Monday, Apr 18th 2022

Three Things (4/18)


“What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.” —Mark Twain

The below content and projections are the opinion of the authors. Any conclusions or takeaways are their own. This should not be considered as investment advice. Investing involves the risk of loss and returns are not guaranteed.

1) Twitter board moves to fend off takeover after Elon Musk offers to buy company for $43 billion

  • Twitter’s board adopted a so-called “poison pill” after Musk’s offer to buy the company for $54.20 per share.
  • This new provision allows shareholders to purchase Twitter stock at a discount should any non-approved entity buy up more than 15% of the company’s outstanding shares.
  • The NY Post reported last week that PE firm Thoma Bravo has also approached Twitter about a bid to go private.

Titan’s Takeaway: Elon Musk has managed to do what no one else could — make board machinations and shareholder rights plans a topic of mainstream conversation. And whether this latest drama results in Twitter going private or not, this episode serves as just the latest example of the company creating headaches for investors with little to show for it.

2) Retail sales rise in March amid higher gas prices as pandemic-era habits show signs of slowing down

  • Retail sales in March rose 0.5% from the prior month, the third-straight month of gains.
  • Spending at gas stations rose 8.9% as oil prices surged, the most of any category; excluding spending at gas stations, retail spending last month fell 0.3%.
  • Spending at nonstore retailers – which includes online shopping – fell 6.4% in March, the most of any category.

Titan’s Takeaway: A drop in online spending shows consumer habits continue to normalize, a positive sign for economic growth. Rising gas prices taking away more than all of the growth in spending elsewhere in the economy tempers some of our enthusiasm about the strength of U.S. consumers.

3) Apple tests new Macs with next-gen chips as company continues homegrown processor development

  • Apple is testing at least nine new Macs with four different M2 chips, successors to the current M1 line.
  • Apple has pushed hard to advance its own processor line after splitting from using Intel’s chips.
  • The company is expected to release at least three new Mac models by the end of this year, including a redesigned MacBook Air.

Titan’s Takeaway: Apple’s iPhone and Services businesses garner most of the investment community’s attention, and rightly so — together these segments account for ~70% of Apple’s revenue. Development in Apple’s Mac line and its in-house chips, however, reminds investors that innovation at Apple continues to mean much more than a new financing scheme for iPhones.

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