A layman's guide to investing in tech companies

SINGAPORE (Oct 14): Investors on Wall Street are clearly losing appetite for overhyped loss-making technology companies with uncertain business models and unclear paths to profitability. The disaster surrounding WeWork’s planned and now-aborted IPO is the latest sign of disconnect between the private equity and capital markets.

Is aggregator Roku the best way to play streaming?

SINGAPORE (Sept 16): Where might investors find more value in technology? In software or hardware? In a creator of original content or an aggregator? Conventional wisdom is that software, particularly one offered on a subscription basis, where sellers rely primarily on recurring revenues, offers far better value than hardware. Moreover, creating content is seen as a more valuable proposition than aggregating content.

Netflix plunges after biggest stumble in streaming era

(July 22): Netflix shocked investors by reporting a drop in US customers and much slower growth overseas, raising fears that the streaming giant is losing momentum just as competitors prepare to pounce.

The shares plunged 11% to about US$323 in pre-market US trading after Netflix reported the loss of 130,000 customers in the US — the result of higher prices and a weak slate of TV shows. It signed up 2.8 million subscribers internationally in the period, roughly half what the company predicted.


The force is strong with Disney this year, thank Marvel you must

SINGAPORE (May 31): Spoiler alert. Spider-Man, one of the survivors in the latest Avengers: Endgame, will see its latest movie Spider-Man: Far From Home released in end-June. Disney, in collaboration with Marvel, has also plans to release movie spin-offs of the rest of the survivors in Avengers: Endgame.

Spin-offs from the Avengers already include Ironman, Captain America, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Black Panther and Captain Marvel.

How Netflix came to dominate Hollywood

SINGAPORE (Jan 28): On Jan 22, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 91st Oscars awards, which will be presented at its annual gala event on Feb 24. And the winner… at least in so far as nominations go, was not one of the once-giant Hollywood studios Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures or Warner Bros Pictures, but Netflix, the video-streaming pioneer and the world’s biggest producer of filmed entertainment. 

Netflix crushes estimates, renewing faith after July letdown

LOS ANGELES (Oct 17): Netflix Inc.’s Cinderella story isn’t over just yet.

The world’s largest paid online TV network added far more subscribers than analysts forecast in the third quarter and issued an upbeat outlook for the current three months, rebounding from a slowdown earlier this year. Netflix signed up 6.96 million customers in the quarter, according to a statement Tuesday, boosting its global total to 137.1 million.

3 reasons why tech is still in a secular uptrend

SINGAPORE (Apr 23): With FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) stocks retreating from their 2018 highs and tech valuations settling, how should global investors react?

In JP Morgan Asset Management’s view, the recent jitters can be thought of simply as “growing pains” of a tech sector that it still sees as being in a secular uptrend.

For the time being though, the asset manager favours US and emerging market (EM) equities, which it believes provide a positive tilt to the technology sector given their solid earnings outlook and strong growth momentum.

Netflix in advanced talks to acquire French film company EuropaCorp

(Apr 2): Netflix is in "advanced talks" to purchase the debt-ridden French film company EuropaCorp, a move that will help bolster the former's original content amid fierce competition with other online streaming services, according to media reports.

The potential acquisition could be announced "in a few weeks," reported French financial newspaper Les Echos on its website late last week. Netflix would be "well placed" to secure the deal, it added.

Have tech stocks surged too far too fast?

SINGAPORE (Oct 13): For much of this year, global investors have been enamoured with “growth”, chasing large-cap tech stocks, or FAANNG — social media giant Facebook, e-commerce behemoth, smartphone powerhouse Apple, video-streaming pioneer Netflix, artificial intelligence chip leader Nvidia and dominant search engine Google’s parent, Alphabet.

The stealth tech stock rally in 2017 has been powered by the development of disruptive themes such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing, big data analytics, the sharing economy, machine learning and deep learning.

How StarHub plans to push past the negativity

SINGAPORE (Oct 13): StarHub, the country’s second-largest telco, is being pressured on all sides.

Most texts — and many voice calls — are delivered over the internet today, using mobile apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat. And although StarHub sells mobile internet access, it has not been able to raise prices for that as usage goes up.

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