Veeva Systems is steadily moving toward an official flat-base buy point. But the life sciences software maker has already cleared early entries.
Veeva Systems is steadily moving toward an official flat-base buy point. But the life sciences software maker has already cleared early entries.
The content-delivery network and security software company posted revenue for the third quarter of $793 million, up 12% from a year ago, and ahead of the Street consensus at $775 million.
Individual investors have never been more worried about a U.S. stock market crash. This counterintuitive reaction is because investor sentiment is a contrarian indicator. Historical data on investor beliefs about crash probabilities comes from Yale University finance professor (and Nobel laureate) Robert Shiller.
(Bloomberg) -- Investor David Einhorn said technology stocks are in an “enormous” bubble and he has added a set of short wagers to profit from it.“The question at hand is where are we in the psychology of this bubble?” the head of hedge fund Greenlight Capital wrote in an Oct. 27 note, seen by Bloomberg. “Our working hypothesis, which might be disproven, is that September 2, 2020 was the top and the bubble has already popped. If so, investor sentiment is in the process of shifting from greed to complacency.”Tech stocks have driven the market’s rally this year. The Nasdaq 100 Index is up 33% since Jan. 1, led by gains in Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Tesla Inc. By contrast, the S&P 500 has risen 5.3%.As signs of a bubble, Einhorn points to a mania in IPOs, a huge market concentration in a small group of stocks or a single sector, extraordinary valuations and “incredible” trading volumes in speculative instruments.As a result, Greenlight has adjusted the portfolio of companies its wagering against by adding a fresh so-called bubble basket of mostly “second-tier companies and recent IPOs trading at remarkable valuations,” he wrote. Einhorn has long held what he calls a bubble basket of short wagers which have included tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc.A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.This isn’t the first time Einhorn has flagged a tech bubble. In early 2016, he “prematurely identified what we thought was a bubble,” he wrote in the letter.It’s been a difficult road for Greenlight recently. The fund is down 16.1% through September, and has been trying to recoup losses that began in 2015. As of Jan. 1, the firm managed $2.6 billion, down from a peak of $12 billion.Other highlights from the letter:The coming election may rank “among the most perilous times, absent war, in modern American history.” A “tempest” of troubles related to the Covid pandemic -- including inequities, violence and calls for social change -- could explode after the election, no matter which side wins.The fund started “medium-sized” long positions in information technology company Synnex Corp., Austrian sensor maker AMS AG, and ATM-manufacturer NCR Corp.While a few Greenlight employees are working from the firm’s New York offices, which have been open since late summer, most of the staff continues to work from home, he said.(Adds additional comments on tech starting in seventh paragraph.)For 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.
Microsoft Q1 2021 earnings beat analyst expectations on continued cloud strength.
Huachen Automotive Group Holding, the state-owned parent of BMW's main Chinese joint-venture partner, has defaulted on a bond payment, heightening fears about the debt-ridden carmaker's fate.The company was not able to repay a 1 billion yuan (US$149.1 million) corporate bond paying 5.3 per cent in annual coupon, which it sold via a private placement three years ago. The group is "working hard to raise money and discussing with investors to iron out the issue," according to a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing.Huachen is the parent of Hong Kong-listed Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, which owns 25 per cent of a venture with BMW, making Series 1, 3 and 5 passenger sedans in the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang in north-eastern China.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Its default is the latest in a long list of missed payments by China's private sector and state-owned borrowers, as the slowest economic growth pace in decades cause earnings to dwindle and make it harder to meet payment schedules in the US$15 trillion onshore bond market."Default by a state-owned carmaker could affect bond market sentiment," said Gu Weiyong, the chief investment officer at Shanghai-based asset manager Ucon Investment. "The grim reality is that many Chinese companies have yet to entirely emerge out of the Covid-19 pandemic."SCMP Infographics: Global carmakers and their China venture partnersChina's automotive industry, which surpassed the United States in 2009 as the world's largest automotive market, has been saddled with almost two years of declining sales, as the slowest economic growth pace in decades deterred households form big ticket purchases. Sales began to recover in the second half, but not enough to avert 2020 being the third consecutive year of declining sales.When the coronavirus pandemic was first reported in China during the first quarter, production was severely curtailed, as assemblies and parts makers were shut throughout the country, with their impact reverberating far and wide across the global industry.New cars in a parking lot of the Brilliance factory in the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang in north-eastern China on July 17, 2017. Photo: AFP alt=New cars in a parking lot of the Brilliance factory in the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang in north-eastern China on July 17, 2017. Photo: AFPBrilliance China's first-half net profit rose 25.2 per cent from last year to 4.05 billion yuan. Factoring out the net income contributed by BMW brand, the Hong Kong-listed company posted a first-half loss of 340 million yuan.The Liaoning provincial government is considering taking Brilliance China private, according to local media reports. The company's shares fell 4.8 per cent to HK$6.78 (87 US cents) in Hong Kong trading on Tuesday.Local authorities and China's financial regulators are particularly wary of defaults or any financial misadventure that could potentially set off civic unrest, in a nation faced with a dearth of investible options.They tend to step in to inject much-needed cash, or extend payment holidays, to help defaulting borrowers survive. It was not until March 2014 that the market saw its first default, when Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology failed to make an interest payment.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
The new Supreme Court justice could help kill the health care law. What if you rely on it?
Individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans often impose penalties if you take money out of a retirement account too soon or too late. There's usually an early withdrawal penalty if you make a withdrawal before age 59 1/2 and a penalty for failing to take annual distributions after age 72. Here's a look at the 401(k) and IRA penalties you won't have to pay this year.
(Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. shares fell to their lowest level in more than a decade Tuesday as investors awaiting Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf’s strategy absorbed the prospect of job cuts and likely business sales.Shares declined 3.9% to their lowest since June 2009, dipping further than the 24-firm KBW Bank Index. Scharf, who took over last October, has been reviewing each of the firm’s businesses and is preparing to lay out his turnaround plan for the embattled lender. He’s said he would provide more information to investors in January.Scharf has promised a simpler structure, and is examining sales of units including the corporate-trust business, the student-lending portfolio and the asset manager. The bank has also embarked on a job-cutting initiative that could ultimately result in workforce reductions numbering in the tens of thousands.Read More on Wells Fargo:Wells Fargo Is Said to Mull $1 Billion-Plus Corporate-Trust SaleWells Fargo Cuts Dozens of Fixed-Income Research AnalystsWells Fargo Weighs Asset-Manager Sale as Sector ConsolidatesBuffett Inches Toward Wells Fargo Exit as Scharf Sets CourseWells Fargo Asset Cap Is Now One of the Costliest Bank PenaltiesWells Fargo, still under a Federal Reserve-imposed asset cap, has been the worst-performing company in the KBW Bank Index this year, with shares down more than 59%. The Fed limit has kept the bank from offsetting low rates with balance-sheet growth the way many rivals have. A Joe Biden win in the U.S. presidential election next week could prolong that timeline, according to Cowen analyst Jaret Seiberg.“We expect Wells Fargo to push the Federal Reserve to release it from the asset cap before Biden can replace top Fed officials in late 2021 and early 2022,” Seiberg wrote in a note. “We see that as an uphill fight, which is why the asset cap could stay in place into 2023.”For 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.
Raytheon posted mixed Q3 results as the collapse in global air travel hit its aviation businesses hard.
There's still time to benefit from 2020's IRA contribution limits. And odds are that you haven't put in the maximum allowed yet.
Enphase Energy and First Solar earnings easily beat views late Tuesday. The two leaders from the No. 1 solar stock group were big winners overnight.
(Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest exchange-traded fund is losing cash at a faster pace than any of its peers as investors seek lower fees amid a wave of cost cutting.Traders have yanked $33 billion from SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) so far this year, the most in the industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the exodus was concentrated in February and March, when the coronavirus pandemic roiled global markets, it put the $294 billion fund tracking the U.S. stock benchmark at odds with the broader equity ETF universe -- which has lured $119 billion in 2020.As issuers race to slash costs, SPY’s relatively hefty expense-ratio could be one of the reasons limiting its rebound. The ETF carries a fee of 0.095% that’s roughly triple the cost of investing in three of its largest competitors. That means investors who are re-entering the market may be gravitating toward cheaper options, according to analysts.“As the market recovered, investors put that money back to work in lower-cost products,” said Nate Geraci, president of investment-advisory firm the ETF Store in Overland Park, Kansas. “My expectation is SPY will continue ‘bleeding’ assets, regardless of the market environment, as investors continue flocking to lower-fee competitors.”While SPY is leading outflows, the $162.8 billion Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) -- with its 0.03% expense ratio -- has taken in $23.3 billion in 2020, the most among its peers. Meanwhile, the lower-cost SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (SPLG), which has the same holdings as SPY but charges 0.03%, has lured $2.9 billion of new cash.Vanguard Group, the second-largest issuer in the $4.8 trillion ETF market, has vaulted ahead of its competitors, with $148 billion worth of inflows in 2020. BlackRock Inc. and State Street Corp. have attracted $79 billion and $19 billion, respectively. While Vanguard’s flows have been boosted by the conversion of some its mutual-fund clients to lower-cost ETF shares, that process has only been responsible for $22.8 billion worth of its inflows, according to Vanguard spokesman Freddy Martino.“Former SPY money may not have gone back to SPY, but to lower-cost equivalents or to active, thematic or ESG funds,” said Linda Zhang, chief executive officer of New York-based Purview Investments, which specializes in active-ETF research and managed solutions. “It’s probably a combination of both.”To Matt Bartolini of State Street Global Advisors, the money that left SPY during the height of the virus turmoil has rotated into sector-specific funds, such as State Street’s Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE). But with just one week until the U.S. presidential election, the flow picture could soon be upended once more, he said.“A lot of those investors have migrated to other sectors of single-stock names,” said Bartolini, SSGA’s head of SPDR Americas Research. “Who knows what’s going to happen this election, but there’s definitely going to be money in motion.”For 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Callaway Golf Co. confirmed Tuesday that it plans to buy the remainder of driving-range chain Topgolf Entertainment Group, providing the golf-club giant with a new source of growth.The deal values closely held Topgolf at about $2 billion, the companies said in a statement after Tuesday’s market close. Callaway, the maker of Big Bertha drivers and other equipment, already owns 14% of Topgolf. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that the acquisition was in the works.Callaway shares briefly climbed as much as 8.9% in late trading after the deal was confirmed. They’re down 9% this year through Tuesday’s close.Topgolf driving ranges -- which feature food, drinks and kids’ games -- are seen as a way to bring younger players to golf, which has suffered from aging demographics and the closing of hundreds of courses in recent years. They also have held up during the pandemic because golfers can practice their swing while remaining socially distant.The companies said they expect pro forma revenue of about $2.8 billion and see it growing to $3.2 billion by 2022, projecting 10% annual growth thereafter. They expect the deal to close early next year.Callaway, located in Carlsbad, California, first invested in Dallas-based Topgolf in 2006.(Updates throughout with deal confirmation.)For 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.
Software giant Microsoft late Tuesday smashed Wall Street's sales and earnings targets for the September quarter. The Microsoft earnings report caused MSFT stock to waver in extended trades.
Dow Jones futures were in focus late Tuesday after Apple and Tesla led the Nasdaq higher. Microsoft earnings smashed estimates after the close.
Apple has been an American success story several times over with the Mac, iPod, iPhone and other inventions. But is Apple stock a buy now? Here's what its stock chart and earnings show.
Las Vegas Sands aims to sell its hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip with its properties largely empty amid the coronavirus pandemic.
FireEye shares rose after the cybersecurity-solutions provider reported better-than-expected revenue and adjusted net income.
At least a half dozen analysts picked up coverage of the stock on Monday following Palantir’s direct stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange in late September.
Digital financial services giant Ant Group is on the cusp of pulling off the world's biggest initial public offering and could be worth over US$500 billion in the near future, riding on the digitisation of financial services in the world's second-largest economy.Hangzhou-headquartered Ant's coming out parade illustrates China's lead in digital finance. Its super-slick mobile payment app, Alipay, has over 1 billion users, making it the world's most popular app outside social-media networks.Ant's payments network is just the gateway, funnelling small businesses and consumers into a broad financial ecosystem spanning lending, investment and insurance services.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The world's most valuable privately owned company is also developing services to make daily life easier. Consumers can click on the Alipay app for services ranging from food deliveries to garbage collection.The system's cogs are oiled by a trove of data gathered in China, the world's most populous country, which makes pricing more accurate and efficient than at traditional banks.Ant plans to plough the US$34.5 billion it is raising from dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai into future revenue drivers, such as blockchain, growth outside China and merchant services.In this explainer, we take a look at the growth potential of Ant's key businesses and why the company could soon be worth more than the world's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase."We believe that if we can enable ordinary people to enjoy the same financial services as the bank CEO and help mom and pop shops to obtain growth financing as easily as big firms, then we will be a company that belongs to the future," Eric Jing, Ant's executive chairman, said in the company's prospectus.What is Ant?Ant traces its origins back to 2004, when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding created Alipay to bridge a lack of trust between buyers and sellers in the early days of online shopping in mainland China.In 2011, Alibaba, the owner of the Post, spun off Alipay, so that it could apply for a payment business licence in mainland China. That company, then known as Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Company, changed its name to Ant Financial and eventually morphed into Ant Group.Ant reported revenue of 118.19 billion yuan (US$17.7 billion) in the nine months ended September, a 43 per cent increase over the same period in 2019.It dwarfs Palo Alto-based PayPal's user base of PayPal, which had 346 million active accounts as of June 30 and is the largest digital payments platform outside China. PayPal generated revenue of US$12.8 billion in the first nine months of 2019 and US$9.88 billion in the first half of this year.Ant sees further room for growth as China's digital payments transaction volume is expected to increase to 412 trillion yuan by 2025, from 201 trillion yuan last year, according to consultancy iResearch. The compound annual growth rate in Ant's annual active users was 15 per cent between 2017 and 2019.Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is a controlling shareholder of Ant Group and will retain his voting rights after the company's IPO. Photo: AP alt=Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is a controlling shareholder of Ant Group and will retain his voting rights after the company's IPO. Photo: APWhat are Ant's key businesses?Ant is cross-selling and upselling higher-value financial products to users of its payments network and sees engagement with its customers growing tenfold in the coming five years.Ant acts as a lending, investment and insurance products platform for individuals and underserved small businesses. Its revenue per user is just 121 yuan, still small compared with traditional financial institutions.Digital financial services contributed more than half of Ant's overall revenues in the six months ended June 30.Its largest business is now what it has dubbed CreditTech, providing credit to consumers and small businesses, surpassing payments and generating 39.4 per cent of its revenue in the six months ended June 30.Ant is the largest online provider of microfinance services in China in terms of total outstanding credit balance originated through its platform, according to consultancy Oliver Wyman.Management likens China's banks to the arteries of the economy, financing growth. They see Ant as the capillaries that transmit funds to the extremities of the economy, small businesses and individuals.Ant originates loans, 98 per cent of which are then underwritten by financial institutions or securitised. As of June 30, it was working with about 100 banks, including all policy banks, large national state-owned banks, all national joint-stock banks, leading city and rural commercial banks, international banks that operate in China, as well as trust companies.Its platform takes just three minutes to process a loan and 1 second to disburse the loan, with zero human intervention.The consumer credit and small business credit balance in China could swell to 50 trillion yuan by 2025, and Ant has only tapped about 4 per cent of this huge market so far.In investment services, Ant has partnered with 170 asset managers, as well as banks and insurers, to provide wealth management products to its customers. As of June 30, the so-called InvestmentTech segment had 4.1 trillion yuan in assets under management sold through Ant's platform.The insurance business also is a growing segment, accounting for 8.4 per cent of its revenue in the six months ended June 30.Ant is the largest online insurance services platform in China in terms of premiums generated, according to Oliver Wyman. It has relationships with about 90 insurers in the mainland, representing about 52 billion yuan in premiums generated and contributions through its online mutual-aid platform Xiang Hu Bao in the twelve months ended June 30.China's online insurance premiums will hit 1.9 trillion yuan by 2025 at a CAGR of 38.1 per cent, said Oliver Wyman. Ant's premiums are still under 1 per cent of this fast-growing pie.QR codes for WeChat Pay (left) and Alipay, whcih dominate the mobile payments market in China. Photo: Reuters alt=QR codes for WeChat Pay (left) and Alipay, whcih dominate the mobile payments market in China. Photo: ReutersHow does Ant compare with Tencent Holdings?Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Pay command a virtual duopoly in China's mobile payments, which accounted for US$15.9 trillion in transactions in the second quarter, according to the most recent data from the People's Bank of China.There were 30.1 billion mobile transactions alone in the mainland in the second quarter, a 26.9 per cent increase over the year-earlier period.The two players had an aggregate market share of 90 per cent of third-party mobile payments in China at the end of last year, according to Mizuho Securities.It is difficult to directly compare Alipay to Tencent's WeChat Pay as Hong Kong-listed Tencent does not break them out separately but WeChat Pay is included in its fintech and business services division.In 2019, Alipay generated a higher average transaction size - 483 yuan versus 183 yuan at Tencent's payment affiliate Caifutong, according to Morningstar analysts. Ant also generated a gross margin nearly double that of Tencent's fintech business last year.Other differences also remain between their payments businesses. Not least, WeChat Pay is integrated into WeChat while Alipay is a stand-alone app, linked to consumers' bank accounts.A figurine of Ant's mascot sits on a desk at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: Bloomberg alt=A figurine of Ant's mascot sits on a desk at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: BloombergWhat are Ant's emerging growth drivers?Future revenue drivers include Ant's blockchain business, dubbed Antchain, as well as international expansion and merchant services.Ant started to explore blockchain's potential around six years ago and has been investing in the technology ever since. It has taken the lead globally in terms of technical capability and developed around 50 commercial applications.In March, Simon Hu, Ant's chief executive, released a three-year plan to open up Alipay as an online gateway for businesses ranging from retailers to hotels, working with 50,000 independent software vendors to digitally upgrade 40 million merchants.Ant's management predicts that the 80 million small businesses it serves today will swell to 163 million by 2025.Analysts sent research to investors on Wednesday pegging Ant's near-term valuation roughly between US$350 billion and US$450 billion on a like-for-like basis, including the money it is raising in the IPO, according to people familiar with the matter.On a different time frame, JPMorgan analysts are particularly bullish on future growth potential and estimated Ant's market capitalisation would swell to north of US$500 billion post-money.Credit Suisse analysts peg Ant's valuation between US$380 billion and US$461 billion, with a price/earnings to growth ratio between 1.2 times and 1.4 times. They forecast Ant's net profit will hit 56 billion yuan (US$8.4 billion) in 2021 and 75 billion yuan in 2022.Ant Bank is a virtual banking arm of Ant in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout alt=Ant Bank is a virtual banking arm of Ant in Hong Kong. Photo: HandoutHow big is Ant outside mainland China?Mainland China accounted for 95.6 per cent of Ant's revenue for the six months ended June 30, and most of its revenue from outside China was from cross-border payment services.But, Ant and other payment providers are seeking to expand internationally and diversify domestically as the third-party mobile payment industry has become saturated in China in terms of the number of users."Future opportunities would lie in cross-border payment, inbound tourism and overseas markets," said Ben Huang, an analyst at Mizuho Securities.Ant has been expanding overseas for the past decade and is now present across the Asia-Pacific region and in Chinese tourist hotspots globally.It had forged partnerships with local partners in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand as of March 31.Ant also won a virtual bank license in Hong Kong and is applying for one in Singapore.Alipay's in-store payment service is in more than 50 markets globally. Alipay supports 27 currencies and works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas, and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites.Ant is seeking to expand into products beyond payments as part of its growth strategy. Photo: Reuters alt=Ant is seeking to expand into products beyond payments as part of its growth strategy. Photo: ReutersDo rising US-China tensions present a risk to Ant's business?Ant's business in the US is "negligible", but the company warned the worsening relationship between the world's biggest economies had raised concerns the US may impose "increased regulatory challenges or enhanced restrictions" on Chinese companies.Two years ago, Ant's US$1.2 billion deal to acquire money transfer firm Moneygram International fell apart after a US government panel rejected the transaction over national security concerns.Bloomberg reported this month that the US was considering potential actions against Tencent and Ant over their payment apps. Reuters also reported the US State Department submitted a proposal to blacklist Ant by adding it to the so-called entity list, which restricts the sale of certain technology.Citing potential risks to its outlook, Ant said that restricted items compromise an "immaterial" portion of its technology and software, but any such restrictions could "materially and adversely" affect its ability to acquire technologies that may be critical to its business and impede its ability to access US-based cloud services or operate in the US."In addition, these policies and measures directed at China and Chinese companies could have the effect of discouraging US persons and organizations to work for, provide services to or cooperate with Chinese companies, which could hinder our ability to hire or retain qualified personnel and find suitable partners for our business," Ant said in its prospectus.What is the relationship between Alibaba and Ant today?Alibaba, which owns the Post, and Ant remain closely intertwined despite Alipay being spun off in 2011, a huge competitive advantage for the digital financial services group.Billionaire Jack Ma holds a controlling shareholder of Ant and the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba. Ma controls 50.52 per cent of Ant's shares.Within Alibaba's so-called walled garden, about 70 per cent of the gross merchandise volume generated by its marketplaces in China was settled through Alipay in the twelve months to March 31.Alibaba also pays Alipay a fee, on favourable terms to Alibaba, for payment services to its consumers and merchants. In the financial year 2020, those service fees were 8.7 billion yuan.In February 2018, Alibaba, through its subsidiaries, took a 33 per cent equity stake in Ant, which it still holds. Alibaba has subscribed to Ant shares to prevent the IPO from diluting its stake.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.