Tech Finance

Tim Bradshaw

After the market closes on Tuesday, Apple releases its third quarter earnings for the three months to the end of June. Its stock price has risen by more than 20 per cent since it beat forecasts with its last quarterly numbers, taking it close to its-all time high. Can Apple repeat the trick in what are likely to be the last results before the next iPhones arrive, and push its stock to $100?

Here’s what Wall Street is looking for this quarter: 

The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises as engines of job creation is a well-established economic fact. In countries such as Italy and Spain, SMEs account for 70-80 per cent of the workforce, and for a similar proportion of all newly created jobs, writes Ferdinando Giugliano.

Much less is known, however, about which kinds of SMEs are better at boosting employment. The SMEs universe is varied, but distinguishing between them is essential for governments to direct their economic policies in an effective way.

 

Tim Bradshaw

What a difference a month makes. When Box filed to go public in late March, hot tech stocks such as Google, Facebook and Tesla were trading at close to their all-time highs.

Now, the cloud storage company’s timing looks a little less fortuitous. A month after the “tech rout” began, the financial markets don’t look quite so welcoming to a fast-growing but heavily loss-making new listing, however ‘sexy’ its enterprise technology might be. 

In a handy coincidence of scheduling, Apple and Facebook will both report earnings after the market closes on Wednesday.

The two Silicon Valley giants will give Wall Street a fast look at the state of the mobile and online advertising markets, at a time when tech valuations are facing growing questions from investors like David Einhorn

Almost five years after launching, crowd-funding platform Kickstarter has received pledges worth $1bn. Half of the money has apparently been in the past twelve months (see chart below).

If Kickstarter were a venture fund, it would be a fairly significant player. So how exactly has humanity been enriched, for its money? 

Sirgoo Lee, chief executive of the South Korean mobile messaging company Kakao, chuckles when asked about Facebook’s acquisition of rival WhatsApp for $19bn. “All I can say is that’s a lot of money,” he says.

While it has a strong presence in India and Hong Kong, WhatsApp is a marginal player in many parts of Asia writes Simon Mundy. Kakao, Japan-based LINE and China-headquartered WeChat dominate mobile messaging in their respective home territories, and are fighting for control of the market in southeast Asia. The Japanese internet company Rakuten, meanwhile, last month spent $900m on Viber, an Israeli company that provides similar free calling and messaging services. 

Tim Bradshaw

Mark Zuckerberg’s push to make Facebook a mobile-first company seems to have paid off. Wednesday’s fourth-quarter earnings revealed that it now makes more than half of its advertising revenues from mobile devices, beating Wall Street’s forecasts and sending its stock up as much as 12 per cent in after-hours trading.
Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw reported from the earnings call as Zuck and his team talked about the opportunities in personalisation, messaging and artificial intelligence. 

Tim Bradshaw

Expectations are high that Apple can go back to its old forecast-busting ways when it reports earnings for its December quarter on Monday.

“Investors think that Q1 is going to be a blow-out and the Q2 guide is quite strong,” said analysts at Berenberg in a note after meetings with shareholders last week.

While the iPhone and iPad both look set to turn in double-digit percentage growth rates, falling prices and margins could minimise revenue and earnings growth.

Here’s what to expect after the markets close in New York: 

The inventor of the 3D printed gun has trained his sights on Bitcoin, fronting a campaign to keep the virtual currency anonymous and beyond the reach of the authorities, writes Jane Wild.

Cody Wilson’s move hits back at efforts by the Bitcoin trade body, businesses and investors who have been working with officials mainly in the US to press for acceptance of virtual currencies and hasten their integration into mainstream financial systems. 

Hannah Kuchler

Ladies and gentleman, the moment you have all been waiting for is fast-approaching: Twitter is due to file the small print on its initial public offering, a bulky S-1 registration statement that will allow investors a peek into the messaging platform’s business.

Here is the Financial Times “Ctrl-F” guide to getting the news fast (Alternatively, please tune in to FT.com when it happens, where we’ll do the heavy lifting for you):