Semiconductors are one of the modern world’s essential industries, making possible so much of what we rely on or take for granted: internet access, high-speed computers with high-speed memory, even the thermostats that control our air conditioning – there isn’t much, tech-wise, that doesn’t use semiconductor chips.With the end of 2020 in sight, it’s time for the annual ritual of evaluating the equities for the New Year. Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers has cast his eye on the chip industry, tagging several companies as likely gainers next year.The analyst sees several factors combining to boost demand for chips in 2021, including cloud demand, new gaming consoles, and a market resolution to the future of the PC segment. Overall, however, Rakers expects that memory chips and 5G enabled chips will emerge as the drivers of the industry next year. The analyst expects that semiconductor companies, as a group, will see between 10% and 12% growth over the next 12 months.That’s an industry-wide average, however. According to Raker, some chip companies will show significantly higher growth, on the order of 30% to 40% in year ahead. We can look at those companies, along with the latest TipRanks data, to find out what makes these particular chip makers so compelling.Micron Technology (MU)Among the leading chip makers, Micron has staked out a position in the memory segment. The company has seen its market cap expand to $78 billion this year, as shares have appreciated 32% year-to-date. The surge comes on a product line heaving on computer data storage, DRAM, and flash storage.Look back at 2020, Micron has seen revenues increase each quarter, from $4.8 billion in Q1 to $5.4 billion in Q2 to $6.1 billion in Q3. Earnings came in at 87 cents per share, up from 71 cents in Q2 and 36 cents in Q1.The calendar third quarter was Micron’s 4QFY20, and the full fiscal year showed a decline due attributed to the COVID pandemic. Revenue came in at $21.44 billion, down 8.4% year-over-year, and operating cash flow fell to $8.31 billion from $13.19 billion in FY19. During this past quarter, Micron’s 1QFY21, the company announced the release of the world’s first 176-layer 3D NAND chip. The new chip promises higher density and faster performance in flash memory, and the architecture is described as a ‘radical breakthrough.’ The layer count is 40% higher than competing chips.Looking ahead, Micron has updated its F1Q21 guidance, predicting total revenue of $5.7 billion to $5.75 billion. This is a 10% increase from the previous guidance.Wells Fargo’s Aaron Rakers calls Micron his top semiconductor idea for 2021. He points out “a deepening positive view on the memory, and in particular the DRAM industry. DRAM accounts for approximately two-thirds of Micron’s revenue and over 80% of the company’s bottom-line profits.” In addition, Rakers notes “Micron’s technology execution – 1Znm DRAM leadership; recently outlined 1αnm ramp into 2021, as well as Micron’s move to 176-Layer 2nd -gen Replacement Gate 3D NAND to drive improved cost curve. We would also highlight Micron’s execution on graphics memory (e.g., GDDR6X), Multi-Chip Packages (MCPs), and High-Bandwidth Memory (e.g., HBME2) as positives.”In line with these comments, Rakers rates Micron shares a Buy, along with a $100 price target. This figure suggests room for 41% growth in 2021. (To watch Rakers’ track record, click here)Micron has 24 recent reviews on record, breaking down to 19 Buys, 4 Holds, and 1 Sell, and giving the stock a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus. Shares are priced at $70.96, and recent appreciation has pushed them almost to the $74.30 average price target. But as Rakers’ outlook suggests, there may be more than just 4.5% upside available here. (See MU stock analysis on TipRanks)Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)With $6.5 billion in total sales last year, and a market cap of $110.7 billion, AMD is a giant company – but it doesn’t even crack the top five of the world’s largest chip makers. Still, AMD has a solid position in the industry, and its x86 processors provide stiff competition for market-leading Intel (INTC). AMD shares have shown solid growth this year, and are up 101% as 2020 comes to a close.The share growth rides on the back of steady revenue gains since the corona crisis peaked in Q1. AMD’s Q3 top line came in at $2.8 billion, up 55% from the $1.8 billion recorded in the year-ago quarter and beating the forecast by 10%. Earnings, at 37 cents per share, were up 220% year-over-year. The company credited the growth to solid results in the PC, gaming, and data center product lines, and boasted that it was the fourth consecutive quarter with >25% yoy revenue growth.AMD announced last month a new product for the scientific research market, the Instinct MI100 accelerator. The new chip is billed as the world’s fasted HPC GPU, and the first such x86 server to exceed 10 teraflops performance.Covering AMD for Wells Fargo, Rakers wrote: “We remain positive on AMD’s competitive positioning for continued sustained gradual share gains in PCs… We also believe AMD’s deepening data center GPU strategy with new Instinct MI100 GPUs and the release of RoCM 4.0 software platform could become increasingly visible as we move through 2021. AMD’s roadmap execution would remain an important focus – 7nm+ Ryzen 4000-series, new RDNA Radeon Instinct data center GPUs (MI100 / MI120), and the 3 rd -gen 7nm+ EPYC Milan CPUs…”Rakers’ stance supports his Buy rating, and his $120 price target implies a 30% one-year upside to the stock.The Moderate Buy analyst consensus view on AMD reflects some residual Wall Street caution. The stock’s 20 recent reviews include 13 Buys, 6 Holds, and 1 Sell. AMD shares are selling for $91.64, and like Micron, their recent appreciation has closed the gap with the $94.71 average price target. (See AMD stock analysis on TipRanks)Western Digital Corporation (WDC)Closing out the Wells Fargo picks on this list is Western Digital, a designer and manufacturer of memory systems. The company’s products include hard disk drives, solid state drives, data center platforms, embedded flash drives, and portable storage including memory cards and USB thumb drives. WDC has had a tough year in 2020, with shares down 19% year-to-date. Still, the stock has seen gains in November and December, on the heels of what was seen as a strong fiscal 1Q21 report.That earnings report showed $3.9 billion in revenue, which was down 3% year-over-year, but the EPS net loss, at 19 cents, was a tremendous yoy improvement from the 93-cent net loss in the year-ago quarter. The earnings improvement, which beat the forecast by 20%, was key for investors, and the stock is up 30% since the quarterly report. The company also generated a solid cash flow in the quarter, with cash from operations growing 111% sequentially.Wells Fargo’s Rakers acknowledges WDC’s difficulties in 2020, but even so, he believes that this is a stock which is worth the risk.“Western Digital has been our toughest constructive call of 2020 and while we believe calling a bottom in NAND Flash (mid/2H2021?) remains difficult and WD’s execution in enterprise SSDs will remain choppy, our SOTP analysis leaves us to continue to believe that shares present a compelling risk / reward. We continue to believe that Western Digital can drive to a ~$7/sh.+ mid-cycle EPS story; however, we continue to think a key driver of this fundamental upside will not only be a recovery in the NAND Flash business, coupled with WD’s ability to see improved execution in enterprise SSDs, but also a continued view that WD’s HDD gross margin can return to a sustainable 30%+ level,” Rakers opined.To this end, Rakers rates WDC a Buy along with a $65 price target. Should the target be met, investors could pocket gains of 29% over the next months Where does the rest of the Street side on this computer-storage maker? It appears mostly bullish, as TipRanks analytics demonstrate WDC as a Buy. Out of 11 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 7 are bullish, while 4 remain sidelined. With a return potential of 9%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $54.44. (See WDC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
MMJ Group to broaden investment portfolio beyond cannabis sector – Proactive Investors USA & Canada
MMJ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:MMJ) OTCMKTS:MMJFF) (FRA:2P9) will broaden its existing investment mandate to include strategic investments in sectors outside cannabis as approved at the company’s annual general meeting held in November 2020.
These sectors include, but are not limited to natural resources, pharmaceuticals and software services technology, which will comprise no more than 25% of MMJ’s total consolidated assets at the time the investments are made.
Increased flexibility to create growth
The diversification provides MMJ with increased flexibility to create growth and greater returns for shareholders and thereby allows MMJ to lower its investment risk and reduce the impact of market volatility from the cannabis sector to ultimately benefit shareholders.
This month, the investment manager of MMJ’s investments, Embark Ventures Inc, changed its name to Parallax Ventures Inc.
Parallax has been engaged by MMJ in this role assets since June 1, 2019. There have been no other changes to personnel or operations of Parallax.
Under the amended investment manager agreement, Parallax continues to be responsible for the identification, transacting and review of possible investment opportunities in the cannabis and now the non-cannabis sector.
Portfolio of investments
MMJ owns a portfolio of minority investments and was initially established to seek investments across the full range of emerging cannabis-related sectors including healthcare, technology, infrastructure, logistics, processing, cultivation, equipment, and retail.
VIISA Hold Virtual Investment Day For The First Time – Yahoo Finance
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Jan. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On 7 January 2021, VIISA organized Investment Day Batch 8 on its online platform, attracting more than 80 investors as well as corporations and startup community builders. This invite-only event also marked a new milestone for tech-startups Batch 8 in their 4-month journey with VIISA.
Taking place online for the first time, Investment Day Batch 8 solves the problem of geographical distance as well as difficulties in the global context of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing opportunities for startups and investors to share and exchange the latest updates about startup ideas. The event was divided into 2 sessions: live-streamed pitching shows from startups and networking activities between founders and investors with separate rooms for each startup team.
Opening the event, Mr. Vo Tran Dinh Hieu – Board Member and Program Director at VIISA, said: “Unlike any other, we want to preserve the excitement of live pitching, so this is not a recorded video, we have all the founders here with us and they are ready to go. So it is the first week 2021 and it seems like we will have another very eventful year. The UK announced 3rd lockdown, the Capitol Hill was taken yesterday. But still in Vietnam thousands of people gathered for fireworks shows on new year’s eve. I believe this tranquility in Vietnam represents what everyone has achieved in the last year. We all have sharpened our adaptability and agility to maintain the composure of our businesses. I hope we all will carry on this great attitude forward to 2021. We started this batch in June 2020 with 3 companies and only one succeeded to graduation. During this batch, we also continued supporting the alumni to recover from the covid situation.”
This year’s Investment Day is not only an opportunity for VIISA Batch 8 startups to demonstrate their maturity, but also a chance for alumni startups who have participated in previous courses to reconfirm their development and position in the startup ecosystem. Whether the startup model is about real estate, fashion, events, e-commerce, technology, and applicability factors are all of the program priorities. With the hope to help young Vietnamese startups build their global business, these are special features that VIISA always appreciates.
Pitching in the event are 5 startups:
CYHOME: CyHome is Vietnam’s leading Property management platform that has already served top-tier customers in the field of Property management (PM) such as CBRE, Proman (Novaland), Visaho, Blue Diamond, My House… With an affordable fee, PMs now can have a world-class ERP, and service providers can have a better way to serve customers. What the startup wants to bring to market is a new way of living and working in crowded cities: with no fee, the resident/tenant should have a premium experience.
DROBEBOX: Drobebox is a disruptive fashion tech startup that offers a clothing subscription service for women. Users could unlock their dream closet, which contains thousands of premium designs with a fixed monthly fee, and enjoy any items without buying, maintaining, or laundry. Starting at 30$ per month, members could explore and enjoy up to 30 new items every month that used to cost them 1000-3000$. Using state-of-art technology such as AI, Drobebox platform provides an “infinity” closet with a true personalization experience that helps dress best every day as simple as ordering food delivery.
WISEPASS: WisePass is a lifestyle app enabling its subscribers to access products, services, or events sponsored by brands. Starting from 239,000 VND per month, a subscriber gets 3 PASS a day to enjoy anything brands provide on the platform.
VDES: VDES is the very first marketplace of the event industry, which connects event venues & event suppliers to customers in the simplest way with advanced technology. During over 4 years of operation, VDES has been partners with more than 520 vendors and organized more than 2250 events for users (customers & cooperate). With technology solutions and event-ecosystem platform, VDES offer service to vendors to increase competitive advantage, increase business efficiency, and decrease operating costs by event management system, we will launch this SAAS in 2021.
ECOMEASY: EcomEasy Asia (ECE) is a dynamic ecommerce solution provider for consumer brands in Vietnam. ECE’s integrated capabilities encompass all aspects of the e-commerce value chain from SKU selection, sales and inventory management to on-site operations, logistics and fulfilment. ECE has generated billions of VND in sales and hundred thousands of orders on all 10 ecommerce platforms operating in Vietnam for a dozen of brands.
The representative from VIISA hopes that Investment Day will provide Vietnamese startup community with many opportunities to connect and exchange knowledge, which contribute to awakening the potential of domestic businesses and open up more opportunities to promote Vietnamese startups
At the end of Investment Day Batch 8, Mr. Hieu also called for startups to apply at www.viisa.vn to capture opportunities for companionship and support from VIISA.
Established in January 2017 by FPT Ventures and Dragon Capital, VIISA is an acceleration program and seed-stage fund that invests to build global-ready startups from Vietnam. After 7 batches, there have been 40 graduates, in which some startups have successfully called for US $5.5 million committed deals from investors.
Securities Commission shares investment red flags for 2021 – Airdrie Today
The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has released a list of top investment risks in hopes of helping Albertans avoid falling victim to scams in 2021.
“We want to protect people from the scammers and fraudsters that unfortunately exist out there,” said Hilary McMeekin, director of communications and investor education with ASC.
McMeekin said fraudsters capitalize on people in any way they can, even if that means committing scams during the pandemic.
“They prey on our vulnerabilities,” she said. “We have seen an increase in activity when it comes to fraud services or products around the pandemic.”
In early January, the ASC released a list of six tips that McMeekin said will “arm Albertans with timely information to stay vigilant and protect their finances as we enter 2021.”
The first red flag on the ASC’s list involves investments related to COVID-19. According to an ASC press release, a common way fraudsters take advantage of global events is through “pump-and-dump schemes,” which promise an opportunity to invest in new products or services that will prevent, detect or cure COVID-19 – or otherwise aid in the fight against the virus.
These pump and dump schemes usually involve artificially inflating the price of a penny stock shell company through issuing false and misleading positive statements, according to the release. The price of the stock rises as people invest. However, the wrongdoers cash out their stock at a high price before the truth is revealed, and the price of the stock then falls dramatically, leaving investors with nothing.
Another scam ASC warns about is any investment that promises great expectations. According to McMeekin, the ASC has seen an increase in situations where investment is encouraged with the promise of high returns resulting from a proposed deal involving a letter of intent.
“Proposed deals can fall through, so if it’s being promoted as a sure thing, investors should be wary,” she said.
Affinity fraud, according to McMeekin, is another scam people should be on the lookout for this year. McMeekin said affinity fraud happens when victims are introduced to scams by someone they know, such as family members, friends or co-workers.
“Fraudsters will often target ethnic communities, religious organizations, social clubs or professional groups, taking advantage of the trust and relationships that exist within,” she said. “The fraudster becomes part of – or pretends to be part of – the community, flaunting their success or wealth and often enlisting unsuspecting ambassadors to spread the scheme to make it seem credible. Friends and family may unknowingly fall victim and encourage others to invest, too.”
Also on ASC’s list is a scam that promises quick profits by trading stocks at home. McMeekin said a lot of trouble can be avoided by just properly researching these promises.
“Research the company, research whatever the investment is for,” she said. “Really look into and understand what that product or service is all about. Learn as much as you possibly can.”
Particularly during a recession or pandemic, people can be interested in earning additional income. According to McMeekin, taking the time to research the validity of various money-making opportunities can save people a lot of hardship down the road.
“Take that time,” she said. “Our hard-earned money is worth taking the time to do the research.”
Quite often, McMeekin said, when scams are reported, the companies or persons involved have not been registered with ASC.
“The first question isn’t ‘are you registered?’ but it should be,” she said. “If they are not registered, that is a red flag.”
The ASC has a website, checkfirst.ca, which McMeekin said can help people find out if companies they plan on dealing or investing with have taken necessary steps to register with the commission.
“It’s a website that is full of unbiased and free resources for investors,” she said. “No matter what stage of investing someone is in, it can be helpful.”
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