Our 2019 Technology CEOs of the Year included Andy Florance of CoStar Group (tkr: CSGP), Lance Uggla of IHS Markit (tkr: INFO), Ajay Banga of Mastercard (tkr: MA), Satya Nadella of Microsoft (tkr: MSFT) and Bill Stone of SS&C Technologies (tkr: SSNC). The risk/reward ratio for the equity markets hasn't been this unfavorable since the … Continue reading Catching Up with CEORater’s 2019 Technology CEOs of the Year
We appreciate the logistical hoops public companies are having to work through to prep for earnings calls given disparate locations and other pressing operational matters. The cherry on top is when companies take extra care to have an adult conversation with investors about the state of operations despite the limited visibility that 99% of companies … Continue reading Transparency & Playing Offense In A Down Economy
Policy makers have held interest rates artificially low since the 2008 financial crisis. This unnatural act - preventing interest rates from finding a natural equilibrium - made it difficult for investors to find yield and equity market valuations ballooned as a result. The cheap debt train has pulled into the station. (See the debt issuance … Continue reading Cheap Debt: The Gift that Kept on Giving
We expect less Technology M&A activity over the near-to-intermediate term given the recent pullback in the NASDAQ Composite (down 14% over the past two weeks). This is especially true for Public-Private M&A transactions. Private companies as a general rule lag public companies in terms of resetting internal valuation expectations. Should private technology companies be willing … Continue reading We Expect Less M&A Activity Given the Recent Market Pullback
Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped down from his CEO post effective immediately and will remain Executive Chairman through December 2021. Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer. Our expectation was that Kevin Mayer - Chairman Direct-to-Consumer & International - would be named Mr. Iger's successor. Does this abrupt CEO change foreshadow a larger transaction? … Continue reading Disney’s Sudden CEO Change – What Does It Foreshadow?
The Wall Street Journal reports that Intuit (ticker: INTU), plans to acquire Credit Karma for approximately $7 billion. A Credit Karma acquisition would compliment Intuit's 2009 $170 million acquisition of Personal Financial Management ("PFM") fintech company Mint.com. The Credit Karma deal would mark Intuit's first large acquisition under Sasan Goodarzi who became Intuit CEO in … Continue reading Intuit Reported to Acquire Credit Karma – Building A PFM Powerhouse
It is difficult to get excited about Morgan Stanley's recently announced acquisition of ETrade. The latter is essentially a no growth business (P&L below), competing in a cut-throat market. On the other hand, Square - albeit a larger company that would command a larger price - is a FinTech leader in growing consumer markets. If … Continue reading Square Makes More Sense for Morgan Stanley
We believe the answer is "YES". We believe that cryptocurrencies will turbocharge online marketplaces during the next 10 years. For this reason we believe companies that have planted a cryptocurrency flag will look to acquire online marketplaces which can be "crypto-enabled." Thus, we peg the probability of an EBAY sale in 2020 at 80%. Intercontinental … Continue reading Will Cryptocurrencies Turbocharge Online Marketplaces?
It ought to be an interesting earnings call next week for CVS Health (ticker: CVS). Former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini resigned from CVS Health's Board of Directors last night. Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal that the CVS Health / Aetna post-deal integration is far from over - a statement that contradicts CVS Health CEO … Continue reading CVS Health, Aetna Post-Deal Integration Hiccups
We liked The ICE (ticker: ICE) as a potential acquirer of Bloomberg LP. News that The ICE moved to acquire eBay is consistent with ICE founder & CEO Jeff Sprecher's affinity for "exchange" / "marketplace" type businesses. The deal could carry a $30 billion value per the Wall Street Journal. EBAY shares are up 9% … Continue reading eBay for The ICE?