Snap’s sales growth hit snail speed | British retail sales fell even further |

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Today's big stories

  1. Social media company Snap reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth ever
  2. How to know if you should binge on Netflix’s stock – Read Now
  3. UK retail sales fell more than expected in September

Snap Back To Reality

Snap Back To Reality

What’s Going On Here?

Social media company Snap reported its slowest quarterly sales growth ever late last week.

What Does This Mean?

Once the darling of teenagers everywhere, Snap spent most of last quarter in a tailspin – shedding workers and unpromising projects with a kind of desperate, flailing abandon. And while some metrics did point upward (daily active users increased by a better-than-expected 19%), most were pretty damning: US users, for instance, spent 5% less time watching content on its platform than this time last year – likely lured away by TikTok, the hipper new kid on the block. And with advertisers slashing budgets anyway, that bad news comes at a particularly tricky time. That could explain why the average revenue per user fell a disappointing 11%, and why overall revenue grew by a tepid 6%. Investors, spooked by those figures and by Snap’s refusal to give guidance for the second-straight quarter, duly sent its stock plunging 27%.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Social contagion.
For the third quarter in a row, Snap’s disappointing results have made investors skittish about social media stocks as a whole. The firm's quarterly report caused shares in companies like Meta, Alphabet, and Pinterest to lose a combined market value of $42 billion, as investors worry those ad-reliant platforms could go the way of Snap (tweet this). Things might not be as bad for them though: some analysts reckon picky advertisers might just be shifting their smaller budget allocations to the most efficient and proven platforms, like Facebook and Google.

Zooming out: Twitter teeters too.
Twitter’s another social media company whose stock dropped on Friday, but the blame for that can’t be pinned entirely on Snap. See, Twitter’s dip came on the back of reports that the US government is subjecting Elon Musk’s ventures – including his deal to buy Twitter – to national security reviews. This is the latest twist in a Musk-Twitter saga that’s beginning to seem like an M. Night Shyamalan film.

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Analyst Take

Is Netflix A Buy After This Latest Plot Twist?

Is Netflix A Buy After This Latest Plot Twist?
Photo of Reda Farran

Reda Farran, Analyst

What a year it’s been for Netflix

Back in April, the streaming giant announced it had lost viewers for the first time in a decade in a shocking update that sent its stock price down 35% in a single day. 

I wrote back then about whether the firm could turn things around and whether you might want to think about buying shares.

So with the firm now reporting a return to growth, I decided to revisit that investment thesis.

That’s today’s Insight: is it time to binge on Netflix’s stock, or just time to chill? 

Read or listen to the Insight here


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Brits Aren’t Biting

Brits Aren’t Biting

What’s Going On Here?

Data out on Friday showed that UK retail sales fell more than expected in September.

What Does This Mean?

It’s blindingly obvious that inflation in the UK’s through the roof, but the latest data took even economists by surprise: British retail sales fell 1.4% in September compared to August, almost three times the expected 0.5%. Now, a drop that sharp normally has a couple of causes, and the most obvious is that folk are simply cutting back on expenses as prices rise. In fact, 41% of all motorists were avoiding non-essential journeys because of high fuel prices, and online shopping and food store sales were down 3% and almost 2% respectively in September. Store closures during the late Queen’s funeral played a role in those numbers too, but after August’s drop, these dips are starting to look like a trend. All in, sales volumes are languishing a whole 10% below their pre-pandemic rate.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Bad news for Brits.
The pound fell in the wake of the news, and economists said the data makes it more likely that the economy shrank last quarter. On top of that, separate data showed that UK consumer confidence – a measure of how Brits view their finances and the economy – continued to hover near 50-year lows at the start of this month. What’s more, all that data came in before the prime minister resigned last week, a move that’ll bring uncertainty and nervousness to fever pitch.

The bigger picture: In the hole.
Whoever replaces the outgoing prime minister will inherit an unenviable job, especially when it comes to getting government finances in check. After all, the government deficit – that’s the difference between what it spends and what it brings in from things like taxes – was much higher than expected last month. The country’s been piling up debt to plug the gap, but with interest rates on the up, that solution’s looking pretty unsustainable.

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💬 Quote of the day

“It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.”

– Malcolm Forbes (an American entrepreneur)
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The source of a country’s GDP – or gross domestic product – evolves in stages that mirror an economy’s overall development: it generally starts with agriculture, moves into industry, and then settles down in services. As you can see from the chart, China and India still make a big chunk of their GDP through agriculture, while the US now makes a whopping 80% of its GDP through services.

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🥳 Coming Up This Week…

All events in UK time.

🎧 How To Invest In Music NFTs: 6pm, October 24th
🗂 How to Prepare Your Portfolio For Recession: 5pm, October 25th
⬆️ How to Navigate Rising Interest Rates: 1pm, October 26th
🔥 How To Secure Your Financial Future Before 40: 5pm, October 26th
🏆 How To Spot Investment Opportunities In Gold: 12pm, October 27th
🥗 How Will The Global Food Crisis Impact Your Portfolio: 1pm, October 28th

👀 And After That…

🇨🇳 What You Need To Know About Investing In China: 5pm, October 31st
🎨 How To Buy And Sell NFTs: 6pm November 1st
🤑 Asset Allocation For Young Investors: 5pm, November 2nd
🙋‍♀️ Ladies Investing Club Meetup: 6.30pm, November 2nd (in person)
😎 How To Build A Portfolio Ready For The Next Decade: 1pm, November 3rd
💰 Strategies For Market Volatility: 1pm, November 8th
🔧 Tools Value Investors Use For Turbulent Times: 6pm, November 10th
🌍 How To Build An Eco-Friendly Crypto Portfolio: 1pm, November 14th
🚀 Modern Investor Summit: 12pm, December 6th-7th

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