This story was originally published here.
Strong first-quarter earnings reports from multiple tech companies demonstrated the power of stay-at-home headwinds for online business. As the economy and markets face massive interruptions over the current pandemic, the gap between companies thriving during the pandemic and those feeling the pain will only get wider.
So technology companies that grew their online business and developed cutting edge solutions will get more business. Retail firms relying on a physical presence, automotive showrooms and restaurants will have trouble adapting.
Yet this generalized view excludes the businesses in the latter group that are embracing technology to get a competitive edge. For example, restaurants that use technology to handle online orders and food delivery will likely thrive. So it makes sense then, that technology investors will want to hone in on companies that are embracing megatrends like AI, 5G, and cybersecurity.
“American firms have historically led these megatrends, but China’s growing economy and especially huge government subsidies for technology investments are reducing the gap,” said Boston University Professor of Finance Dirk Hackbarth in an email to InvestorPlace. This suggests that investors should not only hold the top companies in the United States but also include China-based companies. Per Hackbarth:
“To the extent that China’s economy may rebound before the US reaches its trough this year, it will provide another advantage for Chinese firms, such as Alibaba and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), to better compete with the likes of Microsoft and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG).”
Of course, that doesn’t mean American tech companies are out of the picture, but rather that Chinese firms are staking larger claims in the space. And that’s an opportunity for investors to buy into these 7 technology stocks:
User activity surged on Facebook in the first quarter. Daily active users topped 1.734 billion, up from 1.562 billion last year. Worldwide, the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) rose from $6.42 last year to $6.95.
With limited entertainment at home and online social networks functioning as the main channel for communications, Facebook’s popularity will only grow.
Though the world is changing quickly, many big companies are scaling back on advertising spend. Facebook will update its plan to moderate its expense growth. For example, it will spend less on business functions while still expecting profit margins dropping this year. In the first quarter, ad revenue rose 17% year-on-year to $17.4 billion. But as the pandemic picked up steam, revenue slowed starting in the second week of March.
“The pandemic has benefited large technology companies such as Facebook and Amazon because consumers are staying at home and using more of their services although the decline in advertising dollars has hurt Facebook,” Professor Vidyanand Choudhary, Senior Associate Dean of Information Systems at the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California Irvine, told InvestorPlace in an email.
To minimize the damage of lower customer advertising budgets, Facebook has refocused on delivering free and paid tools to help businesses match to the right audience. This will help companies get the most out of their expenses.
Editor's Note: Click here to see the other 6 tech stocks.
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