How to Invest in Private Companies

How to Invest in Private Companies

Overall, it is much easier to invest in a publicly traded firm than a privately-held company. Public companies, especially larger ones, can easily be bought and sold on the stock market and, therefore, have superior liquidity and a quote market value. Conversely, it can be years before a private firm can again be sold and prices The Semdex Index lost 1.10% last week. NEW MAURITIUS HOTELS LTD was the best performer, with an increase of 3.60%, while the worst performer was MEDINE LTD with a loss of 13.44%. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index lost 4.47%, closing at 3’137.06. ADYEN NV was the best performing stock, increasing 4.76%, while BNP PARIBAS was […] Investors can kiss an expected boost to operating margins goodbye. Stock futures drifted higher Tuesday evening as investors considered the first presidential debate and continued to eye developments among congressional lawmakers for further fiscal stimulus.

September 30, 20200 Comments


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Investment News – 29 September 2020

Investment News – 29 September 2020

Market Indices 1yr Trend - 29.9.20

Major Indices - 29.9.20

The Semdex Index lost 1.10% last week. NEW MAURITIUS HOTELS LTD was the best performer, with an increase of 3.60%, while the worst performer was MEDINE LTD with a loss of 13.44%.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Index lost 4.47%, closing at 3’137.06. ADYEN NV was the best performing stock, increasing 4.76%, while BNP PARIBAS was the worst performing stock, decreasing 12.56%. The index is down 14.32% so far this year.

The S&P 500 Index lost 0.63%, closing at 3’298.46. The best performer was TWITTER INC, increasing 9.19%, while APACHE CORP had the biggest loss, decreasing 22.13%. The index is up 3.74% so far this year.

SEMDEX Best performers -29.09.20

SEMDEX Best performers + SEMDEX Top 20 -29.09.20

Foreign Exchange Rates - Commodities and Treasuries -29.09.20

This information has been updated on 29nd September 2020 at 8:00 am.


More Bad News for the Canadian Marijuana Industry

More Bad News for the Canadian Marijuana Industry

Few industries offer as much promise this decade as marijuana. After generating $10.9 billion in worldwide sales in 2018, Wall Street analysts are forecasting anywhere from $50 billion to $200 billion in global sales by 2030. While not every pot stock can be a winner, these would appear to be incredible growth figures for investors to piggyback on.

However, there’s been a wild divergence to date between the U.S. and Canadian cannabis markets.

A dried cannabis bud and small vial of liquid next to a Canadian flag.

Image source: Getty Images.

Despite the U.S. federal government’s failure to legalize weed, quite a few marijuana stocks have flourished. We’ve witnessed two-thirds of all states legalize medical cannabis, with 11 states permitting adult-use consumption and/or retail sale. According to the latest edition of the “Marijuana Business Factbook” from Marijuana Business Daily, the U.S. sold anywhere from $10.6 billion to $13 billion in legal-channel pot last year. 

Meanwhile, Canada has been a mess that simply can’t get out of its own way. Even though it’s the first industrialized country to give the green light to recreational marijuana, it’s failed to provide the blueprint for other countries to follow.

Many of its problems can be traced back to regulatory issues. For instance, Health Canada can be blamed for both slowing down the licensing process for cultivators and retailers, as well as delaying the launch of high-margin derivatives. A derivative is a non-dried cannabis product, such as an edible, infused beverage, topical, or vape.

But it wasn’t just Health Canada that made mistakes on the regulatory front. Some provincial regulators also failed badly. Ontario, which is home to almost 40% of Canada’s population, ran with a lottery system for dispensary licenses between Oct. 2018 and Dec. 2019. This lottery system saw just 24 dispensaries open in the first year in a province that could comfortably house 1,000 retail locations.

Without adequate distribution channels, the Canadian cannabis market has experienced everything from supply shortages to suffocating supply bottlenecks, depending on the province.

An assortment of clear jars on a dispensary counter that are packed with unique dried cannabis buds.

Image source: Getty Images.

Thankfully, these issues haven’t stopped licensed cannabis store sales from creeping higher over the past two years (sales of adult-use weed began on Oct. 17, 2018). In July, Canadian licensed cannabis store sales hit an all-time high of $231.6 million Canadian ($173 million U.S.), which is up close to 50% from the monthly sales tallied in January 2020. 

Things must be getting better for the Canadian pot industry and marijuana stocks, right?

Not exactly.

As we witnessed this past earnings season, one Canadian licensed producer after another reported exceptionally weak cannabis sales growth in the domestic market. It made little sense considering that the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with an increase in new dispensary openings in Ontario, led to a notable uptick in licensed cannabis store sales between March and July. But we may now have an answer as to why these figures were so weak.

Recently, cannabis-focused data and strategic insight company Brightfield Group released a report, “Canadian Cannabis Newbies,” that examined the role new users are playing in the Canadian marketplace. While there were positives mixed throughout, including Canada’s ability to reach medical and recreational users, there was one glaring trend that stood out.

A person rolling a joint using dried cannabis.

Image source: Getty Images.

Despite the rollout of Cannabis 2.0 — i.e., the aforementioned derivative products that were launched in Dec. 2019, and slowly made their way to retail shelves — new users preferred cannabis flower over derivatives in the second quarter. Whereas derivative use was more or less flat from the sequential first quarter, dried flower use rates among newbies spiked to 43% in Q2 from 28% in Q1. 

Why, you ask? For one, dried flower is far more readily available than derivative pot products, which have been constrained by supply challenges. Perhaps more importantly, Brightfield Group opines that so-called newbies have been drawn to dried flower and pre-rolls due to value pricing on these products. Value is especially important with the coronavirus hurting the income potential of workers throughout North America.

The problem is that Canadian licensed producers were counting on Cannabis 2.0 to drive their margins higher. Unfortunately, with the black market remaining resilient in the wake of ongoing supply issues, licensed producers have had to turn to exceptionally low-margin, value-priced, and highly commoditized dried cannabis flower to compete with the black market and draw new users.

In other words, Canada’s cultivators are crushing their own margins in an effort to beat back the black market and secure loyal customers. This is why margins have been so awful of late, and also why revenue figures have been so poor despite licensed cannabis store sales hitting all-time highs.

A businessman putting up his hands as if to say, no thanks.

Image source: Getty Images.

Given the sea of problems that Canada’s licensed producers have dealt with, as well as the likelihood that they’re now trying to go toe-to-toe with the black market using value-priced dried cannabis, there’s simply no good reason to invest in Canadian marijuana stocks (specifically licensed producers).

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) is by far the most popular marijuana stock in North America, but it has also been one of the worst possible investments over the past 18 months. Per its recently released fiscal fourth-quarter results, Aurora’s average net selling price of dried cannabis plummeted 22% to CA$3.60 per gram from the sequential third quarter (Jan. 2020 – March 2020). Even though the company sold 32% more kilograms than it did in Q3 2020, net cannabis revenue actually declined 3%. 

It was the same story for the cash-rich Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) in the most recent quarter. In spite of a 22% increase in year-over-year net sales, the bulk of this revenue jump came from selling pot products in overseas markets and from its ancillary operations. Canopy’s Canadian recreational revenue actually fell by 11% from the prior-year period to CA$44.2 million. This included double-digit declines in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales. 

Right now, it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about the most popular pot stock (Aurora Cannabis) or the largest marijuana stock by market cap (Canopy Growth) — the story is the same. Do yourself a favor and avoid putting your hard-earned money to work in Canadian licensed producers for the time being.


Author: Sean Williams

Stock market news live updates: Stock futures rise with first presidential debate, stimulus in focus

Stock market news live updates: Stock futures rise with first presidential debate, stimulus in focus

Stock futures drifted higher Tuesday evening as investors considered the first presidential debate and continued to eye developments among congressional lawmakers for further fiscal stimulus.

A key labor market report is also due out Wednesday morning, along with a couple highly anticipated direct listings for tech companies Asana and Palantir.

The three major indices closed out Tuesday’s session lower, giving back some of Monday’s strong advances as September’s wave of selling retook markets. As of Tuesday’s close, the S&P 500 was on track to post a 4.7% monthly decline – its worst since March.

Only the materials sector has clung to gains in the blue-chip index for September to date. The energy, communication services and information technology sectors were the laggards, as a month-long correction in previously high-flying tech names took out these sectors’ leadership positions. The utilities and industrials sectors were on track to post losses for the month as well, but still outperformed the broader market.

With five weeks to go until Election Day, market pundits have warned of a potential for additional volatility conjured up by political uncertainty, compounded with ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and strain still facing the US economy.

“I think markets are really nervous into those 36 days [before the election] and one of the things we have to think about is, when does nervousness price in the worst is yet to come? When do you think the worst is priced in? At least from June to August highs, if you give up two-thirds of those gains … that would be 3,224 [on the S&P 500],” Tom Lee, Fundstrat Global Advisors managing partner and head of research, told Yahoo Finance. “We think that that’s when you start to price in the worst, because you’ve given up two-thirds of the rally that you’ve had since June, and I think the world is better than it was since June.”

Despite the pullback, Lee added he does not believe stocks are ultimately in a “down trend.”

“There’s still $4.3 trillion in cash on the sidelines. I don’t think in the history of any financial market in the world do you ever have a top when there’s 20% of the equity market sitting in cash,” he said. “Investor cash — that’s excluding the private equity cash, the record cash held by corporates too. So you’ve got tons of dry powder. People are bearish.”

On the economic data front, both ADP’s private payrolls report out Wednesday morning and the Department of Labor’s September jobs report out Friday – each the last before the election – are expected to show fewer than 1 million jobs added back in September, as the pace of the economic recovery sputters.

To that end, congressional lawmakers and Trump administration negotiators have been attempting to come to a deal to pass in the near-term another virus relief bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday discussed the $2.2 trillion Democratic stimulus proposal, according to a Bloomberg report, and are poised to hold further talks again on Wednesday. Still, most economists and policy pundits are bracing for no new stimulus legislation to pass before the general election.

Contracts on the three major indices were higher Tuesday evening as the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was under way. In the first about 45 minutes of the debate, the discussion, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, covered topics including the Supreme Court, and whether Trump’s pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett should be moved to be confirmed before the election, the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the candidates’ health-care plans and the labor market.

Here’s where futures were trading, as of 9:50 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,344.75, up 11 points or 0.33%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,493.00, up 85 points or 0.31%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,368.5, up 30.75 points or 0.27%

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:11 p.m. ET Tuesday:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,332.00, down 1.75 points or 0.05%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,389.00, down 19 points or 0.07%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,332.00, down 5.75 points or 0.05%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 18: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 18, 2020 in New York City. The Dow fell more than 1,200 points today as COVID-19 fears continue to roil world markets. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Author: Emily McCormick·ReporterSeptember 30, 2020, 4:01 AM

How to Invest in Private Companies

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