Finimize - 🍏 Apple opened the books

Apple added some sweetness | Novo Nordisk put (presumably low-carb) bread on the table |
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Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for May 3rd in 3:15 minutes.

☕ Finimized with an Americano at El Grano De Cafe in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (☀️18°C/64°F).

Today's big stories

  1. Apple just barely beat expectations, but the company kept things sweet for shareholders with its biggest-ever buyback
  2. To find a tech fund that will deliver returns (without rattling your nerves), look for these three things – Read Now
  3. Weight-loss drug pioneer Novo Nordisk increased its profit projections for the year

Low-Hanging Fruit

Low-Hanging Fruit

What’s going on here?

Apple’s results just inched past Wall Street’s expectations, after the tech giant struggled to make peace with no longer being the number-one choice.

What does this mean?

Apple brought home $90.8 billion in sales last quarter, a 4% dip from the same period a year ago, but slightly better than $90 billion that analysts were predicting. The slump could’ve been worse – and investors feared it would be, so they initially sent shares up more than 7%. After all, iPhone sales did slip by 10% as the brand continued to lose its shine among Chinese consumers. But the firm’s ultra-profitable services division made up for a lot of that, with a 14.2% jump driven by App Store sales, iCloud plans, and a steady stream of AppleTV+ subscriptions. Plus, Apple made some welcome noises, saying it expects to return to sales growth right away. The future for shareholders sure is looking rosy: the firm announced a $110 billion buyback too – that’s 22% chunkier than last year and Apple’s biggest ever.

Why should I care?

Zooming out: Problems to solve.

Recently, Apple’s been juggling a trio of headaches: stiff competition in China, antitrust scrutiny in the US and Europe, and a lagging AI department. So, recognizing that it’s behind, Apple is talking to OpenAI and Google about incorporating a Chatbot in iOS 18. There’s no deal yet, but it needs to impress investors soon. Mind you, Apple might be able to appease them a little with its imminent iPhone 16 reveal, iPad and Mac launches, and slot at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10th where it’s tipped to roll out some generative AI plans.

The bigger picture: Serious money.

Apple’s race to stay in the AI game won’t come cheap. For one thing, there are whispers of its plan to assemble a crack team to compete with rivals over new AI models and gadgets. And for another, the company will need some real chip muscle – so cue the Champagne for suppliers like TSMC and Micron.

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Analyst Take

How To Find A Quiet Tech Fund That Still Delivers Rowdy Returns

How To Find A Quiet Tech Fund That Still Delivers Rowdy Returns

The tech sector has been one of the most exciting places to invest over the past decade, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rocketing up a nose-bleedingly steep 630%.

But it’s not been for the faint of heart: those returns have come with tons of volatility.

That’s why it’s important to find skillful fund managers when you’re investing in this sector – the ones who can quietly steer a portfolio through some wildly turbulent swings.

Luckily, to sort the best funds from the worst, you just have to look at three things.

That’s today’s Insight: how to find a quiet tech fund that still delivers rowdy returns.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Disclosures
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Winning From Losing

Winning From Losing

What’s going on here?

Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk came up trumps again, as weight-loss drugs brought home the bacon… ironically enough.

What does this mean?

Weight loss drugs seem to be all the rage right now. And Novo Nordisk has two on the market: Wegovy for the treatment of being overweight and Ozempic for type 2 diabetes. It might not be surprising, then, that Novo boasts the biggest market valuation in Europe at $578 billion. And it backed that reputation up last quarter: sales were up 24% from the same time last year, while profit rose by 28% to a better-than-expected 25.4 billion Danish kroner ($3.7 billion). That was partly because Novo decided to skimp on advertising, seeing little point when supply of the injectible pens was scarce. To top it all off, Novo slightly increased its outlook for profit and sales this year as a whole.

Why should I care?

Zooming in: Stay active.

The number of US patients starting Wegovy was six times as high in April as it was in January, when analysts had predicted a mere tripling. Demand has outstripped supply in the US so far – and if Novo can ramp up production, it may beat even its new sales and profit estimates. It could help that a recent EU regulatory probe ruled out suspicions of some particularly nasty side effects, while a recent trial for a pill form is looking promising.

The bigger picture: Growing opportunities.

Novo’s biggest rival, Eli Lilly, has seen two drugs fly off the shelves too: Mounjaro for diabetes and Zepbound for weight loss. In fact, the whole market is moving quickly, with expectations for it to be 20 times bigger than now by 2030. And the furor for aesthetics could whip other sectors into shape, too, mainly health-focused ones like gyms, healthcare brands, athleisure companies – even dating apps.

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💬 Quote of the day

"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility."

– James Thurber (an American cartoonist, author, and humorist)
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