FAANG Weekly Update
The FAANG Weekly Update consists of a comprehensive overview of the top news related to the 5 FAANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google). To subscribe to this weekly report and gain access to other articles exclusive tech company insights, click here.
Facebook’s stock hits record high, signaling recovery after extended historic slump
- Shares of Facebook (FB.O), which have been doggedly crawling their way back from a historic slump after lapses in users’ privacy sparked fears of lower profits, on Friday struck an intra-day record high for the first time in over a year.
- Facebook briefly rose 0.72% to touch $219.88 at mid-day, its highest level ever, before giving up the day’s gains to finish down 0.11%. The stock on Thursday achieved a record closing high, topping the last record close seen on July 25, 2018.
- But the following day, on July 26, 2018, shares of the world’s largest social network tumbled 19%, a day after the company unexpectedly warned that it faced a multi-year squeeze on its profit margins.
- That bombshell played into concerns that Facebook’s future was under threat following criticism of its handling of users’ privacy and its role proliferating “fake news,” along with dwindling user growth in lucrative markets. The company’s stock lost nearly half its value in a selloff lasting into December 2018.
Amazon’s Bezos to Face Unprecedented Protests During India Trip
- Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos is likely to be greeted by an unprecedented show of opposition during his short India visit this week, after thousands of small-time local retailers pledged to protest its pricing and exclusive-selling practices.
- The Amazon chief executive is slated to headline the inaugural session of Amazon India’s event for small and medium businesses — “smbhav” — which kicks off Wednesday in New Delhi. The billionaire is scheduled to take the stage alongside Amazon India chief Amit Agarwal in a fireside chat, anchoring an event that also features Infosys Ltd. co-founder Narayana Murthy and retail billionaire Kishore Biyani, who recently sold a stake in his retail group to Amazon.
- Bezos’s visit underscores India’s growing importance to his company. Competition there is building to record levels as Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, prepares to go live with JioMart and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt delves deeper into the countryside.
- Yet resentment is growing toward Amazon’s traditional cut-price approach. More than half-a-million traders representing thousands of trading bodies grouped under the Confederation of All India Traders plan to organize sit-ins and public rallies in 300 cities to protest Bezos’s visit, the group said.
- “We will have massive protests across the country and our biggest demonstration will be in Delhi, where we have sought Delhi police’s permission to protest outside the venue of Bezos’ event,” Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT secretary-general, told Bloomberg News.
Apple Issues Expensive Shock For Millions Of iPhone Users
- Apple’s 2020 ambitions know no boundaries. The company plans to release up to seven new iPhone models and, internally, they will make the biggest generational leap in years. The problem for Apple is the designs keep leaking and, having already been disappointed once, a major new iPhone design leak means we are likely to be disappointed all over again.
Trading up to an iPhone 11 model? You’ll now have to pay more.
Digging through Apple’s small print, the eagle-eyed MacRumors discovered Apple has quietly slashed trade-in values across its entire iPhone range for anyone looking to upgrade to a new iPhone. And the newer your trade-in model, the more money you will lose:
- iPhone XS Max — up to $500 (was $600)
- iPhone XS — up to $420 (was $500)
- iPhone XR — up to $300 (was $370)
- iPhone X — up to $320 (was $400)
- iPhone 8 Plus — up to $250 (was $300)
- iPhone 8 — up to $170 (was $220)
- iPhone 7 Plus — up to $150 (was $200)
- iPhone 7 — up to $120 (was $150)
- iPhone 6s Plus — up to $100 (was $120)
- iPhone 6s — up to $80 (was $100)
Yes, if you plan to trade-in your current iPhone, you will now receive up to $100 less even if it is in perfect condition (remember: these are “up to” prices). As it stands, despite the convenience of trading your old iPhone in with Apple, these prices make it a poor financial decision to do so. You’ll receive considerably more elsewhere, particularly if you sell it online.
This is also an usual step to reduce prices mid-cycle with Apple typically dropping values only with the release of each new iPhone generation. Consequently, it will be a nasty shock to many upgraders.
Oscars: Netflix Leads All Hollywood Studios With 24 Nominations
- Streaming made Hollywood history again Monday as Netflix picked up a leading 24 Oscar nominations, marking the first time that the company has earned more than any major studio or specialty distributor.
- That included landing two spots in the coveted best picture category for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. The Irishman received a total of 10 nominations, tying with Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Amblin/Universal’s 1917. However, Warner Bros.’ Joker trumped all three films with 11.
- Marriage Story and The Two Popes also nabbed multiple nods for Netflix, or six and two, respectively.
- Last year, the streamer received 15 Oscar nominations, including its first-ever for best picture (Roma). More recently, its original movies earned an industry-best 17 Golden Globe nominations. At the Jan. 5 Globe ceremony, however, its only win was for Laura Dern for best supporting actress in Marriage Story.
- Netflix has irked theater owners and many in the film industry for not adhering to a traditional theatrical run. Nor are grosses revealed for Netflix titles playing in select cinemas, including this year’s crop of Oscar nominees.
- The Disney empire — which now includes 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight — was only one Oscar nod short of Netflix’s total with 23. The tally includes six for Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit and four for Fox proper’s Ford v Ferrari. Both are up for best picture. Lucasfilms’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker collected three noms, while Pixar’s, Toy Story 4 nabbed two, including for best animated feature.
- Sony made a roaring comeback with 20 noms, including two for Sony Pictures Classics (Pain and Glory). That compares to five last year, including just one for the main studio.
Google Parent Alphabet Set To Hit $1 Trillion In Market Value
- Google’s market value currently sits at $985 billion, within 1% of the $1 trillion threshold as Wall Street bets that the company will report another quarter of strong advertising sales when it announces earnings on February 3.
- Google’s sales are largely still growing by as fast as they did ten years ago: The tech giant still reports revenue growth of around 20%, despite its $160 billion in sales amounting to more than five times the level seen in 2010.
- Google’s continued growth over the last decade has been due to the strength of its core advertising business, key value acquisitions like YouTube and expansion into other fast-growing areas — such as cloud computing and its “moonshot” projects, like self-driving car division Waymo.
- Apple was the first public company to surpass a $1 trillion market cap in August 2018. With its stock returning a whopping 86% in 2019, the iPhone maker has continued to forge ahead, currently boasting a $1.36 trillion market cap.
- Microsoft followed Apple, hitting the $1 trillion mark during the first half of 2019 — making it the second company to pass the milestone. It’s now worth $1.23 trillion.
- While Amazon also surpassed $1 trillion in value back in 2018, the company has since fallen back below that threshold, with its market cap currently sitting at $934 billion.