Why “FAANG” Is Out and “MAAN” Is In
What do vampires and the stock market have in common?
They both have FAANGs!
In all seriousness, I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the five megacap tech stocks, also known as FAANG, that rule the Nasdaq: Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Google parent company Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL).
When looking at gains since inception, you’ll find each of these companies has soared anywhere from hundreds to thousands of percentage points higher.
But year to date, only two have emerged as the clear winners amid the COVID-19 crisis…
Amazon and Netflix have proven to be the most resilient during this time. Because what are humans most likely to do while they’re stuck at home? Shop online and watch TV.
Amazon’s first quarter earnings showed just how good the quarantined life has been for business. Revenue came in higher than expected at $75.5 billion. Operating income and free cash flow also increased to $39.7 billion and $24.3 billion, respectively.
The company also announced a renewed partnership between its streaming service, Prime Video, and the National Football League. As well as the launch of Amazon Go Grocery in Seattle, which utilizes brand-new “Just Walk Out” shopping technology – without any checkout registers.
And lastly, it announced the continued market share domination of its cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services. The segment brought in $10.22 billion in revenue and is now available in 24 geographic regions.
Netflix also reported largely positive numbers in the first quarter. Revenue was in line with expectations at $5.77 billion. And the company saw a record uptick in global paid subscribers of 15.77 million. This brought the total number of memberships to 183 million, up 23% year over year!
The company said it will have additional cash on hand due to postponed filming. This should compensate for some of the content lost from third-party films and TV series.
Netflix expressed a few worries in this report, but one analyst summed up its situation perfectly: “Netflix is and will continue to be the media company least impacted by COVID-19… Netflix will likely see minimal if any negative impacts moving forward.”
Now, you might be surprised to learn that Amazon’s and Netflix’s recent successes cannot be wholly contributed to the global shutdown. In fact, Chief Trends Strategist Matthew Carr noticed their outperformance in late 2018.
He noted that Facebook’s and Google’s year-to-date 2018 gains were noticeably lagging. Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon were leading the pack. And Apple was maintaining its position as the middle child.
Matthew wrote: “There’s a new acronym floating around. It’s all about dumping Facebook and Google from the mix and replacing them with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). That gives us ‘MAAN.‘”
Let’s see how this prediction has fared…
Microsoft‘s stock price is grazing its record high on a weekly basis. And, year to date, it’s up more than 22% compared with the Nasdaq’s 9%.
The company’s fiscal third quarter results beat expectations all around thanks to its own cloud computing platform, Azure (Amazon Web Service’s rival). Revenue grew 15% to $35 billion, while net income rose 22% to $10.8 billion.
Sales also increased 15% in the quarter, as consumers made a mad dash for at-home computers, laptops and Windows licenses. The company said the coronavirus “had minimal net impact on the total company revenue.”
With Facebook and Alphabet notching gains equal to half of Microsoft’s – or less – for the year, I think it’s safe to say that Microsoft has earned its crown among the tech giants.
2020 will continue to be the year of the MAAN.