Finimize - 🚀 Emerging markets might take off

Chevron couldn’t impress investors | H&M’s profit took a plunge |

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Today's big stories

  1. Chevron reported mammoth takings, but investors still weren’t satisfied
  2. Here’s where you could find the stock stars of the next decade – Read Now
  3. H&M’s profit went into free fall last quarter

Weak And Oily

Weak And Oily

What’s Going On Here?

Oil giant Chevron reported some lackluster quarterly results on Friday.

What Does This Mean?

For an energy source that’s apparently past its best, there sure is a lot of money left in fossil fuels, especially since the war in Europe drove prices near all-time highs last year. And that climate’s got analysts all excited: they’ve been betting that Western oil giants – including ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP – will report a record-breaking combined profit of around $200 billion for 2022. Chevron was first up, announcing a nearly $37 billion annual profit – double 2021’s figure and a stone-cold $10 billion higher than its previous record. But that didn’t wow hard-hearted investors, who were more interested in last quarter’s slowdown: after all, Chevron made a paltry $6.4 billion profit, a far cry from the $8.2 billion that wide-eyed analysts had dreamed of.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Making it pour.
Chevron’s shareholders shouldn’t get too stroppy: late last week the firm announced its biggest ever share buyback scheme, to the tune of $75 billion – enough money for Chevron to buy almost any of its US-based competitors (tweet this). But while flexing that hard is cool and all, there was one person who wasn’t impressed: Uncle Sam. See, the US government thinks Chevron’s cash would be better spent topping up oil supplies to bring prices down for consumers. And although Chevron said it can do that and reward shareholders, it’s barely expecting to up production this year – so, not entirely convincing…

The bigger picture: Counting on China.
The price of Brent crude – a key oil benchmark – has fallen about a third since June, as folk fret that the global slowdown’s poised to hit demand. But Chevron’s betting that the reopening of China, the world’s biggest oil importer, will ramp up demand while supply remains tight. Some analysts agree, predicting that prices could surge past $100 a barrel again this year.

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Analyst Take

Get Ready For The Emerging Markets Era In Stocks

Get Ready For The Emerging Markets Era In Stocks

By Russell Burns, Analyst

Emerging markets are going to produce the stock stars of the next decade, Morgan Stanley Investment Management says. 

It’s why the fund giant, with its $1.3 trillion under management, has been moving money out of expensive US stocks and putting it in ones from developing economies, particularly India

And according to new data, it’s not the only one.

That’s today’s Insight: where the stock stars of the next decade could come from.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Folding Clothes

Folding Clothes

What’s Going On Here?

H&M reported on Friday that its profit took a nosedive last quarter.

What Does This Mean?

H&M is the world’s second-biggest clothing retailer, but that reputation probably wasn’t much consolation during last quarter’s hammering. For a start, getting goods in the door got more expensive, which wasn’t helped by the strong US dollar upping the cost of sourcing clothes. And good old H&M didn’t just offload those costs on customers: it swallowed some itself – which might have helped sales a little, but certainly hurt profit a lot. That’s not to mention the so-called “cost-cutting program” that’s actually increased costs in the short term. It all proved too much for H&M, still reeling after the war in Ukraine closed its profitable Russian business: the firm announced its operating profit fell a disastrous 87% from the same time the year before.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Dress to unimpress.
H&M’s share price has dropped so far that it’s underperforming arch-rival Inditex by over 30% in the last year. And that’s no surprise: by one key profitability measure, H&M’s achieved about half of what Inditex has these past four years. One reason for that is that the Swedish retailer lacks Inditex’s manufacturing flexibility, winding up with piles of unwanted clothes it’s having to discount heavily to get out the door. So sure, H&M has some valiant self-improvement plans – like sourcing stock closer to home in order to cut shipping costs – but it could be a while before those measures bear fruit.

Zooming out: Lap of luxury.
Luxury giant LVMH doesn’t have to bother with plebeian tactics like “cutting costs”: just last week the super-luxe conglomerate – owner of big-name, big-price-tag brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior – announced that 2022 was a record success. And the company’s gearing up for more of the same in 2023: a fairly safe bet given that China, the world’s second-biggest luxury market, is about to regain its appetite.

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– Michael Forbes (an American art collector, author, and publisher)
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