OUR JULY 2017 RESULTS

Our weighted average return in July was +3.10%, bringing our year-to-date return to +11.86%.

During July we focused on analyzing corporate earnings releases. As a whole, the results were very impressive. As of the end of July 72% of S&P 500 companies beat their mean earnings per share (EPS) estimates and 70% beat their mean revenue estimates. These results were evidently very encouraging to equity investors. The S&P 500 ended the month up 1.95% and market volatility reached new lows.

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LINKS

What is the opportunity cost of waiting for a market correction?
LINK: Opportunity cost of waiting for a market correction

Disney to leave Netflix
Starting 2019, Netflix and chill is going to have to take place without the usual late-night session of Frozen, as the media giant announced its plans to remove its content from Netflix and start its own streaming service.

Reportedly, Disney is also going to launch an ESPN streaming service early next year, which is going to feature sports events from the NHL, MLB, MLS, collegiate sports and Grand Slam tennis.

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Nike Buyers Want to Shop On-line, Facebook Messenger Wants to Help You & Alphabet Wants to Store Energy Using Salt

People are keener on buying Nike on Amazon than at Foot Locker
According to a report by UBS, more US consumers prefer to purchase Nike products on Amazon (13%), rather than making the purchase at Foot Locker (9%). The recent findings indicate a significant switch from a year ago, when Foot Locker was the option more people chose.

Nike was wary of opening a store on Amazon over concerns of counterfeits being sold and the customer experience being poor, but the sports apparel manufacturer caved and announced a deal with Amazon, which sent the shares flying 7%.

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Facebook, Snap, Twitter…

Facebook posts astounding results

The stock price of Facebook surged more than 3% in after-hours trading, after posting better than expected quarterly results. The social media giant reported diluted earnings per share of $1.31 versus the estimates of $1.13, marking a 71% increase from the same period last year. Revenue was reported at $9.3 billion, which is 47% higher than a year ago.

The CFO of Facebook, David Wehner, said that ads are going to contribute less to growth in the following quarter. Facebook is looking to generate more revenue out if the news feed with Facebook TV – a long form video service is set to launch mid-August and ads placed in Facebook Messenger, messaging service with 1.2 billion daily users, is still in “early stages”.

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Facebook, Banking and Electric Cars

Facebook TV coming in mid-August, maybe..

Reportedly, Facebook is finally coming out with its iteration of on-demand TV. The company has reached out to its partners, asking them to turn in the first episodes of their inexpensive, short-form programs.

According to undisclosed sources, Facebook is funding some higher-end content. The newly released content is going to be accessible separate from the news feed, in a new “Video” tab, alongside user-generated content.

Facebook is looking to make something higher-end than Google’s YouTube, yet is not willing to compete with other original content providers such as Netflix, HBO and Showtime.

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Alphabet drops after earnings

The shares of the parent company of Google – Alphabet traded lower in after-hours trading on Monday. The online advertising giant reported revenue of $26.01 billon, which represents roughly a 21% increase year-over-year.

Affected by the EU anti-trust case, in which the company was fined $2.74 billion for prioritizing their own shopping service over the shopping services of the competitors, the reported profit fell sharply.

The main worry investors have are the rising traffic acquisition costs, which came in at $5.09 billion, higher than the estimated $4.75 billion. The CFO of Alphabet – Ruth Porat said that the company is focusing on “dollar growth” in revenue and operating income, “not margins”.

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Dark net poses a “potentially disruptive risk” – Goldman Sachs

With the general population becoming more and more conscious about their internet privacy every day, some seek anonymity in the “dark net”. The dark net, which is the decentralized version of the world wide web, mostly associated with illegal activities and cryptocurrency transactions, according to data, receives around 440 thousand daily users from the US alone.

“How is this relevant?” you might ask.

Well, according to Goldman Sachs – two reasons:

  • Firstly, due to the fact that the dark net enables individuals to browse the internet anonymously, out of the reach of traditional search engines, data-collection for advertising revenue reliant websites could take a significant hit to their top-line.
  • Secondly, because the dark net is used to conduct various illegal activities, a more direct regulation of the internet could be called for, which in turn has the ability to slow the innovation of large internet companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook.

LINK: Rising ‘Dark Net’ may spell trouble for Google, Facebook, says Goldman

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Musk’s Hyperloop might become reality

According to tweets by Elon Musk, aka. The Tony Stark of real life, on Thursday, “verbal” government approval for digging the world’s longest tunnel for his newest venture – The Boring Company, has been reached. The tunnel is to be dug from New York to Washington D.C. and is a part of another one of Musk’s ideas, Hyperloop.

For those who have been out of the loop, pun fully intended, Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation alternative, which would make the journey from NYC to D.C. in around a half an hour.

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Facebook to launch a subscription news service

With the goldmine, that online advertising is, slowly getting depleted of its resources, it only makes sense for companies to look for ways to cash in on the ever-growing customer base. Facebook is set to launch a premium subscription news service.

After hearing the concerns of several newspapers of having little control on how their stories were being exhibited and how fake news were affecting the overall landscape of the news industry. Additionally, the News Media Alliance, which represents over 2000 newspapers and digital publishers, accused Facebook and Google for benefiting from news stories without properly compensating publishers.

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AI deep-learning briefly explained and why Nvidia has the upper hand

It seems that the abbreviation AI and the phrase “deep learning” get thrown around an awful lot lately. Understandably so, as presented in the chart below, the frequency of Google searches for “deep learning” has grown considerably in the last 5 years, one can easily see an exponential growth pattern. Everyone seems to want to find out what exactly it is and how to benefit.

The increase of interest reflects the change of focus of industry leading companies rather precisely. Nvidia, Intel, AMD and now Fujitsu have set out on a quest to create the best – most capable hardware for artificial intelligence. All of the aforementioned companies have come out or are coming out with AI optimized hardware.

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