The Payment Wars Heat Up a Notch

The past few years have seen an explosion in payment apps. Each have their similarities and differences, from traditional wealth transfers to the ability to buy cryptocurrencies to offering payment plan options. That latter category is exploding in growth, with a number of firms offering “Buy Now Pay Later” or BNPL services. Of the many companies offering this service, one just inked a major deal with the world’s biggest retailer, Amazon (AMZN). The company partnering with them is Affirm Holdings (AFRM). The ...
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The Ultimate Semiconductor Shortage Play

The latest statements from companies relying on semiconductors for operations is still grim. A shortage persists, and likely won’t be fully resolved this year. That’s likely to impact everything from consumer electronics this holiday season (it’s coming sooner than you think), to the production of new automobiles. While a number of companies are working to ramp up production, the actual physical manufacturing is likely resulting in delays, as only a few organizations can actually manufacture at scale. These few players likely represent ...
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A Perfect Way to Play the Next Crypto Rally?

After a swift drop earlier in the year after hitting all-time highs, cryptocurrencies have surged higher in prior weeks. The space is pausing again, but may be on track to resume its rally soon. While many companies have embraced cryptocurrencies, the trend is still early. But investors who want exposure to the space without having to buy and store their own have a few solid opportunities. For those just looking for exposure to Bitcoin, MicroStrategy (MSTR) may be the way to go ...
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The Wealth Effect Will Drive High-End Retailers Higher

Economic data continues to show that the rich got richer during the pandemic. Most were unaffected by shutdowns, and having wealth tied up in appreciating assets like stock and real estate increased their net worth. That’s also true well into the middle class, a trend that also benefits a number of higher-end retailers. Like the big box stores, these companies have held up well, as reduced spending in activities like attending concerts or going out to dine led to higher spending ...
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The Big Box Trend Remains Alive and Well

For years, analysts bemoaned the “death of retail.” But consumers remain king, and many still want to shop in person, or online at a store other than Amazon (AMZN). That’s been a boon largely for the big box stores, which offer convenience, low prices, and a wide selection of offerings. And as earnings season has shown, these stores are still growing while also trading at a reasonable value. Case in point? Best Buy (BBY). The electronics retailer was seen as a particularly ...
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Earnings Season Shows Security Software Demand Remains Strong

Security software spending is on the rise following a series of high-profile hacks against a number of businesses this year. Now, security software companies are starting to report earnings, and it’s clear that business will be great for some time to come. That’s because these companies tend to operate on a recurring revenue basis, so whether a customer is now or upgrading their security software, they’ll also be making regular payments to ensure upgrades and monitoring. One company seeing big results is ...
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Fears of Slowing Growth in the Cloud Space are Overrated

One of the biggest trends of the past few years has been the rise of companies using cloud-based services. That bypasses the need for a company to run its own data centers, and has created some powerhouse firms. However, in the short-run, fears of slow growth can lead to major selloffs in cloud-based companies, which in turn can spell a long-term entry point for patient buyers. Case in point? Snowflake (SNOW). The cloud storage giant has seen its shares shed one-third of ...
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This Hardware-to-Software Play Closes an Era

A number of companies are synonymous with certain eras. From General Motors (GM) in the 1950s or International Business Machines (IBM) in the 1960s, these companies have changed with the times, but aren’t quite as big a player in their industries as they once were. Kicking off the tech bubble of the 1990s, Cisco Systems (CSCO) was best known for making internet routing equipment. Shares have finally topped their early 2000 peak in the second half of 2021. But it’s also become ...
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