fbpx

Weekly Cache

Weekly Investment News and Analysis

Please see what we’ve been reading in technology and ESG related investing this week. Please feel free to send us what you’ve found interesting.

Latest Invesment News

May 26, 2024: Mixed Week, Despite Blow Out Nvidia Earnings

Last week was mixed despite Nvidia’s stellar earnings and guidance. Nasdaq composite rose 1.4% for the week (fifth straight weekly gain, and an all-time record). S&P 500 index closed marignally higher (after a brief record high Thursday). Dow Jones lost 2.3% last week. Nvidia revenue rose 262% to US$26 billion in the quarter that ended in April as its artificial intelligence chip sales helped the company beat its revenue projection for the quarter by more than 30% for the second quarter in a row. Free cash flow rose by nearly 6 times to US$14.9 billion in the April quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. And the company gave another strong revenue projection for the current fiscal quarter, which ends in July, saying sales would rise about 107% from last year. Anduril is seeking a US$12.5 billion valuation after doubling revenue. SpaceX is weighing a plan to sell shares at US$200 billion valuation. Shares of database provider Snowflake fell 5% on Thursday after the company said a day earlier that revenue growth had “moderated” in April. Microsoft unveils new AI ‘agents’ to automate workplace tasks and AI focused PCs. U.S. approved NASDAQ and NYSE requests to list Ether ETFs. Ether has jumped nearly 30% in recent days on the anticipation of the SEC decision. In Canada, Blackline announced a $20 million bought deal and $10 million concurrent private placement. Sophic Capital client, Kraken Robotics completed a $20 million bought deal equity financing. Sophic Clients, ADM Endeavors, Legend Power Systems, OneSoft Solutions reported quarterly results. ADM’s focus is now on expanding operational capacity from its new facility in 2024. LPS closed on some large deals, has a strengthened balance sheet, and a growing pipeline. OneSoft reported 30%+ y/y revenue growth, and estimates 2024 in the range of $15 – $16 million, 44% to 54% y/y growth.

Invesment News in the Past Weeks

May 19, 2024: Intraweek Record Highs for Indices

May 19, 2024: Intraweek Record Highs for Indices

Last week, Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all hit record highs. Dow Jones rose 1.2% during the week, S&P 500 gained 1.5%, and Nasdaq composite was up 2.1%. CoreWeave, an upstart cloud provider that rents out servers with Nvidia’s artificial intelligence chips, raised US$7.5 billion in debt financing led by Blackstone, the company said Friday, adding that it was the largest deal of its kind. OpenAI on Monday launched a new AI model and desktop version of ChatGPT, along with an updated user interface. Google is expanding conversational search results that summarize answers instead of just listing links to other websites. Snowflake is said to be discussing buying AI startup Reka AI for US$1 billion. Squarespace said Monday it had agreed to a buyout by private equity firm Permira for US$44 a share in cash, in a deal that values the company at US$6.9 billion including debt. Reddit shares surged as it struck a content deal with OpenAI. Meta is reportedly working on camera-equipped AI earphones. Netflix said it plans to launch its own advertising technology platform to allow advertisers to buy ads on the streaming service. Millennium, Point72 and Elliott are among Bitcoin ETF buyers, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Q1 13F filings of roughly 1,000 filers. In Canada, Xybion Digital, and CloudMD were both taken out — as we’ve highlighted previously, we expect small to mid cap Canadian listed companies to be acquired unless the valuation gap with US listed companies narrows. Sophic Client, Xcyte Digital released its “Xperience” subscription service. Xperience, the first-of-its-kind service, gives subscribers the flexibility to select the most suitable technologies for hosting events bringing together a global ecosystem of event technology. The Xperience partner ecosystem is intended to be distributed globally and offered to, among others, large multinational enterprises, which is expected to broaden Xcyte’s reach into major worldwide markets.

May 12, 2024: Major Indices Advance, Lots Of M&A

May 12, 2024: Major Indices Advance, Lots Of M&A

Major indices resumed their move towards record or 52-week highs last week — Dow Jones gained 2.2%, S&P 500 rose 1.85%, and the Nasdaq composite was up 1.1%. Chinese EV maker Zeekr priced its US IPO at top of range to raise US$441 million, the stock popped 30%+ on its debut. S&P 500 companies that have reported Q1/24 results disclosed buying back US$181.2 billion of their shares during the period, up 16% y/y. Since the start of 2023, the volume of M&A financed by stock or a mix of cash and stock has touched its highest level in more than two decades. SoftBank is in talks to acquire Graphcore, a struggling British semiconductor startup once valued at US$2.8 billion. BigCommerce reportedly hired bankers to explore potential sale. Private equity firms are reportedly circling Peloton for a potential buyout. Warren Buffett gave a prominent gesture of confidence to Apple at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday, saying it’s “extremely likely” the stock will remain his holding company’s biggest investment despite Apple’s recent struggles. OpenAI will announce and demonstrate updates to ChatGPT and GPT-4 on Monday via livestream, the company said on X on Friday. Apple is finalizing a deal with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT features to iOS 18. TikTok and its parent company ByteDance sued the U.S. government on Tuesday to block a new law signed by President Biden forcing a sale or ban of the short-form video app. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken received $3.5 million of orders for subsea security equipment. Tantalus Systems announced a $10 million bought deal financing. American Aires announced a $3 million private placement. Shopify fell 18% on Wednesday, shaving almost US$20 billion off the company’s value, after the company gave revenue and profit guidance for the current quarter that spooked investors.

May 05, 2024: Bad News Is Good News Again

May 05, 2024: Bad News Is Good News Again

Markets ended the week strongly, due to a tame jobs report, which led to rate cut hopes and a rebounding Apple, prior to Berkshire indicating it cut its Apple position on Saturday. Dow Jones rose 1.1% during the week, S&P 500 gained 0.55%, and Nasdaq composite rose 1.4%. CoreWeave, an Nvidia-backed cloud startup, said it raised US$1.1 billion in new funding led by Coatue Management. The round valued it at US$19 billion. Artificial intelligence startup Anthropic on Wednesday unveiled its first mobile app for iPhone users and a new subscription plan for enterprise customers. Tesla shares surged 15% on Monday after Bloomberg reported that the automaker had partnered with Chinese internet company Baidu to help bring the electric vehicle maker’s driver assistance technology to China. A 10.5% drop in iPhone revenue dragged down Apple’s overall revenue by 4% in the March quarter, the tech giant reported Thursday, leading to a 2.3% decline in net profit. Apple announced a new US$110 billion share buyback and increased the dividend. Apple has renewed discussions with OpenAI about using the startup’s technology to power some new features coming to the iPhone later this year. Google on Monday announced new features for its Performance Max ad-buying tool, which uses artificial intelligence to optimize ad campaigns. In Canada, Sophic Client Ionik announced the sale of PopReach Games portfolio for a total aggregate purchase price of up to US$9.8 million. Sophic Capital Client, Xcyte Digital signed agreement to purchase assets of Webinar.net, bringing the Companys’ Pro Forma revenue run rate to US$5.0 million, before synergies, up 500% since the Company’s 2023 RTO. Zedcor announced a $4 million Bought Deal and $10 million concurrent Private Placement offering. Stack Capital invested US$8 million into Canva.

April 28, 2024: Mega Cap Earnings Advance Markets

April 28, 2024: Mega Cap Earnings Advance Markets

Last week, the stock market rebounded strongly due to mega-cap earnings even amid an alarming inflation report — Dow Jones rose 0.7%, S&P 500 gained 2.7%, Nasdaq advanced 4.2%. Rubrik rose 16% in its trading debut after the cloud and data security startup backed by Microsoft topped its fundraising goal with a US$752 million IPO. Vista Equity Partners-backed automotive data and software services provider Solera is weighing an IPO that may raise over US$1 billion. Traders who bet against the “Magnificent 7” group of big U.S. tech stocks booked their biggest-ever weekly profit of more than US$10 billion last week, with the biggest gains coming from their short position in shares of Nvidia and Tesla. Thoma Bravo will buy UK-listed Darktrace for £4.3 billion. IBM has agreed to buy Hashicorp, for US$6.4 billion in cash to strengthen its position in cloud computing and AI. Alphabet shares rose as much as 13% in after-hours trading after the company reported 15% higher revenues in the first quarter—stronger growth than analysts had anticipated—and announced it would begin paying a dividend. Meta plunged 16% on weak guidance even though Q1 results beat estimates. Tesla shares jumped 13% after Musk says the company aims to start production of an affordable new EV by early 2025. President Joe Biden signed into law a foreign aid package that includes a requirement that TikTok cut ties with its Chinese owner ByteDance or face a ban. TikTok has about a year to find a new owner, under the law. In Canada, Sophic Client Kraken Robotics gained access to over $100 million in liquidity via a bought deal equity offering and new expanded bank credit facilities in order to fund growth. Sophic Clients Xcyte Digital, OneSoft Solutions, UGE, ADM Endeavors will be presenting at the Planet MicroCap Showcase next week and will also host 1×1 investor meetings.

April 21, 2024: Another Tough Week, Heading Into Q4 Earnings

April 21, 2024: Another Tough Week, Heading Into Q4 Earnings

Last week, S&P 500 lost 3.05% – its biggest weekly decline in a year. Nasdaq composite fell 5.5% – its worst week since November 2022. However, the first-day stock price of Ibotta, traded up 17% Thursday from its US$88 IPO price, which already was at the top of the range bankers expected. French AI start-up Mistral, is in talks to raise €500 million in a deal that would more than double its valuation to at least €5 billion. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has completed a US$7.2 billion fundraise, exceeding an earlier target of US$6.9 billion. Italy’s Prysmian announced a deal to buy US firm Encore Wire for an enterprise value of about 3.9 billion euros (US$4.15 billion). Bentley Systems is exploring options that include a sale after attracting acquisition interest. Google could spend more than US$100 billion over time developing its artificial intelligence technology. Microsoft is looking to double new data center capacity. Meta Platforms on Thursday launched a new version of Meta AI, available in its apps and Ray-Ban smart glasses. Baidu’s Ernie AI chatbot now has 200 million users. Shares of critical chip firm ASML dropped 5% as sales missed expectations. TSMC cut its chip market outlook as consumer weakness persisted. TSMC’s stock slid more than 6% in Taipei, the biggest intraday decline in about 18 months. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken Robotics reported record 2023 financial results, and sees its strong momentum continuing. For 2024, Kraken reiterated guidance, expecting revenue between $90.0 million and $100.0 million and Adjusted EBITDA in the $18.0 million to $24.0 million range. Sophic Client, UGE International achieved notice to proceed milestone for a 847kw rooftop community solar project in Queens, New York. UGE had the project appraised by a third party for a fair market value of US$2.7 million or USD$3.14/watt.

April 14, 2024: Mixed Week Ends On Bearish Note

April 14, 2024: Mixed Week Ends On Bearish Note

NASDAQ hit a record close Thursday, then fell 1.6% Friday, ending the week down 0.45%. During the week, S&P 500 lost 1.55%, Dow Jones was down 2.4%. the CBOE Volatility index rose to 17.31 Friday, with a its 19.20 session peak, the highest since last fall. Ibotta Inc., a digital marketing software firm that counts Walmart Inc. as a backer, and shareholders are seeking to raise as much as US$472.5 million in an initial public offering. Tech stocks saw inflows of US$18.6 billion in Q1, the third largest quarterly inflow on record, Bank of America said. OpenAI has told some former employees they can sell shares in an extension of a recent tender offer that valued it at US$86 billion. Investors are seeking US$3 billion for Musk’s xAI at US$18 billion valuation. Intel, Meta and Google are releasing new chips. Adobe is buying videos for US$3 per minute to build AI models. Traders piled into shares of Rent the Runway on Thursday, sending the shares up by more than 220% after the apparel rental firm said it was betting on artificial intelligence tools to power its growth in the current year. Salesforce is in advanced talks to buy Informatica, according to the WSJ. Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company rose as much as 3.2% on Monday as President Joe Biden’s administration approved nearly US$12 billion in grants and loans. In Canada, Galaxy closed its upsized US$125 million bought deal financing. Sophic Client OneSoft announced the expansion of its operations to EMEA. The Company also presented at the AI & Technology Hybrid Investor Conference. Sophic Client, UGE International energized the largest rooftop community solar project in Maine. An independent third party valued the project at USD2.5 million, or US$2.62/Watt. The Canadian federal government committed $2.4 billion to AI compute, startups, and safety through Budget 2024.

April 07, 2024: Q2 Off To A Choppy Start

April 07, 2024: Q2 Off To A Choppy Start

Markets closed the week rebounding from intra week loses. For the week, Dow Jones lost 2.3%, S&P 500 fell 0.95%, Nasdaq composite declined 0.8%. Rubrik files to go public as tech companies see a thawing of IPO market. Chipmaker Cerebras Systems is targeting a listing in the second half of the year at the earliest, and may seek a valuation in the IPO that would value it above the US$4 billion figure achieved in its 2021 funding round. Tiger Global closed a US$2.2 billion fund, 63% lower than target. Tesla delivered fewer cars in the first quarter than it has in any quarter in more than a year, marking the end of an era of growth at the electric vehicle maker. Elon Musk said Tesla will present its new Robotaxi in August. Google is considering charging a fee for artificial intelligence features in its search results. Microsoft is working on an Xbox AI chatbot. The Company will also separate Office, Teams products globally as regulatory pressures mount. Apple exploring a ‘mobile robot’ that ‘follows users around their homes’. AT&T confirmed a data breach and reset millions of customer passcodes. Retail giant, Walmart, is investing tens of millions of dollars into community solar projects as part of its broader push to purchase clean electricity. In Canada, Sophic Capital client Legend Power Systems Inc. (LPS-TSXV, LPSIF-OTC) reported record purchase orders of over $2.5 million, sending the stock up over 45% for the week. Sophic Capital Xcyte Digital (XCYT-TSXV) purchased assets of A+ Conferencing. This first transaction from Xcyte’s deep M&A funnel, nearly doubles the Company’s revenue run-rate. Sophic Client OneSoft Solutions Inc. (OSS-TSXV, OSSIF-OTC) reported results for fiscal 2023 and reiterated fiscal 2024 guidance of ~44-54% y/y revenue growth. Dye & Durham (DND-TSX) announced pricing of its refinancing transactions. Toronto-based FinTech startup Brim Financial has secured $85 million in its Series C financing.

March 31, 2024: Great Quarter, Guys!

March 31, 2024: Great Quarter, Guys!

Thursday was the last trading day in Q1, which saw S&P 500 up 10.2%, its best Q1 since 2019. Dow Jones gained 5.7%, its strongest Q1 since 2021. Nasdaq was up 9.2%. For the week, S&P 500 was up 0.4%, setting an intraday all-time high Thursday. Dow Jones Industrial rose 0.8%, and set a record close Thursday. Nasdaq composite lost 0.3%, just below its peak. WSJ notes when S&P 500 gains over 8% in Q1, it has finished higher for the rest of the year 94% of the time, with an average gain of 9.7% for the final three quarters. Amazon on Wednesday said it would commit US$4 billion to Anthropic, capping the second-biggest fundraising by an AI startup in recent memory. Reddit stock’s stellar market debut has drawn significant bearish bets, data from analytics company Ortex on Wednesday showed. The most popular DWAC options eye a 95% plunge over next month. DraftKings shares slumped on news NCAA wants to ban college prop bets. Robinhood stock surged as much as 7% on Wednesday after the company launched a solid gold credit card that offers its users 3% cashback rewards. Elon Musk said Tesla Optimus robot should cost ‘less than half of a car’. Sophic Capital Client, ADM Endeavors, received final building permits for its new Texas facility. Once completed, the facility could increase production capacity by up to five times, significantly increasing current maximum in-house revenue capacity of US$7 million. Quisitive announced an agreement to sell BankCard USA, which could unlock shareholder value. Canadian pension fund PSP will co-lead a funding round in Toronto based Cohere at a US$5 billion valuation. Four school boards in Canada Wednesday filed lawsuits against Meta Platforms, Snap and TikTok parent ByteDance, claiming the social media platforms have harmed children’s mental health and disrupted the education systems.

March 24, 2024: Dovish Fed, AI prospects, And IPO Pops!

March 24, 2024: Dovish Fed, AI prospects, And IPO Pops!

The market had another strong week, buoyed by a dovish Fed, bullish AI prospects and a couple positive IPO debuts. Major indexes performed well, hitting record highs, and then backing off Thursday’s intraday highs. For the week, Dow Jones was up 2%, S&P 500 gained 2.3%, Nasdaq composite rose 2.85%. The IPO pop is back — Reddit ended its first day on the public markets up 48% from its offering price. Astera Labs, ended its Thursday above US$64, about a three-quarters rise from its IPO price two days ago. Walmart-backed Ibotta filed for an IPO. CoreWeave, a cloud computing provider that’s among the hottest startups in the artificial intelligence race, is in talks to raise equity capital in a transaction that would more than double its valuation to US$16 billion. Telegram raised US$330 million through a corporate bond issued last week. The government of Saudi Arabia plans to raise US$40 billion for a fund focused on artificial intelligence investments, partnering with Andreessen Horowitz. Nvidia on Monday unveiled its next artificial intelligence chips, Blackwell, during its annual conference for app developers. The Justice Department and several states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple on Thursday. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken Robotics, announced $2.4 million of sonar and subsea power contracts. Abaxx announced the upsizing of its Bought Deal financing to $16.25 million. Nuvei, is nearing a buyout deal. Private-equity firm Advent International is in advanced talks with Nuvei for a transaction that could be announced soon, according to the WSJ. Hamilton-based oncology firm Fusion Pharmaceuticals will be acquired by AstraZeneca for up to US$2.4 billion. Toronto based Cohere, is in advanced talks to raise US$500 million at a valuation of about US$5 billion. Cohere was valued at US$2.2 billion last June when it raised US$270 million.

March 17, 2024: Canada: Expensive Chicken, Cheap Tech Companies

March 17, 2024: Canada: Expensive Chicken, Cheap Tech Companies

Markets remain at a crossroads. After seemingly poised to set new highs Tuesday, major indexes pulled back Friday. Dow Jones closed the week marginally down, S&P 500 lost 0.1%, Nasdaq composite lost 0.7%. Telegram is nearing profitability and is considering a IPO, according to the company’s founder. Stripe is in “no rush” to go public after the US$65 billion payments company returned to positive cash flow and raised its private market valuation. Technology start-ups have slashed equity packages for new hires as they weather a prolonged downturn, according to new data from Carta. Nvidia could be worth US$6 trillion if it follows Cisco’s dot-com trajectory, says Jeremy Siegel. Salesforce invested in Nvidia server reseller, Together AI at a US$1.25 billion valuation. Bitcoin’s record high boosted Coinbase, Microstrategy shares, as short sellers have lost US$3.3 billion betting against MicroStrategy this year. Despite inflation headlines everywhere, Canadian tech companies appear to be on sale. Three take outs were announced just last week, highlighting a key issue capital markets participants have long articulated – a lack of innovation focused risk capital in the country. TrueContext announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Battery Ventures in an all-cash transaction. mdf commerce entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by KKR, some investors suggested they may vote against the transaction based on valuation. Apple earlier this year acquired DarwinAI, a Canadian startup developing AI software to visually inspect components during manufacturing. Even though the stock of Sophic Capital client Kraken Robotics has surged over 150% in the past six months, it still appears undervalued when compared to its peers. We published a report highlighting if Kraken were to trade inline with defense technology peers, the stock would be worth $1.85 per share or 68% upside from the closing price on March 12, 2024, of $1.10.

March 10, 2024: Momentary Blip Or Change In Market Character?

March 10, 2024: Momentary Blip Or Change In Market Character?

Last week, Dow Jones fell 0.9%, S&P 500 lost 0.3% and Nasdaq Composite was down 1.2%, after reversing from record highs on Friday. Astera Labs said it plans to raise up to US$534 million from its IPO as the eight-year-old server component startup looks to benefit from investor interest in artificial intelligence companies. Reddit is planning to start trading on the NYSE on March 21, following a road show next week. The company is initially seeking a valuation between US$5.5 billion and US$6.5 billion, down from the US$10 billion at which it raised money in 2021. Andreessen Horowitz is close to raising US$6.9 billion in new funds, including a growth fund that comprises about half the total and two AI focused funds. Super Micro Computer is joining the S&P 500 following a historic rally in the stock that has pushed the company’s market cap past US$50 billion. Two Nvidia Corp. directors sold about US$180 million in shares of the chipmaker in recent days, becoming the latest insiders to cash in as the stock continues to push deeper into record territory. MicroStrategy slipped from 24-year high on a convertible note offering to buy more bitcoins. The European Commission fined Apple 1.8 billion euros, or US$1.95 billion, for alleged “abusive App store rules” affecting rival music streaming services. President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he would sign a bill that would force ByteDance to divest TikTok or ban the app in the United States if it passed Congress. Temu spent US$2 billion on Meta ads in 2023. Amazon Web Services is paying up to $650 million for a Pennsylvania data center campus next to a nuclear power plant, according to the seller, Talen Energy. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken signed a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement with the US Navy for next Generation Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) Beamforming. Toronto-based AI chip startup Taalas has launched out of stealth with $50 million in funding.

March 03, 2024: Record NASDAQ, But Hedge Funds Likely Reducing Exposure

March 03, 2024: Record NASDAQ, But Hedge Funds Likely Reducing Exposure

Last week, Dow Jones lost ~10 bps, S&P 500 rose 0.9%, and NASDAQ Composite gained 1.7% and hit a record high on Friday. Klarna is considering a US$20 billion IPO this year. eToro is getting interest about a public market listing. Investing platform Webull will go public through a SPAC deal. Stripe struck a deal with investors that allows current and former employees to cash out some of their shares in an offering valuing the startup at US$65 billion. Hedge funds are reportedly dumping tech stocks at the quickest pace in seven months after piling in ahead of Nvidia’s wild earnings report. At the same time, options on Nvidia, accounted for 25 cents of every dollar of premium – the price of contracts – traded in U.S. single-stock options over the past month. Various companies including Apple, Fisker and Polestar signalled problems with the EV market. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken Robotics announced that its minehunting systems were operational with the Royal Danish Navy, under a 2020 contract. Sophic Client, UGE achieved a Notice to Proceed milestone for a second 1.4MW solar project in Texas. UGE had the project appraised by an independent third party for a fair market value of US$3.1 million or US$2.22/Watt. Sophic Client, Clear Blue provide a Q4 2023 corporate update, which bodes well for 2024 results and also announced product updates. Railtown AI closed the final tranche of its previously-disclosed non-brokered private placement. Collectively across all tranches of the Offering, aggregate gross proceeds of nearly $3 million was raised. Toronto startup ideogram raised $80 million for AI image generation, Andreessen Horowitz is leading the round.