Warren Buffet pumped a billion dollars into Apple on Monday. Which might not seem a big deal given the Berkshire Hathaway magnate’s estimated $66.7bn worth, or that Apple shares are in an investor-baiting trough given recent poor earnings and a $10bn value wipe.
But as Buffet’s second significant investment in tech (his previous was a 2011 punt on IBM, whose results have been debatable), it’s headline news The Nebraska-raised businessman, 85, has long derided the industry, rightly slamming the early dot com boom as a bubble. But Apple’s price was just too good to pass up, especially for a man who despite being the world’s third-wealthiest (behind Bill Gates and Zara empresario Amancio Ortega) once had THRIFTY as his car registration plate.
Apple might be well outside Buffett’s famed “circle of competence”. But with its iPhone 7 soon to drop and savvy investments in China, the company looks set to rebound in the second half of 2016. It is also, as many have noted, the most profitable by far of any S&P500 company: its net income for March was $10.5bn alone.
But Buffett aside, which other tech shares should leading investors have been racing to snap up recently? Here Red Herring lists five companies that have been making incredible headway in the markets.
Netflix has, put simply, changed entertainment completely. The Californian company now has over 81m users and revenues that in Q1 this year reached $1.96bn, or $0.06 per share. That might not be on the same scale as an Apple, but it’s mightily impressive given that it doubled share expectations.
With a contining impressive roster of original programming, and profit margins widening by the month, expect to see Netflix outweighing even more expectations in the next few quarters to come – even if, as many have pointed out, its subscriber base appears to be plateauing.
Marc Benioff’s Salesforce is due to report its earnings report tomorrow. But what’s clear is that despite a volatile market, the cloud computing firm’s revenues are predicted by Wall Street to hop 25.2% year-on-year to $1.89bn by Q1 2017, which would give investors a 44% increase on shares bought in Q1 2016.
A diversifying business portfolio, and expanding staff, is also expected to help the company, renowned for its customer relationship management (CRM) solution. It recently penned a deal with Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), which management said would allow it to implement a new Internet of Things service. That has piqued the interest of investors (and us). 2016 is set to be a big year for Benioff and co.
Hardly an insider tip, this – but Amazon is going from strength to strength already in 2016, with a whole raft of new initiatives from which experts are surmising an even greater global domination. By last summer the Seattle giant was valued at around $15bn more than WalMart ($248bn to $233bn).
Some cried “Bubble” but the numbers stick: WalMart has simply stopped growing, while Jeff Bezos’ charges have thrusted into the future – quite literally, though not necessarily sucessfully, with Blue Origin – with large-scale logistics plans we recently wrote about, and the onslaught of Amazon Prime Video. With the success of AWS, too, many traders are now predicting Amazon’s value to soon exceed half a trillion dollars. That will be music to the ears of shareholders.
Gigamon, Santa Clara’s network, analytics and security specialist, might be the past year’s biggest tech share winner. In 2015 its price soared 163%, while this year has already brought plenty of good news: last month shares jumped another 10.4% on the back of better-than-expected Q1 earnings CEO Paul Hooper put down to greater demand for its security offerings.
“Security continues to be a significant growth driver for us, representing over 60% of our transactions this quarter,” said Hooper, who added that it is “proving to be the most efficient and effective way for organizations to scale their security deployments.” Expect Gigamon’s price to stabilize as the security market moves from prevention to detection spending. But the firm is still a great bet headed into summer.