Finimize - 🥇 Amazing Amazon

Amazon reported results that could make hard-to-please tech investors crack a smile | The payments industry fell into trouble |


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Today's big stories

  1. Amazon’s better-than-expected third-quarter results might be just what Big Tech needed
  2. Your favorite stocks might actually be your favorite bonds – Read Now
  3. French payments company Worldline issued a warning, and that’s only the beginning of the payments industry’s woes

Prime Time

Prime Time

What’s going on here?

Amazon released better-than-expected quarterly earnings late on Thursday, and they made for some top-quality viewing.

What does this mean?

After a so-so week of earnings, Amazon’s results might be just the ticket to get investors back onside. Crucially, Amazon Web Services (AWS) – the firm’s prized cloud business – made 12% more money last quarter compared to the same time last year, beating the result from the quarter before. And advertising revenue held its own too, outdoing the previous quarter to pick up by 25%. What’s more, Amazon’s profit margins beat expectations, especially over at AWS. And while Big Tech investors have been hard to please, that may just be enough to get the corner of their mouths twitching upward.

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: Hey, big spender.

If Amazon was a rom-com, it would be “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”. The company’s always loved spending money, but this year’s a proper spree: Amazon’s projected to spend $50 billion on major projects, roughly five times the average of the five years leading up to the pandemic. And sure, some tighter budgets could make the books look a lot prettier, but for now, Amazon’s willing to throw money in every direction if it could pay off down the line.

For markets: Make like Meta.

Mind you, investors won’t go piling into Amazon unless they believe the stock’s decent value. They’ll be watching revenue to find that out: ideally, AI-driven cloud and advertising bucks bring Amazon’s revenue growth closer to the pre-pandemic range of 20%. In that case, investors will be all too happy to ignore the company’s frivolous spending habits and trust the process. But if that doesn’t pan out, Amazon will need to rein itself in, spending more carefully like Meta has this year.

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Analyst Take

The Magnificent Seven, But Not As You Know Them

The Magnificent Seven, But Not As You Know Them

By Paul Allison, Analyst

Recession worries and bond yields are both higher than they’ve been in a while, and that bleak combo makes the prospect of portfolio diversification all the more important right now.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to carve out a swath of your stock portfolio and give it over to the same dull bonds that everyone else is reaching for.

What I’m saying is: instead of jumping at the usual US Treasurys, you could expand your horizon and consider corporate bonds, grabbing hold of the debt issued by some of the world’s best companies.

You might be better off for it.

That’s today’s Insight: why your favorite stocks could actually be your favorite bonds instead.

Read or listen to the Insight here


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Fall From Ace

Fall From Ace

What’s going on here?

Worldline's market value fell off a cliff after the French payments firm issued ominous projections about the road ahead.

What does this mean?

Europe’s economic slowdown is drastically changing Europeans’ spending habits, especially in Germany, usually the region’s powerhouse. Combine that with a rise in cybercrime in the financial sector, and the die was cast for Worldline. Concerned that stricter regulations to tackle crime would cause issues for its books, the French financial firm pulled its outlook for the year down a couple of pegs. Around 60% of its market value was wiped out as a result, sending out a ripple that shook European and US peers in the payment sector too.

Why should I care?

For markets: It’s a nice day for a trek.

Worldline’s warning is one of many in today’s payment industry. Dutch rival Adyen, for one, already flashed the red light, worried about its future amid tough competition, rising inflation, and business-crushing interest rates. Newly public CAB Payments, for another, saw its stock drop 72% after the firm pushed down its revenue forecast, marking the worst public listing of the year. That’s a long fall down from the highs that the industry hit during the pandemic, and the journey back up will be a grueling one.

The bigger picture: This is just the beginning.

The payment industry’s problems don’t exist in a vacuum. Because they reflect the broader economic health of Europe, these dreary results likely hint at what’s ahead for many of the region’s industries. And to make matters worse, a major survey just revealed that German companies are cutting back on investments and hiring, fearing that the economy won't magically bounce back anytime soon. In this sort of environment, when natural opportunities to succeed are few and far between, businesses may well ramp up the dealmaking in a bid to get ahead.

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