Finimize - 🤕 SoftBank brings this on itself

WeWork was just the beginning | Mickey Mouse is coming to a TV near you |

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Today's big stories

  1. SoftBank reported its biggest-ever quarterly loss
  2. We’ve looked into whether you should buy into Cathie Wood’s struggling innovation ETF – Read Now
  3. Disney reported a mixed set of results

Safety First

Safety First

What’s Going On Here?

SoftBank reported its biggest-ever quarterly loss on Thursday, so the Japanese conglomerate is going to great lengths to quit hitting itself.

What Does This Mean?

What a difference a year makes: SoftBank has gone from a record profit in the first quarter of 2021 to a record loss in this one. That’s because its Vision Fund – the world’s biggest tech-focused investment fund – has been pummeled by rising interest rates and China’s tech crackdown, with Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi and South Korean ecommerce giant Coupang each losing about half their market values.

So the conglomerate is shaking up its approach: it said it’ll invest half or even a quarter as much this year as last, and that it would be more cautious around all things China. It also reassured investors that its plan to list ARM on the stock market was still on track, and said that the UK chip designer could well become the most valuable asset in its portfolio.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: History could repeat itself.
SoftBank’s stock fell 5% on the news, meaning it’s now down around 50% over the past year. Consider too that this report only covers till the end of March, and that markets have fallen even more since. Some analysts, then, are skeptical the world’s biggest venture capital fund can even survive. Of course, SoftBank did experience a comparable collapse during the dotcom boom, which it’s more than recovered from since. That might be why the company’s confident that it’ll bounce back from this pickle within the next couple of years.

Zooming out: WeWorking on it.
Speaking of embarrassing companies SoftBank regrets investing in: WeWork reported another quarterly loss on Thursday. But at least things are going in the right direction, with the coworking company notching its best desk sales since before the pandemic. And since it thinks demand for office space is on the up and up, it’s expecting its revenue to jump 30% this year from last too.

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Analyst Take

Should You Buy Into Queen Cathie’s Innovation ETF?

Should You Buy Into Queen Cathie’s Innovation ETF?
Photo of Stéphane Renevier

Stéphane Renevier, Analyst

Cathie Wood’s been getting a lot of flack lately.

Ark Invest’s flagship ARKK Innovation ETF – which specializes in “innovation stocks” like Tesla, Coinbase, and Teladoc – is down 76% from its peak, and investors are starting to get riled up.

And it’s true that there are reasons to doubt the ETF: the disruptive, high-growth companies that Ark invests in aren’t exactly dirt cheap, even if stocks have corrected lately.

But there are also reasons why it might outperform – not least that the stock market is essentially underweighting future winners in favor of current ones.

So that’s today’s Insight: if you should buy into the fund while it’s in a slump, or if you should listen to the haters.

Read or listen to the Insight here

World Domination

World Domination

What’s Going On Here?

Disney reported a mixed set of results earlier this week, but the Mouse House hopes to set that right by taking over every corner of the globe.

What Does This Mean?

After Netflix’s embarrassing quarterly update last month, investors were worried that Disney+ would be in the same boat. No need: the streaming service added a better-than-expected 8 million subscribers last quarter, bringing its total to nearly 138 million (tweet this). Visitors weren’t deterred by higher ticket prices at its hotels and theme parks either, which helped its resorts segment more than double its revenue from the same time in 2021. That drove up overall revenue by 23%.

Disney was cautious looking forward, mind you: the company warned that streaming growth for the rest of the year may not be as high as it thought, and that lockdown-driven closures at its Asian parks could cut profit by as much as $350 million this quarter. Investors didn’t appreciate that: they sent its stock down 5%.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Expansion doesn’t come cheap.
Disney said its streaming service is on track to meet its target of 260 million subscribers by 2024, and it’ll be launching in 42 new countries this summer to help it achieve that goal. But that probably won’t do its bottom line any favors. Consider India, where more than half of last quarter’s new subscribers live: customers there are paying an average of 76 cents a month – a far cry from Americans’ $6.32.

For markets: Disney > Netflix.
Disney’s stock is down over 40% in the last year, but things could be worse: Netflix is down almost 70% in the same period. That disparity could be because Disney boasts its resorts business on top of its streaming segment, which means it makes money from holidaymakers and homebodies alike. Analysts certainly think that’s a winning combination: they’re expecting Disney’s stock to rise an average of around 70% in the next 12 months.

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💬 Quote of the day

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

– Albert Einstein (a German theoretical physicist)
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