combined market cap of more than $5 trillion – roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of the Japan, the world’s third-largest economy. In some respects, the stock market is little more than a performance reflection of its very largest members.A look at TipRanks’ Stock Screener quickly reveals the stocks we are talking about, and the names are no surprise. Apple and Microsoft are at the top, valued at over $1 trillion each. We’ll be looking at several of their peers –the news-makers in the tech industry that draw investors in. They’ve reached this peak for similar reasons: positive disruption of established markets, proven success generating revenues, enormous returns for investors. And even at their scale, Wall Street still sees room for them to grow. Let’s dive in.Amazon (AMZN)In the recent Q3 report, Amazon reported sharp earnings losses despite a modest gain in revenues. Total sales rose 24% to $70 billion, against a forecast of $68.8 billion, while EPS missed the estimates, coming in at $4.23 versus the $4.62 predicted. The EPS miss comes after Amazon has spent $1.6 billion over the past two quarters on expansions of the one-day delivery program. In a move that is sure to make investors a bit nervous, the company also announced that capital expenditures will increase in Q4, to $1.5 billion, due to warehouse and product line expansions.It’s a testament to Amazon’s underlying strength that management could post a loss due to high spending – and then announce plans for even higher spending. This is a company with a firm business model and plenty of revenue to cover the expansion plans. But more important, from an investor’s perspective, the capital expenditures are money well spent. Expanding and improving one-day delivery, expanding warehouses, and improving product lines will all positively impact the bottom line once they are fully implemented.So, even though AMZN shares have underperformed the markets in 2019, gaining 18% against the broader S&P’s 23% increase, the stock still shows the potential that has made Jeff Bezos the richest man alive.Setting out the bullish case clearly is Deutsche Bank’s Lloyd Walmsley, who writes, “We would be buyers of Amazon shares post disappointing 4Q guidance, which reflects the typical seasonal step-down in growth… While operating income guidance was meaningfully below consensus, and buyside expectations, we think the clear benefits of 1-day Prime visible in 3Q results give investors comfort the investment is worth it, particularly given the view that Amazon will eventually ring out efficiencies in its delivery and the AWS and advertising profit juggernauts continue along at healthy growth rates…” Walmsley’s $2,150 price target implies a healthy upside of 21% for AMZN. (To watch Walmsley's track record, click here)Doug Anmuth, 5-star analyst from JPMorgan, is also upbeat about Amazon’s future. Giving the stock a $2,200 price target, he says, “We believe Amazon’s flexibility in pushing first-party vs. third-party inventory and its Prime offering both serve as major advantages in its retail business, and its multi-year head start in the cloud has led to a ~60% US market share. Amazon is also starting to show more profit, with its high-growing AWS and Advertising revenue streams also its most profitable.” His price target indicates confidence in a 24% upside potential for Amazon.All in all, the e-commerce king is without question a Wall Street favorite, considering TipRanks analytics indicate AMZN as a Strong Buy. Out of 35 analysts polled in the last 3 months, all 35 are bullish on the stock. With a return potential of nearly 25%, the stock's consensus target price stands at $2,182.36. (See Amazon's price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks).Alibaba (BABA)Shifting our gaze to China, we find Amazon’s major international competitor. Alibaba is China’s largest retail website, and while China’s government policy of restricting international internet access means that Western observers are less familiar with it, it’s important not to lose sight of some basic facts.BABA’s growth has been impressive. The stock’s 36% year-to-date gains are double those of Amazon, and BABA has gained 107% in the last three years. BABA reported fiscal Q2 2020 earnings earlier this month, and the $1.83 EPS clobbered the forecast of $1.55. Revenues, at $16.7 billion, showed a 40% gain from the year-ago quarter. The company’s Core Commerce segment was up 40% for the period; its smallest segment, Cloud Computing, gained a hefty 64%. Overall, BABA’s growth makes it a viable competitor for Amazon – but it’s important to remember that Amazon has overhead costs that Alibaba lacks.On a further positive point for Alibaba, the company hit record numbers on the November 11 Singles Day sales, the biggest annual online shopping event in China. The first minute and eight seconds of the shopping day saw Alibaba pull in $1 billion, and the company hit $12 billion by the end of the first hour. Total sales for the day, $38 billion, were, for the third year in a row, a new record.UBS analyst Jerry Liu sees a happy future for Alibaba, which he describes in his recent report on the stock: “We believe the company can maintain high-30% revenue growth due to strong user engagement… with new drivers (live streaming, second hand goods, feed ads) potentially accelerating China Commerce revenue growth next year. We also believe… investors have gotten too negative on Alibaba relative to competitors.” Liu recommends buying BABA stock now, and his $210 price target implies a 14% upside. (To watch Liu's track record, click here)Writing from Deutsche Bank, analyst Eileen Deng describes the path forward for Alibaba: “Alibaba's Sep Q results featured a nice beat on revenue... We sensed a great effort moving towards a disciplined investment strategy... There will be more focus on user retention, cross-selling, and then reinvestment out of discretionary profit. By realizing stronger synergies, we become more confident for an EBITDA profit growth in the next few quarters.” Deng set a $223 price target, suggesting that BABA has room for 19% growth.Like Amazon, Wall Street’s analysts are unanimous on BABA. The Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 17 "buys" set in recent weeks, while the $229 average price target indicates a 24% upside from the current trading price of $185. (Find out how the Street’s average price target for Alibaba breaks down)Facebook (FB)Facebook’s reputational problems in the area of consumer data protection and privacy are well known, and founder Mark Zuckerberg’s attempts over the past two years to address the issue brought him several rounds of merciless mockery – ironically, on the very social media networks he had pioneered. Earlier this year, Facebook suffered an earnings hit when the company had to set aside $5 billion in cash to cover a record-setting FCC fine related to the problems with data privacy.But with a market cap of $555 billion, annual revenues exceeding $55 billion, and net income of $22 billion, Facebook had the resources to pay that fine, swallow the immediate loss, and move forward. Despite the mockery heaped on Zuckerberg, the company has made visible efforts to improve data security – although the company still faces difficulties relating to perceptions of political censorship. Zuckerberg has said that FB will simply allow anyone to post any political idea – but in today’s highly charged socio-political environment, it’s probably not possible for him to please everyone.Facebook’s shares have reacted well to the company’s efforts at reputation management and damage control. The tech giant suffered first and worst in the 2H18 downturn, losing 42% of its value before bottoming out in December. Since then, the stock has shown a solid recovery, climbing 55% from its lowest point. While it’s not back at peak values yet, and has shown high volatility since May, FB is up 44% year-to-date.A solid Q3 report underscored the company’s gains. Daily active users, a key metric, climbed to 1.62 billion – and yes, that’s billion; Facebook reaches 22% of the world’s population every day through its family of apps. Revenues and EPS, at $17.65 billion and $2.12 respectively, both beat the forecasts.Youssef Squali, 5-star analyst with SunTrust Robinson, lays it out in his recent report on FB shares: “We remain bullish on FB after another solid quarter, beating on all financial/ user metrics amidst intense regulatory/media scrutiny… We believe Facebook has become the foundation of the social web… Facebook is still in its early growth phase, in our view, and given its enormous reach and time spent statistics, coupled with relevance, targeting, and social context, we believe the company will capture a disproportionately high percentage of brand ad dollars over the next 2-3 years.” Squali’s price target of $250 implies an upside of 31%. (To watch Squali's track record, click here)Facebook’s Strong Buy consensus rating is not unanimous, but it is based on 27 "buy" ratings set in recent weeks. The 3 "holds" and 1 "sell" are reminders of the company’s recent problems, but don’t detract from optimistic the outlook. Shares are priced at $195, and the average price target of $235 is well above the July 2018 peak of $235. Overall, FB has a 21% upside potential. (Discover how the overall stock-price forcecast for Facebook breaks down here)
While the crypto market continues to stall, some analysts are betting on institutions to carry the next bull cycle, opposed to casual traders who snowballed the BTC price in 2017. Indeed, the Wild West days of crypto, accompanied by thousands of cash-grabbing, fraudulent ICOs seem to be coming to a close — compliance is the […]
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. hedge funds bought shares of Facebook Inc. and Netflix Inc. despite steep declines in the technology darlings during a volatile third quarter.Chase Coleman and David Tepper were among the money managers who increased their Facebook holdings during the three-month stretch that saw the social-media giant fall nearly 8%. Netflix was favored by firms including Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital Ltd. and Dan Sundheim’s D1 Capital Partners despite a 27% drop in the three months ending Sept. 30.Hedge fund managers, who have long adored FAANG stocks, had to navigate a tumultuous period. While Amazon.com Inc. also fell, down 8%, Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Apple Inc. both rose more than 13%. At the same time, the S&P 500 index gained 1.2% amid an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war and dovish moves by central bankers.Here are some other notable moves:Harvard University’s endowment added 2 million Facebook shares, bringing the value of its position to roughly $400 million on Sept. 30, and making the company its biggest single U.S. equity holding.Stan Druckenmiller offloaded almost his entire stake in Uber Technologies Inc., selling 2.5 million shares. His Duquesne Family Office took a stake in Shopify Inc.Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced new common-equity stakes in Occidental Petroleum Corp., which is on top of a preferred stake that was previously disclosed. It also purchased shares of home furnishings company RH, which sent the stock surging the day after the filing. RH rose as much as 8.7%. the most since June, in early trading on Friday. Berkshire trimmed some of its largest stock bets, including Apple, Wells Fargo & Co. and Phillips 66.Viking Global Investors ditched its $1.2 billion stake in UnitedHealth Group Inc. as health-care stocks were hit by politics both in Washington and on the campaign trial.Maverick sold 690,000 shares of managed-care company Humana Inc., which had been the fund’s top U.S. equity position in the second quarter. (It now sits at No. 9).Microsoft Corp. was one of the less popular stocks for the second quarter in a row. Tiger cubs Viking, Coatue Management and Maverick all decreased their holdings in the tech giant as did Duquesne. But the software giant was up more than 3% during that period and has been a top performer this year -- shares have gained almost 46%.(Adds gain in RH shares in Buffett section.)\--With assistance from Katherine Chiglinsky, Emma Vickers, Vincent Bielski, Scott Deveau and Michael McDonald.To contact the reporters on this story: Katia Porzecanski in New York at email@example.com;Hema Parmar in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Melissa Karsh in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alan MirabellaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
In this week's cryptocurrency news, Facebook's Libra and China's newfound blockchain and crypto acceptance push other nations to react or potentially be left behind.
Despite trade-related conflict with China, the technology sector has performed exceptionally well in 2019 so far, surpassing the broader market return.
The race is on to issue stablecoin, a type of cryptocurrency that could dictate who will control a key enabler of global trade and the economy.