Tag Archives: GOOGL

Apple's HomePod Makes a Small Dent in Smart Speaker Market During Debut Quarter

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) officially jumped into the smart speaker market in the first quarter with the HomePod, and analysts believe that sales thus far are “underwhelming.” Siri remains less capable than its competing counterparts, HomePod only supports Apple Music for full functionality, and the $350 price tag positions it at a significant premium. With HomePod being included in the company’s catch-all “Other Products” segment, investors aren’t likely to get much official data from Apple anytime soon.

That’s where third-party estimates come in.

HomePod on a shelf

Image source: Apple.

Apple shipped 600,000 HomePods in the first quarter

Market researcher Strategy Analyticsis out with its estimates on the smart speaker market for the first quarter, estimating that Apple shipped approximately 600,000 units after HomePod launched in February. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is maintaining its strong grip on the market, although its share did drop quite a bit. But the overall market is simply growing so quickly that the e-commerce giant still doubled unit shipments of Echo devices. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Google continues to make headway as well.

Vendor

Q1 2017 Units

Q1 2017 Market Share

Q1 2018 Units

Q1 2018 Market Share

Amazon

2 million

81.8%

4 million

43.6%

Google

0.3 million

12.4%

2.4 million

26.5%

Alibaba

0

0%

0.7 million

7.6%

Apple

0

0%

0.6 million

6%

Xiaomi

0

0%

0.2 million

2.4%

Others

0.1 million

5.8%

1.3 million

13.9%

Total

2.4 million

100%

9.2 million

100%

Data source: Strategy Analytics. Figures rounded.

The Chinese market for smart speakers continues to grow, with local vendors like Alibaba and Xiaomi (which is preparingto go public soon) stepping up to meet the demand, according to Strategy Analytics. Amazon, Google, and Apple do not currently ship smart speakers into the Middle Kingdom. On the earnings callearlier this month, CEO Tim Cook noted that HomePod is only available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia right now, with availability in more markets coming soon.

While Apple generally does not place much value in unit share, it’s clear that Amazon and Google are enjoying unit growth thanks to broader portfolios of devices offered at lower price points. That’s why the “HomePod Mini” that Apple is rumored to have in the pipeline has a lot of potential, as it would make the idea of buying multiple devices a more tenable proposition for consumers.

Of course, HomePod was only available for about half of the quarter, so its performance isn’t all that representative quite yet.Let’s see how the Mac maker fares in the quarters ahead.

5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been one of the more impressive stocks of the past 25 years. In fact, AMZN now has returned nearly 100,000% from its IPO price of $18 ($1.50 adjusted for the company’s subsequent stock splits).

A large part of the returns have come from two factors. First, Amazon has vastly expanded its reach. What originally was just an online bookseller now has its hands in everything from cloud computing to online media to groceries. And its shadow is even larger. A potential entry by Amazon has rattled pharmacy stocks and medical distributors, among others.

Secondly, as a stock, AMZN has managed the feat of keeping a growth stock valuation for over two decades. I’ve long argued that investors can’t focus solely on the company’s high P/E ratio to value Amazon stock. But however wise an investor might the current multiple is, the market has assigned a substantial premium to AMZN stock for over 20 years now.

It’s an impressive combination — and one that’s likely impossible, or close, to duplicate. But these five stocks have the potential to at least replicate parts of the Amazon formula. All five have years, if not decades, of growth ahead. New market opportunities abound. And while I’m not predicting that any will rise 100,000% — or 1,000% — these five stocks do have the potential for impressive long-term gains.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: JD.com (JD) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: JD.com (JD)Source: Daniel Cukier via Flickr

JD.com Inc(ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) is the company closest to following Amazon’s model. While rival Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (NYSE:BABA) gets most of the attention, it’s JD.com that truly should be called the “Amazon of China,” as Will Healy pointed out in December.

Like Amazon (and unlike Alibaba), JD.com holds inventory and is investing in a cutting-edge supply chain. It, too, is expanding into grocery, like Amazon did with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. A partnership with Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) should further help its off-line ambitions. JD.com even is cautiously entering the finance industry.

That ability to both provide best-in-class logistics and satisfy a wide range of customer needs is what has made Amazon a success. And while JD may not rise to the scale of Amazon, at its current valuation it doesn’t have to. After a recent pullback, JD trades at less than 26x forward EPS. That’s despite 40% revenue growth in 2017, and expectations for a 30% increase in 2018.

And it sets up a scenario where JD stock could — if sentiment finally turns in its favor for good — appreciate for years, thanks to both strong bottom-line growth and an expanding multiple from optimistic investors.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Square (SQ) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Square (SQ)Source: Chris Harrison via Flickr (Modified)

Admittedly, I personally am not the biggest fan of Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) stock. I like Square as a company, but I’ve questioned just how much growth is priced into SQ already.

Of course, skeptics have done little to dent the steady rise in AMZN stock. And valuation aside, there’s a clear case for Square to follow an Amazon-like expansion of its business. Back in January, Instinet analyst Dan Dolev compared SQ to AMZN and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG), citing its ability to expand from its current payment-processing base:

In 10 years, Square is likely to be a very different company helped by accelerating share gains from payment peers and relentless disruption of services like payroll and human resources.

Just as Amazon used books to expand into e-commerce, and then e-commerce to expand into other areas, Square can do the same with its payment business. The small business space is ripe for disruption, as Dolev points out. Integrating payments into payroll, HR, and other offerings would dramatically expand Square’s addressable market – and lead to a potential decade or more of exceptional growth.

Again, I do question whether that growth is priced in, with SQ trading at ~about 12x the company’s 2018 guidance for “adjusted” revenue. But if — again, like AMZN — Square stock can combine a high multiple with consistent, impressive, expansion, it has the path to create substantial value for shareholders over the next five to 10 years.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Shopify (SHOP) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Shopify (SHOP)Source: Shopify via Flickr

E-commerce provider Shopify Inc (NYSE:SHOP) probably doesn’t have quite the same opportunity for expansion as Square. And it too has a hefty valuation, along with a continuing bear raid from short seller Citron Research.

But I’ve remained bullish on SHOP stock — and here, too, a recent pullback presents a buying opportunity. Shopify is dominant in its market of offering turnkey e-commerce services to small businesses. That’s exactly where consumer preferences are headed: small and unique over large and bland. And because of offerings like Shopify (and Amazon Web Services), those small to mid-sized businesses can compete with the giants.

Meanwhile, Shopify does have the potential to expand its reach. Just 29% of revenue comes from overseas, a proportion that should grow over time. It’s moving toward capturing larger customers as well through its “Plus” program, picking up Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) as one key client. The development of an ecosystem for suppliers and the addition of new technologies (like virtual reality) give Shopify the ability to offer more value to customers — and to take more revenue for itself.

Like SQ, SHOP is dearly priced. But both companies have an opportunity to grow into their valuations. And given long runways for Shopify’s adjacent markets, it should keep a high multiple for some to come. As a stock, if not quite as a company, SHOP has a real chance to follow the AMZN formula for long-term upside.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Roku (ROKU) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Roku (ROKU)Source: Shutterstock

Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) might have the best chance of any company in the U.S. market to follow Amazon’s strategic playbook. The ROKU stock price is a concern: I wasn’t thrilled about the price after a huge post-earnings gain back in November, and even near a five-month low ROKU isn’t close to cheap.

But — perhaps even moreso than Square — Roku now isn’t what Roku is going to be in ten years. The hardware business is a loss leader, but one that allows Roku to serve as the gateway to content for millions of customers. As the company pointed out after Q4 earnings, it’s already the third-largest distributor of content in the U.S. The Roku Channel is seeing increasing viewership. The company offers pinpoint targeting of advertisements — without the messy data problems afflicting Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).

Roku is becoming increasingly embedded in TVs, though a deal between Amazon and Best Buy Co (NYSE:BBY) raised some fears about those software efforts going forward. It has a plan to roll out home entertainment offerings like speakers and soundbars, creating a long-sought integrated experience. It could even, as it grows, look to develop or acquire content itself, positioning Roku not as just a conduit to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) but a rival.

The bull case for Roku stock is that its players are like Amazon’s books — a way to garner customers and get a foot in the door of the exceedingly valuable media business. What Roku does now that it has entered will determine the fact of ROKU stock. But the amount of options and a reasonable valuation (Roku’s market cap is barely $3 billion) mean that betting on its strategy could be a lucrative play.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Nvidia NVIDIA Corporation Stock (NVDA) Won't Stay Down Long After Shocking Analysts Source: Shutterstock

In the context of the stocks chosen here, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) doesn’t seem particularly expensive. But in the context of the traditionally cyclical — and low-multiple — semiconductor space, a ~34x multiple to 2018 consensus EPS estimates, even backing out net cash, is awfully pricy.

And with NVDA up a whopping 1,550% in just the past five years, investors would be forgiven for thinking the run might come to an end. Indeed, NVDA stock hasn’t really moved over the past four-plus months.

But the huge amount of secular tailwinds behind Nvidia suggest that the company should be able to drive torrid growth for years to come – and to maintain a multiple that looks rather high on a historical basis. The company’s automotive business gets a fair amount of press, given its potential applications to autonomous driving. But that growth likely won’t come in earnest until the next decade.

It’s the datacenter business that looks most appealing in the near term. Revenue in that category more than doubled in 2017. Thanks to cloud providers like AWS, demand should continue for years to come. And with Nvidia taking share from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), its growth should be even better than that of the market. High-end gaming demand should rise, and virtual reality will add another tailwind there.

Unlike, say, Roku (or early-days Amazon), Nvidia’s growth opportunities are mostly known. But at $223, even with a high multiple, they’re not fully priced in. I still see an easy path to $250 for NVDA in the near term. Longer-term, its presence (if not outright dominance) of key markets should lead Nvidia stock to double, at least.

As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any sec

More Big Companies Beat Projections, But Wall Street Appears To Still Struggle

Companies keep churning out impressive earnings, but the market doesn’t seem to give them much credit. Instead, fear and caution remain the watchwords as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) enters Wednesday on a five-session losing streak.

Morning Earnings Wrap

Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) became the latest member of the $DJI 30 to smash Wall Street analysts’ projections early Wednesday, firing up earnings per share of $3.64 vs. analysts’ consensus of $2.56. Revenue of $23.38 billion was more than $1 billion ahead of the $22.2 billion analysts had expected, and the company also raised its outlook. Strength in the commercial air division helped BA project a healthy sales picture.

Also on the earnings front, Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) topped analysts’ earnings projections and reported the second profitable quarter in the company’s history. It also handed out some bullish guidance and said daily active users grew 10 percent. The tech reporting season continues after the close when Facebook (FB) presents its Q1 results and tomorrow with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT).

It’s unclear whether any of the earnings momentum will spill into stocks today as the futures market came under pressure before the opening bell. Stocks overseas followed the U.S. lower after Tuesday’s big sell-off, with a key European index down about 1 percent.

Market Psychology Ruling the Day?

The hunt for 3 percent ended Tuesday as the 10-year yield reached that benchmark level. Soon after, stocks started to take a beating and sharply reversed early gains. At one point, the $DJI stumbled more than 600 points before recovering about one-third of those losses by the end of the day. Concerns about higher borrowing costs and rising commodity prices may be playing into the pressure.

Wall Street also appears to be grappling with a few psychological issues. Most notably, there’s trepidation around that 3 percent yield number, which didn’t hold for long Tuesday but remains within close range.  It definitely seems to be hurting the home builders, whose shares sold off despite strong housing and consumer confidence data this week. The fear is that some people might hear about higher rates and decide not to buy a house after all. Home builders are dealing with something that’s more of a psychological factor than a reality factor, as “3 percent” was made out to be the boogeyman of the markets. Historically, though, it’s not all that high.

Another psychological element is the idea touted by some analysts about earnings starting to peak. This might have been exacerbated by Dow component Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) post-earnings conference call in which executives described the Q1 as a “high water mark.” Despite what some analysts called “phenomenal” earnings from the big machine maker, CAT shares fell more than 6 percent. Here we see the power of a conference call. This stock was higher before the call, but the remark led to immediate selling as some investors seemed to interpret the language as CAT saying it can’t get any better than this. However, the remark might not have come out as the company had intended.

More proof that one negative metric can hold back a big company’s stock surfaced with Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Tuesday. Though the company reported a powerful quarter, the stock got stuffed as investors and analysts seemed focused more on higher-than-expected capital expenditures.

The "P" and the "E" in P/E

What it all comes down to is a certain level of confusion, which could hang around for a while. There seems to be a repricing of equities going on and despite this being an incredible earnings season so far, stock prices keep going down. The price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple remains a key factor to watch. “E” keeps getting higher and “P” keeps getting lower. People just don’t seem to be inclined to pay the same “P” any longer. It’s unclear where this might go, and sometimes these things take six to 12 months to sort themselves out. We’re right in the middle of it now.

Anyone looking for a silver lining might want to check out how VIX, the market’s most closely watched volatility indicator, acted during the last hours of the day. If you look closely, you’d see that it pulled back a bit in the last part of the session from intraday highs above 19.

Next Up: Autos

Attention could shift to the automotive sector when Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) reports after the close today and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) issues results before the open Thursday. There’s a truckload (pardon the expression) of things to consider ahead of not just these two behemoths but also Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), which according to the company’s web site reports May 2.

First, Ford is embarking on a huge program to save $14 billion, but, like all car companies, faces pressure to ignite its research and development (R&D) efforts to keep up with advances in electric and autonomous cars. At this point, F, which has lower margins than GM, is actually spending more money on R&D than its Detroit counterpart. Anyone who’s long F should consider listening to the company’s earnings call to see if there’s more clarity on where those savings might come from, and what they’re going to chop if it’s not R&D. At this point, one school of thought suggests that F is spending too much and not getting enough bang for its buck, but perhaps we’ll learn more Wednesday.

A question for GM, and maybe the U.S. auto industry as a whole, is what’s happening in China. Not long ago, 50 percent of GM’s revenue came from China, but now that’s below 40 percent. The company has closed some plants there. Is the Chinese market not growing at the pace we thought, or is Buick getting less popular over there? It seems unlikely that the latter would be true, so perhaps there’s something about the former that GM might address in its call, and, if that’s the case, might be something other U.S. car companies also have to address.

TSLA doesn’t report until next week, but there may be questions for the company about its own R&D after an analyst note came out recently speculating about TSLA’s development costs. Some analysts doubt if TSLA can achieve the Model 3 production it’s promised in the time frame the company has forecast. TSLA announced two temporary Model 3 plant shutdowns last week but said the shutdowns had been planned.

Though TSLA’s cars don’t need it, crude oil comes under a microscope this week as President Trump holds meetings in the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron. The Iran nuclear agreement is a key topic.

chart_4_251.jpg FIGURE 1: HOW THINGS CHANGE. The tech sector (candlestick) and financial sector (purple line), mapped here over the last year, led the charge through much of 2017 and right into the first month of 2018. Since then, these two former leaders have seemed to lose their way, and that’s one possible reason the market lacks direction.  Data source: S&P Dow Jones Indices. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Buyers Pay Up in Chicago

Some call Chicago, “The most American city.” That may or may not be the case, but the city’s real estate market in March seemed to reflect some of the broader American trends in housing. Existing home prices rose more than 5 percent nationwide last month, and in the city of Chicago prices hit an all-time high median of $314,000, according to Illinois Association of Realtors. That was up more than 6 percent from a year earlier. However, total sales around the country fell more than 1 percent year-over-year, and Chicago’s market also saw less turnover, with the number of sales falling more than 10 percent. In sum, Chicago seemed to be a microcosm of a housing market characterized by rising prices and falling supplies. That might sound like a good opportunity for home builders, but rising mortgage rates raise question marks.

ECB Up Next

One thing that’s arguably helped hold back U.S. yields is lower yields in Europe and Japan. However, the European Central Bank (ECB) has been removing some stimulus and meets again this week. An update is due Thursday morning. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) seems inclined to stay put with its current accommodation, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told CNBC in a recent interview, saying “risks are skewed to the downside” in Japan’s economy. 

GDP Time Already?

Earnings grab most of the headlines this week, but don’t forget to watch Friday for the government’s first read on Q1 gross domestic product. The report is due out before the opening bell and could give investors a sense of whether the economy continued its solid run that started in Q2 of last year. The consensus among analysts is that things slowed down a bit between January and March, to around 2.1 percent, Briefing.com said. That’s down from the final Q4 read of 2.9 percent, which marked the third-consecutive quarter of growth around 3 percent. Typically, GDP is closely watched but doesn’t tend to move the market unless it comes in well above or below expected levels. The government does get two more cracks at the ball, so this isn’t the final word.

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Top 5 Performing Stocks To Buy For 2019

According to GuruFocus’ All-in-One Guru Screener, the following are some of the stocks that have outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the last 12 months and were bought by gurus during the last quarter.

Thor Industries Inc. (THO) with a market cap of $5.79 billion has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 85.6% over the last 12 months.

The company is engaged in manufacturing recreational vehicles in the U.S. and sells those vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Its segments are towable recreational vehicles and motorized recreational vehicles.

Its shares are trading with a price-book (P/B) ratio of 4.42. According to the DCF calculator the company looks overpriced by 33% at $110.16 per share. The price is 111.07% above its 52-week low and 1.91% below its 52-week high.

The company has a profitability and growth rating of 8 out of 10. Its return on equity (ROE) of -23.66% and return on assets (ROA) of 14.89% are outperforming 88% of the companies in the Global Recreational Vehicles industry. Financial strength has a rating of 8 out of 10. The cash-debt ratio is 0.48 below the industry median of 0.59.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Buy For 2019: BioScrip, Inc.(BIOS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    On Tuesday, BioScrip Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOS) reported third-quarter financial results before the markets opened. The company said that it had a net loss of $0.09 per share and $224.5 million in revenues. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for a net loss of $0.05 per share and revenues of $223.26 million. The same period of last year reportedly EPS of had $0.04 and $247.22 million in revenues.

  • [By Money Morning News Team]

    BioScrip Inc.(Nasdaq: BIOS) provides at-home medical care and services across the United States.

    BIOS’s central profit opportunity is in the rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical market is currently worth $12 billion and is expected to grow at an annual rate of five to seven percent.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    BioScrip, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOS) saw its shares make a solid gain on Tuesday after another analyst issued a positive rating on the stock. Lake Street Capital initiated its coverage with a Buy rating and a $4.50 price target. This is implying an upside of over 300% from the previous closing price of $1.04.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Buy For 2019: WEC Energy Group, Inc.(WEC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on WEC Energy Group (WEC)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Buy For 2019: Buenaventura Mining Company Inc.(BVN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alex McGuire]

    You see, Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth expects gold prices to gain 15.4% from their current $1,213 level to $1,400 an ounce this year. This rise will lead to an even bigger rally for gold stocks. Since the beginning of 2017, gold prices are up 5.1%. But the gains in gold stocks like Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE:AEM) and Compania de Minas Buenaventura SAA (NYSE ADR: BVN) have doubled and quadrupled the year-to-date gold price return.

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    For the details of Somerset Capital Management LLP’s stock buys and sells, go to www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=Somerset+Capital+Management+LLP

    These are the top 5 holdings of Somerset Capital Management LLPFomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV (FMX) – 1,268,818 shares, 36.15% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 9.36%Yandex NV (YNDX) – 3,352,412 shares, 25.48% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 3.61%ICICI Bank Ltd (IBN) – 5,074,899 shares, 13.19% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 11.08%Infosys Ltd (INFY) – 1,596,414 shares, 6.95% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 15.58%KT Corp (KT) – 1,330,431 shares, 6.41% of the

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Buy For 2019: Alphabet Inc.(GOOGL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    (1) For you stock chart fans, Facebook’s stock has found support at the March 27 intraday low at $150.75 (current price: $157.93); (2) Chip stocks on the move off a big new JPMorgan note titled: “The Data Era Becomes Investable.” Nvidia and Seagate (STX) likely to gt a boost off the report’s upgrades on each. Positive mentions included Cisco (CSCO) , Action Alerts PLUS holdings Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) , and Alibaba (BABA) ; (3) M&A activity in the consumer space has been muted of late, but TheStreet’s sister publication, The Deal, reported that is poised to change soon; (4) Billionaire Mark Cuban is no Trump fan, but he tells TheStreet he does dig Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is scheduled to release its most recent quarterly results after the markets close on Monday. Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates calling for $9.35 in earnings per share (EPS) on $30.36 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $7.73 in EPS on $24.75 billion in revenue.

  • [By Ashley Moore]

    Here is a table of the 10 most expensive stocks trading on U.S. markets today:

    Company (Ticker)Price per ShareMarket CapBerkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A)$ 257,227.52$ 419.50 billionSeaboard Corp. (NYSEMKT: SEB)$ 3,760.00$ 4.48 billionNVR Inc. (NYSE: NVR)$ 1,944.23$ 7.19 billionThe Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN)$ 1,727.94$ 80.82 billionMarkel Corp. (NYSE: MKL)$ 978.51$ 13.78 billionWhite Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. (NYSE: WTM)$ 935.01$ 4.25 billionAmazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)$ 846.08$ 408.27 billionAlphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL)$ 844.06$ 582.85 billionAutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO)$ 744.26$ 21.04 billionIntuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG)$ 735.63$ 28.41 billion

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Apple better gets it act together: It would be great if Apple (AAPL) shows its hand next week at its WWDC on its self-driving car ambitions. Surely it won’t. But others, such as Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Waymo, are slowly leading the discussion on the space, as TheStreet’s Paul Spring writes.

  • [By Nicholas Rossolillo]

    Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) autonomous car division, Waymo, recently signed a contract to add Jaguar’s first all-electric car to its fleet of self-driving vehicles. For the Google parent company, the deal will be a blip on its pathto driving automation, albeit an exciting one. For shareholders of Jaguar parent Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM), it’s an early sign the new vehicle will be a winner for the automaker.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Kalanick also dismissed a top Uber executive over a prior harassment claim at Alphabet (GOOGL) .

    In January the privately held Uber, which has a valuation of about $69 billion, faced a growing #deleteUber campaign after some said the company was trying to capitalize on a New York taxi drivers’ protest against President Trump’s travel ban. Kalanick was also criticized for participating in Trump’s economic advisory council. He eventually resigned from the council.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Buy For 2019: Myers Industries, Inc.(MYE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Tuesday, basic materials shares fell 0.63 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Myers Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MYE), down 7 percent, and CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF) down 6 percent.

Slowly But Surely, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Will Feel the Burden of Being a Powerhouse

Over the course of the past few months, at separate times, I’ve argued that sooner or later, time and competition are going to catch up with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Though its ever-increasing size allows it to reach deeper into consumers’ pockets in more ways, each of a company’s moving parts makes the whole machine more prone to failure.

It’s a warning that also needs to be passed along to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) shareholders, particularly in light of some recent developments from its top competitors.

It may not matter right now, or even a few months from now, but other e-commerce and internet companies — frustrated with Alibaba’s dominance — are finally starting to find ways to beat Alibaba at its own game.

Partnerships Are the Key

How does the old saying go? Eventually, every contest becomes a two-horse race?

It’s not a universally true, immutable axiom. There is quite a bit of credibility to the idea, though. The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) were for all intents and purposes the only relevant soda players when soda was their core product. All other players were either acquired or obliterated.

The same idea more or less applies to AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which dominate the United States’ telecom scene, leaving the rest of the industry fighting for leftovers and scraps.

Times have changed a bit, though. Now, an outright merger or acquisition is less likely than a formidable partnership intended to take aim at the dominant player in an industry.

Enter SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) and JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD). The former operates one of China’s search engines, and the latter is of course China’s second-biggest e-commerce outfit.

The two have teamed up to share information that will ultimately give both parties greater insight about consumer behaviors. Not that Alibaba isn’t armed with plenty of consumer behavior data of its own, but it’s a direct jab at China’s e-commerce powerhouse.

Were it the only team-up of its ilk, it might be able to be dismissed. It’s hardly the only one, though.

Case(s) in point? Late last year, Chinese gaming and app outfit Tencent Holding/ADR (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) partnered up with JD.com and purchased a stake in China’s third-largest e-commerce platform, Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS).

Early this year, JD partnered with Meili in a move that’s intended to woo female shoppers away from Alibaba’s Tmall.

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Then just this month, JD.com made a pitch to European makers of luxury goods, saying it could do a better job of keeping counterfeit goods in check than Alibaba has. And, maybe it can. If nothing else, the sheer size of Alibaba’s Tmall makes it difficult to keep close tabs on every listed item.

These recent developments are, more importantly, a microcosm of the competitive thinking and partnering being done almost exclusively to slow Alibaba down. When the whole world is gunning for you specifically, enough shots will eventually hit the target to create trouble.

To that end, know that Alibaba won’t be stifled by one sweeping blow. It will be nagged into submission by all the nickels and dimes it has to spend to remain the beast it’s become.

Bottom Line for BABA Stock

Don’t read too much into the warning, if you’re asking yourself, “Should I buy Alibaba stock today?” Though it’s something that may adversely impact the Alibaba stock price in 10 years, it’s not going to matter much over the course of the next 10 days, or even the next 10 months. Much can happen in the meantime, and the Alibaba story is still a good one.

You can never afford to assume an organization is perpetually invulnerable, though. Just ask the Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:KODK) or Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX), neither of which saw the winds of change blowing in time to do anything about it.

That’s not to suggest any headwind Alibaba could meet will be as dramatic as the plunge into obsolescence that Xerox and Kodak suffered. It is to say, though, that investors need to be very careful about making assumptions. BABA isn’t necessarily the bulletproof name some believe it is.

And for what it’s worth, it’s not like Amazon doesn’t continue to face more and more seemingly innocuous threats as well.

Take for instance how Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) got together late last year to develop a voice-activated shopping app for Google’s smart speaker.

Neither company was theoretically the best partner for the other to cocreate the platform. In both cases, Amazon itself was arguably the more potent partner. But neither company feels like continuing to feed its competition. BABA is in that same boat as Amazon.

It’s a small step to be sure, but enough small steps can add up over time.

As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter, at