Today we are watching…
1. Take-Two Interactive (#take2)
This game developer is a world-beater and has been an awesome stay-at-home stock for investors through lockdown. It’s the studio behind Grand Theft Auto, BioShock, Borderlands, the Civilization series, and NBA 2K. However, it didn’t reach these heights by playing nice. The competition in video games is cutthroat. Take-Two is a master at marketing and financing the creative work of talented devs, which gives them enormous power over those devs. Case and point, the mega-corp just stopped funding a small partner studio’s sole project, setup its own team to work on the project, and told staff at the small studio to work for them or go down with a little company doomed to fail. The small studio is Star Theory. It’s just shut its doors, and investors in Take-Two are doing the mental math on short-term lawsuit costs and long-term sales of their new game!
2. Zoom Video (#zoom)
Now, those are some numbers – 246% combined revenue growth and expanding margins! It’s been a couple crazy quarters for video conferencing outfit, Zoom. However, Xerox also reported some smashing quarters at the turn of the millennium and got obliterated for a decade thereafter. The investor in Zoom today is not investing in a company that trades up and down based on expectations of its discounted future cash flows. The investor in Zoom today is betting on style factor. It’s true that companies that become verbs tend to do very well. Zoom is like the small Swiss knife of video conferencing, but Microsoft Teams is just better. Tough 2H 2020?