eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that anyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. The eToro Group consists of the eToro platform, our multi-asset trading and investment venue, our crypto wallet and on-chain crypto exchange.
eToro is a global community of more than 19 million registered users who share their investment strategies. The platform enables users to easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.
We provide our users a choice of assets to invest in – from fractional shares, through to commodities, FX, ETFs and crypto – as well as a choice of how to invest. They can trade directly themselves, copy the investment strategy of another more experienced investor, or invest in one of our portfolios.
eToro acts as a bridge between the old world of investing and the new, helping investors navigate and benefit from the transition of assets to the blockchain. eToro is the only place where investors can hold traditional assets such as stocks or commodities alongside ‘new’ assets such as Bitcoin. We believe that in the future all assets will be tokenised, and that crypto is just the first step on this journey.
As technology has evolved, so has our business. In 2018, we created the infrastructure, in the form of a crypto wallet and on-chain crypto exchange, that supports our commitment to facilitating the evolution of tokenised assets. We believe that leveraging blockchain technology will enable us to become the first truly global service provider, allowing everyone to trade, invest and save.
eToro is regulated in Europe by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority, and in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
eToro press contacts
Global Head of PR & Communications
Global PR & Communications Manager
European Head of PR and Communications
Global PR and Communications Manager
Recent Press Releases
Recent Media Comments
Vivendi published yesterday its results for the year 2020 and cast a doubt about a possible acquisition of a stake in M6. Vivendi’s revenue amounts to 16.09 billion euros, up +1.2%.
While some of the group’s businesses, mainly Havas Group and Vivendi Village, were impacted by the consequences of the health crisis, others showed good resilience. Among them:
– Universal Music, which reported 7.4 billion euros in revenues, up around 5%, and includes four artists in Spotify’s Top Five (Drake, J Balvin, Juice WRLD and The Weeknd), the number one song of the year (Blinding Lights by The Weeknd) and two of the top three albums (After Hours by The Weeknd and Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone),
– The Canal + group, which has 21.8 million subscribers, 8.7 million of whom are in mainland France, and generates revenues of around €5.5 billion,
– Or its publishing house Editis which reached €725 million, up 5.6% compared to 2019 and which has seen a strong rebound in its activities since June 2020 in France.
Thanks to this, EBITA (adjusted operating profit) stands at €1.6 billion, up 6.6% compared with 2019.
Vivendi has been able to show resilience and has had to adapt to continue serving and entertaining its customers in the best possible way, while reducing its costs to preserve its margins. The company also has significant financing capacity. As of December 31, 2020, the Group’s confirmed credit lines were available up to €3.3 billion, which could be used by the company to buy out Bertelsmann’s stake in M6.
2.35 billion share buyback programme and the strategy implemented by Vivendi to deal with the health crisis. The share has almost doubled in one year.
For 2021, the plan to distribute 60% of Universal Music’s capital to Vivendi shareholders, the possible repurchase of M6 and the evolution of the company’s CSR programme should be the main elements impacting the share price in the coming months.
The Syndicat des Éditeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (SELL) today presented the new edition of the Essentiel du Jeu Vidéo (Video Game Essentials), which provides a comprehensive review of the French market.
Unsurprisingly, it reveals that the year 2020 has been an exceptional year for the video game industry.
In France, this industry generated a turnover of 5.3 billion euros, an increase of 11.3%. More than half of this turnover (51%) was generated by console gamers, 27% by mobile gamers and finally 22% by PC gamers.
With a turnover of 1426 billion euros in France, up 16% compared to last year, mobile games are therefore starting to take on an increasingly important role.
According to data from Apple Store and Google Play, 43% of downloads (all applications combined) are games, representing 67% of consumer spending!
The containment measures put in place by countries around the world have thus greatly benefited the growth of this industry, which now has 36.46 million players. And, contrary to popular belief, the average age of French players who play regularly is 39 years old and 47% are women!
As people can no longer really see each other, the majority of people have turned to video games, which have made it possible to entertain, bring together and federate millions of players throughout the world despite the unprecedented health context.
The launch of new generation consoles, the development of mobile games and the arrival of new successful games such as Animal Crossing on Switch or Among US have strongly contributed to the craze around this sector.
In addition to commercial successes, the year 2020 also marked a profound change in the way the video game industry is viewed.
Often criticised, video games are now seen as a positive and interactive medium offering many opportunities beyond their primary function of entertainment.
And this trend is expected to continue this year. The recent announcements by Nintendo on the release of its new Pokémon games, the announcement of the takeover of Fall Guys by Epic Games, the release of a new Star Wars game announced by Ubisoft and the highly anticipated IPO of Roblox will be new news to be closely followed in 2021!
“In a world where dividends have been under significant pressure, especially in the UK, the London Stock Exchange Group’s 7% dividend increase announced this morning is eye-catching to say the least. Its “confident outlook” also bodes well for future progress.
“Revenues are up and the completion of the Refinitiv buyout is a positive step for the listings business, as it can focus on providing quality data services to clients.
“The results also noted BlackRock picking the FTSE Russell for the first climate risk-adjusted Government Bond ETF – a good PR victory for the firm in a competitive growing marketplace. And it is winning other business too. Deliveroo recently announced it will list in London, which is a another high point.
“In the background, the Government is keen to make the UK stock market home to more tech businesses and LSEG will be at the middle of this overhaul. The UK Government post-Brexit wants to portray its markets as open and innovative, as any major listing player will receive the lion’s share of incoming offerings.”
In today’s Q4 earnings report, Snowflake, which publicly listed in September 2020, reported a loss of 70 cents a share on $190 million revenues, compared to Wall Street analyst expectations of a loss of 18 cents per share on revenue of $178.5 million.
The stock has already reacted out of hours, declining more than 4 per cent.
On its first day of trading, the stock traded above $250, from its original price of $100-110. Backed by Berkshire Hathaway, Snowflake was the largest software IPO ever, raising more than $3.4 billion in funding.
In its Q3 report, Snowflake announced a loss of -$1.01 per share, much worse than the expectation of -$0.25 per share. This now means that its first two reports as a publicly listed company have broadly missed analyst expectations.
Sales were expected to increase in Snowflake’s latest report, especially as its chief financial officer stated last quarter that the company would continue to grow its sales department. Sales did improve last quarter, but overall performance was dragged down by spend on sales and marketing.
Two major areas of focus in the company’s Q4 report were Snowflake’s Dollar Based Net Revenue retention rate, as well as the addition of its new customer base. These key metrics have continued to increase for Snowflake, adding another 19 Fortune 500 companies and enjoying a higher retention rate than Q3 of 168 per cent.
Snowflake’s guidance for FY22 shows revenues are likely to slow down and gross profit will increase, with product revenue pegged at $1 billion.
As revenues are unlikely to continue growing at the same rate, Snowflake is currently trading at an eye-watering valuation. With the amount Snowflake is spending on sales and marketing, investors would be expecting year-on-year growth to increase, but guidance suggests it will be 40 per cent lower than FY21.
So, will Snowflake continue to grow after its Q4 report? Or will it simply melt away?
“Taylor Wimpey’s full-year financials aren’t pretty, but they must be taken in context during what was a completely unprecedented year.
“The housing market and building sites were effectively closed for the second quarter, which has had a serious effect on completions and sales.
“However, the property market has recovered strongly since then, boosted in no small part by the Government’s decision to scrap stamp duty on properties worth less than £500,000.
“Taylor Wimpey’s performance has mirrored that of the wider market, picking up in the second half of the year to the extent that it once again feels able to pay a dividend.
“Rishi Sunak’s Budget plans to increase the supply of mortgages to those with small deposits will provide fresh impetus to the market and will probably result in further house price inflation “While we don’t know the full details of the scheme yet, anything that makes buying a home more attractive will ultimately line the pockets of developers.”
In today’s Q4 earnings report, Nio smashed through analyst revenue expectations of $742 million, to instead turn out $1.02 billion in revenues.
Figures from January and February 2021 sales were particularly positive for Nio, showing 352 per cent and 689 per cent increases in sales year-over-year.
However, share price has already fallen by 6 per cent out of hours, as investors were disappointed with Nio reporting a larger than anticipated loss of $0.14 per share.
Gross margins increased to 17.2 per cent up from 12.9 per cent, which means that higher vehicle deliveries will be key to ensuring that the company can turn a notable profit in the future.
The earnings report depicts a positive cash flow for Nio, which climbed to $6.5 billion up from $3.3 billion in Q3.
Production increases are key for Nio, as this will move towards further deliveries. Its strong balance sheet will certainly help this key metric in 2021.
Moving forward, Nio’s 2021’s growth will likely depend on government policies in China, as well as its planned expansion into Europe through the year.
Will Nio continue to nip at Tesla’s heels in 2021? Or will it run out of energy?
Zoom – the leader in modern enterprise video communications – once again delivered an earnings beat with $1.22 per share on revenues of $888.25 million, compared to analyst expectations of profits of 78 cents per share on revenues of $810 million.
Zoom’s share price has already reacted out of hours, climbing more than 10 per cent.
Zoom has been a huge successor of the global pandemic, gaining recognition for helping individuals, groups and workplaces to stay connected. As a result, this earnings report has signed off with a fiscal year adjusted profit of $995 million.
Cash flow also doesn’t seem to be an issue for Zoom, with the company reporting a 994 per cent year-over-year increase in operating cash flow. Zoom will be focused on increasing security measures over the next quarter, as this seems to be its biggest downfall at present.
Zoom’s guidance for the fiscal Q1 2021, demonstrates that the company is still expected to see its huge growth continue. Revenue outlook has been pegged at around $900 million, above Wall Street expectations and proving that Zoom still may have significant room to flourish and grow.
However, with the pandemic starting to ease in many western countries and a return to offices in sight for many this year, what will be in Zoom’s product roadmap to keep fueling demand beyond lockdown?
“Zoom Video Communications has emerged from obscurity to become the poster child of the stay-at-home economy since the start of the pandemic. With large swathes of the workforce forced to work from home, the firm’s revenues have rocketed, tripling over the past year.
“However, there are questions over whether Zoom can sustain such strong growth. Governments all around the world are eyeing the end of the pandemic and will soon be encouraging their populations to go back to the office.
“While we believe homeworking is here to stay, it is also likely that many workers will prefer to return to the workplace a couple of days a week, at least. Therefore, it’s likely that Zoom’s days of runaway revenue growth are numbered.”
“The past 12 months has been perhaps the most difficult and testing period in the history of aviation.
“British Airways parent IAG’s results are a testament to that, with revenue plunging, passenger numbers a fraction of what they were and debt spiraling.
“With the pace of vaccinations picking up in many countries, there is talk of a tentative reopening of the skies for those who have had a Covid-19 jab – a long overdue piece of good news for the industry.
“However, even if flights return by summer, as is hoped, IAG and the wider airline industry will be wearing the scars of this pandemic for years to come.”
Engie has just published a record net loss for 2020 of 1.5 billion euros against a profit of 1 billion a year earlier. This poor result is due to a depreciation of 2.9 billion euros of two nuclear power plants in Belgium, the group estimating that the extension of their lifespan would not go beyond 20 years.
In addition, current operating income (ROC) was down 21% to 4.5 billion euros due to the impact of the health crisis.
The gas and electricity supplier, however, highlighted the progress made in the simplification of the group with the sale of 29.9% of Suez for 3.4 billion euros, which marks a new strategic direction and an increase in Client Solutions, GTT and ENGIE EPS activities.
In terms of forecasts, Engie is confident and aims for an overall financial performance in 2021 which should significantly improve, with recurring net income of between 2.3 billion and 2.5 billion euros and an operating profit of between 5.2 billion at 5.6 billion euros specified Engie.
Engie has decided to increase its tariffs by 5.7% on March 1 compared to the scale in force since February 1, 2021, because the prices on the wholesale gas markets have been supported this winter by strong global demand t due to the cold snap on the Asian and European continent.
Regarding the dividend, the group of “utilities” will propose a dividend of 0.53 euros per share, against 0.80 for the previous year.
On the stock market, the results led to a 2% drop in the stock, posting a two-month low. The performance has been stable since the start of the year at -0.60%!
On 26 February, Airbnb will release its first earnings report since going public, wrapping up a whirlwind year for the company and the travel industry as a whole. In December, Airbnb’s shares were originally priced at $USD68, but then quickly accelerated to $USD144 on its first day of trading. The stock has continued to gain momentum this year, gaining around 43 per cent at $USD200 per share.
Airbnb has positioned itself well – and arguably better than its competitors – since the start of the pandemic, pivoting its offerings by making significant changes to its cancellation policies and user experience.
As the globe continues to be vaccinated and restrictions start to ease as a result, Airbnb is likely to receive an injection of interest from travellers over the next few months, looking to occupy and rent residences.
Analysts expectations are $USD750 million in Q4 revenue, and earnings per share of $USD-8.41 due to the fees associated with its IPO.
Salesforce is deemed to be one of the many winners of the global pandemic. As a company that has thrived since businesses transitioned to a remote working model, Salesforce has continued to grow its revenues throughout 2020. Its share price has gained around 6 per cent YTD and trading at $USD235 a share.
A major focus of this earnings report for investors will be Salesforce’s acquisition and integration of Slack. The acquisition was not only costly at $USD27.7 billion, but it may also affect short term profits for Salesforce.
Ongoing growth in the cloud sector is also anticipated to resonate in the company’s earnings. With Salesforce’s development in AI, the company has landed some impressive partnership agreements with the likes of Alphabet and Amazon.
Analyst expectations are $USD5.68 billion in revenue, and earnings per share of $USD0.75.
As one of the leading companies manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s expected that Moderna’s earnings report will reflect its success as it rolls out.
In January 2021, Moderna supplied 18 million doses of its vaccine to the US government. The company is adapting its current vaccine to target separate strains of the virus, as well as options for children and pregnant women. This is likely to provide optimism in future guidance from Moderna.
With lingering competition from rivals Pfizer and AstraZeneca, who have both received approval in Australia and the United Kingdom for its respective vaccines, Moderna’s global distribution is still low. Moreover, Moderna’s spend on research and regulatory requirements is also expected to have increased operating costs for the company in the quarter.
Analyst expectations are $USD318 million in revenue and earnings per share of $USD-0.22, compared to just $14.1 million in revenue and $USD-0.31 in 2019.
Global pizza restaurant chain Dominos announces its Q4 earnings report on Friday morning, and it’s expected to be a scorcher.
After feeding and meeting customer demand through the global pandemic, Dominos has adapted many aspects of its business to reflect the ‘new normal’. From its mobile app, to its delivery policies; Dominos has simplified and streamlined the order process for its customers.
A big focus for investors will be Dominos dividend payments, which increased in its Q4 2019 report. Many investors will be hoping that a strong 2020 performance will lead to a higher dividend payment.
However, one cause for concern for investors is the company’s high level of debt, which is only increasing each year as a result of penetration in new global markets. Sustaining customer numbers at its current levels will also be a crucial focus for Dominos, in order to retain its growth throughout 2021.
Analyst expectations are $USD1.38billion in revenue and earnings per share of $USD3.79.
“In terms of financial performance, at times Aston Martin resembles more a spluttering lawnmower engine than a highly-tuned sports car.
“It’s perhaps a little unfair to level too much criticism at firms in the middle of a global pandemic that has closed large swathes of the economy, but Aston’s problems long predate coronavirus.
“It has been consistently loss-making ever since its hotly-anticipated IPO in October 2018 and its shares are now trading some 80% lower than when it made its debut as a public company.
“Fashion magnate Lawrence Stroll, Aston’s executive chairman, says he has a plan to revive the firm – and there are signs of progress in these results, particularly with the firm predicting a big boost to wholesale sales in the coming year.
“But after such a lengthy period of bleak underperformance, shareholders will want to see the firm kick through the gears fairly swiftly when the economy returns to normal.”
“NVIDIA has consistently beat analysts’ expectations throughout coronavirus and, though growth has slowed a little, it is expected to continue to perform strongly into the next quarter.
“Shareholders will be disappointed that the deal for British chip maker Arm looks dead in the water, but NVIDIA already has a very strong position in this market.
“While its share price has rolled back in the past few days, NVIDIA has offered outstanding growth for investors, with its share price up more than 185% since the market sell-off last March.
“Tech stocks have wobbled over the past few days, so it may pay for investors to be cautious before adding to their portfolios at present, but the long-term prospects for NVIDIA looks positive. And the diversity of its income streams mean it should be more resilient than some of its peers, even if market conditions deteriorate.”
“Bitcoin has rebounded from yesterday’s sell-off, with both retail and institutional investors using the falls in prices to add to their positions.
“Jark Dorsey’s Square was one particularly notable backer. The payments company stated it had invested $170m more in bitcoin. With yet more endorsements from leading figures in the world of finance and technology, the direction of travel longer-term is clear – bitcoin and its peers are here to stay and are getting more integrated in our lives. This bodes well for future prices.
“Bouts of volatility impact all asset classes but investors must focus on the long-term. It’s likely we’ll see similar events in the future for bitcoin and other cryptoassets like ethereum, which also saw its price rebound sharply overnight. The key for investors is to focus on their financial goals rather than overreact to short-term moves in markets.”
“Coronavirus has made us all much more aware of good hygiene practices, such as disinfecting work surfaces and washing our hands regularly.
“As a result, the pandemic has been very kind to firms such as Reckitt Benckiser, which makes disinfectants such as Lysol, Finish dishwasher tablets and Dettol antiseptic.
“However, shareholders have a right to question whether or not Reckitt’s strong recent sales growth has been artificially boosted by Covid-19. Remember, this is a firm that reported lackluster revenue growth and a £2.1bn pre-tax loss a year ago.
“Laxman Narasimhan, Reckitt’s chief executive, believes the firm has turned a corner. But I suppose we will only know for sure once coronavirus is a distant memory and we can see how it has affected consumers’ long-term buying behaviour.”
French payment group Worldline released its results today and exceeded analysts’ expectations.
While 2020 was marked by the bankruptcy of Wirecard, its main French competitor, Worldline, took the opportunity to acquire Ingenico and achieve 2.748 billion euros in revenue in 2020, a decrease of 4.6% compared to the previous year.
The company was notably impacted by measures related to Covid-19 and their effects on European economies, mainly during the second and, to a lesser extent, the fourth quarter of the year!
The group’s operating margin before depreciation and amortization (OMDA) reached 700 million euros, or 25.5% of sales, an increase of +60 basis points compared to 2019.
This solid performance compared to the 2020 objective of reaching approximately the same percentage as in 2019, reflects the transformation and synergy plans underway at Worldline, as well as the important measures taken to adapt the cost base in order to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the profitability of the company while continuing to invest in strategic projects to fuel future growth.
Worldline’s net income share stood at 164 million euros, down by 147 million euros compared to the 2019 net income and the net income normalized portion stood at 361 million euros (+61 million euros compared to the previous year), or 13.1% of turnover.
Finally, Worldline achieved 295 million euros in cash flow in 2020, including 54 million euros in acquisition costs of the Ingenico transaction. Excluding these costs, the group’s free cash flow increased by + 21.3% compared to 2019!
The year 2021 should allow the French group to continue its development. Whether through a gradual improvement in the health crisis or through the integration of Ingenico and Gopay into its offer, the French payment group is targeting a rebound in its activity in 2021.
Fnac Darty’s results were unveiled yesterday after the market closed, and they came out rather convincing.
Despite a very unfavorable start to the year when the group had to deal with a supply crisis for its products due to manufacturing disruptions in China, Fnac Darty managed to publish a turnover in 2020, up 1.9% to 7.49 billion euros.
This was made possible by an excellent 4th quarter (+ 9.6%), where online sales and click & collect were available for all products, which limited the impact of the closure of certain stores during the second confinement in November.
Over the year, the leader in the distribution of cultural products and household appliances gained more than five million new active web customers, and online sales increased by 55%, thanks in particular to the power of the omnichannel. The group has also significantly accelerated its sales on mobile, the weight of which represents more than 64% of traffic on its sites, up from last year.
Due to financial charges and additional tax charges, net income fell 16% to 96 million euros.
In addition, Fnac Darty unveiled a new strategic plan for 2025, called Everyday, which aims to increase the share of digital in the group’s turnover to 30%.
The levers of the Everyday plan will aim to generate free operating cash flow of 500 million euros over the period 2021-2023 and at least 240 million per year from 2025. This excess cash will make it possible to “finance operations external growth ”and regularly deliver a dividend to its shareholders, according to the group’s press release.
On the stock market, operators appreciated the results as the title rose 8% at the opening, which once again tipped the performance into the green since the start of the year (+ 3.5%). Over a rolling year, the stock is up 20%!
Over the course of his testimony, Jerome Powell reiterated the idea that the recent rise of inflation is a temporary phenomenon, trying to reassure investors after the steep rise of the US Treasury yields over the last few months.
However, there are some concerns. Firstly, the 10 years US Treasury yield is now trading around 1.4%, while the dividend yield on the S&P 500 is at multi-year lows of around 1.5%. When these two yields are too close, investors tend to change something in their portfolios.
Secondly, the recent rally on WTI could dampen the economic recovery, which is globally still very fragile.
Finally, the recent underperformance of the tech industry is a natural drag for equities, due to their weight on the indexes. The recent rally of cyclical sectors (energy, basic materials and financials) cannot compensate for the weakness of tech companies: that is why having a well-diversified portfolio is now, more than ever, a must for retail investors.
“Today’s correction for cryptoassets is part of a wider sell-off in markets globally, being driven by profit-taking. Investors are closing positions, which will have generated significant gains for many of them.
“However, as positions are being closed and prices fall, eToro data shows even more new investors are coming on stream for the first time and buying bitcoin, with 26% more opened positions than closed ones in the last seven days (to Monday).
“The sell-off will attract more investors longer-term. However, in the short-term some we will see some volatility, as we are today. We still see great potential for bitcoin and peers as we move through the year.”
“HSBC had been signaling that it would restart its dividend payments for a while, so perhaps this has come as no surprise for shareholders.
“However, while HSBC outperformed analysts’ expectations slightly for 2020, I think there will be shareholders out there this morning alarmed by how radically its performance has deteriorated.
“Admittedly, coronavirus and perpetually low rates mean that conditions are terrible for banks at the moment, but HSBC’s decline over the past two years has been severe. “Since 2018, revenue has fallen 6%, but pre-tax profit has plunged an enormous 55% and basic earnings per share – a key measure of profitability – is down nearly 70%.
“So while shareholders will welcome HSBC’s decision to resume dividends, many would probably prefer to see the bank return to growth.”
On the 24th of February, Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments company Square will report its Q4 earnings, with analysts expecting quarterly revenue of $USD3.1 billion and earnings per share of $0.01.
In its previous Q3 earnings, Square announced a blowout report, with earnings per share more than doubling expectations, and revenues increased by over 1,000 per cent.
The company has already enjoyed a strong start to 2021, jumping more than 25 per cent and trading last week at record highs of $USD281. Square has continued to disrupt the payments and banking sector with developments from its Cash App, which allows users to transfer funds and cryptoassets to one another using a mobile phone. The current euphoria around cryptoassets will undoubtedly show an increase in user activity.
One of the key factors from this earnings report will be the performance of bitcoin. In October 2020, Square purchased $USD50 million worth of bitcoin for its balance sheet. Bitcoin has increased by 340 per cent since this time, which will only support Square’s bottom line.
However, continued product development expenses are expected to weigh heavily on Square’s profitability. In Q3, product development expenses increased by 35 per cent from the year-ago period and analysts are pricing in and increasing this again for Q4.
Furthermore, Square continues to face fierce competition from Paypal who is currently growing at its fastest rate since 2017, thanks to strong new additions such as accepting cryptoassets and its recent ‘buy now, pay later’ offering.
Will Square continue to dominate the payments space? Only time will tell.
“Danone, one of the world’s leading agro-food groups, published its results for 2020 this morning. Turnover was down 1.4%, weighed down by the 15% decline in its “Waters” division and current net income fell 13% to 2.19 billion euros.
These figures, in decline but in line with expectations, have eclipsed the dissensions that reign between shareholders and the management of the group. In fact, last week, the American management company Artisan Partners, which owns 3% of Danone, announced that it wanted a strategic reorientation and separated the functions of chairman and managing director, demanding the departure of current CEO Emmanuel Faber. The latter said this morning that he would make “no comment on the governance of the group today”.
In its change of strategy, Artisan Partners wants Danone to sell 30% of the “Waters” and “Dairy products” divisions. According to the US shareholder, medical nutrition and infant nutrition are two separate businesses.
Danone for its part specified that an investor day would be held on March 25 to unveil “its medium-term acceleration plans” as part of its reorganisation plan.
On the stock market, investors still trust Danone, which rose 5% this morning at the opening. Since the start of the year, the title has outperformed its great rival world number 1 Neslté, who is down -5%.”
“Bitcoin reaching a $1trillion market cap is momentous for the industry. Despite being criticised only this week as a bubble waiting to burst and an “economic sideshow”, it has yet again proved its detractors wrong and broken another record. Of course, it can be volatile, but achieving such a large market cap is not to be sniffed at. Today’s milestone demonstrates bitcoin’s growing power as it looks to disrupt the traditional financial landscape.
“It must be said that last week saw a real turning point for the cryptoasset – with the likes of Tesla, Mastercard and BNY Mellon lending their support – and that confidence is continuing to buoy the market. For investors, it’s an exciting time, especially for long-term speculators who will have seen a 60% surge just this month.
“There are warning signs that there may be a market correction on the horizon, but in the meantime, there seems to be no stopping bitcoin’s upwards trajectory.”
“Investors will be heartened to see that Barclays and now NatWest have decided to restart payments to shareholders, and we believe it’s very likely both HSBC and Lloyds will follow suit when they report next week.
“Dividends aside, NatWest’s balance sheet is showing obvious signs of strain from coronavirus, having dished out 258,000 mortgage repayment holidays to customers last year.
“Margins have been squeezed to uncomfortably low levels and, like Barclays, NatWest has set aside billions in extra capital to cover a potential spike in bad loans as a result of the pandemic.
“The return of bank dividends is welcome, but it should not be taken as a sign of health in the wider banking sector. Banks are facing some serious headwinds and it could be some time before these ease.”
“Two of the main French telecom companies, Bouygues and Orange, published their quarterly results this morning.
With the announcement of these results, Bouygues also took the opportunity to announce that the functions of CEO and Chairman will now be separated.
While Martin Bouygues had been the group’s CEO for over 30 years, he will now be replaced by Olivier Roussat, who previously held the positions of Deputy CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bouygues Telecom and Colas!
Regarding the annual results, the two companies were also impacted by the health crisis. First of all, Bouygues achieved a net profit of 696 million euros, down more than 40% in 2020! Turnover fell 9% to 34.7 billion euros, while its current operating income fell to 1.22 billion euros against 1.67 billion a year earlier.
The group operating in the construction industry, the media (TF1) and telecoms now expects a more significant recovery in its activity in 2021 and a turnover and results “much higher than those of 2020, without however reaching the level of 2019 “.
Orange, for its part, did not surprise either, and the company’s 2020 results are approaching the targets the company revised last July.
The company has also announced the launch of TowerCo, a structure dedicated to its mobile infrastructure.
This decision therefore follows a difficult year for the operator, which was notably impacted by the health crisis and competition on the European market.
Organic cash flow from telecoms activities therefore amounts to 2.5 billion euros for Orange and exceeds largely the objectives announced for 2020!
Orange Group sales amounted to € 42.3 billion in 2020, up + 0.3% year-on-year on a comparable basis. As of December 31, 2020, the company had 11.06 million customers across the Group, up 2.7% year-on-year and mobile services had 214.1 million accesses, up + 3.3 % over one year, including 77.4 million packages!
The two companies also announced the distribution of a dividend for the fiscal year 2020. For its part, Bouygues has announced that it will distribute its annual dividend at 1.7 euros, while Orange will propose a 2020 dividend of 0.70 euros per share, i.e. more than € 0.20 than was expected following the favourable decision of the Council of State on the subject of an old tax dispute.
And while the situation is unlikely to return to normal right away, both companies have nevertheless forecast better results in 2021.”
“For every positive in Barclays’ full-year results, investors will be able to find something that makes their hair stand on end.
“Starting with the positives, it is an incredibly welcome sight to see that Barclays has resumed its dividend payment, which is in itself a sign that it is confident in its outlook.
“Secondly, the strong performance of the bank’s corporate and investment arm meant that it was able to remain profitable throughout the pandemic, something that few firms are able to say.
“However, there are some worrying signs in Barclays’ retail arm, which has been battered by lower margins and the fact that people have been taking on less credit and paying down debts during coronavirus.
“The deteriorating economic situation also forced Barclays to increase the amount of cash it sets aside for bad lending by more than 150% to £4.8bn, which could be a canary in the coalmine for something serious coming down the line.
“If the economy falters again then bad debts could become a problem not just for Barclays but the UK banking sector as a whole.”
The health crisis had a very negative impact on the results of the luxury group Kering, its revenues and net profit being down by 17.5% and 6.9% respectively in 2020.
There are many explanations, first of all, the group was severely penalized by the closures of stores around the world in the first half of the year. In addition, its main driver of growth, the Gucci brand, which represents 60% of the group’s turnover, saw its sales fall by 21% in 2020 to 7.44 billion euros. Yves Saint Laurent sales, for their part, fell 13.8%.
However, the good news came from its third flagship brand, Bottega Veneta, whose activity grew by 5% due to the rebound in sales in the Asia-Pacific zone in the second half of the year. This increase is mainly due to the strong growth in sales to distributors, which increased by half over one year in 2020.
The management is not however alarmist on the future of the conglomerate with the fifteen luxury brands, the dynamics in China as well as in the United States remain “encouraging”, even if the situation is more difficult in Europe where many health restrictions remain in place.
Kering’s board of directors will distribute a dividend of 8 euros for fiscal year 2020, stable compared to 2019.
In contrast to the stock market, investors did not appreciate this morning’s publication, the stock was sanctioned with a fall of -7% at the opening. It largely underperforms its sector with a drop of -11.5% since the start of the year when its great rival LVMH has grown by + 5.6%.
Shopify has reaped the benefits of the online shopping revolution, resulting from people being stuck at home during the global pandemic. The global eCommerce platform allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products.
The company’s share price has risen more than 180 per cent in the last year, with sales soaring as retailers and merchants convert their traditional bricks and mortar presence into eCommerce stores.
On Wednesday before the US market opens, Shopify will announce its Q4 earnings report with analysts anticipating revenues of over $906 million, up 79 per cent from Q3 and earnings per share of $1.21. Shopify has crushed expectations on its previous four earnings reports. Wall Street analysts have set the bar high for the company’s upcoming report.
Earlier this month, Shopify announced its ‘Shop Pay’ service will integrate with Facebook and Instagram. The service allows users to checkout 60 per cent faster than usual via a mobile device. The ‘Shop Pay’ service and other merchant tools – like buy now pay later options for some sellers – are set to provide a huge revenue boost for Shopify.
However, there are some doubts about Shopify’s reliance on its relationship with Facebook. If the social networking giant continues to come under fire for its data usage, its advert targeting could be restricted. This could adversely affect small businesses that will be using Shopify’s products, which in turn could impact the payment company’s revenues because its model is based on the number of transactions processed.
With a significant share price jump in the last year, Shopify is trading at all-time highs of $1,445. It’s price to earnings ratio of 927 is one of the highest in the US market right now. The high valuation of Shopify’s shares may put off potential investors, therefore dampening sentiment for the short term.
Once lockdown restrictions are lifted globally and physical brick and mortar stores reopen, investors will want some reassurance over Shopify’s growth potential. Shopify may have had a stellar 2020, but will they be able to retain sales and sustain growth over the long-term?
While coronavirus has squeezed margins, British American Tobacco put in a relatively resilient showing last year.
“From a returns perspective, shareholders will be concerned that BAT predicts a 3% decline in the tobacco market next year, but it is switching customers over to non-combustibles at an impressive rate. Last year it switched over 3.5 million, a giant leap towards its aim of 50 million by 2050.
“Despite the pandemic, it was able to achieve double-digit profit growth, chip away at its sizeable debt and increase its dividend – no mean feat given the current environment.”
“Bitcoin’s incredible rise this year shows no sign of abating. This latest landmark shows how it now has to be considered a mainstream investment asset.
“The fact that major multi-national corporations, from BNY Mellon to Mastercard, are queuing up to lend support to bitcoin demonstrates the clout it now holds. Its buying power is only going to become greater as more big names jump on board.
“Ultimately, bitcoin is disrupting the status quo, and capitalising on the waning power of the dollar. As retail investors look to hedge against inflation, and institutions look for avenues to help drive growth, there’s no reason why $70,000 can’t soon be the new normal. Although, realistically, the cryptoasset could aim higher based on its impressive 2021 performance thus far.”
“BHP had an incredibly strong second half to 2020 and is symptomatic of a sector in the ascendency.
“Miners such as BHP have been boosted by incredible demand from China for iron ore, the key component in making steel, which has sent the price of the commodity soaring by more than 85% in the past year.
“That has caused BHP’s profits to jump and allowed it to pay out a record dividend at a time when investors are crying out for good income-paying stocks.
“For a long time, miners have gone unloved by many investors. However, we believe that will change as developed economies emerge from their coronavirus-induced economic hibernation and direct capital towards infrastructure projects and growth creation.”
Palantir Technologies, a company that has been particularly popular amongst many eToro retail investors globally since its IPO in September 2020, has seen its share price climb more than 200 per cent in the last four months.
Analysts have high expectations for the American software company’s upcoming earnings report, which is released tonight before markets open in the US. Palantir Technologies provided revenue guidance at $300 million for Q4 from its Q3 earnings, and analysts expect around $302 million in revenue.
Since the start of December 2020, Palantir Technologies has continued to accelerate its strong customer acquisition, signing a number of deals including the US FDA, this will add up to in excess of $200 million in revenue.
Palantir Technologies’ recent Demo Day in January 2021 was a roaring success, impressing analysts and industry experts across the board. The day provided an insight into the platform, what it can offer to large businesses, as well as its longevity. Shortly after, Palantir Technologies also announced its partnership with IBM to deliver AI to businesses.
A strong earnings report from Palantir Technologies will provide a bullish sentiment for investors moving forward, especially as the company continues to mature in the market. However, that being said, the company has only released one earnings report as a publicly listed company, therefore providing little insight into what to expect from its Q4 earnings.
The share price of Palantir Technologies has soared after the recent string of revenue announcements, which could mean that if the company beats analysts expectations we may potentially see little to no price action. Palantir Technologies has had a strong start as a publicly listed company, but can it maintain this momentum?
The gambling operator, la Française des Jeux (FDJ), listed on the stock market in November 2019, recorded a 6% increase in its net profit in 2020 to 214 million euros, despite a slight drop in its revenues to 1.92 billion.
This profit increase was made possible by several factors, first of all its Loto and Euromillions draw games confirmed their popularity, with a growth in stakes of 6%, to 3.2 billion euros, which shows that despite the crisis, the French continued to play.
In addition, for the first time, Internet stakes for lottery games exceeded the billion euros mark, to 1.1 billion, up 60%. In addition, the charges related to its privatization in 2019 positively affected the balance sheet in 2020.
The group says it is “confident in its ability to combine medium-term growth and a high level of profitability”. The strategy, which consists of always being more “omnichannel” is bearing fruit, by focusing both on its tobacconist network, digital, but also services for individuals,
The Board of Directors has decided to increase its dividend quite significantly, from 0.45 euro to 0.90 euro per share, which corresponds to a distribution of 80% of net income, more to investors. The dividend yield is thus 2.4%
On the stock market, investors appreciated the results unveiled by the FDJ, because the stock took 8% at the time of the announcement and posted a record at 40.51 €, it then declined to finish up by 3.24 %. Since its IPO, FDJ shares have risen by 97%!
After its IPO on the Nasdaq last Thursday, Bumble’s shares have soared, trading at over $75 compared to its original price of $43. We have seen numerous large gains from IPOs recently, with share prices from companies such as Airbnb and DoorDash rising after public listings in December 2020. These brands are familiar among retail investors and we know there is an appetite for them amongst investors on eToro.
The global pandemic has allowed Bumble to increase its user base to 100 million in 2020 from 75 million in 2019. Bumble has the opportunity to continue growing as it expands the brand across the world. Revenues are increasing, with each user spending more in 2020 than they did in 2019. This will need to continue, if Bumble wishes to compete with Match Group and narrow the market share, which is currently 40 per cent to 19 per cent respectively.
Bumble has generated huge interest in 2020, with growth in social dating raising its profile globally. However, Bumble may find it tough to maintain the same growth it experienced last year, as the demand for social activities increases, after world-wide lockdown restrictions lift. Such activities may lead to less reliance on social apps over the next few years.
“The cryptoasset world is bursting into the realms of traditional finance at a staggering pace. Major payments provider Mastercard announced it will support digital assets directly via its own network, signaling yet another major milestone for the industry.
“Mastercard is the operator of the second-largest network of credit cards in the world, and for a business of that size to be making this decision shows the long-term trend for cryptoasset adoption.
“While we may see short-term upside in the price of bitcoin and other cryptoassets as a result of this, Mastercard’s announcement – coming so soon after Tesla’s own comments earlier this week – has real long-term implications for bitcoin and its peers.
“Bitcoin and its peers are, quite simply, going to be part of the mainstream financial universe sooner rather than later. I expect demand to surge and see bitcoin prices hitting at least $70,000 by the end of this year.”
“AstraZeneca has become one of the main drivers of growth in the pharmaceutical market in recent years and the pandemic hasn’t changed that.
“Strong product sales and a decent looking pipeline should see the drugs giant to double-digit revenue growth for the coming financial year as predic “However, perhaps to the disappointment of shareholders, there was precious little in Astra’s results about the thing they wanted to hear most about: its Covid-19 vaccine.
“Astra has pledged not to profit on the vaccine ‘during the pandemic’, meaning it will provide it on a cost basis as long as the pandemic lasts.
“The drugs giant has told investors they will have to wait until next quarter until it starts reporting sales figures for the vaccine and, even then, we may not see a major impact on revenue.”
The year 2020 was marked by the Covid 19 pandemic!
But while some industries such as tourism and aviation have experienced enormous difficulties, others such as teleworking and video games have greatly benefited from measures put in place by governments around the world.
Lockdown has played an important role in the development of video games in recent months.
With people cut off from social interactions, video games have allowed millions of players to meet each other virtually.
This trend has therefore benefited all video game publishers like Activision, which largely exceeded analysts’ expectations and announced 3.05 billion in revenues (up 24% compared to last year), in particular thanks to the success of the Call of Duty franchise which gathered 128 million monthly active users.
For its part, the Nintendo company also published record financial earnings last week, notably thanks to the success of Animal Crossing: NewHorizons, of which 19.41 million units were sold, far ahead of their second game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, of which 8 , 64 million units were sold.
The popularity of Animal Crossing also helped sales of the Nintendo Switch, which was also one of the best-selling game consoles this year with 17.74million units.
The shortage of new generation consoles, the lockdown and the success of the various Nintendo licenses have therefore been beneficial to the company this year, and this should continue in 2021.
Speaking of Switch, Ubisoft has also benefited from the success of this console and we are learning in the results published today that Ubisoft is the best third-party publisher in 2020 on this console, notably thanks to the game Just Dance 2020.
Several games have therefore contributed to the success of Ubisoft this year, and in particular the game Assassin’s Creed Valhall, which was the revenue record for franchise and enabled the company to exceed analysts’ expectations and achieve € 1 billion in net bookings, i.e. an increase of 120% compared to the same period last year, which represents far the best quarter in Ubisoft history.
Ubisoft has also announced a few days ago its collaboration with Lucasfilm Games to develop a new story-driven open-world video game set in the Star Wars galaxy, which appears to be a hotly anticipated item by analysts and could greatly benefit the company after the launch.
During their earning, video game companies have therefore all reaffirmed their ambition for the year 2021 and according to them, they fully intend to continue this momentum which could prove to be an interesting opportunity for investors.
Air Liquide, world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health, has just released solid results for 2020. The group, present in 78 countries, increased its net income (+ 4.4%) , maintained its turnover (-1.3%), and significantly increased its operating margin (+ 18.5%).
Sales in the “Gas & Services” division, or 96% of turnover, showed good resistance, as did “Global Markets & Technologies” which remained on a good trend.
Regarding geographic areas, the situations are contrasted with, in particular, good performance in Europe, driven by the “Healthcare” division, and robust performance in China, the countries of Eastern Europe and Latin America.
The energy transition is also becoming an important growth driver in the context of global recovery plans. The group’s investment opportunities are numerous, half of the projects being linked to the fight against climate change, and the use of hydrogen
The board of directors raised the dividend by 5 cents to € 2.75, ie a yield of 2%. On the stock market, the stock is one of the defensive stocks that are experiencing low volatility, the stock rose 1% in 2020, and this morning, when the results were announced, the performance was flat (-0.07%).
“Uber’s decision to diversify into food delivery in 2015 has made the firm much more resilient than it would have otherwise been during the pandemic. “Coronavirus has caused Uber’s ride-hailing revenues to fall off a cliff, but this has been offset to some extent by strong growth in its Uber Eats division. For example, in the third quarter food delivery revenue was up 125% year-on-year, compared with a 53% drop in so-called ‘mobility revenue’.
“The diversity of Uber’s business model has given investors comfort during the darkest days of the pandemic and helps explain why the firm’s shares are up an astonishing 302% since the great market sell-off in March. “We expect both Uber’s ride-hailing and wider group revenues to be subdued for much of this year, or at least until restrictions are lifted in the majority of its key markets. But we also expect more growth in the firm’s food delivery division, which has momentum on its side.
“Uber’s strong share price growth shows that investors see it as a good long-term prospect, regardless of the fact revenues are down quite heavily compared with pre-Covid. That tells us we can probably expect to see even greater investor interest once the worst of Covid has passed and it is able to kick up a gear.”
“Yesterday’s move by Tesla to invest in bitcoin and start accepting it as payment for its own products really moved the needle. Already there is talk of copycat moves from Apple and Google, linking it to their own payment systems.
“The shift to digital consumption is growing. We expect to see others follow in Tesla’s footsteps, with bitcoin payments increasingly making sense for businesses that conduct nearly all their sales online.
“The dramatic price move aside, this has far-reaching implications for companies. If corporates the size of Tesla, valued at nearly $1trn, believe bitcoin can be used in this way, and are willing to back its views with action, then others will undoubtedly start to consider it. Tesla has diversified its own business by investing in bitcoin on a grand scale. We believe other companies will also look to hold some bitcoin as both a diversifier, and as an insurance policy against the devaluation of other currencies.”
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “There aren’t many firms that are 20 years old and are still considered in growth mode, but Ocado is certainly one of those.
“The online supermarket is investing large sums of money to fuel its rapid ascent and to take advantage of the huge upswing in online grocery sales during the pandemic.
“That’s why its revenue is skyrocketing but, perhaps to the disappointment of some shareholders, it has made yet another loss.
“Remember, Ocado was founded at a time when ordering your groceries over the internet was very niche and so progress has been relatively slow and steady until the past few years.
“But the pandemic has turbocharged the shift to online and now ordering their weekly shop online has become a normal part of everyday life for a lot of people.
“If this trend endures after the pandemic has passed, Ocado could well deliver on its vast potential and become a rare British tech success story to rival the US.”
The number 1 French healthcare company, Sanofi, has just published its annual results this morning, they came out satisfactory. Net profit rose 4.2% to 7.35 billion euros, slightly above the consensus (7.28 billion).
These good results were made possible by the good sales performance of its asthma medication, Dupixent.
Regarding the global race for vaccines against Covid-19, Sanofi has been left behind by its American (Pfizer, Moderna) and British (AstraZeneca) counterparts. Recently, the results of an interim study on the vaccine developed with the English GlaxoSmithKline showed an insufficient immune response in the elderly.
Faced with the health emergency and production problems encountered by its competitors, Sanofi has entered into an agreement with BioNTech to help the German company accelerate the manufacture of the vaccine.
In terms of outlook, the pharmaceutical group still forecasts an operating margin rate of 30% by 2022 and over 32% in 2025. It is now around 27%
On the stock market, the Sanofi share has underperformed the CAC 40 for a year, –10% against -4% for the French index. The price nevertheless reacted positively this morning to the announcement of the results, up 3%.
Simon Peters, cryptoasset analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “It’s been a record-breaking week for Ethereum, and this new high today at nearly $1,700 shows just how solid the demand is for the cryptoasset.
“With more and more investors entering the market, the fundamentals supporting ethereum, and indeed bitcoin which is also back near record highs, are solid. We therefore expect ethereum to cross through the $2,000 mark in short order before reaching $2,500 by the end of the year.
“Ethereum is in such high demand because the asset is undergoing changes to make it even more decentralised, and even more secure, and this is attracting buyers from both the institutional and retail world. While it has been volatile so far in 2021, it is nonetheless seeing higher highs, as well as higher lows, and we expect it will continue to prove the doubters wrong.”
World leader in product lifecycle management software, Dassault Systèmes, has done better than weather the health crisis; the group has just published this morning a turnover up 11% to 4.45 billion euros, in 2020 and a net profit which remains solid at 491 million euros despite a decrease of 20%. Its operating margin remains impressive at 36% (+ 2.3%)
According to Pascal Daloz, Managing Director, Dassault’s results demonstrate “the extreme resilience of our economic model”, because the group has retained all of its employees, increased its research and development spending, and has not requested government aid.
The software leader has particularly benefited from the explosion of its revenues in the healthcare sector, which tripled to 797 million euros, mainly thanks to the subsidiary Medidata acquired in 2019.
Almost all of the vaccine producers (Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca) have used solutions from Dassault Syst. to develop their different vaccines.
In total, Dassault Systèmes software is present in “more than 500 developments of vaccines or therapies linked to Covid 19 at the moment”, specified Pascal Daloz
In addition, the group has raised its forecasts of net earnings per share (EPS) from 4.10 to 4.15 euros, i.e. growth of between 8% and 10%.
On the stock market, the stock reached a new all-time high this morning on the announcement of its results, it is already up 8.4% since the start of the year!
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “Once again, Unilever’s results are patchy, although the fact it managed to grow sales will be welcomed by shareholders.
“Aside from anything else, it shows demand for many of its products, such as its Domestos cleaning range and Dove soaps, has held up during the pandemic.
“That’s a very positive sign, of course, although a big chunk of those sales will have been positively influenced by lockdown, which we know resulted in bigger-than-normal spending on groceries, and home and personal essentials. Unilever’s job now will be to maintain that demand as we exit lockdown and coronavirus is defeated.
“It’s healthy cash flow situation demonstrates its resilience, but investors will probably be disappointed overall with this latest update, particularly that it has been unable to grow operating profit.
“However, these are exceptional times, of course, and therefore certain allowances should be given as firms try to tackle the ongoing crisis.”
“Depending on which way you look at it, Vodafone’s third quarter demonstrates resilience or is slightly disappointing.
“On the one hand, customer numbers grew across the board and the telecoms group delivered another quarter of record data traffic.
“However, on the other, it failed to turn those customers into additional revenue, which was down 4.7% year-on-year across the entire group.
“But investors should not base their decision to invest on one quarter’s earnings and instead focus on whether Vodafone looks a good long-term prospect.
“Looking further ahead, Vodafone has maintained its full-year earnings and cash-flow guidance, despite the dip in revenue, which is a positive.”
Created in 1994 by Henri Seydoux, the French company Parrot is today the European leader in the drone industry.
But with competition from Chinese companies like DJI and the massive arrival of other inexpensive Asian brands, the company has been going through tough times for the past few years.
After good performance, the company had exceeded 40 € in September 2015 and then fell back to less than 2 € per share!
It was at this point that the company decided to take a major strategic turn, now focusing on B2B sales primarily.
A movement that is starting to be rather well received by investors.
Thus, the company is recovering on the stock market and is up 117% over 1 year, with the share now rising above € 7.
Much hope therefore rests on the success of its new range of Anafi drones, very powerful drones designed for professionals such as first aid teams, firefighters or the military! By the way, this is one of the areas in which the Parrot company has already succeeded in convincing major allies.
After being selected by the US Defense Innovation Unit as one of the major suppliers of drones to the US Army in August, Parrot announced last month that it had been chosen by the Directorate General of Armaments to supply 300 ANAFI USA micro-drones for a period of 5 years to equip the three corps of the French army (Air, Sea and Earth), as part of its call for tenders launched last February.
These latest news seem to be a good sign for investors, states seem to have understood the importance of new technologies in surveillance and weaponry in the future.
We will now have to wait for the announcement of the results, which will take place on Friday, March 19, to know if this strategic move to focus on B2B customers, started by the company for 2 years now, begins to bear fruit on the company’s results!
As a reminder, in the third quarter of 2020, the company achieved revenues of only 14.3 million euros, down 20% compared to the previous year.
Ethereum has hit a new record high today as the fundamentals reassert themselves. It now finds itself in the spotlight after data showed withdrawals of ethereum from exchanges is once again accelerating.
“There are a few potential drivers for this dwindling supply. Firstly, investors may be continuing to lock away tokens into the deposit contract to receive staking rewards for Ethereum 2.0. Secondly, ethereum is increasingly being locked away in DeFi (Decentralised Finance) protocols, whilst investors are also moving ethereum to their own personal cold storage to hold for the long-term.
“Either way, it’s clear from the price that this diminishing supply is feeding through quickly to prices.
“With institutions expected to add further to their positions, we expect the price of ethereum to push higher from here.
“Nothing goes up in a straight line of course, and there will be further volatility, but this demand-led run higher looks more than sustainable.
“The past year has been bleak for oil and gas producers, one that has cost thousands of jobs and billions in profits.
“Coronavirus has caused demand for fossil fuels to fall off a cliff which, combined with perpetually low oil prices, has acted as a double body blow to the industry. This combination caused BP to swing from a $10bn net profit in 2019 to a huge $5.7bn loss in 2020.
“The problem for oil exploration firms is that demand for their product is unlikely to return for some time: many airlines are operating at less than a fifth of capacity and people are still driving less because of lockdown.
“Of course, demand will return eventually, but things look fairly grim for the industry until that happens. Long-term, BP’s shift to green energy will benefit it, but it won’t help its bottom line much this year.”
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “Broadly speaking, H&M is in much better shape than many of its rivals in the retail sector.
“Considering at one point 80% of its 5,000 stores were closed and fashion spending dived last year as a result of lockdowns, the fact H&M is profitable and has limited the sales slide to 18% is a relatively good performance.
“The fast-fashion firm is also sitting on about £1.4bn of cash, an indicator of the strength of its balance sheet, which has been bolstered by cost-cutting earlier in the pandemic.
“H&M is looking remarkably resilient given the circumstances and has demonstrated it can ride out the new wave of lockdowns introduced across Europe.”
Apple is indeed the largest global company at all levels, it has just (re) demonstrated it yesterday during the publication of results for the 1st quarter of its staggered 2020-2021 fiscal year. It is the first time in the history of capitalism, a company reveals a quarterly turnover higher than 100 billion dollars, it reached 111.4 billion dollars during the period (+ 21%), this is 2.5 times higher than LVMH’s annual turnover!
Profit is also astronomical, $ 28.7 billion, up 29% from Q1 2019-2020.
The main explanation comes from iPhone sales, which jumped 17% over the period, bringing in 65 billion to Apple driven by China where 2 of the 3 best-selling smartphones are iPhones. The Californian firm had an exceptional quarter in almost every product category. including the iPad, whose sales climbed + 41% to $ 8.4 billion and various accessories such as the Apple Watch or AirPods wireless headphones (+ 30%, to $ 13 billion).
The period was also rich in novelties with the new iPad Air, the Apple Watch Series 6, the AirPods Max headset, Fitness + and the Apple One bundle.
But these devices and services have never been more valuable than in these days of widespread teleworking. Apple confirms today that it is profiting rather than suffering from this situation.
Finally, the stock has soared 82% on the stock market in 2020, and 2021 is starting on the hats of wheels with an increase of 7.06% and an all-time high of $ 145 on January 25.
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “2020 was exceptionally bleak for the airline industry and so far 2021 looks no different.
“The introduction of tough new travel restrictions means passenger numbers – already running at around a tenth of usual capacity – look set to remain low for some time.
“easyJet has traditionally had one of the stronger balance sheets, but it too has had to slash costs and take on new debt to get through this crisis.
“In fact, its cost base is now 59% lower than it was this time last year, with outgoings of roughly £40 million a week in a fully grounded scenario.
“Over the medium-to-long-term this radical cost-cutting could lead to bigger profits. However, easyJet must not impair its ability to ramp up activity again once coronavirus has passed and demand for air travel recovers.”
Tesla had its most successful year last year in the face of the most severe downturn in history.
“From being dismissed as a passing fad just a few years ago, Tesla became the world’s most valuable car maker last year, dwarfing the share price return of its traditional rivals.
“The reason its share price is up nearly 700% in the past year and why it was the second most popular stock on the eToro platform last year is quite simply because investors believe Tesla is the future.
“While other manufacturers are making electric cars, they don’t have anywhere near the technology that Tesla does and therefore Elon Musk’s firm has built up a position of dominance.
“We polled our investors at the end of last year and 78% of them said they would be investing in Tesla in 2021. If those findings are replicated, then it’s likely at least from a retail investor point of view, we could see Tesla’s shares continue on their upward trajectory.”
Simon Peters, cryptoasset analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “The world’s second largest cryptoasset, ethereum, has hit another all-time high.
2021 is shaping up to be a major year for crypto. Ethereum touched $1,467 – almost double its price on the 1st of January.
The reasons for the rise are many.
Firstly, the Ethereum platform is seeing increased usage as developers look to build decentralised applications (DApps) on the technology.
Secondly, investors are continuing to ‘stake’ ethereum tokens, meaning their tokens are locked away for a set period of time in the platform, helping to make the technology more decentralised and therefore more secure.
Thirdly, institutional investors are increasingly interested in crypto as an asset class, and ethereum is set to benefit from this new interest.
Ethereum’s current rise cold shoulders the sceptics, many of whom were quick to denounce crypto when bitcoin recently fell from its $40,000 high. With a whole range of logistical improvements to the Ethereum network in the works, increased institutional inflows, and more and more developers building on the platform, the future is bright for ethereum.
I believe that a price of $2,500 by the end of the year is very feasible. As with all crypto, however, there will be bumps along the way.”
Bitcoin, having already hit an all-time high of $41,000 earlier this month, is falling at a steady but noticeable rate but I don’t think investors should be worried.
This price movement is a perfectly natural correction, one which happens in all assets once the market has perceived them to be a little overbought. And although the price is dropping, sitting at just over $31,000 at the time of writing, the demand for bitcoin is not.
Appetite among institutional investors is still growing with the likes of investment trust Grayscale buying $600m of the cryptoasset in a single day this week and BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, announced two of its funds will trade in bitcoin derivatives in the future.
The continued fear of a weakening dollar continues to benefit the price of bitcoin as well, with investors looking to scarce assets to use as a hedge against rising inflation. The Biden administration will still use stimulus to prop up the US economy, and this stimulus has had a detrimental effect on the dollar, which fell 6.3% in 2020, with further declines expected in 2021.
In my view, the current price drop will be temporary as many investors will see the $28,000-$30,000 price range as a relatively cheap entry point for bitcoin.
A move to $28,000 could be on the cards, but I don’t believe it would last for long. The cat is out of the bag with bitcoin.
“Burberry’s sales may have fallen 9% in the third quarter, but there are signs a turnaround is underway.
“The luxury goods manufacturer struggled early on in the pandemic because of the slowdown in Asia.
“But strong recent economic growth in the region means it is also likely to be one of the British firms to bounce back from this crisis.
“How it and the demand for luxury clothing fares longer term will depend on how much damage this pandemic has caused to the global economy.
“But it’s bullish and investors are latching onto that this morning, with its shares already up more than 3%.”
“It’s probably fair to say that over the past decade, Kier Group has been one of the UK’s least loved stocks.
“Since peaking 13 years ago, the construction group’s shares have slumped more than 95% as it lurched from one crisis to the next and even lost its spot in the prestigious FTSE 250.
“However, the board have been trimming fat, both through asset sales and cost-cutting, over the past few years, which is showing signs of paying off.
“Kier slightly outperformed the board’s expectations in the first half of the year, a welcome surprise during a tough period for the construction industry.
“There is plenty left to go in Kier’s recovery, but for the first time in a while there seems to be some positive news for shareholders.”
“Lockdown has led to an intense streaming war between Netflix, Disney and Amazon but also new players such as Starz and Apple TV.
“That means it will be increasingly difficult to gain new subscribers, which has perhaps been the most powerful determinant of Netflix’s share price movements in the past few years.
“However, one advantage Netflix has over its rivals is the strength of back catalogue and its original programming. None of its competitors have strong enough rosters to bump Netflix off the top spot in the streaming world, although I’m sure Disney will have something to say about that.
“Unless that changes, Netflix will remain the service that all of the others want to beat. Although to keep the subscriber numbers ticking up, it needs to keep producing the goods when it comes to programming.”
“The US earnings season kicked off on the right foot for financials. Blackrock was the first and only asset manager: the company is sort of “investor’s sentiment” stock, with reference to general market appetite. Asset under management grew above analyst’s estimates, thanks to market performance and new assets inflows, showing how yield-oriented both retail and institutional investors are now. Both active and passive (ETF’s) products registered strong growth.
Among commercial banks (JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) JP Morgan was the clear winner, showing organic growth not only in terms of earnings but also from the revenues perspective, thanks to strong performances in its trading and investment banking business. From the earnings perspective, all banks beat analyst estimates, mainly because of better than expected credit reserves release. As expected, the new regulation on loan-loss provisions is bringing more volatility to banks earnings. During the first wave of the pandemic, banks had to put more cash aside for expected loan loss and now, in the anticipation of an economic recovery, they can release the reserves back to the income statement.
Overall, banks with a more resilient, diversified and flexible business model will be the winners in this pandemic driven recession.”
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “It’s a strange time for supermarkets such as Tesco. Sales have boomed during coronavirus but so too have costs.
“The problem for supermarkets is that making stores safe for customers, dealing with disruption in supply chains and losing productivity through staff illness – all from coronavirus – hit the bottom line hard.
“Tesco estimates that its costs could rise by more than £810m this year purely as a result of the pandemic. Much of that has been offset by exceptionally strong sales, but it disproves the myth that supermarkets have been coasting through this crisis.
“Let there be no doubt though, while the extra costs act as a drag, supermarkets are in a much stronger position that many other firms at the moment and Tesco’s Q3 sales figures are impressive, with the exception of its banking division.
“Now the UK is back in lockdown and non-essential shops are shut, investors should expect another round of bumper sales for UK supermarkets over the next quarter – accompanied with elevated costs, of course.”
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “Coronavirus has resulted in perhaps the biggest shift towards online shopping since the dawn of the internet.
“The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have meant that for much of the past year shoppers could not pop to their local High Street to buy clothes and other accessories.
“Therefore, it is brands with strong online presences, such as ASOS, that have cleaned up. To report a 36% increase in sales during a pandemic that has brought many parts of the global economy to a grinding halt is nothing short of spectacular.
“However, what we don’t know is whether Covid-19 has permanently altered consumer behaviour and whether the customers ASOS has picked up during the pandemic will remain loyal once restrictions have been lifted.
“Personally, I think there will be some people who will prefer to shop on the High Street again once the pandemic has passed, but for me this shift towards online will be permanent. If that proves right, investors can expect a bright future from companies such as ASOS.”
“Despite yesterday’s short-term market correction, bitcoin remains in a healthy place, hovering around the $35,000 level.
“Many detractors were quick to believe the bitcoin bubble had popped, as the price seemed destined to fall below $30,000 but this failed to materialise. As a result, enthusiasts declared victory, arguing that $30,000 is a new bottom for the cryptoasset.
“In my view, it is too early to say. Although we remain in a price range we haven’t seen before, some of the rises and falls we’re seeing in this current crypto bull market were also present in the 2017 bull market.
“From a long-term perspective, the outlook for bitcoin remains positive. It is likely that the most bullish large scale investors have been using the recent price dip as an opportunity to add to their balance sheets at a (relatively) cheap price and retail investor sentiment continues to remain positive.”
“Marks & Spencer’s latest trading update is a disappointing one for investors, capping off a pretty miserable 2020 for the iconic retailer which reported its first-ever loss as a publicly listed firm.
“The 8.3% drop in sales in the third quarter coincided with the second lockdown in England, when High Street footfall slowed significantly. However, there was an encouraging rise in online clothing sales, which helped to partially offset slower activity in-store.
“M&S’s food division remains a bright spot, and its tie-up with Ocado continues to look like a shrewd piece of business, despite some having reservations about the deal when it was first signed.”
“Another day, another dollar record. Bitcoin has hit yet another all-time high of $37,700.
“Demand for alternative assets is surging and institutions around the globe are now looking at bitcoin as both a growth asset and as a way to hedge against the big fear of 2021: inflation.
“The financial largesse we have seen from central banks and governments has eroded the value of traditional assets such as cash and bonds. This shows no sign of abating, so the momentum behind bitcoin is unlikely to drop away any time soon.
“There will be volatility, which is natural after the gains we have seen, but the long-term trend is clear. Crypto is moving into the mainstream, and more and more investors are adding exposure. On 4 January 2021, eToro had 61% more unique bitcoin holders than on the same date in 2020 and 49% more unique Ethereum holders.
“I believe, with this positive momentum, bitcoin is well on track to hit my price target of $70,000-$90,000 by Christmas 2021.”
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “Greggs was on a roll before coronavirus, posting a record year in 2019 as sales soared.
“However, the pandemic has knocked the stuffing out of it and multiple lockdowns have left sales seriously underbaked compared with last year.
“That can be explained in part by its decision to close its bakeries during the first lockdown in March last year but also because deliveries make up such a small part of its business.
“We have seen during this crisis that firms with strong delivery capabilities have weathered this crisis better than others.
“Greggs delivery deal with Just Eat is in its early days but will no doubt help boost sales now that strict coronavirus measures have been introduced across the UK. However, it will be some time before Greggs can boast of record performance again.”
“The supermarket sector has proved to be almost bullet-proof throughout coronavirus, consistently clocking strong sales growth no matter what restrictions are introduced.
“That has been particularly true over Christmas and it seems weary households were determined to indulge over the festive period, despite the bar on family gatherings, to forget what was a pretty dreary 2020.
“As Morrison’s latest trading update shows, sales of Champagne, smoked salmon and mince pies rocketed as the supermarket chalked up 8% sales growth over Christmas, capping off a strong second half of the year for the supermarket.
“Now England is back in national lockdown for at least six weeks, I expect supermarket sales to continue to boom as households treat themselves in the absence of being able to do other things such as going to the pub or take part in leisure activities.
“But there is no guarantee that will translate into higher share prices. In fact, the share prices of each of the three major listed supermarkets – Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – are all lower than they were a year ago.
“That’s because while sales are rising, the pandemic has chipped away at profits due to increased costs in supply chains and making stores safe for customers.”
“Bitcoin’s meteoric rise to $30,000 shows the huge amount of demand there is for the cryptoasset. The reasons for the current surge are multi-faceted.
“Firstly, there continues to be strong large scale investment in bitcoin from institutions.
“Secondly, payment providers such as PayPal and Square are allowing their large userbases to buy and sell in cryptoassets such as bitcoin.
“Thirdly, central banks continue to use economic stimulus to keep their economies afloat in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and some are buying bitcoin as an inflation hedge. This trend has started to accelerate, with the US readying its next round of stimulus cheques.
“Analysts at various investment banks have recently pivoted to a more positive view of bitcoin, and this could have also contributed to the recent rise.
“The price, having hit a new all-time high of $34,800 on Sunday, subsequently dropped to the sub-$30,000. Since then however, retail investors have been buying up bitcoin and driving the price upwards again. I believe we are going to push back towards a new all-time high, but I wouldn’t completely rule out another price drop beforehand. If we do see a dump of bitcoin from larger investors, then we could see the price fall back to the $20,000-23,000 range.”
Prior to the coronavirus, JD Sports was absolutely flying, as its full-year results show.
However, the outbreak has of course meant that footfall is now much lower than it was before as shoppers try to avoid enclosed spaces over fears of contracting the virus.
It’ll be some time before shoppers come out again in the numbers we saw before the pandemic but luckily for JD, it has a strong online presence that has performed well these past few months.
Sales may be affected for a while yet, but JD is likely to come out of this economic crisis better than most.
Before February 2020, the Airbus development cycle was in perpetual expansion; increasing production, order books with a good decade of visibility, increasing delivery rates and above all major problems with its long-standing competitor, Boeing.
However for five months, it is a real cataclysm which strikes the Franco-German aircraft manufacturer, with the plunge of air traffic (-90% during confinement) and the fall of the aeronautical market, the activity of Airbus has collapsed by 40%, and its market capitalization dropped by 52 billion euros.
Despite the 15 billion euros of aid from the French government to the aeronautics sector (including 7 billion for Air France), Airbus announced last week a massive social plan of around 15,000 job cuts, of which 1/3 in France .
For its historic competitor, the American Boeing, the health crisis has accelerated a decline that had already started in March 2019, with the immobilization of the 737 MAX, following two accidents that killed 346 people in the space of five months! The interruption of production of the flagship plane of the time already cost him more than 18 billion dollars!
In addition, Boeing continues to burn cash because the American aircraft manufacturer suspended deliveries but maintained a large part of its production chain, which could represent $ 4 billion in cash in the second quarter.
In addition, one of its biggest customers, the Norwegian Air company has just canceled an order of 92 copies as well as five Dreamliner.
The good news comes from the Export-Import Bank, which takes over financing to Boeing customers and suppliers, and from the Federal Reserve (Fed), which continues to finance its debt.
On the stock market, both titles are in dire straits, Airbus is down -48% and Boeing -43% since the beginning of the year. Given the resurgence of cases of Covid-19 across the Atlantic and a resumption of air traffic which returns to normal not before 2023, the future seems more than uncertain for the two largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.
In June, the well-known ISM purchasing manager index for the US service sector improved significantly. The economy is picking up speed, but the coronavirus epidemic is not yet over, as the high number of new infections in the USA shows.
In June, the American ISM purchasing manager index for the service sector rose sharply to 57.1 points after 45.4 points in the previous month. This is the largest monthly increase since the index was launched in 1997. This not only easily exceeded the expectation of 50 points, the number of points clearly above the 50 point mark also signals growth again. New orders were particularly strong with more than 60 points. 14 of the 18 service sub-indices rose in June. “The easing measures that have been observed since May have a positive effect on the mood in the US economy,” summarizes Dennis Austinat, Germany director of the social trading platform eToro, the development of the important purchasing manager index. “However, investors are worried about a second Covid 19 Wave of infections that could weigh on the US economy again,” Austinat adds. Some US states have already introduced restrictions again.
Purchasing managers more and more optimistic
The mood brightening in the German economy continues. In June the purchasing manager index rose to its highest level in 4 months, however the current index level still signals a shrinking process.
In June, the purchasing manager indices calculated by the research company Markit for the industry and the service sector rose sharply. The mood in the economy has improved significantly after the first easing measures. The overall purchasing manager index rose by 13.5 points to 45.8, only an increase of 44.2 points was expected. The individual indices also jumped up significantly, reaching 44.6 points (industry) and 45.8 points (service). However, this means that all purchasing manager indices are still below the threshold of 50 points, which indicates an expansion of activities. “The latest leading indicators, which also include the Markit purchasing manager indices, show that decision-makers in companies are more optimistic about the economic situation than a few weeks ago,” explains Dennis Austinat, Germany director of the social trading platform eToro.
Taking advantage of containment, the video game industry is one of the few industries to have benefited from this health crisis. And it also benefited local players like Ubisoft.
After reaching a historic high of € 108 in July 2018, the year 2019 had been particularly complicated for Ubisoft, reaching in October 2019 a low of € 40.
But since its lows and after a failed takeover attempt by Vincent Bolloré and Vivendi, the French video game publisher is beginning to regain the interest of investors.
The company has since almost doubled since its lows.
Thanks to several Blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry or Watch Dogs and several innovations in the blockchain industry, the publisher has managed to recover and is up 25% since the start of the year.
In June, the video game company tested the sale of 55 Rabbids collectibles. This took the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain, and the money was donated directly to Unicef as donations. Each with its own properties, the 55 NFT Rabbit tokens are intended to be collected and exchanged in the same way as playing cards. With each new acquisition, the amount of the transaction is donated directly to UNICEF.
For two years now, the company has been deeply involved in blockchain projects. In November, Ubisoft partnered with an Eos sister blockchain (EOS) and became a block producer of the UOS blockchain. Last summer, the firm also launched an initiative to use Ethereum (ETH) and blockchain for in-game purchases. The company also joined the Blockchain Game Alliance network, which brings together video game companies involved in the sector .
In addition, with the launch of the remake of Trackmania, a racing game democratized by the streamer Zerator, and with the arrival of Hyper Space, a Battle Royal that wants to compete with Fortnite, the group could benefit even more from these latest innovations for outperform the CAC 40.
Despite some allegations of sexual harassment taken very seriously by the group, the novelties seem to take over among institutional investors. Thus Blackrock has held since June 24, 5.09% of the capital and 4.63% of the voting rights and JP Morgan meanwhile holds 10.80% of the capital and 9.82% of the voting rights of the publisher of video games.
The action is one of the biggest increases of the SBF 120 during these last two sessions despite a delay on the release of several AAA games and a sharp drop in non-IFRS operating profit which goes from 446 million for the year 2018 to 1,019 against 34.2 million for the year 2019-20. In addition, the current crisis also calls for caution. The transition to homework had short-term repercussions on production.
But with 117 million console and PC players on their games and having their own licenses including 11 games of 6 franchises have sold more than 10 million copies and with the arrival of new generation consoles, the French company now wants to focus on social interactions and should continue to perform well at the moment. The company has also succeeded in dividing its non-IFRS net debt by 3.
The coming months will therefore have to tell us more about the publisher’s ability to keep up with their launch schedule, especially during the Ubisoft Forward conference to be held on July 12!
It is too early to call the unemployment rate to have bottomed out but these job numbers are definitely a good reason for markets to consolidate this rebound from March lows. Despite the uptick in new Covid-19 cases and in hospitalization in the US, average death rates are declining and this is giving investors enough confidence to continue to stay invested in stocks. However, today’s data showed the 15th straight week in which initial claims remained above 1 million (1.43 million). A future claims number below that threshold could be the next turning point for investors in order to more firmly believe in speedy recovery.
Perhaps the eight most important words in Associated British Foods’ (ABF) latest trading update are: ‘Nearly all Primark stores are now trading again’.
The budget fashion brand is so important to ABF that it has become affectionately known as the group’s ‘golden goose’.
The problem was that without an online presence, Primark was the golden goose that stopped laying eggs, which is why the group-wide figures are down so much.
Strip out Primark, however, and ABF’s Grocery, Sugar and Ingredients divisions have actually done reasonably well.
But of course, the news shareholders really wanted was that Primark was nearly back to firing on all cylinders, even if it takes a while for its sales and profits to recover.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had beneficial effects for certain markets, and dramatic for others, the diamond market belongs to the second category.
Given that 90% of diamond sales are made in jewelry stores and other luxury boutiques, the closure of all these businesses during the confinement resulted in a dramatic drop in sales of precious stones.
In 2019, it is a market which represented 12 billion dollars, in 2020, diamond sales should hardly reach 8 billion, according to Moody’s. It is not until 2021 that sales are expected to resume, and perhaps reach the $ 10 billion level again.
In addition, the global supply chain is totally disrupted because India, where more than 80% of rough stones are cut and polished, has massively offloaded its stock of diamonds, due to the lack of appetite of consumers , and as a result the global supply has become overabundant.
Due to this glut, world leaders in diamond mining and production have seen prices fall by almost 5% and their margins have shrunk.
The world number, the Russian Alrosa, which produces a quarter of diamonds in the world, had to drop its production drastically to maintain its prices. But its sales have collapsed by 59% in Q1 2020.
The current number two in the world, the best known historically because being in the extraction of diamonds for more than 100 years, the South African of Beers bought by the British Anglo American since 2011, also knows great difficulties since the beginning of the ‘year. To cut prices and stem the plunge in sales, de Beers launched its brand of synthetic diamonds Lightbox, this market is growing by 20% and provides access to diamonds at much more affordable prices.
In the stock market, mid-size diamond extractors like the British Petra Diamonds are under high pressure, in London the title has fallen by 79% since the start of the year. However mining as Anglo American (Beers) or Rio Tinto, are doing relatively well since the first one down “only” 13% and the second is flat since 1st January 2020.
Sainsbury’s first quarter results show just how much of a competitive advantage supermarkets have had throughout lockdown, with a 10.7% increase in grocery sales and a doubling of digital sales in just one quarter almost unheard of in normal times.
While that has not all necessarily translated into profits, it’s clear the sector is riding the crest of a devastatingly unfortunate Covid-19 wave at the moment.
But this sort of sales growth will almost certainly tail off in the coming weeks as the economy begins to reopen and supermarkets once again have to compete with other sectors for the money in people’s pockets.
“The big question now is whether the supermarkets are ready for that and what they have been doing to prepare for such an event.
In May, retail sales from Germany rose sharply and significantly exceeded analysts’ expectations. The figures thus confirm the recent developments in the ifo business climate index and the GfK consumer climate index, which have also signaled an improvement.
German retail sales increased significantly in May and rose more than in the previous year and the previous month than analysts had expected. The year-on-year increase was 3.8 percent and compared to the previous month of April sales increased by 13.9 percent. Only an increase of 3.9 percent was expected, or a decrease of 3.5 percent in a monthly comparison. “This positive development signals that German retail and the economy as a whole are on a fast path to recovery,” says Dennis Austinat, Germany director of the social trading platform eToro. “The recovery could continue in the second half of 2020,” Austinat adds.
The luxury sector suffered the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis. The closing of stores around the world has halted activity, and the significant drop in sales has been accelerated by the collapse of tourism; tourism being the main lever of the luxury sector.
These arguments have just been taken up during the LVMH Board of Directors meeting that morning. Tourists and in particular Chinese tourists traditionally draw sales from the market, but this clientele, which has been nonexistent for the past three months, is largely responsible for the 17% decline in group sales in the 1 st quarter. Even though LVMH owns 70 brands, Louis Vuiton represents 37% of its turnover, and this was strongly impacted by the closure of stores in Asia but also around the world.
Its direct competitor Kering, which, however, is three times smaller than LVMH, is very dependent on its flagship brand Gucci, representing 60% of total turnover. Gucci suffered severely from the crisis with a 23% drop in sales in the 1 st quarter.
That said, the gradual deconfinement and the reopening of shops should benefit the sector, even if according to some experts, the market should not return to its record level of 2019 (281 billion euros) before 2022 or 2023.
The current crisis will force luxury players to be more creative to meet new demands while adapting to new constraints. LVMH appears to be the best equipped, with significant sector diversification (fashion & leather goods, wines & spirits, cosmetics or even fine jewelry).
The number one share price has dropped “only” by 5% since the start of the year, outperforming Kering, which has fallen by 17%.
From a substantial standpoint, this Fed’s decision has limited price impact on banks, as dividends were minimally preserved and buybacks were off the table anyway. However, it signals some uncertainty for the financial sector. In addition, there is constant political pressure on global listed corporations in order to limit or abandon buyback policies. We have to keep in mind that, since 2009, buybacks became a key source return for investors, even higher than dividends. Just on the S&P500, buybacks totaled 800 billion in 2018. The 2019 was a record year, with more than a trillion buybacks, while dividend remained around 500 billion. Should we see more regulation on this front, this could completely change the payoff structure on equity returns, which we know include dividends, stocks buyback and capital appreciation.
Tesco has achieved fantastic sales growth in the 30 weeks ending 30 May but that has come at a cost.
Ensuring customers can shop in a socially distant way and bolstering support for online so they can buy everything they need has been expensive for Tesco and the supermarket sector as a whole.
While business rates relief has clearly offset some of these additional costs, the reality is many supermarkets have not been cashing in during the coronavirus outbreak like the sales figures might suggest.
That said, if supermarkets can find ways to do this in a more cost efficient manner, then we could see profits soar.
The launch of the FC Barcelona token was a real success. In just 24 hours, the $ BAR Fan Tokens were sold in 106 different countries, collecting 1.3 million Euros in just 2 hours, including € 777K in less than two minutes.
A Fan token is a cryptocurrency built on top of the blockchain in order to allow sportfis clubs to better interact with their community. Often in partnership with Startup blockchain Chiliz, this type of token is issued directly on the Socios.com platform, an application created by Chiliz that allows sports fans to better interact with their favorite club.
In addition to the speculative side specific to cryptocurrencies, having a BAR token will therefore allow Barça supporters to vote in club-specific polls and to win possible rewards such as a meeting with the club’s players, VIP seats and many other gifts. Fans will also be able to resell their tokens at any time and / or send them directly to other wallets.
In just 6 months, the idea has already won over several football clubs and even the organization behind the UFC, one of the most renowned combat sports in the world. Whether it’s PSG, AS Rome, Juventus Turin or Athletico Madrid, all these clubs have decided to take the plunge and launch their own Fan Token.
But this is not the first time that the sports industry has demonstrated its interest in cryptocurrencies.
Indeed, other sports such as Baseball, NBA or F1 have favored the creation of non-fungible Tokens allowing fans to collect and play with cards specially designed for blockchain.
And this type of operation is far from new to the sports industry. In 2019, eToro had already become the largest sponsor of the English championship after sponsoring six Premier League clubs (Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa, Southampton, Crystal Palace & Leicester), all paid directly in cryptocurrencies.
Indeed, other sports such as Baseball, NBA or F1 have favored the creation of non-fungible Tokens allowing fans to collect and play with cards specially designed for blockchain.
And this type of operation is far from new to the sports industry. In 2019, eToro had already become the largest sponsor of the English championship after sponsoring six Premier League clubs (Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa, Southampton, Crystal Palace & Leicester), all paid directly in cryptocurrencies.
The international influence of the sport is an excellent opportunity for cryptocurrencies to acquire a population still unfamiliar with blockchain technology and the functioning of cryptocurrencies.
Allowing clubs to better interact with their fans and facilitating sponsorship contracts, the use of blockchain in the sports industry could therefore improve the transparency of this industry and be the trigger for mass adoption and a new uptrend for cryptocurrencies.
Royal Mail is currently in the position every shareholder dreads: without a CEO, performing dismally, at war with the unions and seemingly on the ropes.
A stark difference to when the postal service floated in 2013 and investors were climbing over themselves to buy shares. That is reflected in the share price, which is less than half of what it was when it made its stock market debut.
While Royal Mail has come out with an emergency plan to arrest the slide, including drastically reducing capital investment and slashing staffing costs by £130 million, it doesn’t really get to the root of the problem.
The uncomfortable truth is that Royal Mail’s abominable performance in recent years is largely because it has failed to adapt to a world where people send fewer letters and more parcels.
The cinemas reopened in France on Monday June 22 after more than three months of closure due to containment measures. The biggest producers of films in the world are American, they had to adapt to the closure of cinemas, and consequently a big artistic blur reigned on the calendar of blockbuster releases.
In the United States there is not, as in France, a National Cinema Center (CNC) which supervises the chronology of the media and grants the dates for the release of films. This is the result of a purely commercial showdown.
Universal Studios, a subsidiary of Comcast, was the first to pave the way, breaking the media timeline, which is usually three months exclusive for movie theater operators. The American giant has thus decided to cancel the theatrical release of his animated film The Trolls 2 to offer it directly on VOD (video on demand), at € 19.90, which was a huge success.
Paramount, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS, has also chosen to skip the cinema box, unlike Disney which, for its part, preferred to postpone the theatrical release of its future blockbusters Mulan and Black Widow.
TimeWarner, recently bought by At & T has also decided to postpone its two big films, Wonderwoman on August 12 and Tenet, the last Christopher Nolan, to July 17.
Regarding stock market prices, ViacomCBS (parent company of Paramount) suffered the strongest drop during the crisis with a drop of 71% between mid-February and mid-March, however, the rebound was spectacular, + 130% from the low point at $ 10.
For Comcast, At & T, and Walt Disney, the decline was less marked, ranging from 31 to 44%. Since the March 19 low point, a recovery has materialized, from 15% for AT&T to 45% for Walt Disney. Note that none of the 4 majors have returned to their pre-crisis rating levels.
Cinema majors are also facing the explosion of video-on-demand services which undoubtedly have a bright future ahead of them, while 46% of French people have a VOD subscription today. A craze that also pushes GAFAM to invest more and more in streaming like Amazon with Prime Video or Apple which recently announced new features for the operating system of Apple TV in order to play 4K content.
Investors are well aware of these upheavals in the sector. On eToro, Netflix is the 13th most invested action by French investors in April and May 2020. The latter also retain confidence in Disney, the 6th most invested action on the platform in France, which benefits from greater diversification of its activities, illustrated by the launch of Disney + which already has more than 50 million subscribers worldwide.
The coronavirus pandemic significantly impacted industrial service provider Bilfinger in the first quarter of 2020. Nevertheless, CEO Tom Blades is confident of coping with the crisis and sees promising growth potential, as he explained at today’s virtual general meeting.
Last year, Bilfinger had achieved its financial targets and organic sales growth of 6 percent. But this year the environment has become more difficult due to the Corona crisis. The opening quarter of 2020 was additionally burdened by the drop in oil prices. Bilfinger is therefore now anticipating a 20 percent decline in sales this year and an operating result below the previous year’s level, which should remain positive. In the long term, Blades continues to expect attractive growth increases: According to the company’s own 2020+ strategy, sales are to be increased to over 5 billion euros by 2024. In addition, the goal is to achieve a free cash flow of over 200 million euros by 2024. “With its corporate strategy, Bilfinger wants to present itself as a predictable, reliable and sustainable company,” says Dennis Austinat, Germany director of the social trading platform eToro. This also includes the sustainable expansion of industrial plants so that customers can achieve their ESG goals with regard to environmental, social and fair management criteria.
Various surveys have shown that one of the things the nation has done more of during lockdown is cooking. It’s no surprise then that companies such as Premier Foods have benefited massively from this trend.
The maker of Bisto gravy and Sharwood’s sauces revealed it has experienced a huge spike in demand for meal prep items such as cooking sauces, gravy and baking ingredients as we have had more time to experiment in the kitchen.
That has helped Premier report growing profits for a third year running while revenue is expected to come in 20% higher year-on-year in the third quarter, which is impressive in the current environment.
But Premier’s challenge now is working out how to capitalise on the nation’s newfound love affair with cooking and find ways to tempt people back into the kitchen once lockdown ends and everyone returns to their busy lives. If it can nail that, then there is no doubt it will continue on a similar trajectory to what it is now.
Demand for oil crashed during lockdown which in turn had a crippling effect on the price of oil and therefore revenues for those operating in the sector.
This is what has happened to Wood Group’s oil division, which has seen activity plummet in its upstream and midstream oil operations. However, the energy services group has been saved by the diversity of its services, with chemicals, renewables and downstream operations compensating to some degree.
But that probably won’t be enough to woo back investors at this moment in time, given how important the oil industry is to the firm. And it’s likely to be months or even years before we see oil demand reach pre-Covid-19 levels once more.
At today’s virtual general meeting, Deutsche Telekom cut the dividend despite record results. Rising debts due to the takeover of the US competitor Sprint weigh on the company. Nevertheless, the annual forecast was confirmed.
At today’s virtual annual general meeting of Deutsche Telekom, CEO Höttges confirmed the annual forecast. He currently sees only a limited impact of the pandemic on business results. Adjusted operating profit grew double-digit by 10.2 percent. “After the takeover of Sprint, Deutsche Telekom plans to further expand its business with the 5G mobile communications standard,” explains Dennis Austinat, Germany director of the social trading platform eToro. “In Germany, the group plans to expand coverage significantly this year and thus secure future opportunities,” Austinat continued. However, the 5G expansion and the takeover of Sprint have to be financed, which is why Deutsche Telekom reduced the dividend by 10 to 60 cents. At the current price level, this distribution makes a dividend yield of almost four percent.
The lottery and sports betting operator, La Française des jeux (FDJ) has just revealed, this afternoon during its General Assembly, the impacts of the health and containment crisis as well as the measures to deal with it.
During the two months of confinement, the decline in total bets was 60%, including 40% for the lottery (excluding Amigo) and 95% for sports betting, despite a 16% increase in digital player bets . This had a significant impact for the 4th World Lottery Group, a decline of 100 million euros monthly on revenue and € 50 million in EBITDA. Despite these negative elements, investors were reassured by the responsiveness and solidity of the group, which announced 800 million euros in available cash and a savings plan of 80 million euros to deal with the shortfall in turnover.
Only downside, the board of directors proposed a 30% reduction in the dividend for 2019 which was approved by a large majority of shareholders. It thus goes from 0.64 euro to 0.45 euro per share.
On the stock market, we can say that the success has been total since its introduction at € 19.90 in November 2019, the stock now quoting € 30.40, representing a performance of 52% over the period! Since the beginning of the year, the FDJ action is not far behind with an increase of 28%, the 5 th performance of the SBF 120, outperforming the CAC 40 which largely fell by -17%.
The group can see the future with serenity with the reopening of points of sale and the gradual resumption of major sports championships.
National Grid is in the enviable position of being relatively shielded from the coronavirus economic fallout.
While the outbreak has led to a £400 million increase in costs for the energy network operator – largely for IT and system cleaning and maintenance – it is bullish it will be largely unaffected long-term.
For investors, classic defensive stocks such as National Grid are very appealing at the moment. It may not be sexy, but it has shown the sort of resilience in recent months that other companies can only dream of.
Throw into the mix the fact it is also one of the few major companies to have maintained or grown its dividend and it becomes even more tempting for investors needing to produce an income from their investments.
International expansion for the MDAX value is also progressing, as as Dennis Austinat, Germany director of the social trading platform eToro explains: “Even if the takeover of the US food delivery service Grubhub was not successful, the market position in Asia was able to with the previous takeover be strengthened by Woowa. The company operates one of the largest local delivery services in South Korea and Vietnam ”. Asia is the world’s second strongest region for Delivery Hero, with around 30 percent of sales.
The health crisis has amplified two trends that already existed, namely the reduction in cash payment and, more importantly, the increase in contactless payment; the world champion being Sweden where cash payments account for only 2%!
Two major players have an interest in the end of cash, first of all the banks because of the costs of withdrawals from ATMs (ATMs) — 89 euro cents per withdrawal in France. Then the United States, for fiscal reasons, since cash payments can pass under its radar.
Thanks to the coronavirus epidemic, the limit for contactless payments has increased from € 30 to € 50, which has benefited credit card providers. The two main ones are Visa and Mastercard, which share 87% of the world market, 60% for the former and 27% for the latter.
Even if payment by card was favored during the crisis, the end of tourism and travel for two months has had negative consequences for the two market leaders who revised their sales downwards for 2020. However, at its General Meeting on June 16, Mastercard voted to distribute a quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share.
In addition to paperless payments, Visa and Mastercard are very interested in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.
After first joining Facebook’s Libra project, the two companies decided to back off following complications with the American regulator. However, even if Visa and Mastercard have withdrawn from Facebook’s stablecoins project, the two companies are not completely closing the door on a return to this ambitious project, which is currently on stand-by.
In addition, the two giants of the bank card are developing many projects in parallel. For example, Visa has filed a patent for the creation of a stable digital currency on the Ethereum blockchain at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), the equivalent of France’s INPI (National Intellectual Property Office); this type of project has the potential to reduce the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
For its part, Mastercard has joined ID2020, an initiative from Microsoft which advocates for the digital identification of the billion undocumented migrants and refugees worldwide. In addition to digging into the blockchain domain, and in order to catch up with Visa, Mastercard also recently launched in Europe, a new program called “Fintech Express” allowing Fintechs to move from the project stage to the product stage “in the space of a few days”, in particular thanks to a simplified regulatory procedure and obtaining a license approved directly by the payment giant.
These latest advances could bode well for the stock prices of the two payment service giants. Because, after an impressive journey for three years, + 180% for Visa and + 350% for MasterCard, the securities plunged respectively -37% and -42% between February and March during the stock market crash.
That said, since March 23, Visa has returned 43.8% and Mastercard 51.5% which outperforms their benchmark, the S&P 500; which increased 42.3% over the period.
Compared with many firms, Kingfisher has weathered the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown fairly well.
Yes, its balance sheet has taken a bit of a beating, but there is no doubt the owner of B&Q has been helped by the fact that DIY stores reopened early in many parts of Europe, boosting sales by nearly 22% in the second quarter.
Looking forward, the signs suggest Kingfisher could capitalise on the economic uncertainty brought on by Covid-19.
When times are tough, people tend to do odd jobs around the house themselves rather than call in workers, which of course benefits DIY firms.
Therefore, while Kingfisher’s re-entry into the FTSE 100 earlier this month may have been a surprise, conditions may help it maintain its position in London’s blue-chip index.
One of the leaders in digital transformation, Atos has a portfolio of global activities: infrastructure management, cloud, Big Data and cybersecurity.
The group has strong visibility in the long term, in fact more than half of its order books are multi-year between 3 and 7 years. At the same time, its Q1 results satisfied analysts, with Big Data and Cybersecurity pulling out with a 16% increase, which made up for the 0.5% loss in infrastructure management.
To deal with the crisis, the IT group launched the “Always Ready” offer, allowing customers to manage emergencies related to containment situations (generalized teleworking, strengthening cybersecurity).
In addition, Atos is very committed to the environment. For several years, the group has been trying to lower its own carbon footprint, by improving server cooling techniques or by lowering the energy consumption of supercomputers.
Finally, Atos will be one of the European companies to take part in the Franco-German project, Gaïa-X, whose objective is to build a cloud environment that will allow Europe to reduce its dependence on American giants like Microsoft or Amazon.
This will concern in particular the creation of common standards and strict data protection solutions in accordance with European rules.
Today, the Annual General Meeting was held behind closed doors, which made it possible to update certain objectives for 2020. Turnover is revised downwards from -4% to -7% against + 7% pre Covid-19 due to a loss of 450 million euros due to the termination of current projects. Free Cash Flow (FCF) will decrease by 100 million euros due to the contraction of the operating margin net of tax.
On the stock market, Atos’ prices lost almost 50% during the crisis. Since then, the rebound has been strong, with prices retracing 80% of the previous decline. The valuation is still attractive at 9.7 times the profit, which is quite low for the sector.
Due to the composition of the corporate bond portfolio, the Fed’s program could generate long lasting distortions on the US credit market but, short-term, is another step towards “monetising everything”. It also shows that last week correction was physiological and had little to do with a potential second outbreak of contagions. USA retail sales also came out way better than expected and this helped as well. Markets will continue to ask for relief and, no surprise, central banks and governments will step in on request. In order for this rally to continue, we need more visibility on the future economic outlook, which will bring more visibility on corporate earnings of cyclical stocks, in particular for basic materials, energy, transportation and consumer discretionary.
The Federal Reserve’s aggressive stimulus plans have certainly both aggravated and excited many cryptocurrency enthusiasts. This type of aggressive money-printing could help promote the narrative behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, we have yet to see the crypto market react accordingly. This level of stimulus might provide a short-term solution to increasing unemployment and shrinking GDP growth, but it cannot be sustained.
Ashtead’s remarkable performance through the first three quarters of its financial year has helped it emerge from the past few months in decent shape.
Lockdown meant much lower demand for industrial equipment hire but while the fourth quarter figures look bleak, the full-year figures are ok, all things considered.
There will be investors who see a sea of minus figures for the fourth quarter and get spooked, but it must be remembered that the firm was on course for a record year before Covid-19 struck.
On top of that, its decision to increase its dividend is incredibly welcome when many others have slashed or scrapped theirs and reflects the strength of Ashtead’s balance sheet.
Retailers have been battered by Covid-19 but H&M’s quarterly results offer some hope to the sector.
While sales have been down year-on-year every week for the past 18 weeks – and are still down more than a third – the situation has improved dramatically in recent weeks as Europe has begun to emerge from lockdown.
That said, investors remain quite rightly reticent to back a sector that has been so badly affected by the coronavirus. The sad truth is that while there is some hope on the horizon, the road to recovery will be long and painful for many firms – and not all of them will be able to survive.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reshuffled the cards of CAC 40 companies, and some stocks have seen their stock market prices melt, particularly in the aeronautics, tourism and catering sectors.
The verdict finally fell yesterday after trading, it is the specialist in call centers, Teleperformance, who will replace within the CAC 40, Sodexo, leader in collective catering in France, on June 22.
This is explained by the fact that the Sodexo share price has declined by more than 41% since the start of the year. It was the fifth worst performance of the CAC 40, which lowered its market capitalization to 9 billion euros, 38th ranking just ahead of Accor and Renault.
The confinement had a devastating impact on the group’s activity, causing the closure of schools, businesses, and even the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, in which Sodexo was to participate.
On the other hand for Teleperformance, it is the consecration, for this group of more than 330,000 employees, in organic growth above 5% for eight years. The group also reassured investors during the containment by pursuing certain critical activities such as the hotlines dedicated to Coronavirus that the governments had set up.
On the stock market, the title has experienced an impressive trajectory, losing “only” 3% since the beginning of the year, multiplying its price by 8 for ten years and regularly appearing among the best performances of the SBF 120.
The recent cryptoasset pullback coincides with a similar retraction in global equity markets. It appears the narrative in markets has somewhat changed from potential recovery and reopening of economies post-lockdown, to a potential second COVID-19 wave. Especially after several US states have reported a spike in coronavirus cases since reopening their local economies.
Optimism has dissipated and realism has set in, in both the cryptoasset market and global stock markets. If we begin to see widespread second spikes of Covid-19, then it would probably cause another sell off across all markets. If the price drops below the $8,500 level, investors should be worried.
With bitcoin there is always the possibility for a further drop, but it’s my view that we are seeing a new bottom begin to form. Fundamentals remain positive for the asset, especially given the recent Fed meeting and indication of continued economic stimulus and consistently close to zero interest rates.
eToro in The News
La Stampa: "Tesla will still grow in the S&P 500"Nov 17,2020
Finance FWD: "We're building a company that could be worth 10 or 50 billion dollars" - eToro founder Yoni Assia on the FinanceFWD podcasOct 21,2020
Bloomberg: "Six things you’re doing wrong when buying stocks on your own"Aug 12,2020
Meet four eToro popular investors as they share their insight into what not to do when investing in stocks.
Tech Church: "With Robinhood’s UK launch delayed, eToro to bring out UK debit card following acquisition"Jul 29,2020
+44 20 3805 4822
UK – MRM:
+44 20 3326 9900
APAC – Cognito:
+44 20 3805 4822
Australia – LaunchLink:
France – Euros:
+33 1 71 19 79 60
Germany – Piabo:
+49 30 2576 205 – 51
Italy – MyMediaRelation
+39 2 36 75 15 11
Poland – Cook Communications
+48 663 171 023
Romania – Cook Communications:
+40 0727 370 325
Spain – Comma:
+34 91 550 02 04
U.S – Gorman Strategies:
Corporate Communications Manager