“Is it still interesting to invest in GAFAM? »

By Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Advisory at Freedom Finance Europe

Grandstand. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft (GAFAM) are the most publicly traded technology stocks by market capitalization and are collectively worth several trillions of dollars. Still, tech giants will favor interest rates as their stocks trade on the expectation of higher returns in the future, representing risks that investors are generally unwilling to take. in a turbulent economic environment. How do these tech giants fare in the face of runaway inflation and macroeconomic instability? Is it still interesting to invest in these stocks?

Meta: a bet on Mark Zuckerberg

In difficult macroeconomic times and a highly competitive market, Mark Zuckerberg’s bet on the Metaverse is not yet fully understood by the market, driving the stock’s fastest decline among major tech companies. Rising operating costs and fluctuations in the instrument market resulted in a significant decline in net earnings. While the fourth quarter outlook fell short of expectations, the 2023 cost outlook shocked the market. Despite the drop in revenue, Meta predicts that spending in 2023 will amount to at least 91 billion euros, an increase of 15% year-on-year. While rising costs are frightening, aggressive investments during the downturn could yield solid returns for Meta in 2024 and beyond, if the Metaverse business proves viable.

A disappointing quarter for Amazon

Amazon’s revenue fell short of expectations with cloud business gradually slowing even though it continues to grow at an annualized rate of 28%. At the same time, growth in the advertising sector accelerated to 30% in the quarter, which is impressive in a context where the YouTube divisions of Meta and Alphabet both recorded negative growth in advertising revenue. . Amazon remains the cloud industry leader with steady growth and gaining share in the rapidly expanding digital advertising industry. Despite dim hopes for the next quarter, there are reasons to remain optimistic about the company’s long-term prospects. As Amazon’s e-commerce margins may be boosted by continued revenue growth from its cloud computing and advertising businesses, the company will benefit from increased market share and lower costs in the future. ‘Coming.

Apple remains the king of cash flow

Apple’s report was the brightest and buoyed the market given its large capitalization, proving once again the solidity of the company in a difficult macroeconomic environment with record revenues in the last quarter. The company posted strong financial results for the third quarter of 2022, with revenue of 85 billion euros, topping analysts’ spy of 1.29 billion euros. Product revenue was €67.7 billion, up 9% year-on-year and a third quarter record; an increase supported by the steady increase in revenue from iPhones, Macs and services. Despite difficult economic conditions, the company continues to show strong sales, which allows Apple to still be considered a solid long-term investment.

Microsoft’s Modest Predictions Improved Its Loss

Investors were frustrated with the giant’s modest financial investors, causing the stock price to plummet. Nevertheless, the future of Microsoft is positive. Its outlook is not particularly concerning in the face of near-term headwinds. While average estimates now call for revenue growth of around 7% for FY 2023, the market average calls for a 14% increase over the next three years. On the revenue side, average estimates assume growth followed by just 5% this year, growth and recovery of 17% in FY2024. This results from Microsoft creating barriers to entry and its competitive edge in PC software, enterprise software, social media (LinkedIn), gaming and cloud.

Signs of advertising market recovery will drive Alphabet stock higher

Profits for Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, were well below expectations in the third quarter. However, Alphabet remains one of the leaders in the advertising market, even as the economy weakens. Turnover seems to be down in its main activities. Alphabet is primarily an advertising company and potentially weak results could present headwinds for the stock as ad spending is expected to deteriorate along with the economy.

However, companies are more likely to advertise on the search engine network than in other mediums, giving Alphabet a strong competitive advantage. Markets are looking to the future, third-quarter earnings are already a thing of the past, and any sign of recovery in the advertising market has the potential to spark a rebound in Alphabet shares. In times of pent-up need, solid opportunities still present themselves to long-term investors, as these companies persist in dominating the market with steady growth prospects.

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