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Netflix vs Walt Disney: a pivotal moment in the battle for media supremacy
Netflix vs Walt Disney: a pivotal moment in the battle for media supremacy
Source: BloombergThe battle for media supremacy has reached a pivotal moment. Just 21 years after the digitally-savvy company spawned out of Silicon Valley, Netflix is now rivalling Walt Disney for the title of America’s most valuable media enterprise. And while both have been close but cautious...
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Earnings look ahead – WHSmith, Workspace Group
Earnings look ahead – WHSmith, Workspace Group
Source: BloombergWHSmith (Q3 trading statement 6 June) This week’s trading statement from the long-lived British retailer, WHSmith, comes after it was voted the worst retailer on the high street by ‘Which?’ magazine readers, a title it has held for eight years. As has been the case for years now...
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Stakes are high for UK bookmakers amid crackdown on betting shop FOBTs
Stakes are high for UK bookmakers amid crackdown on betting shop FOBTs
Source: Bloomberg‘In most betting shops you will see three windows marked “Bet Here”, but only one window with the legend “Pay Out”,’ - Journalist, Jeffrey Bernard. Having been shrouded under a cloud of uncertainty for the past five years, the thunder has finally struck UK bookmakers and the cou...
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Ocado share price soars after striking transformational deal: has it finally delivered?
Ocado share price soars after striking transformational deal: has it finally delivered?
Source: Bloomberg‘The scale and economics of this agreement are totally different to our other deals,’ – Ocado finance director Duncan Tatton-Brown.  Scepticism has shrouded Ocado since the company joined the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2010. The company has struggled to mount any serious cha...
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BT Group: the ‘complex and overweight’ telecoms giant
BT Group: the ‘complex and overweight’ telecoms giant
Source: BloombergBT Group is one of the UK’s most important companies. It is the sole guardian of the Openreach network of wires and cables that connect the country, is the biggest broadband provider, owns the UK’s largest mobile carrier EE, and is responsible for over 100,000 jobs.  That is all...
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Earnings look ahead – Marks & Spencer, United Utilities, Tate & Lyle
Earnings look ahead – Marks & Spencer, United Utilities, Tate & Lyle
Source: BloombergMarks & Spencer (full-year results 23 May) Marks & Spencer (M&S) is expected to report earnings of 27.8p per share, down 8% year-on-year, while revenue rises 1.5% to £10.79 billion. M&S remains in the throes of a turnaround strategy, as it looks to make its long ...
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Greggs share price takes battering: has it still got the recipe for success?
Greggs share price takes battering: has it still got the recipe for success?
Source: Bloomberg‘I think baking is very rewarding, and if you follow a good recipe, you will get success,’ – Mary Berry. Investors have become accustomed to tasting success when it comes to Greggs, the hardy, no thrills baker famed for its sausage rolls. While not immune to the current downturn...
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UK challenger banks: are they failing to challenge the big banks?
UK challenger banks: are they failing to challenge the big banks?
Source: BloombergChallenger banks have had all the encouragement behind them to take on the traditional banks that monopolise the market, particularly HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The so-called ‘big four’ have all been plagued by bad behaviour since ...
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Earnings look ahead – easyJet, Royal Mail, AstraZeneca
Earnings look ahead – easyJet, Royal Mail, AstraZeneca
Source: BloombergeasyJet (first-half earnings 15 May) It has been a tough couple of years for easyJet, but it is beginning to look like the firm has turned a corner. Recent updates have been better, with improvements in both profits and dividends forecasted. Demand for cheap airline tickets rema...
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Share buybacks: fruits of labour or the consequence of short-term focus?
Share buybacks: fruits of labour or the consequence of short-term focus?
Source: Bloomberg‘In the investment world, discussions about share repurchases often become heated. But I’d suggest that participants in this debate take a deep breath. Assessing the desirability of repurchases isn’t that complicated,’ – Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway writing to shareholde...
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Spotify shares tested: learning the lessons of going public
Spotify shares tested: learning the lessons of going public
Source: BloombergThe bar seems to have been set rather high for Spotify. Shares found a steady momentum after the music streaming giant listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in early April. But less than a month later, Spotify shares suffered their first severe blow after releasing its re...
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Earnings look ahead – Barratt Developments, Next, Morrisons
Earnings look ahead – Barratt Developments, Next, Morrisons
Source: BloombergBarratt Developments (Q3 trading statement 10 May) Barratt’s recent update said that the firm had a good first half, as a result of a strong order book and solid consumer demand. Earnings are expected to keep growing in the 5%-6% range, and with a dividend of 7.8% for the curren...
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Crunchtime: where next for Tesla?
Crunchtime: where next for Tesla?
Source: BloombergThe stakes have never been higher for Tesla. While customers and investors remain loyal to Elon Musk’s long-term vision of revolutionising the automotive industry with its collection of electric vehicles, their confidence in the CEO’s ability to deliver his own short-term target...
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What’s the effect of GDPR and how is big tech responding?
What’s the effect of GDPR and how is big tech responding?
Source: Bloomberg‘We’re all going to have to change how we think about data protection,’ - UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, January 2018. Considering that the current directive dictating data privacy and protection laws across the EU is over 20 years out of date, it is fair to argue...
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Tesla, Snap, Apple – which stocks should you be buying and selling now?
Tesla Tesla slumped 4.55% in the after hours session following the release of its quarterly earnings. At first glance, the numbers appear better than expected. The electric carmaker reported a first quarter (Q1) record loss of $709.6 million. Excluding items, that amounts to a loss of $3.35 per sh.....
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With oil at 2014 highs, is it time to buy BP and Shell?
BP BP reported first quarter (Q1) adjusted net profit of $2.59 billion, topping analysts’ estimates for $2.12 billion, sending its shares higher by around 1.5%. The UK oil giant kept its dividend at $0.10 per share, in line with expectations. Underlying replacement cost profits, a closely watched .....
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Where next for PayPal and PayPal shares?
Where next for PayPal and PayPal shares?
Source: Bloomberg‘At PayPal, we believe your money should work for you. Not the other way round. It’s that simple,’ – PayPal. PayPal turns 20 years old in 2018 and has become one of the most recognisable international brands of its kind, having thrived acting as a middleman between buyers and se...
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Earnings look ahead – WPP, BP, Sainsbury’s
Earnings look ahead – WPP, BP, Sainsbury’s
Source: BloombergWPP (Q1 update 30 April) After the departure of the founder and CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, the first quarter (Q1) trading statement from WPP is beautifully well timed. The company will be under pressure to move quickly to find a successor, in order to avoid losing too many clients...
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European bank earnings round up
UBS UBS reported pre-tax profit of CHF1.97 billion, beating analysts’ estimates for CHF1.85 billion. It was the highest quarterly profit reported in three years, since the first quarter of 2015. However, its enlarged wealth management division, which recently saw its US and international businesse.....
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Tesco share price: a renaissance for the supermarket?
Tesco share price: a renaissance for the supermarket?
Source: Bloomberg‘Serving Britain’s shoppers a little better every day,’ – Tesco’s core purpose. Is Tesco enjoying something of a renaissance? Just three years ago in early 2015, the UK’s largest supermarket reported its worst financial performance in its near 100-year history following an accou...
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UK bank earnings preview – Lloyds, Barclays, RBS
UK bank earnings preview – Lloyds, Barclays, RBS
Source: BloombergLloyds (Q1 trading statement 25 April) Hopes that producer price index (PPI) would diminish in importance for Lloyds have been dashed, as the regulator’s advertising campaign boosted the visibility of the scandal. Full-year results contained the admission that the group would ha...
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UK retail sector: how is it performing and what’s the trading opportunity?
UK retail sector: how is it performing and what’s the trading opportunity?
Source: Bloomberg‘Retail is now totally propelled by consumers and their needs. People can buy what they want in any way that they want it. That trend started a long time ago, and it has really changed everything,’ – venture capitalist Kirsten Green, founder of Forerunner Ventures. UK retailers ...
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Earnings look ahead – Anglo American, Taylor Wimpey, Travis Perkins
Earnings look ahead – Anglo American, Taylor Wimpey, Travis Perkins
Source: BloombergAnglo American (Q1 update 24 April) Free cash flow of $5 billion for 2017, the highest dividend in ten years and a 50% reduction in net debt mean that Anglo American will have a tough job when it announces its production report for the first quarter. The ongoing rebound in commo...
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A guide to smart speakers and virtual assistants
A guide to smart speakers and virtual assistants
Source: Bloomberg‘Started out, J.A.R.V.I.S. was just a natural language UI. Now … he runs more of the business than anyone besides Pepper,’ ― Tony Stark to Bruce Banner, better known as Iron Man and the Hulk. We may have a long way to go before we can all have a virtual assistant as capable as J...
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What next for Facebook as earnings loom?
What next for Facebook as earnings loom?
Source: BloombergMark Zuckerberg succeeded in avoiding any pitfalls during his testimony to Congress last week, helped along by some fairly ineffective questioning from US lawmakers. The stock managed to rally during his appearances, and continued to rise, helping the tech universe as a whole cl...
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Bank of America – KBW’s top US banking stock
Here is a round-up of how the US banks have fared overall so far in first quarter earnings season. Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs reported first quarter (Q1) revenue of $10.04 billion, beating forecasts for around $8.74 billion. Earnings per share (EPS) also topped expectations, hitting $6.95, compar.....
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What now for the London Stock Exchange under David Schwimmer?
What now for the London Stock Exchange under David Schwimmer?
Source: BloombergXavier Rolet had it all planned out. He had spent eight years growing the London Stock Exchange (LSE) from an £800 million company to the £15 billion giant it is today, and the chief executive was looking to go out with a bang. This was all pinned on merging the LSE with its Ger...
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Earnings look ahead – Rio Tinto, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser
Earnings look ahead – Rio Tinto, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser
Source: BloombergRio Tinto (Q1 update 17 April) Rio Tinto's focus on iron ore will remain the chief story here, as the solid improvement in prices results in further divestments of some project. Improved Chinese demand will also help support earnings, while cash returns should remain strong as t...
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US bank earnings preview
US bank earnings preview
Source: BloombergAfter a long period of quiet, activity has returned to trading floors, a move that will cheer bank management no end. Trade wars, data-hacking and higher commodity prices have sent shockwaves through the sector. The jump higher in the volatility index (VIX) is emblematic of this...
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Earnings look ahead – Tesco, WH Smith, ASOS
Earnings look ahead – Tesco, WH Smith, ASOS
Source: BloombergTesco (full-year earnings 11 April) Tesco's full-year numbers will provide a chance for the firm to give more clarity on how it plans to take advantage of the Booker acquisition. Booker’s expertise in the wholesale market, and the potential for further growth in the sector now t...
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