1. SOFT BANK : SoftBank Group Corp is set to report a boost to Vision Fund returns when it posts quarterly earnings due to the U.S. listing of Chinese portfolio firms, just as regulatory scrutiny of such firms clouds the outlook for the Japanese conglomerate.
The fund’s listed portfolio swelled in April-June with initial public offerings (IPO) of ride-hailer Didi Global Inc, “Uber for trucks” firm Full Truck Alliance Co Ltd and edutech startup Zhangmen Education Inc.
However widespread regulatory action in China’s technology and education sectors has spooked investors, wiping billions of dollars from the value of U.S.-listed Chinese firms.
Didi’s shares fluctuated wildly on regulation-related media reports, whereas Tik-Tok owner Bytedance has postponed listing plans indefinitely, the Wall Street Journal reported this month.
“SoftBank has been touting Vision Fund’s IPO flywheel and four of the last six listings have been Chinese but that will fade as the reality of China’s crackdown sinks in,” Redex Research analyst Kirk Boodry wrote in a client note.
SoftBank is investing through its second Vision Fund, which has $40 billion in committed capital from SoftBank itself, making investments at earlier-than-usual stages as well as late-stage investments, such as in South Korean travel firm Yanolja.
The group reported a record $37 billion net profit in the financial year ended March due in large part to outsized gains from a stake in South Korean e-tailer Coupang Inc.
SoftBank’s share price hit a two-decade high on the gain in March amid the group’s largest-ever share buyback. The buyback is complete, and the price has fallen a third from that peak.
“SBG has previously outlined its intention to address the overly high exposure of its investment portfolio to China, but we think rising global geopolitical tensions now look set to worsen investment returns sooner than expected,” Citigroup analyst Mitsunobu Tsuruo wrote in a note.
2. UBER:- Uber Technologies Inc is pushing back its back-to-office date to late October globally, and all employees in the United States will have to be fully vaccinated before returning to office, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
The news comes a day after major tech companies including Twitter Inc , Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc said all U.S. employees must get vaccinated to step into offices, as the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant drives a resurgence in cases.
In April, Uber said it expected its employees to return to office by Sept. 13.
San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Lyft Inc has also postponed its reopening to February from September.
The Delta variant, which emerged in India, has quickly spread globally and now accounts for more than 80% of all U.S. coronavirus cases.
Uber’s news was first reported by Business Insider earlier on Thursday.
3. AMAZON:-Amazon reported Thursday softer third-quarter revenue guidance and mixed second-quarter results as earnings beat, but revenue fell short of expectations.
Amazon.com announced earnings per share of $15.12 on revenue of $113.1 billion. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $12.24 on revenue of $115.33 billion.
Net sales in North America rose to $67.55 billion from $55.44 billion in the the prior-year period.
Amazon Web Services, its fast-growing cloud revenue segment, grew revenue to $14.81 billion from $10.81 billion.
Looking ahead to Q3, Amazon guided sales between $106 billion and $112 billion, representing growth of 10% to 16% compared to the same period last year, missing analysts estimates for third-quarter revenue of $119.02 billion.
Operating income is expected to be between $2.5 billion and $6.0 billion, compared with $6.2 billion in third quarter 2020.
4. PAYPAL:– PayPal stock fell more than 5% Thursday as its second-quarter revenue came in below expectations, leading to worries that the damage from its former parent eBay moving payments away from it could be greater than anticipated.
Paypal and eBay parted ways in 2018 as the latter wanted to give shoppers more control over their online experience, much like Amazon , giving them options to pay for their purchases.
eBay marketplaces represented 4% of its total payments volume in the second quarter compared to 17% in second quarter five years ago. PayPal expects that to further dilute to less than 3% as it exits 2021, calling eBay marketplaces a headwind to its growth in 2021.
Total revenue in the second quarter rose 19% to $6.24 billion, missing the estimated $6.27 billion.
Adjusted earnings per share on a diluted basis came in at $1.15 and surpassed analysts’ expectation of $1.12.
.5. AstraZeneca -AstraZeneca is exploring options for the future of its COVID-19 vaccine and expects greater clarity on the matter by the end of 2021, a senior executive said on Thursday, following a series of setbacks in its race to produce a shot for the world.
Executives emphasised it was too early to say what the decision on the vaccine’s future or the outcome of the review would be.
AstraZeneca agreed to work with the University of Oxford on its COVID-19 shot last year despite having no prior vaccine experience, taking on the project with a pledge not to make a profit during the coronavirus pandemic.
While a $39 billion dollar deal to buy rare drug firm Alexion is much more integral to the company’s business strategy, the COVID-19 vaccine has quickly become the public face of the company’s efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you ask me, is the vaccine business a sustainable business for AstraZeneca for the next five or 10 years, that big strategic question is under discussion,” Ruud Dobber, head of the BioPharmaceuticals business, told Reuters.
A small group of staff reporting to research chief Mene Pangalos and Dobber are looking into this, he said.
“We need to have that discussion with our senior executive team, and then with the board of AstraZeneca. We are exploring different options, but it is far too early at this stage to conclude that (process),” he said.
“Hopefully before the year ends, we will have a better view how to move forward in the next few years.”