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
Invesment News in the Past Weeks
The share price Arm Holdings ended Thursday at US$63.59, up nearly 25% above the initial public offering price, a strong early sign for the tech listing market overall. Instacart is targeting a valuation of roughly US$8.6 billion to US$9.3 billion in its imminent IPO, a fraction of what the grocery-delivery company was previously worth. Although reports on Friday morning suggested this pricing could be revised up given ARM’s successful listing. Marketing automation software firm Klaviyo is targeting a valuation of as much as US$8.37 billion in its initial public offering, according to updated IPO paperwork on Monday, a slight drop from the more than US$9 billion valuation the company landed when it raised money in 2021. Google on Wednesday said it laid off hundreds of recruiting staff as the company slows hiring. SpaceX’s satellite internet business Starlink brought in US$1.4 billion in revenue in 2022, up from US$222 million in 2021. Apollo is among suitors for IGT’s global slot-machine unit, the unit could fetch US$4 billion to US$5 billion, or ~11x EBITDA. Faze Clan has fired its CEO as the esports industry struggles. The Biden administration has approved US$100 million to fix the nation’s broken EV chargers. Ford will double its F-150 hybrid pickup production as EV sales growth slows. Tesla is closing in on a new manufacturing process that could significantly reduce costs and increase production of its electric vehicles. Tesla is the most shorted stock in the market – and investors have bet against it more than any other name for 3 straight months, according to a recent report. Sophic Client Kraken Robotics CEO, Greg Reid recently presented to investors at the Planet MicroCap Showcase in Vancouver. The Company also recently reiterated guidance for strong revenue growth and are expecting to be Net Income positive this year.
Last week was tough in the markets, as Dow Jones fell 0.75%, S&P 500 lost 1.35, and Nasdaq was down 1.9% — these major indices fell below their 50 day moving averages. China has banned iPhone use for government officials at work. China Mobile reportedly won’t sell the iPhone 15 amid local government ban. Arm is seeking a valuation topping US$50 billion, according to a Tuesday morning filing. The IPO of Renault’s Ampere electric vehicle division could get a valuation of up to 10 billion euros. Midjourney, a generative artificial intelligence startup that charges users between US$10 and US$120 for a monthly subscription, is on pace to surpass US$200 million in revenue this year. Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire health-records software company NextGen. Business software company Alteryx is exploring a sale. An FTC Antitrust suit against Amazon is set for later this month after a meeting failed to resolve an impasse. Venture-backed defense giant Anduril is acquiring Blue Force Technologies, the advanced design and engineering firm behind the “Fury” unmanned fighter jet, as the company looks to build out its suite of autonomous systems for national security customers. The Pentagon intends to field a vast network of AI-powered technology, drones and autonomous systems within the next two years to counter threats from China and other adversaries. To meet the challenge of a rising China, the Australian Navy is taking two very different deep dives into advanced submarine technology, including unmanned subs, powered by artificial intelligence, called Ghost Sharks. These geopolitical considerations, could be a tailwind for Sophic Client Kraken Robotics. Rockwell Automation signed an agreement to acquire Waterloo-based Clearpath Robotics, terms were not disclosed. Sophic Client LuckBox signed an LOI for potential merger or acquisition. Sophic Client Renoworks has partnered with ROOFLE to offer combined solution for roofing professionals.
Growth stocks performed well last week, Nasdaq was up 3.25%, S&P 500 rose 2.5%, and Dow Jones gained 1.4%. Arm will start conversations with potential IPO investors with a US$50 billion to US$55 billion valuation in mind, for at least a 56% increase from the price at which SoftBank bought Arm seven years ago. OpenAI is on pace to generate more than US$1 billion in revenue, up more than 35 times compared to last year. Nvidia-backed CoreWeave is seeking stake sale at up to a US$8 billion valuation, even as some employees are looking to cash out an astonishing US$500 million worth of shares, according to The Information. In Canada, Sophic Client Kraken announced a $2.7 million sonar & subsea battery order, and reiterated financial guidance for 2023 with Q2 results. The Company expects revenue to be in the $66 – $78 million range and adjusted EBITDA in the $12 – $17 million range. Mid-point of guidance range implies revenue growth of 76% over 2022 and adjusted EBITDA growth of 275%. Sophic Client, Clear Blue Technologies announced Q2 results, and is focused on revenue growth in H2 2023, net-zero cash burn and positive EBITDA. Private equity firm Veritas Capital made an offer to buy BlackBerry, months after the Company began a strategic review, its U.S-listed shares rose about 17% on the news. Amazon and Shopify announced a partnership Wednesday to allow Shopify sellers to offer Amazon’s Buy With Prime service on their e-commerce sites, Shopify also began quietly rolling out a TikTok integration. Toronto-based Cohere is being advised by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs on a potential financing round. Cohere, a competitor to OpenAI, raised US$270 million in June at a valuation of up US$2.2 billion, recently Tiger Global was close to selling a stake in Cohere in a deal that would have valued the company at about US$3 billion.
Last week, markets were mixed, Dow Jones fell 0.45%, S&P 500 was up 0.8%, and Nasdaq rose 2.3%, after ending three-week losing streaks. Major indexes did see reversals on Thursday despite blowout Nvidia results, and stocks rebounded on Friday despite a hawkish comments from Fed chief Jerome Powell. Nvidia’s financial performance in the July quarter blew past its earlier projections. Shares rose nearly 10% in after-hours trading. Data and marketing automation company Klaviyo on Friday became the latest tech company to try to join the public markets. Instacart just filed for its IPO and revealed a plan to sell US$175 million in stock to PepsiCo. Arm, which is owned by SoftBank, filed for its initial public offering Monday. Arm is one of the most important companies in technology. Its chip designs found in nearly all the world’s smartphones, including Apple iPhones and most Android devices. In Canada, Sophic Clients Legend Power Systems, UGE International and Renoworks Software reported recent financial results. Sophic Client Clear Blue Technologies will report financial results on Tuesday. “Our focus this quarter remained around advancing sales opportunities and we currently have new late-stage large deals with very strong financial viability,” said Randy Buchamer, Legend Power Systems CEO. “The handful of late-stage deals could bring over $10 million in new potential bookings near term with the long term total pipeline now north of $100 million. The Company also closed a non-brokered $2.5 million financing. UGE ended Q2 with 3.8 MW of operating assets that contributed US$183.6K of energy generation revenue (+126% y/y) with 93% gross margins. The Company also closed its previously announced overnight marketed offering of debentures (the “Green Bonds”)for aggregate gross proceeds of US$5,749,655. The Offering was conducted by a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity, and iA Private Wealth.
Last week was another tough week for investors, Dow Jones fell 2.2%, S&P 500 lost 2.1%, and Nasdaq fell 2.6%. SoftBank is in talks to acquire the 25% stake in Arm it does not directly own. Arm’s revenue fell 1% to US$2.68 billion in its last fiscal year, Bloomberg reported. The chip designer’s revenue fell a further 2.5% in the June quarter. Instacart is aiming for a September IPO. Instacart last raised money in 2021 at a US$39 billion valuation, but is likely to go public around the US$10 billion mark. SpaceX profit hit US$55 million in Q1 on US$1.5 billion in revenue. In 2022, the company had US$559 million in losses on US$4.6 billion in revenue. Europe’s Stripe rival Adyen fell 39% after its slowest sales growth on record. Adyen attributed the tepid print to increased hiring, firmer wages and to a shift in its North American customers’ business prioritization from growth to cost savings in the first half of the year. Shares of Hawaiian Electric plunged as much as 41% on Monday and are down 49% since the devastating Maui fires broke out last week. Intel scrapped its US$5.4 billion deal to buy Israeli contract chipmaker Tower Semiconductor Ltd after their merger agreement expired without regulatory approval from China. Microsoft is planning a new AI service with Databricks, hedging its OpenAI bet. Gemini, Google’s answer to OpenAI’s core software, will launch this fall with the ability to generate conversational text as well as imagery. In Canada, Sophic Client OneSoft reported Q2 revenue of $2.5 million (+87% y/y). Annual recurring revenue increased q/q by 59%. Management reiterated its gross profit guidance of $7.6 million in Fiscal 2023. Squamish, BC-based cleantech startup Carbon Engineering has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by oil -and-gas company Occidental Petroleum for US$1.1 billion.
Last week, Nasdaq and growth names were more damaged as industrials, infrastructure, housing, energy sectors and some retail, travel, medical, transportation and financial names held up better. Dow Jones rose 0.6%, S&P lost 0.3% and Nasdaq fell 1.9%. SoftBank’s Vision Fund unit recorded quarterly investment gains for the first time in six quarters. Nikkei reported that chip design company Arm is set to go public on the Nasdaq later this year, with an IPO valued at more than US$60 billion. Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, Intel, and other leading chipmakers will invest in the IPO. Design App Canva was valued at US$25.5 billion in the secondary market, ~36% lower than its most recent financing in September 2021. WeWork warned it has ‘substantial doubt’ about whether it can keep going as a business. PENN Entertainment stock jumped 20% after striking US$2 billion sports-betting deal with ESPN. Nvidia revealed a new A.I. chip, and said costs of running LLMs will ‘drop significantly’. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at regulating new U.S. investments and expertise that supports Chinese development of sensitive technologies. China’s internet giants ordered US$5 billion of Nvidia chips. Baidu, ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba have made orders worth US$1 billion to acquire about 100,000 A800 processors. GM said all of its EVs will be able to power your home by 2026. In Canada, Algonquin Power & Utilities announced the resignation of its CEO and said it was considering a sale of its renewable energy unit, after activist firms urged action to reduce debt and boost earnings. Sophic Client Legend Power announced a proposed second tranche of its offering. Sophic Client OneSoft announced release dates for Q2 2023 results, as the stock hit a 52 week high. Vancouver fusion energy company General Fusion raised $33.5 millionin what it called the first close of its Series F raise.
As we suggested in our July 23rd post tech stocks got bumpy on earnings last week. Nasdaq lost 2.85%, S&P 500 index fell 2.3%, and Dow Jones was down 1.1%. While most companies have reported earnings, there are more in the coming week, after which market participants can have a better picture of whether the market rally is at an inflection point. Apple lost 7% last week as sales fell, while profits rose on a services shift. Arm is aiming for a US$60 billion valuation in September IPO. New Relic is being taken private by TPG and Francisco Partners in a US$6.5 billion all-cash deal amid stiff competition in the application performance monitoring space from rival software companies Datadog and Dynatrace. CoreWeave, a cloud provider that rents servers with Nvidia’s graphics processing units has secured a US$2.3 billion loan to buy more GPUs and expand its footprint of data centers. Disney’s ESPN is plotting its streaming future, seeking tie-ups with leagues and rivals. Walmart is expanding its in-store advertising initiatives, including at checkout. Meta is reportedly developing a range of AI-powered chatbots with different personalities, a move aimed at increasing user engagement. SEC reportedly asked Coinbase to halt all trading—except for Bitcoin. AMD is plans an AI chip debut by year-end, with a China AI opportunity. Sophic Client Legend Power announced the closing of a non-brokered Private Placement pursuant to the Listed Issuer Exemption for $2.3 million gross proceeds. Sophic Client UGE International announced a Best Efforts Overnight Marketed Offering of up to US$5 million of project development green bonds, which the company announced was oversubscribed along with key new hires and appointments. Shopify Q2 revenues beat guidance, helped by a price hike. National Bank acquired Silicon Valley Bank’s Canadian portfolio.
After a big tech earnings week, with Apple and Amazon to report in the coming week: Nasdaq was up 2%, S&P 500 climbed 1%, and Dow Jones a snapped a 13-day win streak on Thursday, but still managed to close the week up 0.7%. Alphabet added US$111 billion in market value after showing progress on AI in Q2 earnings. Volkswagenplans to invest US$700 million in Xpeng and jointly develop electric vehicles in China. Facebook has more than 3 billion monthly active users, and Threads could be Meta’s next social network with 1 billion users. Elizabeth Warren and Lindsey Graham want to create a new regulatory agency that will oversee tech companies on a broad range of issues. Walmart launched a new travel benefit for members of its Walmart+ subscription as it continues to add features in a bid to compete with Amazon’s Prime membership and convert wealthier shoppers to frequent Walmart customers. Apple card notched roughly 10 million users earlier this year. EU passed a law to blanket highways with fast EV chargers by end of 2025. Seven of the largest automakers announced a joint venture to create a sprawling vehicle recharging network across North America, even as Reuters reported Tesla formed a team last year to thwart driving range complaints. In Canada, Dialogue will be acquired by Sun Life at a 43% premium. CGI will invest $1 billion to expand its AI capabilities. Shopify announced it will expand into credit cards. EMERGE announced it will sell WagJag for $1 million (acquired for$500K), and continue to prioritize strengthening its balance sheet and unlocking savings.
Last week, Dow Jones rose 2.1% and is on a 10-day win streak, the longest in six years. S&P 500 rose 0.8%, while Nasdaq lost 0.6%, largely due to Thursday’s 2.05% fall. Next week, we expect earnings from Microsoft, Alphabet, and Meta, at the same time, the Fed is expected to raise rates. Outlook comments from any of these events could send tech stocks on another leg down. Newly listed Oddity shares closed up more than 35% from their IPO price. The company joins a list of other recent strong debuts in the consumer sector including fast-casual chain Cava. Microsoft added US$154 billion in market value after it announces US$30 per month AI subscription. SpaceX forecasts doubling of revenue to US$8 billion. Cathie Wood’s flagship exchange-traded fund has rallied more than 50% this year, but Investors have pulled a net US$717 million from the ETF over the past 12 months. Apple is using custom ‘Apple GPT’ chatbot internally as it plans for generative AI features in 2024. ESPN reportedly held talks with the NFL, NBA and MLB for minority stakes. TSMC Arizona chip production has been delayed from 2024 to 2025. In Canada, Sophic Client Legend Power announced a minimum $2 million non-brokered private placement pursuant to the listed issuer exemption. A multinational industry leader entered into a multi-year agreement with Sophic Client OneSoft to deploy the Company’s Cognitive Integrity Management SaaS solution. Sophic Client UGE International achieved a notice to proceed milestone for a 1.3MW rooftop community solar project in New York City. The project is estimated to produce an average of $286K annual revenue, over at least 25 years, at ~85% Gross Margins. CEO Nick Blitterswyck also provided an update for investors as the Company’s backlog is approaching 100 MW year to date. EMERGE announced the closing of a Private Placement for gross proceeds of ~$750K. U.S. mortgage data vendor Black Knight will sell its Optimal Blue business for US$700 million to Constellation Software.
Last week, Dow Jones rose 2.3%, and hit a 2023 high, just below its 52 week high, S&P 500 rose 2.4%, and Nasdaq composite was up, both setting fresh 52 week highs. It was the Nasdaq’s best weekly gain since the end of March. At the same time, according to market watchers, we haven’t seen a software IPO since the end of 2021 — this 18 month software IPO “drought” exceeds the last couple “droughts” of ~6 months each. Nvidia is in talks to be an anchor investor in Arm’s IPO, as the two parties discuss valuation and appear to be about US$40-45 billion apart. SpaceX, the most valuable private company in the US, is approaching a US$150 billion valuation in secondary share sales. Shares of Tencent and Alibaba on Monday gained after China’s central bank fined the companies, a sign that investors think the country’s regulatory crackdown is coming to an end. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is poised to score a US$1 billion profit after Microsoft beats FTC in Activision case. In Canada, Sophic Client OneSoft hit another 52 week high. Investors are beginning to think of the Company as a revenue generating Aritificial Intelligence Company, with a strong moat with unique data, trained machine, and proven tech with fortune 100/500 customers. Sophic Client UGE announces Q2 2023 milestones and business updates. In the second quarter, UGE’s project backlog (stages 3.1-5) increased 14% to 356MW from 313MW. Since the start of the year, the Company’s backlog has increased by 96MW, marking near-achievement of its 2023 annual goal to add 100MW to its backlog. UGE anticipates achieving and exceeding this goal during the third quarter, far ahead of schedule. HIVE debuts a strategic expansion to power the future of artificial intelligence with its NVIDIA GPU cards. Dye & Durham entered into agreement to sell TM Group for up to £91 million; with up-front proceeds to be used to reduce debt.
Last week, Dow Jones fell 2%, S&P 500 lost 1.2%, and Nasdaq composite gave up 0.9%, but held its 10-day moving average. Bitcoin has staged a comeback, rallying 25% since BlackRock filed for its crypto fund. Banks holding debt from Elon Musk’s Twitter buyout might consider selling it as soon as Labor Day, the Wall Street Journal reported. Tesla deliveries rose 83% in the second quarter, in a sign that customers are galvanized by the electric vehicle maker’s frequent price cuts and new government subsidies. Rivian delivered 12,640 electric vehicles in the second quarter, a nearly three-fold increase from the same period last year when the EV upstart was in the thick of supply chain problems. Apple has been forced to make drastic cuts to production forecasts for the mixed-reality Vision Pro headset, unveiled last month after seven years in development (~130-150K in the first year vs. an initial sales target of a million units). ChatGPT app downloads are slowing down, BofA finds. Bluesky reaches 1 million downloads as Threads topples 70 million. China will control exports of some metals widely used in the semiconductor industry, its commerce ministry announced on Monday, the latest salvo in an escalating war over access to high-tech microchips between Beijing and the United States. In Canada, we saw positive funding announcements from Char Technologies, Prostar Holdings, MiMedia, Geologic AI, and a $30 million acquisition from Tiny.
As H1 2023 came to and end this Friday, S&P 500 index hit a 14-month high, Dow Jones and Nasdaq are back near 2023 highs. Apple is at a US$3 trillion market cap, for the first time. CNBC highlighted that tech stocks closed out best first half in 40 years. Even more stunning, it happened while the U.S. economy is still at risk of slipping into recession, reckoning with a banking crisis, and the Federal Reserve steadily increased its benchmark interest rate to the highest since 2007. While global economic concerns persist, highlighted by uncertainty surrounding the war in Russia and Ukraine and ongoing trade tensions with China, the NASDAQ could likely be in for some near term volatility, or see improved market breadth – we prefer the second option. That said, a sign of skepticism is the absence of a tech IPO market. There hasn’t been a notable venture capital-backed tech IPO in the U.S. since late 2021, and investors and bankers tell CNBC that the second half of the year is poised to remain quiet. M&A remains robust, with five notable transactions in the US just last week. Visa will acquire Brazilian fintech Pismo for US$1 billion. IBM will buy Apptio from Vista Equity Partners for US$4.6 billion. Databricks will acquire generative AI startup MosaicML for US$1.3 billion. Nvidia quietly acquired OmniML, an artificial intelligence startup that helps machine-learning models run on devices, rather than in the cloud. Defense technology company Anduril Industries has acquired Adranos, a startup that manufactures solid rocket motors for in-space and terrestrial applications. SpaceX is planning a sale of insider shares that would raise the company’s valuation to about US$150 billion, a rise from the company’s US$137 billion valuation reported in January. Fidelity Investments valued its stakes in Discord and Reddit slightly lower than it had previously. Shein, the Chinese online fashion retailer worth more than US$60, has registered with regulators for an initial public offering in New York.