Taiwan's Earthquake and Disney's Proxy Battle | Bloomberg Technology

Taiwan's Earthquake and Disney's Proxy Battle | Bloomberg Technology

Taiwan Earthquake and its Impact

  • A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, causing significant damage and loss of life.
  • Concerns have been raised about the potential impact on the global economy, particularly in the technology sector due to Taiwan's dominance in chip manufacturing.
  • TSMC, the world's largest chip contract manufacturer, has halted some operations but expects to resume production overnight.
  • Other tech firms with operations in Taiwan, such as Micron, are assessing the impact of the earthquake on their businesses.

Intel's Challenges

  • Intel's foundry business is facing challenges, including declining revenue, widening losses, and concerns about regaining its previous market dominance.
  • Intel's financial disclosures indicate a costly and time-consuming turnaround strategy, raising investor doubts.

Disney Shareholder Meeting and Proxy Battle

  • Disney's shareholder meeting will determine the outcome of the proxy battle between the company and activist investor Nelson Peltz.
  • Sources suggest Disney's likely victory, supported by institutional and many retail shareholders.
  • Ross Gerber, a key Disney shareholder, criticizes Peltz's campaign and believes Disney's streaming business can achieve profitability by focusing on hit shows and viewer-attracting content.
  • Gerber supports an internal succession plan but acknowledges the challenge of finding a suitable replacement for Bob Iger.
  • Disney faces challenges in finding a successor due to the need for strong leaders in different areas of the company.

Elon Musk and Disney

  • Elon Musk's criticism of Disney and support for Nelson Peltz may be motivated by personal issues rather than valid concerns.
  • Ross Gerber criticizes Musk's behavior on Twitter and its negative impact on Tesla's shareholders and car owners.
  • Gerber argues that Musk should focus on solving climate change rather than engaging in personal disputes, which have caused significant financial losses.

Chipmaker Cerebras' IPO Plans

  • Chipmaker Cerebras has chosen Citigroup as the lead bank for its initial public offering, targeting a valuation of over $4 billion in the second half of the year.

U.S.-China Relations and TikTok

  • During a phone call between President Biden and President Xi, concerns about Chinese ownership of TikTok were discussed.
  • Biden emphasized U.S. interests and potential divestment rather than an outright ban.

Trump Media and Technology Lawsuit

  • Former President Donald Trump is suing two co-founders of Trump Media and Technology, alleging improper stock issuance and denying them any shares.
  • Trump has a 57% stake in the company behind Truth Social, while the investment group backing the co-founders has over 5%.
  • Truth Social's flagship product is True Social, but key metrics like average users or monthly active users have not been provided.
  • Truth Social reported a loss of over $50 million and revenue of $4 million in its 2023 filing.
  • Truth Social is considered a meme stock, with investors buying it based on potential valuation rather than underlying business.

Spotify's Price Increase and Audiobooks

  • Spotify is raising its prices for the second time this year, following a similar move by another social media platform.
  • Spotify's price increase is part of its strategy to move towards long-term profitability, including introducing audiobooks to its platform.
  • Spotify is introducing a new basic plan that will charge users a dollar or two per month for audiobooks.

Endeavor Goes Private

  • Endeavor, a talent and sports agency, is going private after Ari Emanuel expressed frustration with the market's valuation of its assets.
  • Silver Lake's $25 billion equity takeover of Endeavor will reduce visibility into Hollywood's inner workings.

Brim Financial's Funding and Credit Card Platform

  • Brim Financial, a fintech company, has raised $85 million in Series C funding to expand its credit card platform and enter the U.S. market.
  • The capping of interchange fees in the U.S. is expected to impact credit card issuers and highlight the importance of product construction and platform capabilities.
  • Mastercard plans to increase certain credit card fees, but this is unlikely to affect its revenues or stock price.
  • Brim Financial's 10x revenue growth and key partnerships, including a strategic partnership with Mastercard, enabled it to raise funds despite the challenging environment.
  • Investors in the Series C round expect a path to profitability.

Secondhand Apparel Market Growth and ThreadUp's Success

  • ThreadUp's latest report shows the U.S. secondhand apparel market is growing by 11% annually and is expected to reach $73 billion by 2028.
  • ThreadUp processes over 100,000 unique items daily from nearly 60,000 brands and has four distribution centers.
  • The company's consumer experience meets customers where they are and is technology-driven, allowing buyers to shop like they are shopping on Amazon or Nordstrom.
  • ThreadUp's target audience includes Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers, as thrifting has become more mainstream due to value and uniqueness.
  • The company's biggest competition is not other thrift companies but mainstream high street apparel brands, as consumers are increasingly thrifting.
  • ThreadUp's marketing strategy includes working with influencers, advertising, and direct mail, but word-of-mouth and tastemakers discussing the de-stigmatization of secondhand have been the fastest growth drivers.
  • ThreadUp CEO James Reinhart discusses the stigma associated with secondhand shopping and how the company has helped make it more popular, especially among young people and celebrities.
  • Reinhart believes the stigma associated with secondhand shopping has largely disappeared, which will drive momentum in the industry over the next 10 years.

Disney Shareholder Meeting Dynamics

  • The upcoming Disney shareholder meeting is discussed, with a focus on the support that CEO Bob Iger has from large institutional investors.
  • Retail investors are more likely to side with the board in place, and Trian Partners may have gained an advantage in this situation.
  • The possibility of the Disney shareholder meeting being the most-watched webcast of all time is mentioned.

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