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Phuket Business: Why Facebook was never a sure thing

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: Why Facebook was never a sure thing | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Personally speaking, I have never been one to jump on the Facebook band wagon. I just do not get the whole ‘let the world know what you are doing on an hourly basis’ scenario.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a very useful application when, like ourselves, we enjoy the sun-soaked shores and we want to keep in touch with friends and loved ones back home.

Facebook has grown to become the largest social media network site in the world and, with over 900 million users worldwide, its potential seemed endless.

However, following its recent IPO, Facebook’s stock price dropped in value. Was this unexpected?

Facebook, on one hand, would seem like an advertiser’s paradise, access to 900 million people in one swoop. What went wrong?

We have to ask where do Facebook’s profits come from? They don’t charge subscribers so practically all their income comes from advertising. The last time I logged on to Facebook, there weren’t the usual pop-ups that you would normally get from other websites.

Initially valued at between US$28-$35 per share, it seems that this valuation was severely overpriced and gave Facebook a value of US$105 billion.

When the share price dropped as soon as it began trading, it was evidence that investors didn’t believe Facebook is a US$105 billion company.

If we look simply at Facebook’s price to earnings ratio, at $38 a share, Facebook has a P/E (a measure of how much profit a share buys) of almost 100 times the projected earnings for the next 12 months.

By comparison, Google Inc. trades at 13 times the projected earnings. Subsequently the
initial IPO offerings saw the share price drop by 25% for some investors.

As the stock fell, there was a long list of questions, ranging from whether the underwriters priced the shares too high to how well prepared Nasdaq was to handle the biggest Internet IPO ever.

“It was just a poorly done deal and it just so happens to be the biggest deal ever for Nasdaq and they pooched it. That’s the bottom line here,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

An IPO ought to leave investors confident that the system of share allocation is fair, the price is right, and the company is forthright. The Facebook IPO achieved none of these goals.

The good news is that individual investors who were denied a piece of the IPO can now buy Facebook shares for about $32 as of May 24th.

But, as with all stock picking, if this episode should teach us one thing, it is that due diligence needs to be done on any stocks that you may be intending to buy.

As this has shown us, even the largest of companies, and what many people deem as
being a safe bet, isn’t always a sure thing.

There is no such thing as a sure thing. As markets remain volatile, there are still good stocks that can be had at the right price.

However, this is an area where expertise needs to be sought, as a few wrong picks could mean a significant loss.

For more information regarding this article please contact: Alyman@montpeliermalaysia.com
Anthony Lyman is a Senior Financial consultant for the Montpelier Group

— Anthony Lyman

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Business

Thai Airways under pressure to deliver workable business plan

May Taylor

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Thai Airways under pressure to deliver workable business plan | The Thaiger

Thai Airways is coming under more pressure, after being given 30 days to deliver its new rehabilitation and business plans.

Thaworn Senniam, the Deputy Transport Minister, gave the instruction yesterday while meeting with the executive of the national carrier for an update on its financial status.

He says the business plan must provide clear information on how the fortunes of the airline can be turned around, with a focus on making it profitable once more, while improving customer satisfaction.

The order comes after Thai Airways President, Sumeth Damrongchaitham, denied last week that the airline was experiencing a liquidity crunch, claiming it had sufficient cash flow “for present and future operations”.

Minister Thaworn has previously said he does not believe Thai Airways’ existing rehabilitation plan will help it succeed in a turnaround. He has also ordered a monthly progress report on the carrier’s plans to buy new aircraft.

In September, the directors of Thai Airways asked the Executive Board to review a plan to order 38 additional aircraft, worth a total of 156 billion baht.

According to their second-quarter 2019 filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Thai Airways and its subsidiaries reported a net loss of 6.878 billion baht, compared to a loss of 3.086 billion baht over the same period last year.

SOURCE: The Nation

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World Economic Forum says lack of critical thinking in Thailand affecting competitiveness

May Taylor

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World Economic Forum says lack of critical thinking in Thailand affecting competitiveness | The Thaiger

PHOTO: AFP

Thailand’s competitiveness ranking has dropped two places in the Global Competitiveness Index just released by the World Economic Forum (WEC) in Switzerland. The country has dropped from 38 to 40 out of a total of 141 global economies ranked.

The WEC claims that a lack of critical thinking in teaching in Thailand, along with its failure to dominate in any markets, plus its unsafe drinking water, is affecting the country’s competitiveness.

The Nation reports that Singapore has come top in the ranking, overtaking the U.S. and Vietnam has shot up 10 places to 67.

The deputy secretary general to the PM for political affairs, Kobsak Pootrakool, responded to the findings, saying that as other countries improved their rankings, Thailand needed to work harder to ensure their progress didn’t cause it to slip backwards.

“It’s like a running competition – if our pace is slower, others will overtake us, so we have to run faster.”

The dean of the Chulalongkorn Business School, Assistant Professor Wilert Puriwat believes he knows what the country must do to improve competitiveness.

“The survey found that skills among new university graduates have declined, especially in the area of critical thinking. We’ve failed the exam and it can’t be fixed by simply retaking the test – we need to restart learning.”

Assistant Professor Wilert says Thailand needs to change the way students are taught, adding that the country’s score on critical thinking in the classroom was the world’s lowest at 37 out of 100 points. Finland comes first, with 89 points.

Wilert points out that Thai students routinely perform poorly on tests compared to foreign counterparts, which can be blamed on an old-school reliance on rote learning through memorisation.

The WEF is urging Thailand to adapt a model that encourages creative and critical individual thinking in the classroom instead. It also recommends improvements be made in staff training in Thailand, and more fostering of digital skills.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Business

Samsung Electronics flags 56% fall in third quarter profits

The Thaiger

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Samsung Electronics flags 56% fall in third quarter profits | The Thaiger

“Samsung took advantage of the US trade ban against Chinese rival Huawei.”

PHOTO: CNBC

Samsung Electronics says it expects operating profits to drop more than 50% in Q3 amid a continued slump in the global chip market. Operating profits for July to September was expected to reach 7.7 trillion won (US$6.4 billion), down 56.2% from a year earlier – this from the world’s largest maker of smartphones and memory chips.

It marks the fourth consecutive quarter in which the South Korean tech company has recorded a drop in profits in the face of falling semiconductor prices and weakening demand for its mobile devices. Sales for the third quarter were expected to drop 5.3% from the same period last year.

The South Korean tech titan leads the global smartphone market with a 23% share of the sector, trailed by Chinese competitors Huawei and Oppo, with Apple in fourth place, according to sales tracker IHS Markit.

Samsung withholds net profit and sector-by-sector business performance until it releases its final earnings report, which is expected later this month.

The firm is the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung Group, by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate business in the world’s 11th-largest economy, and it is crucial to South Korea’s economic health. Analysts voiced optimism for the coming months, noting that falling inventory levels for semiconductors – which account for more than half of Samsung’s profit – will help stabilise chip prices after double-digit drops this year.

Sujeong Lim, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, said, that in the mobile business, Samsung took advantage of the US trade ban against Chinese rival Huawei, “replacing a strong competitor in crisis” with its mid-to-low tier Galaxy A handsets.

“The new A series has turned out to be an effective weapon to take share from its Android competitors.”

Samsung appealed to high-end users with the launch of its first foldable smartphone last month after faulty screens forced an embarrassing delay in April. The firm also rolled out its flagship Note 10 devices which analysts say have sold far better than its previous models, giving Samsung a much-needed boost in its mobile sales.

The premium smartphone market has grown fiercely competitive and overall sales have cooled as a lack of major innovation has caused people to wait longer before upgrading to new models. Samsung has also been caught up in a trade war between Japan and South Korea stemming from World War II disputes.

The row saw Tokyo impose tough restrictions on exports crucial to South Korean tech giants in July, and Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong – who called the situation a “crisis” – has visited Tokyo to secure materials. Adding to Samsung’s woes, Lee is currently facing retrial over his role in a massive corruption scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-hye.

He was initially jailed for five years in 2017 on multiple convictions including bribery, which was reduced to a suspended sentence on appeal, only for the Supreme Court in August to order a retrial.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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