Finimize - ⚔️ Oil versus the world

French train whizz Alstom fell off the tracks | Oil's future was called into question |


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Today's big stories

  1. Alstom's stock shed over a third of its value after the firm sent a key projection into the red
  2. Here’s how to prepare your portfolio for a higher-for-longer world – Read Now
  3. The future of oil was called into question, and OPEC’s not happy about it

Off The Rails

Off The Rails

What’s going on here?

All-round train aficionado Alstom’s stock tanked on Thursday.

What does this mean?

Trains are Alstom’s baguette and butter: the French company makes money by designing, making, and servicing trains like the Eurostar and metro systems in cities from Paris to Sydney. That heft has also won it major international projects, including the UK’s controversial high-speed HS2 train, which has been grabbing headlines after key planned coverage areas were cut off by the British government. But on Thursday, Alstom dropped a major truth bomb. Despite previously positive predictions, the company just forecasted that its free cash flow – that’s profit left after big project outlays – this year will wind up roughly $525 to $790 million in the negative. That got investors moving faster than those nippy trains: the firm’s share flew down by 37%, wiping over $3 billion off its valuation.

Why should I care?

For you: You can’t trust anyone these days.

Alstom’s quick one-eighty makes you wonder whether the firm was using a dartboard for its predictions. And this won’t just cast doubt on Alstom’s credibility: ripple effects could also impact its credit rating and shake investors’ long-term confidence, pushing them to steer clear of its shares and bonds. That’s a timely lesson: with the earnings season right around the corner, remember to take a company’s words with a grain of salt.

The bigger picture: Retail therapy doesn’t always help.

A handful of Alstom’s qualms can be tied to its acquisition of Bombardier's rail division three years ago, which has been far from a smooth ride. Initially valued at nearly $8 billion, the purchase was reduced by over $2 billion due to financial issues with Bombardier's UK and German projects. Plus, Bombardier came as a package deal with the British Aventra project, a fleet serving key lines like the London Overground. The project’s since been plagued by numerous delays and was a major factor in those reduced cash flow projections.

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Analyst Take

What “Higher For Longer” Means For Your Portfolio

What “Higher For Longer” Means For Your Portfolio
Photo of Stéphane Renevier, CFA

Stéphane Renevier, CFA, Analyst

Interest rates shot quickly to their current heights, and they’re not likely to fall nearly as fast.

Now hanging around levels not seen since before the global financial crisis, they pose a big threat to the economy, financial system, and markets.

So it’s worth taking a look at what it means to have “higher-for-longer” interest rates and see what you can do about it.

That’s today’s Insight: what “higher for longer” means for your investments.

Read or listen to the Insight here


Prepare yourself for earnings season

Earnings season is about to kick off. 

In the finance world, that’s just about as exciting as Glastonbury tickets going on sale. 

But you won’t need to clamor for a front-row spot at this event: IG’s written up a preview report, detailing what you can expect this time around.

A quick read, and you’ll be better prepared for the big event, meaning you’ll be able to make smarter and more confident decisions faster when results roll in.

Read IG’s report of everything you need to know before earnings season starts.

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Crudely Speaking

Crudely Speaking

What’s going on here?

The world’s energy organizations engaged in some tough talking, with oil’s future taking the heat.

What does this mean?

Oil’s price has been pulled from side to side lately: a supply cut from OPEC – the group of oil-producing nations – fed speculation of heady prices, while the threat of a recession-fueled drop in demand did the opposite. And the International Energy Agency (IEA) poured more of the slippery stuff onto the flames, asserting that demand for oil is about to peak before falling off. But while the IEA would celebrate a shift toward renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, OPEC – representing economies that fully rely on oil – isn’t quite on board.

Why should I care?

For markets: A slippery trade.

Oil investors will be used to this to-ing and fro-ing – and if they're not, they should be. The elixir’s famously volatile, and swinging highs and lows are nothing new. Most of the time, the price rallies just when everyone expects the opposite, and vice versa. Case in point: oil oracles were predicting $100-a-barrel price tags a few days ago, just before prices plunged. So if you’re in it for the long haul, make sure you’ve got steady nerves.

The bigger picture: It ain’t easy being green.

That tumultuous trend makes it hard to predict oil’s future, both short and long-term. Even the industry’s onlookers are torn. Some believe the electric vehicle transition has already signaled the beginning of the end, given that transport makes up the majority of oil demand. But others reckon savvy oil companies could keep supply tight in an effort to pull up prices and make as much money as possible while they can, maintaining dominance over the market until the greater energy transition comes along.

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💬 Quote of the day

"I exist as I am, that is enough."

– Walt Whitman (an American poet, essayist, and journalist)
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Private equity, shareholdings in private companies, has outperformed public markets every year since 2001.

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🎯 On Our Radar

1. Disney is magical. If not in its parks, definitely in its numbers.

2. Every business needs some kind of equipment. Financing it can make for a tidy alternative investment.*

3. Neanderthals don’t get the respect they deserve. We should remember our ancestors with pride.

4. Staking crypto could help your returns. Here's how it works and the potential risks to watch out for.**

5. Returning clothes just got more expensive. A loss for your wallet, a win for the planet.

**Stocks is a derivative product offered by Change Securities B.V. that replicates the performance of your favourite companies’ shares - full or fractional.*

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