Meta plans to charge a massive fee on digital sales in its metaverse in today’s top stories. Profitability of S&P 500 companies is expanding. Mercedes drove its electric vehicle for 1000km in a single charge and Brookfield successfully bid to buy an Australian telecom company.
Facebook to take cut of metaverse sales.
Facebook owner Meta Platforms’ [FB] plans to take a large cut of sales on its metaverse has attracted criticism from many quarters, including Apple [AAPL], reports MarketWatch. A Facebook blog on Monday said the company would allow some Horizon Worlds creators to sell assets on its metaverse platform, which would eventually include NFTs. However, it would collect around 47.5% from each transaction, including a hardware and digital store fee.
The coffee chain’s [SBUX] share price plunged after the company announced plans to suspend its share buyback programme. With investor sentiment damaged, securing future growth and keeping employees on the company’s side could be crucial. Analysts are already downgrading the stock over fears that it may miss earnings estimates for 2023.
More profits ahead.
The earnings outlook for companies in 2022 is looking rosy even after 2021 profits soared at an unparalleled pace, reports MarketWatch. CEOs have been warning of the impact of rapidly rising costs and weak consumer sentiment in 2022, but profit margins are expected to increase this year and beyond. In 2021, the average profit margin of S&P 500 companies rose 112 basis points to 12.18%, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group analysis of FactSet. It is expected to increase to 13% in 2022.
US inflation has reached its highest in four decades and US equities are unlikely to grow at the pace seen in the past 10 years, says Julian Brigden, who is optimistic about investing opportunities in emerging markets. Brigden, co-founder and president of Macro Intelligence 2 Partners, told Opto that Chile, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are particular countries to watch, as they could benefit from the strength of the mining and metals industry.
Semiconductor firm Micron Technology [MU] has seen its share price trending downwards since the start of the year, in line with the broader chip industry, but the company’s robust revenue growth suggests that it could be a buying opportunity. The company is forecasting improved growth for fiscal Q3, driven by data centres, 5G technology and automotive markets, and analysts are generally bullish on the stock.
Merc races electric model.
German auto maker Mercedes drove its electric car over 1,000km (621 miles) from Germany to the French Riviera without recharging midway, challenging the mileage delivered by industry bellwether Tesla. The Mercedes EQXX prototype drove from Sindelfingen near Stuttgart via Switzerland and Italy to the Mediterranean coastal town of Cassis, said a company statement. It added that the car’s battery was half the size of other models in the range because of the test car’s efficiencies from its lightweight and aerodynamic design.
Brookfield’s bid for Aussie telco.
A consortium of Canadian venture capital fund Brookfield Asset Management and fund manager Morrison & Co said it would buy Australia’s Uniti Group for $2.7bn, according to a company statement. Shares of the telecom company have risen 50% since talks of a potential deal emerged hitting a high close to the offer price of A$5 apiece.