In today’s top stories, SoftBank shares drop after reporting another big loss at its Vision Fund, tech stocks rebound from post-earnings selloffs and analysts recommend disinflation plays. Meanwhile, the battery tech investment theme sees growing investments.
SoftBank share price sinks
Investment losses at SoftBank’s [9984.T] Vision Fund were 1.38trn yen ($9.8bn) in the three months to the end of September, following a 2.33trn yen loss in the previous quarter, despite signs that founder Masayoshi Son (pictured) is turning defensive. Masayoshi Son has been halting investments and accelerating share repurchasing and investors had been hoping another buyback programme would be announced with Q2 2022 earnings. It wasn’t and the SoftBank share price sank 12.7% on Monday.
Themes to play disinflation
There’s disagreement over whether peak inflation is in reach, but execs at UBS believe 2023 will be the year of disinflation. Analysts at the bank put this down to a combination of weak growth, inventory levels rising and supply chain woes easing. According to CNBC, they recommend healthcare and communication services as disinflation plays, but advise against energy and industrials. Genus [GNS.L], Hikma Pharmaceuticals [HIK.L] and Ambu [AMBU-B.BO] are the top picks.
Tech rebounds after earnings mauling
Tech recovered last week following gloomy earnings reports after the US consumer prices rose less than expected in October. With Meta [META] entangled in layoffs and burdened by Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision, there are others to add to your watchlist. CNBC noted that RingCentral [RING] was one of the tech sector’s biggest winners last week, rising 34.9% — the stock has a potential average upside of 33%. Twilio [TWLO] and Wix.com [WIX] were other big gainers.
Ithaca Energy IPO ‘a turning point’
Ithaca Energy [ITH.L] started trading on London’s main market last week. Though the stock is down around 5% since its 9 November IPO, chairman Gilad Myerson told Energy Voice that the listing was “recognition from investors” of the company’s attractiveness. It should “be a turning point for other companies to increase investor interest in the North Sea,” said Gilead.
Scandinavian clean transport news
Finnish firm Kempower Oyj [KEMPOWR.HE], which makes high-speed chargers, is gearing up making an entry into the US EV market by the end of 2023, two years earlier than planned, CEO Tomi Ristimaki told Bloomberg. Freyr Battery [FREY] announced plans for a gigafactory in Georgia last week and it’s reported by Bloomberg that private equity group KKR [KKR] could invest $500m in the Norwegian clean battery company.
Activision-Microsoft merger in spotlight
Concerns have been raised by the EU about Microsoft’s [MSFT] $69bn takeover of Activision Blizzard [ATVI]. Raymond James equity analyst Andrew Marok isn’t overly concerned. In a note to clients, he wrote that the deal will more than likely go through. If it doesn’t, then “trends in [Activision’s] core business have improved significantly, making a price drop on a deal break less precipitous for a standalone Activision share price”.
TSMC plans second Arizona plant
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company [TSM] is caught in the crossfire of US-China political tensions. This could be a big reason why the chipmaking giant – Apple’s [AAPL] core supplier – is said to be considering building a second plant in Arizona to add to the $12bn facility it broke ground on in 2020. The move would almost certainly please Biden, who signed the CHIPS and Science Act in August in a bid to boost domestic semiconductor production.
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