|Day's range||141.00 - 159.50|
NBCUniversal and AMC’s historic theatrical deal is groundbreaking for the industry — but it could spell trouble for smaller theater chains across the United States.
Stocks are America's favorite investment. More Americans believe investing in the stock market is a better option than investing in real estate over the next decade, according to a new study by Bankrate. The commission-free stock-trading platform allows new and experienced investors alike to quickly and cost-effectively invest in their favorite companies.
The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) is near breakeven in 2020, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) has crushed the broader market, gaining about 18%. Under the watchful eye of Satya Nadella, who took the helm at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) in early 2014, the company has enjoyed a striking renaissance. The company has become a cloud leader in just a few short years and continues to give Amazon Web Services (AWS) a run for its money.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Monopoly power is a good gig if you can get it. The trouble is keeping lawmakers from knocking on your door. Tech titans Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. managed to do just that until last week, when a House subcommittee summoned the chief executive officers of the four companies. Lawmakers took a dim view of the tech giants’ grip on their respective industries. “These companies as they exist today have monopoly power,” said Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who leads the House investigation into the companies. His prescription: “Some need to be broken up, all need to be heavily regulated.” The sentiment appeared to be shared widely.As a matter of public policy, the issue is relatively straightforward. Monopolies are trouble, which is why antitrust laws are designed to stop them. They have the power to raise prices and thereby stifle demand. They often turn into big, lazy, unwieldy bureaucracies that have little incentive to innovate or look after customers, workers and suppliers. And perhaps most problematic, they can use their money and influence to seize political power, making it more difficult to dislodge them. There’s little disagreement that Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google pose such a threat. Apple controls nearly half the U.S. smartphone market and dominates the distribution of apps; Amazon all but controls e-commerce; Facebook rules social media; and Google has a firm grip on internet search and online advertising. It’s difficult to overstate their power. The four companies make up just 0.8% of the S&P 500 Index by number, and yet they account for 6.1% of its total revenue, 8.9% of its earnings and 16.8% of its market value. For investors, the issue is a bit more complicated. Monopolies are impregnable money-minting machines, so everyone wants a piece of them. It’s no accident that Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook are four of the seven biggest companies in the world by market value. Nor is it surprising that their profits have trickled down to shareholders. An equal investment in the four tech giants since Facebook — the youngest of the bunch — went public in 2012 has produced a return of 31% a year, including dividends, more than double the return from the S&P 500 over the same period. It turns out they’re not alone. Stocks of highly profitable companies tend to beat the market. Shares of the most profitable 30% of U.S. companies, sorted on return on equity and weighted by market value, outpaced the S&P 500 by 1.6 percentage points a year from July 1963 through June, according to the longest data series compiled by Dartmouth professor Ken French. And they did so with roughly the same amount of volatility as the broad market, as measured by standard deviation, a common proxy for risk.Astonishingly, the odds of capturing this profitability premium favored investors regardless of the holding period. Shares of the most profitable companies outpaced the market 65% of the time over rolling one-year periods, 76% of the time over three years, 83% over five years and a whopping 93% over 10 years, counted monthly.But markets aren’t supposed to work this way. You shouldn’t be able to reliably beat the market using widely available information without taking more risk. One explanation for the profitability premium is that investors are rubes: They don’t pay attention to profitability when picking stocks, or worse, they errantly favor less-profitable companies, allowing more cunning investors to exploit their mistakes. That seems unlikely. Profitability has long been a key feature of security analysis. More recently, there has been a proliferation of indexes, and funds tracking them, that pick or weight stocks based in part on profitability. And as the market value of Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook show, their shares are hugely popular. A more plausible explanation is that the profitability premium is compensation for the risk that today’s profits will evaporate tomorrow. Highly profitable companies rarely maintain the same level of profitability. More often, competition squeezes it away or, as in the case of Apple and its cohorts, the competition is crushed or acquired, resulting in greater market share and profitability but also inviting lawmakers and regulators to step in.Microsoft Inc.’s antitrust entanglement with the government in the late 1990s is instructive. Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the company in 1975, and by the early 1990s, most personal computers ran Microsoft’s operating system, first MS-DOS and then Microsoft Windows. In August 1997, the company became the second largest in the U.S. by market value, behind only General Electric. A year later, in May 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states sued Microsoft, accusing it of attempting to illegally protect and extend its monopoly by undermining competitors. By the time the case was argued in early 2001, much of the evidence against Microsoft had spilled into public view. Although profits continued to grow, the legal and regulatory scrutiny around the company clouded its future, and shareholders paid the price. The stock returned a negative 4% from May 1998 to December 2000, even as the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 returned 33% and 23%, respectively, over the same time. Several months later, a federal court found that Microsoft had violated federal antitrust laws. As it turned out, of course, Microsoft has maintained its status as a tech powerhouse. Today, its market value is second only to Apple among U.S. stocks, and shareholders who stuck with the company through its antitrust battles have been richly rewarded. Microsoft has returned 27% a year since it went public in 1986, compared with 11% and 10% a year for the Nasdaq and S&P 500, respectively. But that was far from a foregone conclusion when Microsoft was in the government’s crosshairs. And if lawmakers, regulators or prosecutors muster the will to go after Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Alphabet, their shareholders should prepare for more paltry returns and perhaps worse. For now, investors don’t seem worried that the tech titans are in danger. All four of their stocks were higher after the hearing than before. And all four companies reported financial results that beat analysts’ expectations a day after the hearing, no doubt emboldening their shareholders. Still, Big Tech’s faithful should bear in mind that monopolies are only as durable as a government that tolerates them. The profitability they enjoy, and the skyrocketing stock prices that accompany it, are no free lunch. They’re payment for the risk that lawmakers are more serious about breaking up or regulating the tech titans than investors seem to believe.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nir Kaissar is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the markets. He is the founder of Unison Advisors, an asset management firm. He has worked as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell and a consultant at Ernst & Young. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. removed more than 30,000 apps, 90% of them games, from its iPhone App Store in China on Saturday, Qimai Research Institute said.The crackdown, which began in June and escalated in July, ends the unofficial practice of allowing games to be published while awaiting approval from Beijing’s censors, which all titles that are paid or offer in-app purchases must obtain. The loophole existed only on the iPhone, as local Chinese Android vendors already adhered to the rule without exception. After the Saturday purge, there were about 179,000 games remaining in Apple’s China store, of which 160,000 were free.Apple had earlier warned developers and publishers that their iOS games will need licenses to continue operating in China, and the company explicitly said any unlicensed games will be banned and removed after July 31, according to a notice viewed by Bloomberg News.Read: Apple Set to Nix Thousands of Unlicensed IPhone Games in ChinaChina is one of Apple’s largest markets for selling digital goods and services, with the iPhone maker typically taking a 30% cut from such transactions. The Cupertino, California-based company’s culling efforts highlight a more forceful stance from the Chinese government when it comes to gaming.Citing concerns about the proliferation of addiction among minors and the dissemination of offensive content, regulators now adopt a much stricter and slower review process than before they temporarily halted all approvals in 2018. Imported games are under particularly tight scrutiny, and the App Store loophole served as a last resort for getting some of them distributed in the world’s largest mobile game arena.Online advertisers like Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Ltd. are likely to also suffer a blow, as they can expect to lose a chunk of their gaming ad buyers.(Updates with additional details and background from second 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.
On Wednesday afternoon, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) made a surprise announcement alongside its second-quarter results. After all, more investors will be able to afford Apple stock, and shares will be more liquid since they can be bought and sold at a lower price. While shares of Apple may be attractive today, an upcoming stock split isn't the reason why.
Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has broken all the rules of stock market investing. Its market capitalization of nearly $1.8 trillion seems too large for further gains, yet Apple keeps breaking the law of large numbers to push ever higher. Now, Apple has once again flown in the face of convention, this time with its stock.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is asking retail store landlords to slash the rent for some of its U.K. outlets by as much as 50% but offering to extend leases by several years in return, U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times reported.The iPhone maker wants fees to match those of retailers benefitting from landlords cutting rents as footfall in shopping centers plummeted during the height of coronavirus lockdown measures.The profitability of Apple’s 38 U.K. stores is such that landlords are desperate for the company to remain a tenant, the newspaper wrote, without saying how it obtained the information.Landlords do not have to make a decision yet, as the request is for stores that still have several years left on their leases. Apple declined to make a comment to the Sunday Times.The push to cut rents comes after Apple reported record second-quarter sales of $59.7 billion and dethroned Saudi Aramco as the world’s most profitable company.Apple jumped 10% on Friday, ending the day with a record market capitalization of $1.817 trillion. It’s the first time the company’s valuation has surpassed that of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, which made its market debut in Riyadh in December, and is valued at $1.76 trillion. (Updates with market context in final 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.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) supplier Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS) looked all set to take advantage of the iPhone maker's foray into 5G, but recent rumors have cast a shadow of uncertainty over Cirrus' ability to benefit from the expected rollout of 5G iPhones this year. There are reports that Apple may not provide EarPods in the box along with its next iPhone and that could be bad news for Cirrus, as it gets around 75% of its revenue from selling audio chips to Apple, which uses those chips in EarPods, iPhones, AirPods, and headphone dongles. Apple decided a couple of years ago to ditch the free lightning-to-3.5mm adapter that it used to include with each iPhone, hurting Cirrus' prospects.
The stocks of some technology companies are rising as the coronavirus has spread across the globe and investors look for stocks that could benefit from people spending more time at home. Instead, investors should consider how Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), and PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) are dominating their respective markets and continuing to have great long-term potential. PayPal is one of the leading digital payments companies, and now, more than ever, this service is in demand.
(Bloomberg) -- Snap Inc. is introducing a new feature that lets customers add music to their posts within Snapchat, creating a way for young people to share songs with friends and a new promotional tool for the music industry.Snap will roll out a test of the product in New Zealand and Australia starting Monday and plans to release it more widely later this year, according to a spokesperson. The company has secured the rights to music from several major music companies, including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group and Merlin.Millions of people already use social media to share music, either in links to streaming services or videos set to songs. Securing music rights will enable Snapchat users to do so without the risk of violating copyrights or having the videos taken down.This new feature also allows Snapchat to offer similar features as Instagram and TikTok, two of its biggest rivals and subjects of increased government scrutiny. Snap says it has a larger audience in the U.S. than TikTok or Twitter, reaching 90% of people between the ages of 13 and 24.“We’re always looking for new ways to give Snapchatters creative tools to express themselves,” the company said in a statement. “Music is a new dimension they can add to their Snaps that help capture feelings and moments they want to share with their real friends.”After years of not paying for music, social-media companies are lining up to secure the rights. Facebook licensed music in late 2017 and just expanded its deal with music companies to include officially licensed music videos. Twitch and TikTok are also in talks to license music rights from major record companies.Read more: Facebook finally gets the rights to music videosThe deals represent a significant new source of revenue for music companies, which have long been critical of technology platforms for getting rich off their work. Many social-media apps used music to secure an audience, and many of their most popular videos and memes are set to music.Social media is also a vital promotional channel for most artists, helping them communicate directly with fans. Many of the biggest hits of the past few years originated on apps such as TikTok and YouTube. With the new feature, Snap users will be able to see the name of the song being used in a video, and follow a link to listen to the full song in streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.The prospect of fresh cash and promotion comes at an opportune time. People have been listening to music less during the coronavirus pandemic — partly because they’re not commuting — and the sale of physical media is down.“Our goal is to enable cutting-edge social tools to bring our artists’ music to Snap’s highly engaged user base,” Oana Ruxandra, the chief digital officer at Warner Music Group, said in a statement.Snap has explored licensing music before and was once reported to be interested in buying Taylor Swift’s old record label. This new feature is a more modest endeavor, but also more in keeping with its role as a messaging app for friends.This is just the start of Snap’s music strategy. But it has yet to reach a deal with the record-label arm of Universal Music, the world’s largest, or Sony, owner of the world’s top music publisher.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.
Just because Netflix seems lightyears ahead, doesn’t mean its fellow streamers can’t catch-up.
The scheme, called Production-Linked Incentive Scheme, will offer a range of incentives to companies including a 6% financial incentive on additional sales of goods produced locally over five years, with 2019-2020 set as the base year, India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a press conference. 22 companies have applied for the incentive program -- that also includes manufacturing of electronics components -- and have agreed to export 60% of their locally produced units outside of India, said Prasad.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is exploring an acquisition of TikTok’s operations in the U.S., according to a people familiar with the matter. A deal would give the software company a popular social-media service and relieve U.S. government pressure on the Chinese owner of the video-sharing app.The Trump administration has been weighing whether to direct China-based ByteDance Ltd. to divest its stake in TikTok’s U.S. operations, according to several people familiar with the issue. The U.S. has been investigating potential national security risks due to the Chinese company’s control of the app.While the administration was prepared to announce an order as soon as Friday, according to three people familiar with the matter, another person said later that the decision was on hold, pending further review by President Donald Trump. All of the people asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.Spokespeople for Microsoft and TikTok declined to comment on any potential talks. The software company’s interest in the app was reported earlier by Fox Business Network.Trump on Friday night said he would ban TikTok from the U.S., and had the authority to do so by executive order or under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. He was signing the document on Saturday, he said.“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” the president told reporters. Asked when it would happen, he said: “Soon, immediately. I mean essentially immediately.”Earlier in the day, he said that “we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”Any transaction could face regulatory hurdles. ByteDance bought Musical.ly Inc. in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, creating a social-media hit in the U.S -- the first Chinese app to make such inroads. As TikTok became more popular, U.S. officials grew concerned about the potential for the Chinese government to use the app to gain data on U.S. citizens.The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. began a review in 2019 of the Musical.ly purchase. In recent years, CFIUS, which investigates overseas acquisitions of U.S. businesses, has taken a much more aggressive role in reviewing and approving deals that may threaten national security. It can recommend that the president block or unwind transactions.It’s also possible that other potential buyers could come forward, said another person familiar with the discussions. Microsoft’s industry peers -- Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. -- fit the profile of potential suitors, though all are under antitrust scrutiny from U.S. regulators, which would likely complicate a deal.A purchase of TikTok would represent a huge coup for Microsoft, which would gain a popular consumer app that has won over young people with a steady diet of dance videos, lip-syncing clips and viral memes. The company has dabbled in social-media investments in the past, but hasn’t developed a popular service of its own in the lucrative sector. Microsoft acquired the LinkedIn job-hunting and corporate networking company for $26.2 billion in 2016.Microsoft can point to one acquisition that came with a massive existing community of users that has increased under its ownership -- the 2014 deal for Minecraft, the best-selling video game ever.Other purchases of popular services have gone less well. The 2011 pickup of Skype led to several years of stagnation for the voice-calling service and Microsoft fell behind newer products in the category. Outside of Xbox, the company hasn’t focused on younger consumers. A TikTok deal could change that, though, and give Microsoft “a crown jewel on the consumer social media front,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to investors Friday.TikTok has repeatedly rejected accusations that it feeds user data to China or is beholden to Beijing, even though ByteDance is based there. TikTok now has a U.S.-based chief executive officer and ByteDance has considered making other organizational changes to satisfy U.S. authorities.“Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform,” a TikTok spokeswoman said Friday. “We’re motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”The mechanics of separating the TikTok app in the U.S. from the rest of its operations won’t come without complications. Unlike many tech companies in the U.S. where engineers for, say, Google, work on particular products like YouTube or Google Maps, many of ByteDance’s engineers work across its different platforms and services and continue to work on TikTok globally.On Thursday, U.S. Senators Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, wrote the Justice Department asking for an investigation of whether TikTok has violated the constitutional rights of Americans by sharing private information with the Chinese government.A deal with Microsoft could potentially help extract ByteDance from the political war between the U.S. and China.U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, applauded the idea of a TikTok sale. “In its current form, TikTok represents a potential threat to personal privacy and our national security,” Rubio said in a statement. “We must do more than simply remove ByteDance from the equation. Moving forward, we must establish a framework of standards that must be met before a high-risk, foreign-based app is allowed to operate on American telecommunications networks and devices.”(Updates with Trump’s comments in the 5th 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. isn’t the only company interested in buying TikTok’s U.S. operations, according to people familiar with the matter.U.S. government officials probing national-security concerns around the Chinese-owned video-sharing app have had talks with at least one other large company as well as investors in TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. who are interested in taking a stake in TikTok, according to one of the people, who requested anonymity because the discussions are private. This person declined to identify these companies.ByteDance is considering changes to the structure of TikTok because President Donald Trump is weighing ordering a divestiture of TikTok’s U.S. business, a decision that could come at any time.Venture investors in ByteDance have approached Chief Executive Officer Zhang Yiming with a range of proposals to address U.S. concerns that the app, especially popular with teens, is a security threat, people familiar with the matter have said. Any solution would likely have to pass scrutiny from U.S. regulators in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, as well as U.S. antitrust regulators.The deal provides a rare opportunity to profit off the momentum of the fastest-growing social media app in the U.S. Still, not all companies likely to be attracted to such a deal will even be in the running. TikTok’s valuation is estimated at $20 billion to $40 billion, so few companies would be able to afford it. Most of those that would are likely to find it politically difficult to make the move.The CEOs of Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. testified this week in the U.S. House of Representatives to answer lawmakers’ questions about their enormous market power. While any one of the four companies could fit TikTok into their product offerings, deals by these giants are already under a microscope.Google, whose YouTube is a competing video offering, is already facing a European Union probe for its much smaller acquisition of Fitbit Inc. Apple doesn’t tend to make acquisitions anywhere near large as TikTok. And Facebook’s years-ago purchases of smaller rivals Instagram and WhatsApp have been brought up anew amid the antitrust scrutiny. The world’s largest social network has already worked to turn lawmakers against TikTok, and is unlikely to court further risk to its already tenuous position on data security. Facebook also looked at purchasing Musical.ly, the predecessor to TikTok, in 2016, and passed.Microsoft, with a market value of $1.55 trillion, is bigger than Google or Facebook, but currently has a better reputation in Washington. The company wasn’t invited to the antitrust hearing on July 29, and has largely escaped recent criticism of Big Tech’s outsize influence. It’s unclear whether Microsoft would seek to integrate TikTok into its own operations, or join with other investors from private equity or venture capital to finance spinning out TikTok as a separate entity based in the U.S. With the second option, investors could seek to gain even more from a TikTok stock listing in the future.Media companies, such as Walt Disney Co. and Verizon Communications Inc., have been interested in purchasing social-media assets in the past. Disney in 2016 considered but ultimately decided against purchasing Twitter Inc., for instance. TikTok’s U.S.-based CEO, Kevin Mayer, was formerly the head of streaming for Disney, and may be better positioned to help broker a deal in the media world.Other social-media companies, such as Twitter and Snapchat parent Snap Inc., have smaller valuations than TikTok and therefore are unlikely bidders. They would need to use stock or outside financial help to complete such a transaction.It’s still not clear how a U.S. divestiture of TikTok would work, and how completely the app would have to separate from its current Chinese ownership. The company hasn’t said how such a move would affect employees, the technology or its product. However the ownership shakes out, there is one group that no potential buyer or investor wants to alienate: TikTok’s 165 million American users.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) -- Apple Inc. has acquired Mobeewave Inc., a startup with technology that could transform iPhones into mobile payment terminals, according to people familiar with the matter.Mobeewave’s technology lets shoppers tap their credit card or smartphone on another phone to process a payment. The system works with an app and doesn’t require hardware beyond a Near Field Communications, or NFC, chip, which iPhones have included since 2014.The Cupertino, California-based technology giant paid about $100 million for the startup, one of the people said. Mobeewave had dozens of employees, and Apple has retained the team, which continues to work out of Montreal, according to the people familiar. They asked not to be identified discussing a private transaction.“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesman said. Apple typically buys startups to turn their technology into features of its products. Apple added Apple Pay to the iPhone in 2014, allowing users to pay for physical goods with a tap in retail stores. Last year, it launched its own credit card, the Apple Card. Integrating Mobeewave could let anyone with an iPhone accept payments without additional hardware.This would put Apple into more direct competition with Square Inc., a leading provider of payment hardware and software for smartphones and tablets.On its website, Mobeewave shows a demonstration of a user typing in a transaction amount and then a customer tapping their credit card on the phone to process the payment on the device.Samsung Electronics Co. partnered with Mobeewave last year to allow its phones to use the technology. Samsung’s venture arm is also an investor in the startup, which has raised more than $20 million, according to PitchBook.The deal would be one of several for Apple this year. It recently acquired weather app Dark Sky and virtual-reality content broadcasting company NextVR. Other purchases include Voysis, Xnor.ai and Inductiv to improve Siri and artificial intelligence, and Fleetsmith for enterprise device management.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.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) leapt 10.5% to a new closing high of $425.04 on Friday, following the company's expectation-crushing third-quarter results. Despite a host of coronavirus-related challenges, Apple's revenue jumped 11% year over year to $59.7 billion. Apple's stock hit a record high on Friday.
Jul.31 -- Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer of Fortnite owner Epic Games, discusses his view on Apple's antitrust behavior on "Bloomberg Technology."
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. became the world’s most valuable company with its market value overtaking Saudi Aramco in the wake of better-than-expected earnings.Apple jumped 10% on Friday, ending the day with a record market capitalization of $1.817 trillion. It’s the first time the company’s valuation has surpassed that of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, which made its market debut in Riyadh in December, and is valued at $1.76 trillion. Before that, Apple had vied with Microsoft Corp. for the title of the U.S.’s largest public company.The dethroning of Aramco comes after a tumultuous period for the Saudi company. Its initial public offering fell short of Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman’s expectations. The kingdom’s de facto ruler initially wanted a valuation of $2 trillion and to raise $100 billion. But after foreign investors balked at the pricing, the government settled on a smaller domestic offering and raised about $30 billion, still the largest IPO ever.Then came this year’s plunge in crude prices as energy demand crashed with the spread of the virus. Aramco’s second-quarter revenue probably dropped to about $37 billion from $76 billion a year earlier, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That’s less than the $59.7 billion in sales that Apple reported for its most recent period.Aramco’s stock is down 6.4% since the end of December, though that’s far less than the fall of other oil majors. Exxon Mobil Corp. has declined 40% and Royal Dutch Shell Plc has dropped 50%.Apple, meanwhile, has benefited as the pandemic has strengthened the market positions of the world’s biggest technology companies, which boast strong balance sheets and fast-growing businesses thanks to an acceleration in the shift to digital services. The iPhone maker’s shares have gained 45% so far this year.(Adds closing share values throughout. A previous version of this story corrected the market cap gain.)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.
The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) surged late in the day Friday, helped along by mega-tech stocks Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). Apple, Amazon, and Facebook stocks all surged on Friday after the companies beat analyst expectations dramatically. Apple reported surprise iPhone growth, Amazon generated record profits, and Facebook battled through major headwinds to grow sales by a double-digit percentage.
Stocks ended higher on Friday, with the Nasdaq outperforming after a slew of better than expected corporate earnings results from major tech firms. Facebook and Apple posted record closing highs.
“It is time to return to our roots and break up” big tech to “oxygenate the marketplace,” says NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway.