☁️ Tech’s cloudy future

Monday, August 1, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
Big Tech has the cloud market on lock (Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images)

Big Tech has the cloud market on lock (Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images)

Big Tech has the cloud market on lock (Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images)

Big Tech has the cloud market on lock (Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images)

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
32,845 (+2.97%)
S&P 500
4,130 (+4.26%)
Nasdaq
12,391 (+4.70%)
Bitcoin
$23,798 (+4.89%)

Hey Snackers,

Call it chef-as-a-service: Wonder, a $3.5B startup, delivers gourmet chefs to your door in Mercedes vans. The chefs finish cooking meals (like Bobby Flay’s rib eye) at your curb for a restaurant-fresh taste. But some suburbanites aren’t loving the vans’ presence.

The S&P 500 surged 4% for the week and closed out its best month in nearly two years. Investors were inspired by healthier-than-expected earnings from biggies like Apple and Amazon.

Cloudy

Choose your fighter… OG Word Doc on your hard drive vs. Google Doc in the cloud. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google control nearly two-thirds of all cloud spending (think: companies storing their data on other companies' servers vs. on-premises). They reported mixed results last week and have seen their stocks plunge this year as higher interest rates and slower ad spend hurt growth prospects. But cloud has been a silver lining. Last quarter:

  • Amazon’s AWS (the #1 cloud service) grew revenue by 33% to $19.7B, and accounted for all of the ‘Zon’s profits as its core shopping biz continued slowing.
  • Microsoft’s Intelligent cloud revenue (which make up more than a third of its sales) grew 26% thanks to corporate customers like GM and Kraft-Heinz.
  • Google’s cloud revenue climbed 35%, but the pace of growth slowed and the cloud division lost $858M.

Crank up the AWS storage… The pandemic drove massive corporate cloud spending as millions of Americans worked from home. Big companies leveraged their cash-flush coffers to quickly expand their cloud infrastructure to meet demand. The hot streak continued this year, with global enterprise cloud revenue up 34% in the first quarter. But the boom might be slowing.

THE TAKEAWAY

Storm clouds may be brewing… Investors have looked to the cloud as a profit cushion for tech companies when ad sales and consumer demand slow. But recession fears, rising costs, and slowing growth could push companies to cut and reevaluate cloud spend to boost their own profit margins. Analysts expect cloud growth to slow by half in the coming years. Still, cloud giants’ pricing power could allow them to raise costs to keep revenues afloat. In March, Google hiked its cloud storage prices by as much as 50%.

Zoom Out

The latest national debate… “Recession or nah?” Last week, we learned that the US economy shrank for a second-straight quarter (aka: the common definition of a recession). But recessions are difficult to call, and are labeled retrospectively. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which officially determines recessions, is taking a more nuanced approach. While consumer sentiment is at a record low, the cooling job market is still fairly strong — and most earnings so far have beat expectations. Still, most Americans think the US is already in a recession.

America’s hungry for chips… And it’s splurging to satisfy its craving. Last week, Congress passed CHIPS-Plus, a bill to boost US chip production. The US has lost global chip-making market share in recent years: Taiwan’s TSMC makes 90% of the world’s advanced chips. Meanwhile, China plans to build 31 more chip factories by 2024. Foreign reliance worsened US supply shortages, since chips are key to everything from Ford cars to iPhones. CHIPS includes $52B in subsidies for US chip giants like Lattice, AMD, and ON (which report this week). President Biden is expected to approve the bill within weeks.

Events

Andy Grammer, live from the Greek… Earnings, live from the boardroom. Concert giant Live Nation reports Thursday. The Ticketmaster-owner had its best first quarter ever this year, as artists returned to fan-packed venues. Through April, Live Nation’s bookings were up 44% from pre-pandemic levels. In May, Live Nation anticipated a record year based on concert and festival ticket demand (think: Lollapalooza). But the average resale ticket price has soared 45% since the start of the pandemic, when Live Nation’s biz was decimated. We’ll see if concert-flation hit – or helped – earnings.

Bye bye YOLO economy… People are feeling less lucky this year, and casino resort companies may take a hit. US casinos had their best year ever in 2021 as cooped-up consumers returned to spend their lockdown stimmy savings. Since then, inflation has soared and savings have dried up. Casino stocks have lagged behind the S&P 500 this year. People are still visiting, but they’re not spending as much (less Blackjack, more all-you-can-eat buffet). We’ll see how the odds look when Caesar’s and MGM Resorts report this week.

ICYMI
  • Green: Dems struck a surprise deal with Senator Manchin on a major climate and tax bill. The slimmed-down Build Back Better-esque proposal includes $60B for clean energy infrastructure and new tax credits for EV buyers.
  • Short: Reckitt is cashing in on the national baby formula shortage. The Lysol-makers’ share of the US formula market has surged from 40% to 55%. Now, regulators may loosen rules to boost competition and production.
  • Glossy: Gen Z-fave cosmetics brand Glossier will sell its products in Sephora’s stores and sites starting next year. A broader physical presence could be key to success as digi-storefronts get overcrowded.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Garbage: A man is trying to track down a hard drive with 8K bitcoins – now worth $181M – that he accidentally threw away in 2013 (whoopsie). He organized an $11M, VC-funded proposal to search his local dump.
  • Gen: China’s Gen Z is facing growing pains. Expected starting salaries for college grads have fallen 6% from last year and unemployment among 16-to-24-year-old urbanites has hit a record 19%.
  • Factory: A Reuters investigation found that a Hyundai subsidiary in Alabama used underage workers. The sub and Hyundai denied the allegations but a former OSHA official said "consumers should be outraged."

Snack Fact of the Day

The Mega Millions jackpot was won in Illinois at $1.3B and is the second-largest jackpot in the game’s 20-year history

This Week

  • Monday: Earnings expected from HSBC, Activision Blizzard, ZoomInfo, Loews, ON Semiconductor, and Lattice Semiconductor
  • Tuesday: Earnings expected from Avis, AMD, PayPal, BP, Ferrari, Electronic Arts, Molson Coors, Caesars Entertainment, and Uber
  • Wednesday: Earnings expected from Match Group, Toyota, CVS, Regeneron, Moderna, Yum! Brands, Occidental Petroleum, Clorox, MGM Resorts, GoDaddy, The New York Times, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Hostess, and Lucid
  • Thursday: Jobless claims. Earnings expected from Block, Eli Lilly, ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, Public Storage, Monster Beverage, Warner Bros. Discovery, Live Nation, DoorDash, Kellogg, Cloudflare, Expedia, AMC, Zillow, and Dropbox
  • Friday: Monthly employment numbers. Earnings expected from Goodyear Tire & Rubber

Authors of this Snacks own: bitcoin and shares of Amazon, Microsoft, Google, GM, New York Times, Apple, Uber, Block, Moderna, CVS, GM, Paypal, Warner Bros. Discovery, Match Group, Molson Coors, and Ford

ID: 2330113