Rummaging in the ruins: How your top-tipped global stocks fared in Q1
The start to 2022 has seen the most unexpected black swan of all emerge – a war in eastern Europe. The Russian invasion singlehandedly pushed crude oil prices to near-decade highs, caused a big spike in the VIX, created a rush to spot gold and bond yields accelerated (not helped by a Federal Reserve trying to catch up on years of average inflation targeting).
Amazon (XNAS: AMZN)
Market cap: US$1.53 trillion (-11.5% YTD)
Share price: US$3015.75 as of market close 13/04/22
Amazon's share price performance so far this year may be a sign that big tech's correction is a necessary evil. Others might argue that it's a sign these businesses are well past the mature phase. Either way, the company is fighting a conflict on many fronts – from supply chains to the global semiconductor chip crisis to inflation nibbling away at consumer discretionary spending.
For those holding on, you might be hoping the strength of the company's AWS brand or its Prime video membership numbers will be resilient in the face of all these headwinds. But if it falls further, you also can't say we didn't have the experts warn you.
Tesla (XNAS: TSLA)
Market cap: US$1.02 trillion (-17.74% YTD)
Share price: US$986.95 as of market close 13/4/22
Whether you believe the essence of Tesla is a miracle or fraud in the making, you cannot deny the way it's caught on like wildfire. For those who believe in the latter, you can always have a listen to Ally's chat with Kynikos Associates' Jim Chanos.
The company is facing serious challenges in China where the country's zero COVID policy has caused its largest city to lockdown. No cars from its Shanghai giga factory means unfulfilled orders.
The other interesting watching brief for this company will be its effect on local and global lithium stocks. Any deal between Tesla and a smaller partner has led to some serious share price boosts for the latter but it's hard to know when that effect might fade.
Apple (XNAS: AAPL)
Market Cap: US$2.74 trillion (-7.88% YTD)
Share price: US$167.66 as of market close 13/4/22
In the big tech selloff of Q1 2022, Apple has been one of the more resilient names. The company was the subject of recent reports that it could move to a subscription model for some of its hardware devices.
The idea was quickly shot down by Deutsche Bank analyst Sydney Ho who said it would only be a modestly "accretive" idea in the near term.
It too must get around manufacturing shortfalls in China – which it is averting by manufacturing the iPhone 13 at the Foxconn plant in India.
If you're a fan of Apple but think the end of its growth has passed or is nigh, you might wanna try this article published recently for a suitable alternative.
Alibaba (XNYS: BABA and HKEX: 9988)
Market Cap: US$271B (-17.14% YTD)
Share price: US$99.75, as of 13/4/22
Despite being the poster child of China's ongoing regulatory battles with the United States, Alibaba's YTD performance is actually slightly better than Tesla's!
For emerging market investors, watching the war of words and sanctions has been like watching a high risk game of tennis – back and forth with neither willing to drop the point.
If you think Beijing's about faces are a good enough reason to characterise the nation as "uninvestable", then you might want to read this contrasting view.
Microsoft (XNAS: MSFT)
Market Cap: US$2.11T (-15.74% YTD)
Share price: US$282.06, as of market close 13/4/22
Some analysts say Microsoft’s business is doing fine but that its stretched valuation has led to its stock copping more of the selling than others.
UBS' Karl Keirstead agrees – he thinks the Office 365 monopoly will likely begin to fizzle as the pandemic/work-from-home benefit is starting to fade.
Here's an alternative take yet from Chris Demasi at Montaka Global Investments.
Alphabet (XNAS: GOOGL)
Market Cap: US$1.69T (-11.92% YTD)
Share price: US$2554.29, as of market close 13/4/22
Two weeks ago, Alphabet returned to the headlines as it joined compatriots Tesla and GameStop in announcing stock splits. While it traditionally leads to a share price rise, there could be cause for concern for this strategy given Shopify just attempted the same thing... and shares actually fell.
All the same, Alphabet's list of products is universally known – from Youtube to Waze. But stock split or no, Trent Masters of Alphinity Investment Management reckons Alphabet is a long term winner.
Square/Block (XNAS: SQ)
Market Cap: US$71.3B (-25.08% YTD)
Share price: US$122.89, as of market close 12/4/22
Square shook the Australian equity earth to its core last year when it launched (and won) a takeover offer for buy now pay later darling Afterpay.
Investors have generally since been cutting their positions as they realise this is where the rubber meets the road. But for those still holding on (looking at you Zip), Tom Ng from MA Financial Group has a sage outlook wire about what the endgame might look like.
Walt Disney (XNYS: DIS)
Market Cap: US$238B
Share price: US$130.84, as of market close 12/4/22
As its theme parks and studios were mostly out of action for at least part of the COVID pandemic, Disney has had to rely heavily on its new streaming offering – gambling that its large library of material can defeat Netflix at their own game.
The first two are now coming back to life and a lot of its other assets are now full steam ahead (think all those Marvel movies that sat in the can for so long).
The big question is whether audiences will remain tuned in to all its offerings – and for that matter, whether they want to pay for it.
Nio (XNYS: NIO)
Market cap: US$30B
Share price: US$19.46, as of 13/4/22
If you've backed this company after reading it in the Livewire survey, then I suspect you've been left feeling anything but revved up about it. The Chinese answer to Tesla has seen its share price drop 41%… this year. It's safe to say this write up of Nio from Michael Smith at Kauri Asset Management has not aged well.
Market Cap: $262.9B (+22.04% YTD)
Share price: $51.72, as of market close 12/4/22
As of the last survey, BHP was still dual listed. Since then, the Big Australian has relocated to become a pure ASX listing – and it's been a boon ever since. The miner (much like other local majors) is making more money than it can know what to do with it. In fact, it's so large that it's now the world's largest dividend payer, as my colleague Angus Kennedy found out.
If 2022 is the boxing match, then the home team clearly took out the first round. BHP's return to a single listing, coupled with booming iron ore prices, has done its share price wonders. In contrast, the heat in hot sectors like electric vehicles and wider big tech has come off the boil.
With monetary tightening, the war in Ukraine and the global growth slowdown all in focus for Q2, the environment for investing is about to get a whole lot tougher and more interesting.
As a footnote: my colleagues Ally Selby and David Thornton have now also published the companions to this series covering global stocks and fund manager picks. Give those a read too.
MORE ON Equities
2 stocks mentioned
4 contributors mentioned
Hans is a content editor at Livewire. He is the lead writer of Charts and Caffeine and created Signal or Noise. He graduated with an economics and journalism double degree from Macquarie University.