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ResearchThree Things (2/5)

Three Things (2/5)

Feb 5, 2024

Happy birthday, Facebook

Facebook turned 20 years old on Sunday but the social media giant may be hitting its best form yet. The company reported earnings on Thursday and the stock rose ~20% Friday to close at an all-time high as Meta unveiled plans for a $50 billion stock buyback and announced its first quarterly dividend. The gain added $197 billion to its market capitalization, the biggest single-session market value addition, eclipsing the $190 billion gains made by Apple and Amazon in 2022. 

Meta may be getting older but it’s still operating at an incredibly high level. Solid execution, faster growth, and increased capital structure efficiency improve the outlook from here, in our eyes. The company’s ad business, its ongoing Year of Efficiency cost reductions, and its AI initiatives have investors pleased with the future growth plans of the business. 

Headset wars

Although the product was unveiled in June, the Apple Vision Pro finally went on sale over the weekend, sending the tech giant into its next potential growth cycle. The headset blends three-dimensional digital content with a view of the outside world. It enters a market crowded with lower-cost rivals from Meta and others that have mostly been confined to the video game market and failed to find a mass audience.

The potential disruptive applications (check out a good overview of use cases here) stretch from real estate to entertainment and early feedback has been positive. Given the expensive price point, we wonder if (and how fast) Apple can get the signal they need to go all in and create a mass market product without compromising on the quality and service. Success will largely be driven by developer adoption suggesting that the headset arms race is officially on. 

An advertiser's dream

New York City will host the FIFA World Cup final in 2026 after beating out contenders in Dallas and Los Angeles. The decisive game will take place across the Hudson River at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium and has a capacity of 82,500. The New York host committee for the 2026 World Cup overcame a big push by Dallas to win the marquee game.

Combining the bright lights of New York with the world’s most viewed sporting event is an advertiser’s dream scenario. S&P Global Market Intelligence Consumer Insights survey results had soccer as the most popular sport for live TV viewing in eight of 10 major global markets and in the top three for nine markets. With global celebrities descending upon NYC for the finals, brands will undoubtedly be competing for precious airtime and a viral voice on the biggest stage.


Disclosures:

As of writing, AAPL, META and SPGI are holdings in Titan's Flagship strategy.

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