Finimize - ✔️ Nike's entering the metaverse

Xiaomi's showing the rest how it's done | Nike ran ahead last quarter |

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Today's big stories

  1. Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi reported strong results
  2. Global dealmaking is on the decline, and that could drag down three sectors of the finance industry with it – Read Now
  3. Nike reported better-than-expected quarterly results

Xiaomi The Way

Xiaomi The Way

What’s Going On Here?

Xiaomi reported better-than-expected results on Tuesday, so the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker might want to get used to life as a leader.

What Does This Mean?

Festive shoppers flocked to Xiaomi’s updated lineup last quarter, keen to snap up phones with the latest chips, camera sensors, and operating systems. Those holiday sales helped the Chinese smartphone giant ship 3.9% more units around the world last quarter than the same time the year before – while the wider industry shipped 3.2% fewer.

Xiaomi's profit, then, grew by a better-than-expected 40% last quarter compared to the year before. And if investors weren’t already seeing dollar signs, this might’ve done the trick: the company plans to buy back more than $1 billion worth of its own shares, reducing their supply and pushing up their price. Add in that it expects supply issues to ease up in the second half of the year, and investors couldn’t complain: they sent its shares up 6%.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: World domination.
Xiaomi wants to keep that momentum going, so it’s currently in talks with Indian manufacturers to make phones there to export globally. That could be a good move: India’s the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, so more exposure there should be great for sales. And since the government hands out cash incentives to companies that boost India’s electronics manufacturing sector, Xiaomi can give its bottom line a boost by spending less on production there.

Zooming out: Xiaomi’s a trendsetter.
Xiaomi’s not the only one buying back its shares: Alibaba upped its buyback program by $10 billion on Tuesday. The tech giant will be hoping that’ll restore investors’ confidence in the company, after slowing growth and government crackdowns sent its shares down to multi-year lows. And since analysts reckon a bunch of Chinese tech firms could follow suit, that might explain why fellow tech companies JD.com, Tencent, and Baidu also saw their shares soar after the news.

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Analyst Take

Global Dealmaking Will Probably Fall Off A Cliff This Year. Here’s How To Position Your Investments So They Don’t Follow.

Global Dealmaking Will Probably Fall Off A Cliff This Year. Here’s How To Position Your Investments So They Don’t Follow.
Photo of Reda

Reda, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

2021 was a record year for dealmaking around the world – but that could all be about to change.

Markets have become much more volatile since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out – and central banks raising interest rates hasn’t helped.

According to Bloomberg, almost eighty companies have put at least $25 billion worth of IPO, debt, and M&A deals on hold since the start of the war nearly a month ago.

That plunge in global deals will be bad news for three specific sectors of the finance industry.

You can avoid potential losses by decreasing your exposure to these sectors – or even turn the situation into an investment opportunity by betting against them.

So that’s today’s Insight: what the three sectors are, why they’re in trouble, and how you can turn this into an investment opportunity.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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What’s Going On Here?

Nike reported better-than-expected quarterly results earlier this week, as the world’s biggest sportswear retailer brought its well-dressed foot firmly back into its own camp.

What Does This Mean?

Nike scored a hat-trick last quarter. Firstly, production was back on track after most of its key suppliers got up and running again – geddit? – following Covid-related shutdowns. Secondly, strong demand sent sales in North America – Nike’s biggest market – up 9% from the same time the year before.

Nike scored its third win by continuing its move away from discount-happy wholesalers and investing heavily in its own online and flagship stores instead. By doing that, it made 15% more revenue from direct-to-consumer sales last quarter, meaning direct sales made up nearly half of its total sales (tweet this). And speaking of total sales, they grew by a better-than-expected 5% last quarter, so impressed investors sent its shares up 6%.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Nike has problems too.
Nike wasn’t without issues, mind you: the retailer reckons its sales would’ve grown even more if it weren’t for clogged shipping routes holding up its stock. On top of that, sales from its Chinese business – still reeling from a boycott of Western brands – fell 5% last quarter. Nike’s not sure when either of those issues will clear up, and it has the effects of war and rising material prices to deal with too. The company’s not even going to try and predict how that will go: it held off on giving an outlook for the coming year.

The bigger picture: Totally meta.
Nike’s found somewhere to shelter from those supply issues: the metaverse. The retailer launched “Nike Virtual Studios” earlier this year, which’ll oversee the company’s push into the space and try to establish the sneaker company as a key player in the virtual world. Nike’s not alone, either: rival Adidas worked with Bored Ape Yacht Club and Prada to make NFTs in recent months.

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💬 Quote of the day

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

– Lev Tolstoy (a Russian writer)
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🎯 On Our Radar

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  3. Pusha T just dropped the hardest diss track of the year. What did that fish sandwich do to deserve this?
  4. Europe might be about to expose something huge. The consequences would be… uh, actually really good.
  5. Wednesday Addams is back. You can catch her on Netflix this time.

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