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5 Top Stories

TSMC Beat; Apple Setbacks; Accenture AI Push

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

TSMC Beat: Sign of a Chip Resurgence?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. [TSM] has reported Q4 revenue of $19.6bn, beating analyst expectations by some $50m. The principal chipmaker for both Apple [AAPL] and Nvidia [NVDA] is also optimistic about the coming year: the firm is budgeting capital expenditure of up to $32bn — relative to $30bn in 2023 — and expects revenue growth to be at least 20% for the year.

Two Device Setbacks for Apple

Netflix [NFLX] has said it will not launch an app on Apple’s Vision Pro headset, in a snub of the latter’s upcoming big-ticket launch; the streaming titan said users could simply watch its content on the web. Elsewhere, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will not grant a longer pause on an import ban of Apple smart watches, following a patent dispute. The Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches will now go on sale without the feature in question, the company said.

Accenture Expands AI Push

As part of its pivot towards artificial intelligence (AI), Accenture [ACN] is to open 10 ‘innovation hubs’ around the world. Having laid off 19,000 workers earlier in 2023, Accenture said in December it would double the number of staff specialised in AI, to a total of 80,000. Elsewhere, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan has predicted that sales of Japanese semiconductor equipment will surge 27% to over ¥4trn in the fiscal year starting April.

CrowdStrike’s Sentonas Dumps Shares

CrowdStrike [CRWD] President Michael Sentonas has sold 22,123 shares in the firm at approximately $286 per share, for a total of $6.3m. This has reduced his total stake to some 311,872 shares. The US cybersecurity firm was downgraded by WestPark Capital on Wednesday, amid concerns over earnings projections. However, a consensus of Wall Street analysts rate the stock a ‘strong buy’, according to Seeking Alpha.

Meituan in the Doldrums

China’s internet giants are ever more unpopular with investors. Alibaba [BABA; 9988:HK], for example, is down 78% from its highest point, while Tencent [TCEHY; 0700:HK] is more than 60% down from its record. This week, a selloff in Meituan [3690:HK] briefly pushed its stock price below its 2018 IPO price. It is currently 85% down against an all-time high three years ago, victim of weak consumer sentiment and increasing competition with newcomers in the space.

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