The one constant in an ever-changing technology, internet and video gaming landscape is the fact that change is ever present, and coming at investors at a pace that would have been almost unheard of a short 15 years ago. Think about it: the smartphone was born as the iPhone, and that was only 11 years ago in January of 2007. With the rate of change so rapid, it’s crucial for investors know what’s around the proverbial corner.
At 24/7 Wall St., we constantly screen our research universe and other sources for information that may be helpful in investing, or at the very minimum, interesting and informative. Often the data and catalysts we find can be helpful in determining the direction of companies.
We found eight top catalysts, stories and technology tidbits, courtesy of the research team at Baird, that could be big going forward or are just interesting in a fast-moving and ever-changing technology landscape.
1. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) revealed recently that the company’s cloud segment is the largest source of new hiring and headcount at the internet behemoth. While Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is still hiring the most at AWS, Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) Azure and Google Cloud are running number two and number three.
2. Android users like games, while iOS users like videos. The top five grossing apps on Google Play (Android devices) are Candy Crush Saga, Pandora, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Clash Royale and Clash of Clans. The top five grossing apps on the App Store are Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Tinder and Candy Crush Saga.
3. Candy Crush developer SuperCell, which is majority-owned by Tencent, posted 2017 revenues and earnings (EBITDA) of $2 billion and $810 million, respectively, down slightly from $2.3 billion and $1 billion in 2016. However, the company did not publish a new game during the year.
4. Fortnite and PUBG are two video games that are among the hottest running. PUBG, which is the frontrunner, is being heavily challenged by Fortnite. Activision Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) is said to be testing its own “Battle Royale” playground in the popular Call of Duty game.
5. The most popular hashtag in San Francisco last week? #NationalMargaritaDay.
6) Back from the dead? Camera film was one of the most popular items on Amazon last week. The best-selling electronics on the site are Fire Stick with Alexa, Echo Dot, Echo, Fire TV 4K and Roku Express.
7. The most popular research piece concerning the internet from the Baird research department over the past two weeks? Interestingly enough, “Shipping with Amazon.”
8. Shopify Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOP) CEO Tobi Lutke provided the top quote of the week when he noted:
We want to inoculate our customers from having to correctly anticipate the future. … Good, that’s something I want to get off my chest.
There you have it. Eight catalysts and tidbits could all have some bearing going forward. In a world that changes daily for technology, communications and gaming companies, just holding serve is not enough. The big companies know that, and they need to constantly stay ahead of the curve to stay ahead in the game.