Tag Archives: SQ

Today In Cryptocurrency: Jack Dorsey Endorses Bitcoin, WSJ Finds Signs Of Crypto Fraud Everywhere

The cryptocurrency market continued its rough week on Thursday, with most major currencies trading down more than 1 percent on the day. Here’s a look at some of the headlines that were moving the cryptocurrency market today, and which currencies were on the move.

Headlines

The big news from the CoinDesk Consensus conference on Wednesday was the talk by Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey said there will ultimately be a native internet currency, and the adoption of bitcoin or another crypto as a global currency would help Square expand its services into new markets. Dorsey said he is a “huge fan” of bitcoin and hopes it ends up as the universal digital currency.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that, after reviewing 1,450 digital currencies, it found 271 cryptocurrencies that had evidence of fraudulent activity. Nearly one out of every five currencies the Journal investigated utilized fake executive information, plagiarized documents, fabricated development team credentials or other misleading information in an attempt to raise money from unsuspecting investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has completed an ICO of a satirical cryptocurrency called HoweyCoin as part of an effort to warn investors about the dangers of investing in cryptos. The HoweyCoin website was set up to demonstrate to investors how easy it is to get duped into the many scam currencies that have popped up in recent months, and the site links to an educational page about how to avoid crypto scams.

Price Action

The Bitcoin Investment Trust GBTC (OTC: GBTC) traded at $13.62, down 0.9 percent.

Here’s how several top crypto investments fared Thursday. Prices are as of 3:45 p.m. ET and reflect the previous 24 hours.

Bitcoin declined 1.4 percent to $8,200;
Ethereum declined 1.8 percent to $686;
Ripple declined 1.9 percent to 67 cents;
Bitcoin Cash declined 3.9 percent to $1,225;
EOS gained 3.4 percent to $12.79.

The three cryptocurrencies with at least $1-million market caps that have made the biggest gains over the past 24 hours are:

Global Cryptocurrency: $5.7-million market cap, 64.7-percent gain.
BuzzCoin: $4.8-million market cap, 47.7-percent gain.
Dero: $6.9-million market cap, 47.0-percent gain.

The three cryptocurrencies hit hardest in the past 24 hours were:

Nullex: $3.0-million market cap, 49.4-percent decline.
Vsync: $2.5-million market cap, 22.7-percent decline.
MaxCoin: $3.6-million market cap, 22.4-percent decline.

Related Links:

Today In Cryptocurrency: Circle Raises $110 Million, Blockchain ETF Launches

Cantor's CoinDesk Consensus Conference Takeaways

Today In Cryptocurrency: Jack Dorsey Endorses Bitcoin, WSJ Finds Signs Of Crypto Fraud Everywhere

The cryptocurrency market continued its rough week on Thursday, with most major currencies trading down more than 1 percent on the day. Here’s a look at some of the headlines that were moving the cryptocurrency market today, and which currencies were on the move.

Headlines

The big news from the CoinDesk Consensus conference on Wednesday was the talk by Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey said there will ultimately be a native internet currency, and the adoption of bitcoin or another crypto as a global currency would help Square expand its services into new markets. Dorsey said he is a “huge fan” of bitcoin and hopes it ends up as the universal digital currency.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that, after reviewing 1,450 digital currencies, it found 271 cryptocurrencies that had evidence of fraudulent activity. Nearly one out of every five currencies the Journal investigated utilized fake executive information, plagiarized documents, fabricated development team credentials or other misleading information in an attempt to raise money from unsuspecting investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has completed an ICO of a satirical cryptocurrency called HoweyCoin as part of an effort to warn investors about the dangers of investing in cryptos. The HoweyCoin website was set up to demonstrate to investors how easy it is to get duped into the many scam currencies that have popped up in recent months, and the site links to an educational page about how to avoid crypto scams.

Price Action

The Bitcoin Investment Trust GBTC (OTC: GBTC) traded at $13.62, down 0.9 percent.

Here’s how several top crypto investments fared Thursday. Prices are as of 3:45 p.m. ET and reflect the previous 24 hours.

Bitcoin declined 1.4 percent to $8,200;
Ethereum declined 1.8 percent to $686;
Ripple declined 1.9 percent to 67 cents;
Bitcoin Cash declined 3.9 percent to $1,225;
EOS gained 3.4 percent to $12.79.

The three cryptocurrencies with at least $1-million market caps that have made the biggest gains over the past 24 hours are:

Global Cryptocurrency: $5.7-million market cap, 64.7-percent gain.
BuzzCoin: $4.8-million market cap, 47.7-percent gain.
Dero: $6.9-million market cap, 47.0-percent gain.

The three cryptocurrencies hit hardest in the past 24 hours were:

Nullex: $3.0-million market cap, 49.4-percent decline.
Vsync: $2.5-million market cap, 22.7-percent decline.
MaxCoin: $3.6-million market cap, 22.4-percent decline.

Related Links:

Today In Cryptocurrency: Circle Raises $110 Million, Blockchain ETF Launches

Cantor's CoinDesk Consensus Conference Takeaways

Cantor's CoinDesk Consensus Conference Takeaways

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Joseph Foresi attended this week’s Consensus 2018 blockchain conference in New York and released a note on Wednesday discussing the investment implications of blockchain.

Early Stages

Foresi said blockchain technology is still in its embryonic phase, with few limited functional applications. However, he said there are many promising ideas, particularly in financial services. A recent Deloitte survey found that 43 percent of companies are calling blockchain a top five strategic opportunity.

At the same time, Foresi said the cryptocurrency hype associated with the Consensus conference was bigger than ever this year, with attendance tripling to 8,500. Still, with more than 1,900 cryptocurrencies out there, Foresi says the future of crypto remains up in the air.

“It remains undetermined whether crypto is reliable, can hold value, and how credible the promises are for future issues,” he said.

Regulatory Pressure

Foresi said cryptocurrencies must compete with the U.S. dollar and face an uncertain regulatory future.

From an investing standpoint, Foresi said IT Services stocks such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN) and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ: CTSH) could benefit from a rise in blockchain projects.

Foresi said merchant acquirers and payment processors could potentially have their business disrupted by blockchain tech in the long-term. These stocks include Global Payments Inc (NYSE: GPN), First Data Corp (NYSE: FDC), Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Square Inc (NYSE: SQ).

Foresi also said core bank processing and accounting could also be impacted by blockchain technology, but he doesn’t see any material threat to those businesses at this time.

Related Links:

Today In Cryptocurrency: Circle Raises $110 Million, Blockchain ETF Launches

Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain! Your Guide To This Week's Crypto Conferences

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

4 Monster Stocks in the Making

Monster stocks can come in all shapes and sizes, but the key thing I look for is a killer product in a market that has a lot of growth potential. From there, it’s a matter of balancing the risk any stock faces with the potential reward from an investment.

Today, I think Axon Enterprise (NASDAQ:AAXN), Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), Square (NYSE:SQ), and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) are all stocks with monster potential for long-term investors.

Person's arm taking money from a jar.

Image source: Getty Images.

Axon Enterprise

Tasers and body cameras are both law enforcement tools that are growing in popularity due to the public calls for less lethal weapons and more accountability. For Axon Enterprise, the result is a booming business as it provides solutions to the market.

In 2017, taser sales rose 15.7% to $234.5 million and body camera revenue jumped 66.6% to $109.3 million as more law enforcement agencies around the world adopted the products. But management thinks its addressable market is worth $2.9 billion annually if it can reach the ~10 million law enforcement officers worldwide, so the company is just scratching the surface of its potential.

In 2018, we’ll see the product line expand to include a holster than turns body cameras on when a weapon is drawn, a camera for auto fleets, and a records management system that would make the body camera central to an officer’s data recording process. Management says product expansion should increase the total addressable market to $6.5 billion and bring in more revenue from existing customers.

I think body cameras will become an increasingly important tool for law enforcement and public safety, and Axon Enterprise is a clear leader in the market. Its cameras and cloud platform are well positioned for long-term growth, which could make this a monster stock for investors.

Take-Two Interactive

Video games have been a huge business for decades, but the last few years have taken the industry to a new level. Mobile games have brought games from consoles and PCs to mobile devices that over a billion people have around the world, opening new revenue opportunities.Market intelligence company Newzoo estimates that in 2017 mobile gaming revenues were over $50 billion, larger than both PCs ($32.3 billion) and consoles ($33.3 billion).

Esports has also created an entirely new business that was inconceivable just a few years ago. Newzoo estimates that esports will be a $905.6 million business in 2018 and should grow to a $1.5 billion business in 2020.

Take-Two Interactive isn’t yet a leader in mobile or esports games, specializing in console games like NBA 2K and Grand Theft Auto. But it’s investing in new products that could expand the revenue opportunity. In esports, it has a partnership with the NBA to create an esports league; management said it would begin taking esports more seriously late in 2017. The company also bought Social Point to expand mobile game exposure, which has been largely untapped by traditional Take-Two Interactive games.

There are bigger companies in video games, but Take-Two Interactive may have more upside given its late but notable entry into mobile and esports. That’s what could make this a monster stock.

Square

Mobile point of sale system Square is well known for the credit card readers that have turned smartphones and tablets into payment processors, but the company’s real strength is as a platform small businesses can build on top of. Point of sale may be the visible component for customers, but the company does payroll, inventory management, and even small business loans.

The reason Square is potentially a monster stock is that its position as a small business platform could allow it to benefit from scale. A growing list of customers allows the company to invest in more capabilities that will make it more attractive for the next small business. Square is even moving upstream, increasing gross payment volume (GPV) from sellers with over $500,000 in annualized GPV from 13% in Q4 2015 to 20% in Q4 2017. The capabilities Square is building is starting to attract larger (still small) businesses. and As its scale grows, the company is even moving into peer-to-peer payments in Square Cash, which could allow it to eventually break free of bank and credit card fees that are costly for mobile payments.

I think enabling small businesses will be a powerful platform for Square and the market potential for this company keeps growing as it builds out capabilities to serve more companies.

SunPower

Few industries have as much potential as solar energy. The sun is by far the most abundant source of energy on earth, and the opportunity for solar energy could be worth trillions of dollars.

One of the industry’s leaders is SunPower, the high-efficiency solar panel manufacturer. SunPower is a leader in residential and commercial solar systems, which leverage its high-efficiency panels to squeeze more power from a roof than competitors. The company is also rolling out energy storage for both markets, which gives customers more control over their energy usage and cost. Overall, these two markets are the core business for SunPower, but they’re not what will drive growth.

What could make SunPower a monster stock is utility-scale solar, where it’s invested in a new panel design called P-Series, which uses commodity solar cells and stacks them like shingles to make a panel that’s slightly more efficient than competitors’. The panel isthen combined with trackers that follow the sun and a design system developers can use to maximize their solar installations on a plot of land to create a system called Oasis. It’s Oasis that’s highly scalable with very little capital investment on the part of SunPower.

If it can grow from around 1,000 MW of capacity today to over 5,000 MW of capacity planned in China for the early 2020s, the stock could see huge returns along with SunPower’s growth.

Take a long-term view of monster stocks

When looking at companies that could be behind monster stocks, it’s important to remember that the ride won’t always be easy. Companies with a lot of growth potential are often very volatile and can have big down days just as easily as up days. But over the course of many years, these companies are positioned well to provide great returns to your portfolio.