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BenzingaEditorial

4 Blue Chips That Lived Up to Their Title During the Pandemic

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A blue chip is stock in a corporation that enjoys a wide reputation for the value it contributes to the world and its ability to do well even during downturns. This pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has put the economy into a virtual standstill. These companies showed tenacity to survive the storm.

BAT

A London-based company that took the second position in the US cigarette market with the acquisition of Reynolds American in 2017. British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) is surely among the highest yielding picks. But its investors were not pleased even before the pandemic. The company is facing several challenges, the greatest one being the tough trend in declining cigarette sales. The number of smokers has fallen, and that’s forced BAT to use its pricing power to boost profits and maintain revenue growth. But the company remains excited for its shift towards alternatives such as tobacco heating products and vapors. The new segment has shown results but it has been followed by regulatory difficulties. Due to FDA’s slow approval, it is still falling short of its potential. And there is the issue of controversy as the company is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Yet, BAT is also one of the more surprising players who are working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Early signs of plant-based biotech development have been promising, but it’s far from certain if BAT can indeed provide the first solution to the coronavirus battle. And there is also the question if it this could be the most effective vaccine in the long run.

But the bottom line is that BAT shares demonstrated tenacity over the long run. Despite the challenges, it has a solid dividend that now yields almost 7% and an abundant cash flow. Fortunately, the decline in smoking has been a gradual one so its main business cannot evaporate into thin air just like that. So even if alternative don’t pan out as well as hoped, things are surely not bad!

Alibaba

Speaking of being at the right place at the right time Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) is the one as the pandemic give wings to e-commerce that generated 82% of its revenue. But despite reporting amazing earnings recently, its stock dropped. But the culprit is a bill that the US Senate passed last week that raised the question whether some Chinese companies would be delisted from the US exchanges. Yet, the Chinese giant has not much to fear as investors over the globe are becoming increasingly dependent on Alibaba’s marketplaces to reach Chinese consumers. Moreover, despite the majority of its businesses being based in China, AliExpress is a leading marketplace in Europe.

Alibaba is also expanding its cloud platform overseas with significant investment, where it faces intense competition from Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS.

J&J

The allure of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is its predictability and impressive insulation from recession conditions. It is a true stock from the ‘grandparents’ era. Although we are not speaking of a blockbuster growth, its 2.5% dividend and cash cow status are what make it an evergreen jewel. It is also preparing its own runner for the SARS-CoV-2 race as the first phase of human clinical trials is planned to begin in September 2020.

McDonald’s

Even during the pandemic, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) shares have managed to hold up all right as its drive-thru business and high-quality, financially sound franchisees give shares some resiliency. And this is not the first test that McDonalds passed. During the 2008 crisis, when others such as General Electric (NYSE:GE) were on the verge of slashing its dividend, McDonald’s was increasing its payout which is an annual ritual it has successfully maintained for 43 years. That year alone, it outperformed the S&P 500 by 46 percentage points. Its stock has what it takes to do the same.

Although tech has made the history of blue chips debatable with young companies such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) receiving the status simply due to their enormous impact, one thing has remained the same. Even these four companies come from a variety of industries, but they all have one thing in common: tenacity.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

BenzingaEditorial

Apple, Amazon and Microsoft in a Race Greater Than Even COVID-19

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Tech Company News

For the first-time ever, the Nasdaq composite hit 10,000 last Tuesday. The tech-heavy index’s rally was led by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which both hit all-time highs Tuesday. Shares of Apple surged nearly 4% to a record high on reports that the company will use its own processors in its Mac computers. Amazon shares also gained nearly 3% Tuesday to an all-time high.

Big day for big tech

It was a big day for other big-name tech stocks as well. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) jumped nearly 3%, while Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) rose 2.4%. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) surged 5.7%, and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) gained nearly 3% at intraday highs. Meanwhile, on the same day, the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average both slumped, falling 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively. But the S&P 500 at least erased its 2020 losses last Monday.

Apple and Microsoft $2 trillion race

Both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft(NASDAQ:MSFT) touched market capitalization values over $1.5 trillion last week. The next stop would be $2 trillion. But although both stocks have made adding about $500 billion to their market caps seem easy over the last couple of months, the next $500 billion milestone might be harder to come by.

Can Apple keep going?

After setting its previous all-time high in February, Apple shares did it again despite a slowdown in iPhone sales and supply chain disruptions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The reason why Apple pulled it off is its switch from hardware-based to services-based revenue model. Moreover, with governments all over the world imposing lockdown measures, App Store revenue surged. This could be a permanent step up in revenue for the high-margin services business. Additionally, wearables like AirPods and the Apple Watch continued to enjoy increased demand and growing sales are expected to continue. But its major star remains innovation-free for quite some time and due to supply chain disruptions that could delay the next release, its sales could be depressed throughout the year.

Microsoft’s work-from-home boost

Microsoft’s offerings are all about the environments in which businesses operate. Computing capabilities have never been more in demand as during the pandemic. And social distancing is here to stay for quite a while. This shift to home offices has benefited not only one but two key components of Microsoft’s business.

First, its cloud computing business, Azure. Although Microsoft still trails Amazon’s AWS by a wide margin, it did win the JEDI wars. Moreover, being selected for the Pentagon’s $10 billion contract will only further position Microsoft as an enterprise cloud solution. And there is the fact that it doesn’t compete with most of the companies it serves could help it catch up in the current environment. The second being its Office offerings along with Microsoft Teams achieving a record of 44 million daily active users.

And we must not forget that Microsoft has grown both earnings per share and free cash flow considerably faster than Apple over the last five years.

Both of these stocks are trading at or near valuation levels they haven’t seen for over a decade. This also makes them somewhat risky. And it’s not like they don’t have challenges of their own. Amazon is being criticized for its employee management practices. Microsoft and Apple have abandoned facial recognition. But investors turn to big tech during downturns for a reason. And they are betting on continued multiple expansion as these companies hold the potential for accelerating revenue growth and margin expansion.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

7 Telehealth Stocks Paving the way Towards Digitalized Healthcare

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Telemedicine stock news

Even when the acute phase of the crisis has passed, this pandemic will leave a lasting impact. But telehealth stocks are among the lucky ones to be on the winning side. If we learned anything from this pandemic, it is the value of healthcare. The virus exposed many gaps in the current healthcare system, to say the least. And telemedicine is a big part of the solution.  By digitalizing healthcare services as much as possible, we can reduce strain on the system, lower costs and increase access for patients with mobility issues.

An emerging industry

There aren’t many names when it comes to pure telehealth stocks as companies are just entering the arena. But don’t fear, there are a bunch of quality combinations of healthcare and technology stocks that will benefit just as much as telehealth continues to flourish. And these stocks have plenty of growth potential over the next decade:

  • Teladoc Health

COVID-19 made a star out of Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) for a reason. It is ahead of competitors due to a combination of good product, great marketing and first-mover advantage. It has grown its platform capacity by 5x over the past year. Another astounding figure is that it can handle up to 100 million members. So no wonder that the share price has also rocketed up and resulted in a $12 billion market capitalization. Along with a 20x price-to-sales ratio, both being quite abundant for an early-stage growth company that still hasn’t reached profitability, it has a world of potential ahead.

  • Zoom

We know Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) is among those who saw skyrocketing demand from the pandemic. But its telehealth superpowers are still not as well known. Back in 2017, Zoom launched an offering that is pushed as the “first scalable cloud-based video telehealth solution.” It didn’t immediately take off as Teladoc but as video conferencing boomed during the pandemic and health professionals benefited from it. Zoom’s video healthcare solution has the built-in patient privacy protections, remote waiting rooms, remote camera control and support for cameras, digital stethoscopes, just to name a few. Along with signing key clients, such as Moffitt Cancer Center, one cannot afford to follow up on Zoom Video’s progress in telehealth over the coming quarters.

  • Humana – insurance

Did you really think we can speak of healthcare without mentioning insurance? Humana (NYSE:HUM) has been among the very first adopters of virtual doctor visits even before the pandemics. And when COVID-19 swept through the globe, it provided more than 150 different but digitalized health services.

  • Anthem

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) was just as quick in taking its place at virtual healthcare, entering the field already in 2016. With more than 200 digital kiosks that allow patients access to community resources, telehealth services, video conferences and insurance benefits information, it provides time help in dozens of languages to everyone in need.

  • CVS – drugstores

Moving on to drugstores, CVS (NYSE:CVS) differs greatly with its all-in-one approach from its key rival Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and its namesake pharmacies. It ties together the pharmacy and the insurance plans. Whether it will be profitable is another question as it’s too soon to tell. However, once it realizes its full potential, it could become a massive telehealth player.

  • iRobot – more than vacuum cleaners!

Believe it or not iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) also helped create the first telemedicine robot. IRBT, along with parter InTouch, received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2013 for a robot that could facilitate virtual meetings between doctors and patients. Their RP-Vita robot was useful for allowing doctors to collect information, via iPad, when they couldn’t meet with a patient in person. With COVID-19, it seems as a great area to direct research and development funds.

  • Castlight Health- software

Castlight Health (NYSE:CSLT)  is a software company that connects various players in the healthcare space: from doctors all the way to insurance firm. It did stumble under its prior CEO which lead to the company losing major customers, but we all know the value of networking! And new management has delivered improved and strong operating results recently. Although it’s too soon to see if this progress is sustainable, it helped patients identify COVID-19 test locations. Large revenues are usually not the result of such endeavors, but this did show the value of the network it provides.

The benefits of a digitalized healthcare

Adopting virtual medicine should not only reduce costs but more importantly, improve patient outcomes. The pandemic revealed the enormous inefficiencies in the healthcare systems. Whoever removes the red tape will surely score in its top and bottom lines. And even after COVID-19 is is gone, telemedicine has a lot of potential ahead.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Could Datadog Be an Even Better Bet than Cloud Leaders?

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Oracle News

It’s no secret that “working-from-home”-related stocks have has surged during the pandemic. But the “stay-at-home” tech stock has a bright outlook even after the pandemic has been won. Overall, COVID-19 only accelerated existing technology trends such as e-commerce, remote working and learning, as well as tele-medicine. More than ever, enterprises are forced to digitize their organizations as quickly as possible. And this involves reaching out to customers who are now spending most of their time indoors. Among the leading companies that can help businesses accomplish this transition is Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG). It is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that provides monitoring of servers, databases, tools, and services through a Saas- based data analytics platform.

A relatively young company but in line with industry leaders

As cloud adoption increased, Datadog grew rapidly and expanded its product offering to cover service providers including Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform (NASDAQ:GOOG). This is why we dare we compare this newbie to such big tech such as Google? Not only can these stocks compare but it is debatable which one is the best buy.

Google even managed to beat the ad slump

If there is something you need answered, you go to Alphabet’s Google search engine. And don’t forget that it also acquired YouTube’s online video service which you also most likely use. With many stuck at home, usage of these two skyrocketed in the first quarter, leaving even the Super Bowl behind. YouTube premium subscriptions increased during the quarter with the lack of live sports and people cutting the cord on traditional cable. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the U.S. hard during the final two weeks of the quarter, YouTube was a notable outperformer when it comes to advertising.

Strong COVID quarter

YouTube exited March with revenue up 9% year-over-year. This growth was caused by an increase in demand response advertising. This is even more impressive if we consider that search advertising went down mid-teens and Google’s network partner advertising down low double digits. Even other non-core Alphabet products and services saw a pickup in demand in Q1. Chromebook sales spiked 400% over the prior year in the week ending March 21. Obviously, it was also a strong quarter for Google’s Meet video conferencing service, which saw a tremendous increase in usage as it competes directly with Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) which also saw a skyrocketing demand. Overall, as businesses start to reopen and look to attract and notify their customers that they are coming back to life, Google’s properties are a true gold mine to advertise on.

And let’s not forget the cloud – an investment that is paying off

Alphabet has done a great job of growing its Google Cloud Platform into a formidable number three player in the cloud infrastructure sector. Realizing the importance of cloud, Google has invested heavily over the past few years to catch up to the cloud leaders along with hiring ex-Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) executive Thomas Kurian in 2018.

Its strategy is paying off even faster due to COVID-19. The company’s cloud segment surged 52% in the first quarter. According to a recent report from research firm Canalys, Google Cloud grew its infrastructure service by 87.8% in 2019, increasing its market share from 4.2% to 5.8%. So along with Microsoft and Amazon, you would think these are the only three players that count in the cloud game. But there is also Datadog.

Datadog’s powerful combination

Unlike Alphabet which has been public for 16 years, 2004, Datagod had its IPO in September last year. But Datadog is keeping tabs on all your tech. While there are many other competitors that offer infrastructure monitoring, cloud monitoring, application monitoring, or log management, Datadog incorporates all of these in an easy-to-use interface at a very powerful platform of its own. And 11,500 customers over the course of 10 years are in love with it. Moreover, even after a decade of its existence, the company is still growing at an impressive pace. Last quarter, revenue surged 87% and management also raised full-year guidance on the recent surprising strength.  Datadog also now has over 400 different third-party integrations, making it a very important unifying platform for any organization. So, it is certainly a company that is worth mentioning.

Differences

While both help corporations digitize their infrastructures, they are very different in terms of business models and overall characteristics.

Alphabet – the diversified giant

To start off, Alphabet has a market cap of nearly $1 trillion. It is highly diversified in core digital advertising, cloud computing, hardware and app store. Also, we must not forget its ‘other bets’ segment with moonshot projects. Alphabet is also highly profitable, with operating margins of 22% over the past 12 months – even while ad revenue was affected by the pandemic.

Datadog – less diversified but with impressive results

Meanwhile, Datadog is more of a one-product platform, making it less diversified, and much more risky. But, Datadog showed a slight operating profit in its recent quarter. It is more than common for such high-growth software-as-a-service companies to post operating losses as a cost of growth. Impressively, Datadog expanded its gross margins from 73% to 80% over the past year.

Datadog is a fine candidate

Datagod’s performance indicates that strong profits could be in the near future as the company continues to scale. The only downside is that grow so fast often trade at seemingly high valuations, yet Datadog can still be winning stocks over the long-term. Thus, for those willing to overcome volatility for higher growth potential, Datadog would make a fine candidate. For better of worse, social distancing is here to stay, at least until COVID-19 vaccine sees the light of the day. These trends will only further accelerate its growth.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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