Fireworks Display

While we are recuperating from the fireworks display last night (and for New York City a later noisy thunderstorm) the rest of the world more or less runs to business as usual. China has extended its crackdown against tech companies to add YMM (Full Truck) and BZ (Kanzhun) to the list of companies under investigation. Neither is a major holding outside the PRC but the message is clear: the Xi Jinping government wants to control foreign listed stellar companies. DIDI, hit last week shortly after its US IPO is not an isolated case.

The Hong Kong market duly took note and DIDI fell 1.03% Monday, while good old Tencent TCEHY, (in Hong Kong not here) was hit with a 0.05.% drop likely to become the basis tomorrow.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


The oil price rose to 76.81/bbl after the OPEC attempt to have a meeting to agree to boost production (and cut prices) was blocked, reportedly by the United Arab Emirates, but backed by Saudi Arabia and Russia. BP plc was reported to be quitting Iraq and fell 0.37%. However, Royal Dutch Shell B (RDS-B) gained 0.10%.

Britain saw the IPO of what is alleged to be the first “green hydrogen trust” raising £250 mn. A trust is Brit-speak for an open-end fund. We already own the largest closed-end fund in this arena, AYAtlantica Sustainable Infrastructure Ltd which rose $1.12 today. We also own it through our Canada ute Algonquin, AQN.

*Barron's wrote up Plug Power, PLUG, which also is into hydrogen. While admitting it is a singularly appealing stock, Royal Bank of Canada analyst Joseph Spak called it the best play in hydrogen and rated it buy. However the weekly dissed his advice because it trades at 18x current sales and because it rose 973% last year. Spak's target price according to Al Root is based on future cash flows and a 35x multiple on the $537 mn he estimates for 2015. Root also thinks that 2/3 of analysts covering PLUg rate it buy and the average TP is not $42 but $45. PLUG fell 4% YTD after a 9-fold rise in 2020.

*With so many Chinese shares under the gun, haven seekers bought into NIO which gained for other pundits besides me. However, Arne Verheyde, a Dutch writer on seekingalpha admitted that his model portfolio was generally money-losing except for NIO stock, accounting for 2/3 his gains. We sold 2/3 our NIO stock last year because it accounted for too much of my gains. NIO rose 5.33% last week.

*Energy Fuels wound down 0.5% last week. Volatile UUUU is on the American Stock Exchange.

Finance News

*The shekel fell 0.275% against the greenback but rose 0.121% against the euro in Israel. Its CB sets the rates.

Among the stocks, I own that rose Monday are: American Express (AXP) tipped on CNBC by James McDonald; and Swiss ABB which rose 1.65% to $34.52. I stopped after that because it would have required checking all listed companies I own.

*Banco Santander SAN won plaudits in the Financial Times for its new UK head office in Milton Keynes, a 1960's new town more or less equidistant to London, Birmingham, Oxford, and Cambridge, which it got offices in after buying Abbey Life, an insurance company. Milton Keynes is about to get more intellectual as it will soon open MK.U, its own university. The idea is to get out of London.

*Barron's out of Europe tipped Scandic Hotels of Sweden which Deutsche Bank favors for the revival of tourism in Nordic lands. Investor A/B of Sweden, IVSBF, seems to disagree as it sold off its top-of-the-line hotel portfolio in June.

*Höegh LNG PHA rose 0.32% last week according to Barron's. I sold because its parent will compete with it in booking charters for LNG fueled LNG vessels. HMLP.

*MELI, Mercado Libre, gained $10.24 last week hitting $1551.96.

*CPNGCoupang gained 3.06% last week. A fire at its Incheon warehouse may give it access to insurance money which is cheaper than what it pays for its loans.  

*Lazard, LAZ, lost 0.57% last week. Its fund price data is not correct in Barron's so we are skipping that. 


*Astra-Zeneca which is British gained 0.08% in UK trading today. AZN.

*Danish Novo Nordisk, maker of diabetes and weight-gain meds, was rated a potential yield stock by JOHCM Global Income Builder fund (JOBIX), according to Lawrence Strauss of Barron's. JOBIX expects a 10% rise in its divvy annually over the eventual approval of Wegovy for weight in addition to diabetes. NVO.

*Other drug stocks with Monday moves include Merck, MRK, up 0.78% in European trading, and Novartis, NVS, up 0.36%. In Tel Aviv, TEVA rose 0.22% in a mostly down market.

*However Jefferies downgraded Japan's Takeda with a lower target price, ¥4000 off from 4300 and a 5-10% cut in its net operating profits over the next 8 fiscal years. I cannot believe anyone predicts operating profits 8 years in advance. TAK.

*Clorox, a big winner from covid-19 wiping, is rated sell thanks to hopes vaccination works. CLX.

*Zymeworks fell on negativism on its ZW49 data which was poorly phrased according to Avisol Capital Parners on seekingalpha, full of imprecise data. This came out in late Jan 2021 and is old news. This is not the ZYME trial we are waiting for. And there are rumors of a takeover bid for the Vancouver firm.

*Indian vaccine firm Bharat Biotech, via its US partner Ocugen, will seek approval for their Covaxin jab in North America. It is reportedly 93% protective against severe virus symptoms but so far all the data are from India which is confronting a second surge.

*Exelixis (EXEL) has seen a huge increase in puts according to Barron's which quotes McMillian Analysis. The share fell 5.16% last week.

*Novacure plummeted because its electric field treatment for live cancer achieved only a 9.5% response rate in last hope phase II trials whereas Wall St expects a 20% response rate. In my view, NVCR fell because it gained too much YTD.

*Dr. Reddy's, RDY, tipped by Abhimanyu Sisodia from India, hit a new year's high at $75.5 last week.

* Catalan plasma play Grifols, fell 0.53%. GRFS is now midway between its high and low this year.

*Beigene was hit by worries about PRC oversight and lost $25/sh. At $339.25 rather than $389 BGNE is a buy. Tech is under pressure but Xi needs to keep Chinese people healthy.


*Qualcomm gained 1.26% in UK trading. QCOM.

*Finnish Nokia, a meme share, lost 1.1% last week according to Barron's. However, Ericsson gained 0.22%. Vodafone lost 1.4% and has a 6.2% yield. NOK, ERIC, VOD.

*Riskified, an Israeli e-commerce fraud protection firm competing with giant, will do a secondary offering on the NYSE. It has so far raised $229 mn but was valued at $1 bn when it raised money here in 2019. It is not profitable yet but is part-owned by GE and Fidelity funds.

*Last week 4 Israeli tech outfits raised money here. PayoneerTaboola, and IronSource used SPACs FTAC OlympusION Acquisitions, and Thoma Bravo Advantage respectively, and SentinelOne with an IPO. SPACs are special purpose acquisition companies.

*The tech sector was hit by a very long and detailed report from Dividend Sensei on the overvaluation of Microsoft which covered the universe to claim that MSFT, at $277 and change at the close Friday was over its “fair value price” of $161. It is only 43rd on the analyst's quality list but he does still own it. And he predicts it will become a dividend king or aristocrat by 2029 with higher dividends. This may hit US MSFT trading Tuesday.

*Last month cyber-security SentinelOne S raised $1.2 bn with an NYSE listing and promptly rose another 20%+. It runs the “singularity” platform.

*UBS of Switzerland published its buy list which included Comcast, a US stock I own. CMCSA.

*Tower Semiconductor, TSEM, gained 0.5 last week. Taiwan Semi NYSE-TSM rose 2.38.


*The battle over who gets to buy Morrison's, a UK supermarket chain, reminds me of the first stock I bought when as a young bride I moved to London in 1964. It was called Victor Value and later became Tesco TSCDY. Coming from the USA I knew that the supermarket would hit Britain too. It has been my 2nd most profitable UK holding. (The most profitable was Trans-Siberian Gold, now being taken over by Russkis which I learned about from Harvard Club fellows.)  

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