Facebook Posts Revenue Growth Despite Public Relations Fiasco

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech - Facebook Posts Revenue Growth


Introduction

Public relations fiasco is putting it lightly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. Once the news broke that Facebook Inc. (FB) was behind the mishandling of user data that was shared with a politically connected firm during the 2016 presidential race, Facebook’s stock tumbled from $195 to $152 or a 22% slide. Mark Zuckerburg went into damage control mode via rolling out transparency tools, metrics, impacted user details and testifying before Congress. The border questions of potential regulation, public backlash, additional data misuse cases and whether or not any material impact to revenue, as a result, remain in question. Over the past few quarters, Facebook has ramped up spending on initiatives to combat fake news, ensure data integrity, implementing stringent guidelines on third-party data sharing and overall transparency within its platform. Thus far, the early fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal has been immaterial to revenue albeit the recent quarterly numbers only reflect roughly two weeks of post-scandal numbers. Facebook had already moved to overhaul its news feed in favor of “meaningful social interactions” versus “relevant content” to improve its user experience.

Despite all the headlines regarding the privacy scandal, Facebook posted a monster blowout for its Q1 2018 numbers. Daily active users rose 13% to 1.45B for March, and monthly active users also rose 13%, to 2.2B as of March 31, 2018. Ad revenues grew by 50% to $11.8 billion from a year-ago $7.9 billion. As a result, many Wall Street firms have increased their target prices as a result of Facebook’s monster growth. Wedbush raised its target to $275, Mizuho to $255; SunTrust to $230; Goldman Sachs to $225, Deutsche Bank to $205 and Stifel Nicolaus to $175. Facebook remains incredibly cheap considering its phenomenal growth with a P/E of 28.7 and PEG of 1.08 at a stock price of $174. I maintain my long thesis with a price target of $220 by the end of 2018. Continue reading "Facebook Posts Revenue Growth Despite Public Relations Fiasco"

Disney's Growth and Netflix's Valuation Parity

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech - Disney's Growth


Content Juggernaut:

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) just posted back-to-back record-shattering $200-plus million weekend openings at the box office in its Marvel franchise posting $202 and $258 million for Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, respectively. Wall Street hasn’t seemed to notice nor recognize Disney’s box office feat as of late. Black Panther shattered all previous President’s Day weekend records and became the third highest grossing movie of all-time domestically and ultimately grossing $1.34 billion worldwide and becoming the eighth highest grossing movie of all-time. Avengers: Infinity War posted the biggest box office weekend of all-time with $258 million while breaking the previous record set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens by $10 million. Avengers went on to set a new worldwide record over its opening weekend, posting $630 million in box office gross. In its first 11 days of release, Avengers: Infinity War grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the fastest movie to reach that milestone without any help from the Chinese market. Disney is in its own league and competing with itself at the box office with its Marvel and Star Wars properties. Which begs the question, is content really king as Disney is ignored and Netflix has reached parity with Disney in terms of market capitalization?

Ant-Man and The Wasp, Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Incredibles 2 are around the corner. Meanwhile Disney's Parks and Resorts are posting strong growth while shoring up its stalling Media Networks segment with a confluence of growth catalysts via streaming with Hulu (30% stake and will likely be expanded to a majority 60% stake after the Fox acquisition), BAMTech, Sling, ESPN streaming service and a Disney branded service coming in 2019. Disney is closing the gap in streaming as Hulu grows much more rapidly than Netflix and in the backdrop, ESPN and direct to consumer Disney branded streaming service comes to fruition. Disney recently reported Q2 FY2018 revenue growth across every business segment with overall revenue growth of 9%. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity considering the growth, Fox acquisition, pipeline, Media Networks remediation plan, diversity of its portfolio, tax reform, share repurchase program and dividend growth. Continue reading "Disney's Growth and Netflix's Valuation Parity"

The Worst Is Over For Hasbro

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech - Hasbro


Introduction:

Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) released earnings that were rife with headwinds attributable to the bankruptcy of Toys"R"Us. Hasbro reported a year-over-year overall revenue decline of 16% and missed on EPS by $0.24. Hasbro cited the liquidation of Toys"R"Us and retail inventory overhang, primarily in Europe, as drags on revenue domestically and internationally. Revenue in North America fell 19% while international revenue fell 17% year-over-year during the quarter. Despite the negative headline numbers, the stock bounced to the upside after the earnings call commentary painted a positive long-term narrative while weathering the Toys"R"Us liquidation. The stock responded by moving from $79 to $87 or 10% to the upside post-earnings. Hasbro is navigating the challenging retail landscape and provided positive commentary on the conference call for future growth avenues. As the company realigns and efficiently manages the Toys"R"Us liquidation, this challenging backdrop will likely resolve to Hasbro's benefit as there are many current and future growth catalysts despite the supply chain disruption.

Hasbro has many current and future growth catalysts with major billion dollar movie franchises in the fray while riding the coattails of Black Panther into the home entertainment window which posted record-breaking numbers with $685 million domestically and $1.33 billion internationally at the box office. Combine this success with the upcoming Marvel and Star Wars movies including Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars Han Solo and Ant-Man and The Wasp to highlight a few major films. Hasbro recently increased its dividend from $0.57 to $0.63 per share. Hasbro has excellent Q2-Q3 2018 catalysts, boasts a ~3% dividend yield, weathering the Toys"R"Us liquidation and putting forth initiatives within Hasbro Studios to further propel growth thus presenting a compelling long-term buy. Continue reading "The Worst Is Over For Hasbro"

CVS: Amazon Capitulates - Too Cheap To Ignore?

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech - CVS


Introduction

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) recently touched down to a 52-week low of ~$60 per share which is a drastic decline from its all-time high of $112 in 2015 translating into a nearly 50% slide in its shape price. Its P/E ratio is in sub-10 territory against an S&P 500 average of 24, suggesting CVS is roughly 60% cheaper than the average stock. Its decline has unfolded in the face several headwinds that have negatively impacted its growth, and the changing marketplace conditions have plagued the stock. Starting in the latter half of 2015 and still unfortunately persisting, the political backdrop was a significant headwind for the entire pharmaceutical supply chain from drug manufacturers to pharmacies/pharmacy benefit managers (i.e. CVS and Walgreens (WBA)) and the drug wholesalers in-between (i.e. McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH) and AmerisourceBergen (ABC)). As an extension of the political climate, the drug pricing debate has not subsided and continues to be a hot-button issue weighing on the overarching sector. In an effort to address these headwinds and restore growth CVS has made a bold $69 billion acquisition of Aetna (AET) to form a colossus bumper-to-bumper healthcare company. This new CVS will combine its existing pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) and retail pharmacies with the second largest diversified healthcare company. This is a bold and hefty price tag to pay yet may be necessary to compete in the increasingly competitive healthcare space in the face of drug pricing pressures. CVS is making a defensive yet essential acquisition moving into the future. As CVS transitions and realigns its business to adapt to the changing healthcare space along with Amazon’s (AMZN) competitive threat diminishing, I feel the stock is too cheap to ignore at these levels. Initiating a position near ~$60-$65 may be a substantial long-term investment for long-term value and appreciation.

Amazon’s Healthcare Capitulation

Amazon has officially entered the retail space via the Whole Foods acquisition. It had been rumored for months that Amazon was gearing up to gain entry in the potentially lucrative $560 billion prescription drug space by leveraging the Whole Foods storefronts. The speculation was rooted in Amazon’s ramped up hiring and talent acquisition to build an internal pharmacy benefits manager for its own employees. This internal effort was viewed as a proof-of-concept for the broader drug supply chain effort. Amazon has a health team that’s focused on both hardware and software projects, like developing health applications for the Echo and Dash Wand. Its cloud service, Amazon Web Services, continues to dominate the health, life sciences, and technology market as well. Amazon still has the potential with its technology and reach to disrupt the current marketplace however as of now Amazon has decided to not pursue this business in the near future. Continue reading "CVS: Amazon Capitulates - Too Cheap To Ignore?"

Visa - Heed Slowing Growth and Lofty Valuation

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech - Visa


Heed Slowing Growth

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) shareholders have witnessed a meteoric rise in share price since the post-Visa Europe integration which provided a double-digit annualized one-time boost to revenue growth and thus was being used as an incorrect growth comparator. Additionally, since Donald Trump was elected president, the vast majority of stocks have seen significant gains, and Visa is no exception, moving from $78 per share in December of 2016 to $126 in January of 2018 or a 60% appreciation. Now that Visa Europe has been fully reflected in its numbers, the double-digit revenue growth ceases to exist, and its lofty valuation is unjustified. Visa’s management has now forecasted revenue growth in the high single-digits for the foreseeable future with EPS growth in the mid-teens, artificially high due to share buybacks. With revenue growth rates slowing to single digits coupled with the past year appreciation and the stock boasting a P/E in excess of 40, I feel that further appreciation is unjustified and entering a position at these heightened levels is not prudent. Furthermore, Visa faces a rapidly changing landscape in the payments and peer-to-peer space with the likes of Pay Pal (PYPL), Square (SQ), Amazon (AMZN) and an emerging platform for bank transfers with Zelle. Blockchain technology also continues to gain ground in a variety of industries, and I feel that it will inevitably enter into the credit card transactions space. Continue reading "Visa - Heed Slowing Growth and Lofty Valuation"