• China Beverage Firm Wahaha Said to Mull IPO Above $1 Billion

    China Beverage Firm Wahaha Said to Mull IPO Above $1 Billion

    (Bloomberg) -- Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co., one of China’s biggest drink makers, is weighing an initial public offering that could raise more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.A listing could come as soon as next year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The beverage company is working with an adviser on preparations for the share sale, and has been considering Hong Kong among potential listing venues though no final decision has been made, they said.Founded in 1987 by entrepreneur Zong Qinghou, Wahaha has grown into a food and beverage giant with products ranging from bottled water, yogurt drinks and juice to instant noodles. The company has 80 production bases and employs about 30,000 workers, according to its website. Its products are available in more than 30 countries including Canada, Singapore and the U.S., the website said.Wahaha, which literally means a “laughing child” in Chinese, has signaled its intention for a listing last year as competition in China’s food and beverage market intensified. A listing would be “the right choice” and provide Wahaha with more resources, Kelly Zong, the founder’s daughter and an executive at the company, said in an interview with the 21st Century Herald in 2019. She didn’t provide details on preparations and timing.The company joins fellow Hangzhou-based beverage firm Nongfu Spring Co. in seeking a first-time share offering. The bottled water company filed for its Hong Kong IPO in late April and plans to raise about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News earlier.Chinese companies have become the force behind a surge in share sales in Hong Kong after a slow first quarter. JD.com Inc. and NetEase Inc. last month raised $7 billion through second listings in the financial hub. In the first half of this year, the tech companies accounted for almost two-thirds of the city’s total fundraisings via first-time share sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.READ MORE: Asia Share Sales Double in Second Quarter Amid Retreat From U.S.Preparations for Wahaha’s offering are at an early stage and details including size and timing could change, the people added. A representative for Hangzhou Wahaha Group said they hadn’t received any relevant information regarding an IPO.(Updates with IPO data in sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Zoom’s Newest Challenger: Budding Internet Tycoon Mukesh Ambani

    Zoom’s Newest Challenger: Budding Internet Tycoon Mukesh Ambani

    (Bloomberg) -- Zoom, one of the few success stories of the Covid-19 pandemic, now faces a new competitor in an app backed by Asia’s wealthiest person Mukesh Ambani.Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., which has scored billions of dollars of investments from Facebook Inc. to Intel Corp. for its digital businesses, has launched the JioMeet video conferencing app after beta testing. The app has already garnered more than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store after becoming available Thursday evening.Like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and other services, JioMeet offers unlimited high-definition calls -- but unlike Zoom, it doesn’t impose a 40-minute time limit. Calls can go on as long as 24 hours, and all meetings are encrypted and password-protected, the company said on the JioMeet website.The launch coincided with a nationwide ban on dozens of popular apps from Chinese technology giants including ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s UC Web, on grounds they threatened security and data privacy. JioMeet went viral Friday on social media alongside the hashtag MadeinIndia.The app is one facet of Ambani’s rapidly expanding digital empire, which includes India’s largest telecom operator with nearly 400 million users. On Friday, Reliance announced Intel Capital has invested $253 million into Jio Platforms Ltd., a unit of Ambani’s oil-to-retail conglomerate. The U.S. chipmaker’s arm is the 11th investor in about as many weeks to announce its backing for the digital services platform, which has now raised about 1.2 trillion rupees ($15.7 billion).“JioMeet will be a very credible disruptor in the space,” said Utkarsh Sinha, managing director of boutique consultancy Bexley Advisors. “Just the fact that it has no time limits on calls makes it a serious challenger to Zoom, despite its entrenchment.”Jio Platforms is amassing a wide range of services from music streaming to online retail and payments, fast turning into an ecommerce juggernaut that can take on Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc on its own home turf. Like elsewhere, video conferencing apps have become lifelines for millions of Indians working in cramped homes during Covid-19 lockdowns.JioMeet is also debuting at a time Zoom users have accused the service of security flaws. It’s been accused of siding with China after deactivating accounts of pro-democracy activists in the U.S and Hong Kong, which it said was intended to comply with Chinese law.(Adds total investment in Jio in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Display Maker Royole Said to Mull China IPO as U.S. Plans Stall

    Display Maker Royole Said to Mull China IPO as U.S. Plans Stall

    (Bloomberg) -- Chinese flexible display maker Royole Corp. is weighing an initial public offering in China while its planned U.S. listing is put on hold, according to people familiar with the matter.Royole had filed confidentially for a U.S. IPO that could raise about $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported earlier this year. However, the startup is now considering a listing in China, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.Considerations are at an early stage and no final decisions have been made, the people said. A representative for Royole declined to comment on the matter.Royole, known for manufacturing the world’s first commercial foldable phone, had originally planned to raise funds via a private financing round at a valuation of about $8 billion, people familiar with that deal said last year. But the Chinese company turned to the U.S. markets after liquidity tightened during a downturn in China’s venture capital sector, the people said.Since January relations between the U.S. and China have deteriorated sharply, with tensions spanning trade, technology and Hong Kong. Many U.S.-listed Chinese companies are considering second listings closer to home in Hong Kong, while China has been actively seeking to lure innovative technology companies to list in Shanghai and Shenzhen.Royole competes with Samsung Electronics Co. and BOE Technology Group Co. to produce bendable screens using cutting-edge organic light-emitting diode technology. The company, which gave away wraparound-screen hats at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, in January unveiled a smart speaker that packs a bendable display around a cylinder.Its full line of products encompasses head-mounted displays intended for use as so-called mobile theaters and other wearable flexible displays. The company even has a smart writing pad that it sells on Amazon.com, JD.com and in stores globally.Royole’s earlier investors include Knight Capital, IDG Capital, Poly Capital Management, AMTD Group, the funds of Chinese tycoon Xie Zhikun and the venture capital arm of the Shenzhen city government.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google, Temasek Are Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Tokopedia

    Google, Temasek Are Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Tokopedia

    (Bloomberg) -- Google and Temasek Holdings Pte are in negotiations to join a funding round of between $500 million and $1 billion for Indonesian e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia, according to people familiar with the matter.Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, has held talks with U.S. internet giants including Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. But Google and Temasek have been more active in their negotiations and those talks may conclude in coming weeks, they said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.America’s largest internet corporations have looked increasingly toward Asia as growth in the U.S. and Europe slows, seeking to tap the region’s rapidly growing smartphone-savvy population. Facebook is buying a stake in India’s Jio Platforms, while its WhatsApp unit struck a deal last month to invest in ride-hailing and food delivery giant Gojek. Representatives for Tokopedia and Temasek declined to comment. Google didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.The backing of Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek would mark a major boost for one of Southeast Asia’s biggest e-commerce operators. Tokopedia co-founder and Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya built the country’s most valuable startup after Gojek after scoring early backing from SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma. It now plans to list shares at home as well as in another as-yet-undecided location, Tanuwijaya told Bloomberg News in October.Read more: SoftBank’s Bet on Sharing Economy Backfires With CoronavirusTokopedia came close to finalizing its latest financing this year before news emerged of a recent data theft attempt that may have affected 15 million of its users, one of the people said. It was also held back by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is rapidly changing the online shopping landscape in the world’s fourth most populous nation.E-commerce platforms are now moving quickly to serve the millions of people forced to make their first online purchases during widespread lockdowns. Singapore-based rival Shopee -- a unit of Sea Ltd. -- is catching up, while Alibaba last month appointed a longtime veteran to head up Lazada and “fight harder” as competition heats up.Indonesia has become a key battleground between the regional rivals: The country’s e-commerce market is projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • His Wealth Surged by $25 Billion. Then Jack Ma’s Rival Quit

    His Wealth Surged by $25 Billion. Then Jack Ma’s Rival Quit

    (Bloomberg) -- Colin Huang’s ascent is one for the history books: In just six months, his fortune swelled by $25 billion -- one of the biggest gains among the world’s richest people.His Pinduoduo Inc., a Groupon-like shopping app he founded in 2015, has become China’s third-largest e-commerce platform, with a market value of more than $100 billion. In the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic caused most of the nation’s economy to grind to a halt, PDD’s active users surged 68% and revenue jumped 44%, the company said in May.Now Huang, who has overseen the firm as its American depositary receipts have more than quadrupled in less than two years, has stepped down as chief executive officer.At one point, his net worth climbed as high as $45 billion, placing him just behind China’s wealthiest people -- Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Pony Ma and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma -- on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s even as PDD continued to post losses, primarily because it chases growth with the help of generous subsidies and has been known to spend more on marketing than it earns in sales.“Pinduoduo was perfectly positioned for people being stuck at home,” said Tom Ronk, CEO of Century Pacific Investments in Newport, California.Huang, who controlled 43.3% of PDD shares, has reduced his stake to 29.4%, according to a June 30 regulatory filing. His fortune now stands at $30 billion.That excludes a $2.4 billion charitable holding that he shares with PDD’s founding team, and $7.9 billion that went to Pinduoduo Partnership, of which Huang and newly named CEO Lei Chen are members. The partnership will help fund science research and management incentives, according to a letter following Huang’s resignation. The wealth estimate also excludes $3.9 billion that people familiar with the matter said was transferred to an angel investor.PDD declined to comment on Huang’s holdings or net worth.Facing ChallengesHe will remain chairman and work on the company’s long-term strategy and corporate structure to help drive the future of the e-commerce giant, PDD said.“PDD is still facing some high-level challenges in product supply, relationship with brand merchants, logistics and payments,” said Shawn Yang, an analyst at Blue Lotus Capital Advisors. “Colin may want to focus more on these issues.”PDD’s success hinges on deals, which have become particularly popular with customers looking for bargains as the world’s second-largest economy slows. Most of its users come from smaller Chinese cities, and the app gives them extra discounts when they recommend a product through social networks and get friends to buy the same item.Fen Liu, a homemaker in Quanzhou, a provincial city in Fujian, said she accrued enough coupons with her friends’ help to reduce the price of a suitcase to zero.“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my suitcase arrive in the mail,” she said. “It’s made me a loyal Pinduoduo user ever since.”‘Bargain Hunters’While PDD’s aggressive price-reduction strategies have helped win over people with lower incomes, they may stifle the company’s efforts to attract wealthier consumers, according to Charlie Chen and Veronica Shen, analysts at China Renaissance Securities in Hong Kong.“PDD’s users are largely bargain hunters reluctant to buy large-ticket items,” they wrote in a June 29 note, adding that the company’s image remains a key obstacle to users spending more. “We believe PDD is working to change its low-price brand image -- but this could be costly.”That may require heavy marketing and hurt margins further despite a strong user-base foundation for future growth, the analysts said. And PDD’s management has offered no clear path to profitability.Last year, the company’s “10 Billion RMB Subsidies” campaign, which is ongoing, led to a $2 billion increase in sales and marketing expenses to $3.9 billion, and those costs have been at 90% to 120% of revenue for the past two quarters, China Renaissance said.For the nation’s June 18 shopping festival, PDD provided a subsidy program with no cap across different product categories to push spending and attract more users. Other fast-growing Chinese startups -- including rival Meituan Dianping, ride-hailing app DiDi Chuxing and Starbucks Corp. competitor Luckin Coffee Inc. -- have also adopted subsidies strategies to maintain customer loyalty.Huang, 40, grew up in the eastern city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba has its headquarters. After receiving a degree at Zhejiang University, he went to the University of Wisconsin for a master’s in computer science. He began his career at Google in 2004 as a software engineer and returned to China in 2006 to help establish its operations in the country.He then became a serial entrepreneur. He started his first company in 2007, an e-commerce website called Ouku.com that he sold three years later after realizing it was too similar to thousands of others. He then launched Leqi, which helped companies market their services on websites like Alibaba’s Taobao or JD.com Inc., and a gaming firm that let users play on Tencent’s messaging app WeChat. Both took off and Huang found himself “financially free,” according to a 2017 interview.After getting an ear infection, he decided to retire in 2013 at age 33. But following a year of pondering what to do with his life -- he contemplated starting a hedge fund and moving to the U.S. -- he came up with the idea of combining e-commerce and social media. At the time, Alibaba dominated the online business, and WeChat became a must-have application on smartphones in China.The tables have turned since. In 2018, Alibaba launched a PDD-style app in an attempt to lure smaller-town users with bargains. It came months before Huang took his company public in New York, raising $1.63 billion in its July 2018 initial public offering. Since then, PDD has surged 389%, while Alibaba has gained just 13%.In 2017, Huang had said he was unlikely to spend the rest of his life at PDD. While he’s still chairman of the company, he now wants to give more responsibility to younger colleagues to keep the entrepreneurial spirit as PDD matures, he wrote in a letter to employees.“We envision Pinduoduo to be an organization that creates value for the public rather than being a showoff trophy for a few or carry too much personal color,” Huang said. “This will allow Pinduoduo to continually evolve with or without us one day.”(Updates PDD, Alibaba moves in 22nd paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected Fen Liu’s location.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • New Oriental to Report Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Results on July 28, 2020
    PR Newswire

    New Oriental to Report Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Results on July 28, 2020

    New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. (the "Company" or "New Oriental") (NYSE: EDU), the largest provider of private educational services in China, today announced that it will report its financial results for the fourth quarter ended May 31, 2020, before the U.S. market opens on July 28, 2020. New Oriental's management will host an earnings conference call at 8 AM on July 28, 2020, U.S. Eastern Time (8 PM on July 28, 2020, Beijing/Hong Kong Time). Participants can join the conference using the below options:

  • In cloud clash with Alibaba, underdog Tencent adopts more aggressive tactics

    In cloud clash with Alibaba, underdog Tencent adopts more aggressive tactics

    For Chinese cloud services companies, the coronavirus outbreak has become a rainmaker, bringing in new business far and wide as firms shift work online and authorities develop apps and systems to help contain outbreaks and manage social restrictions. For Tencent Holdings Ltd in particular, it has also become the perfect time to flex new muscles as it seeks to catch up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, its arch-rival and the dominant player in the country's cloud market by far. Tencent began to display a new level of aggressiveness after positioning its cloud business as a major area of growth in September 2018, and that has only amped up amid the pandemic, employees say.

  • Televisa Closes The Sale Of Its Stake In Sistema Radiópolis
    PR Newswire

    Televisa Closes The Sale Of Its Stake In Sistema Radiópolis

    Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. ("Televisa" or the "Company"; NYSE:TV; BMV:TLEVISA CPO) announced today that it has concluded the sale of its 50% equity participation in Sistema Radiópolis, S.A. de C.V. ("Radiopolis"), which operates 17 radio stations in Mexico.

  • Were Hedge Funds Right About Souring On Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)?
    Insider Monkey

    Were Hedge Funds Right About Souring On Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)?

    We are almost done with the second quarter. Investors decided to bet on the economic recovery and a stock market rebound. S&P 500 Index returned almost 20% this quarter. In this article we look at how hedge funds traded Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) heading into this quarter and whether they were right about the […]

  • Were Hedge Funds Right About Piling Into JD.Com Inc (JD)?
    Insider Monkey

    Were Hedge Funds Right About Piling Into JD.Com Inc (JD)?

    We at Insider Monkey have gone over 821 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, near the height of the coronavirus market crash. We are almost done with the second quarter. Investors decided […]

  • Nifty FAANG and Other 'One Decision' Investment Strategies

    Nifty FAANG and Other 'One Decision' Investment Strategies

    Looking at the stock market today, the first thought that comes to mind is that it is divorced from economic reality Continue reading...

  • China tech giant Alibaba dismisses livestreaming head, citing nepotism, gifts - document

    China tech giant Alibaba dismisses livestreaming head, citing nepotism, gifts - document

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has fired Zhao Yan, the head of its fast-growing livestreaming division, on grounds of nepotism and accepting gifts, according to an internal memo announcing his termination, seen by Reuters. The undated document, produced by Alibaba's human resources department and published on June 29 on the company's internal intranet for staff, says Zhao was fired after he used his position to help third-party livestreamers score favourable positioning on Taobao Live, Alibaba's main platform for live-streamed e-commerce.

  • More people see ‘value’ and ‘quality’ in a brand’s politics — not products — as Facebook and other companies are finding out fast

    More people see ‘value’ and ‘quality’ in a brand’s politics — not products — as Facebook and other companies are finding out fast

    Consumer brands across all categories are now in the spotlight as to where they stand on social issues. Then, just as businesses were starting to get back to their regularly scheduled marketing, the wave of long-overdue protests and conversations began in support of Black Lives Matter. Consumers expect transparency, accountability, and action.

  • Beyond Meat Stock Needs ‘Second-Mover’ Advantage to Be a Real Winner

    Beyond Meat Stock Needs ‘Second-Mover’ Advantage to Be a Real Winner

    Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) is a special case. Although BYND stock is a food stock, it trades like a tech stock.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com I wrote in June it was priced well beyond fundamentals. It still is. This is despite two sharp plunges that have it trading 17% below its June 11 price.Beyond Meat opened for trade July 2 at about $145 per share. That's a market cap of $8.8 billion for a company with 2019 revenues of $297 million and no profits. The valuation is beyond belief … it's beyond beyond. Even if it's made with plants, it's just hamburger! (OK, sometimes it's sausage.)InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsYet analysts like TV's Jim Cramer keep pounding the table for BYND stock. He insists a deal with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) to sell its products in China is a game changer.But at 30 times revenue? Beyond HappyBeyond's success and prospects have everyone pushing the happy button. The company's products are already available at Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and YUM! Brands' (NYSE:YUM) KFC chain. * 7 Utilities Stocks to Buy With Reassuring Dividends CEO Ethan Brown says the novel coronavirus pandemic is a unique opportunity for the company to scale and get its costs below those of farm-raised beef.Price has become the objection to products like Beyond's burgers. Brown knows that and is addressing it. The Alibaba link means Beyond will soon open a plant in China. Its new value pack is priced at $1.60 per burger. That's within 20% of the real thing. It's what Brown calls a "ruthless business strategy."Getting into China is also a big deal. So is the grocery store packaging, which takes Beyond past its roots in restaurants and food service. Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) are both selling the value pack for this weekend's cookouts. Trouble Ahead?But not all is wonderful in Beyond's universe.McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), for instance, would be a huge "get" for the plant-based protein company. It had been testing Beyond's patties in Canada, calling the result a "P.L.T," for plant, lettuce and tomato. But that test ended in April with no fanfare, no announcement and no plans to bring it back. It was like the big audition where the director just said, "Thank you, next" and you have no idea what went wrong.This, along with the stock's price, caused some to push the panic button. Barclay's dropped its rating from buy to sell, noting its continued reliance on restaurants for sales.It's not that McDonald's is divorcing itself from Beyond Meat. The company sells plant protein in many markets, like Finland, India and South Africa. But a full rollout in North America, where it has almost 14,000 outlets, would require an enormous commitment. It may just not be ready for that. Or it may be looking at other suppliers. There are dozens to choose from including Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL), Nestle (OTCMKTS:NSRGY) and Kroger (NYSE:KR). The Bottom Line on BYND StockSince coming public in April 2019, BYND stock has traded for as much as $235 per share and for as little as $55, during the worst of the lockdown.If I had been smart enough to buy at the IPO, or at that March low, I would be taking profits right now.It's not that I doubt the future of meatless meat. I just think it will be a competitive market. Beyond must do more than get its costs below that of beef and pork. Its brand must beat other, larger companies trying to do the same thing. Brown's strategy isn't ruthless, it's essential to success.While Beyond Meat has first mover advantage, as MySpace once did, it has yet to prove what I call "second-mover" advantage, like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The pioneer proves the market, the winner exploits it. Do that, and you'll be a giant, my son.Dana Blankenhorn has been a financial journalist since 1978. His latest book is Technology's Big Bang: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Moore's Law, essays on technology available at the Amazon Kindle store. Follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing, he owned shares in FB and BABA. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America's 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post Beyond Meat Stock Needs 'Second-Mover' Advantage to Be a Real Winner appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • 7 International Stocks to Buy as the World Economy Restarts

    7 International Stocks to Buy as the World Economy Restarts

    China's disciplined approach in isolating and treating those infected with the novel coronavirus allowed the country to re-open sooner. The rest of the world is following China's lead. As the world economy restarts, international stocks will fare the best. Its geographic diversity will work in its favor as strong growth in re-opened countries offsets a temporary shutdown in other places.Savvy investors may build a geographically diversified portfolio, but that is not easy. There are currency exchange rate risks to consider. So, buying worldwide conglomerates may pay off in the long-run. Plus, investors get the benefit of spreading out risks.There are seven international stocks to buy as the world economy restarts:InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips* The Unilever Group (NYSE:UL)* The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)* Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)* Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)* Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM)* Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB)* AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) * 7 Utilities Stocks to Buy With Reassuring Dividends Together, these international stocks give investors exposure to a wide variety of sectors. Consumer goods, e-commerce, automotive, and drug manufacturing all have their growth potential. Plus, a re-start will accelerate the near-term growth of companies in their respective markets. Unilever Group (UL)Source: Wright Studio/Shutterstock.com First up on this list of international stocks is Unilever. The Unilever Group is in the news after joining other firms in boycotting ad spending on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for the rest of the year. This is an unfortunate decision and does signal some risks in holding UL stock. The company reported flat sales growth in the first quarter due to the stay-at-home order. But stockpiling last quarter and the re-opening should lift results.In Q1, Unilever signaled its confidence in its cash flow growth by keeping its dividend levels. As consumers return to stores, Unilever's sales should recover. Still, the company must adjust to the ever-lasting impact of people staying at home. So, instead of relying on ice cream and food that restaurants and cafes buy, the company needs to pivot.Unilever stock has a strong overall rating. As a bonus, the stock offers a good dividend for income investors.Source: Data courtesy of Stock Rover Increasing its focus on laundry detergents, hand sanitizers, and soap products should give profit margins a lift. In the near-term, expect a better entry point approaching. Analysts have a $48.42 price target (according to Tipranks). And if more restaurants are open, Unilever's sales should bounce back in the next quarter. The Procter & Gamble Company (PG)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com Procter & Gamble's priority of ensuring the health and safety of everyone around the world already makes the company a recession-proof holding. Looking ahead, family demands for maintaining health, hygiene, and cleaning will only grow. The devastating virulence of the coronavirus will only increase such needs.In the first quarter, P&G increased its dividend by 6% to about 79 cents a share. And as consumers choose their brands first, sales will increase as people slowly return to their normal lives. From fiscal 2012 to Fiscal 2016, P&G created $10 billion worth of growth and value. It will repeat that feat from the fiscal year 2017 to 2021.By disrupting the market, the company comes out ahead in a variety of sectors. This includes beauty, grooming, family care, and health care.According to Stock Rover, PG stock is worth $160.53. It scores well on quality.PG Industry S&P 500 Quality Score 87 61 79 Gross Margin 49.90% 38.50% 29.10% Operating Margin 21.90% 18.60% 13.20% Net Margin 7.10% 10.10% 8.70% Data courtesy of Stock Rover * 9 Florida Stocks to Avoid as Coronavirus Rates Spike Expect P&G to expand its operating margin as the economic rebound unfolds. Its net margin could exceed that of the industry next. Alibaba (BABA)Source: Colin Hui / Shutterstock.com Alibaba still trades at a discount. The strong growth in e-commerce every quarter suggests that markets continue to underestimate their potential. With China leading the economy's reopening, Alibaba's digital economy business will expand. In the fourth quarter, Alibaba's digital economy gross merchant volume exceeded $1 trillion (slide 3). It now has 960 million global annual active customers (AAC).Investors may forecast Alibaba's revenue growing by at least 17% or higher in the next five years annually. With the following input, Alibaba stock has a fair value of $265.42.Source: Data courtesy of finbox At 780 million China and 180 million international AAC, Alibaba is in a strong position to grow its market share. Plus, consumers will spend more time buying things online. Furthermore, the e-commerce giant has a chance to increase its food and grocery business as customers grow accustomed to buying these goods online.In the cloud computing space, Alibaba Cloud continues to benefit from the increasing demand for video content consumption. Remote working and learning also lifted demand.At a price-to-earnings (P/E) below 30 times, BABA stock has an excellent growth profile against its deep value. Coca-Cola Company (KO)Source: Fotazdymak / Shutterstock.com Just as Unilever cut its ad spending, Coca-Cola said it would do the same. The pop drink supplier is pausing all social media ad spending for July. Again, this suggests that the company's revenue growth is slowing and that its ads are not effective in reversing that decline.KO stock lost nearly one-third of its value in the last five years:Chart courtesy of Stock RoverAccording to Tipranks, analysts have a $51.40 price target. At an 8% discount rate, a 5-year discounted cash flow model would arrive at a similar fair value.Source: Data courtesy of finbox The economy's restart should put KO stock in firmer territory as it cuts unnecessary spending. And as sales recover, profits will expand at a better pace than ever. Collectively, beverage companies "spent over a billion dollars to advertise sugary drinks and energy drinks in 2018." So, strong brand recognition should lead to continued double-digit sales of Coca-Cola products despite the ad spending freeze. * 10 Value Stocks to Keep on Your Short List At a price-to-earnings below 20 times, Coca-Cola shares are too cheap to ignore, especially as international markets reopen. Toyota Motor (TM)Source: josefkubes / Shutterstock.com Automotive companies faced slumping sales at the height of the pandemic-driven lockdown. The easing should lead to a rebound in sales. International stocks like Toyota Motor not only trade at favorable valuations of around 10 times earnings, but have a good performance record.Toyota makes reliable cars that require minimal maintenance. Those who have to go to work and want to avoid public transportation will want to buy a Toyota.Still, Toyota's sales rebound will not happen until after July at the earliest. The company forecasts a 10% drop in production volume in July. This is a solid improvement from the 40% decrease in June. As global demand recovers, domestic production will bounce back. Toyota forecasts sales will recover to last year's levels by the end of 2020. Kimberly-Clark (KMB)Source: Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com In a long-term trading range of $130 - $145, Kimberly-Clark stock is ready to break out to the upside. In the first quarter, the company posted non-GAAP earnings of $2.13 a share. Revenue grew 8.2% from last year.KMB stock held up well because of the crazed demand for toilet paper in the last quarter. Looking ahead, the company has a few priorities that will sustain its growth. In addition to protecting the health and safety of its employees and customers, it will manage its global supply chain and manage the business for volatility.For instance, CEO Mike Hsu said: "Like other companies, we haven't significantly pared back our SKU count, and that we've done that in partnership with our customers, who have been very supportive along that journey. And that has increased our theoretical capacity because we have fewer changeovers and less complexity in the plants." * 5 Penny Stocks Under $10 to Buy in June By running efficiently, KMB shares could bounce higher as demand patterns recover in places like Asia, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. AstraZeneca (AZN)Source: Shutterstock Last on this list of international stocks is AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca is not only an international stock idea but it is also a coronavirus vaccine play. The company signed a $127 million deal to produce an experimental vaccine for the Brazilian government. The country will receive material to produce 30.4 million doses later this year. The deal will bring 100 million vaccines. This accounts for nearly half of Brazil's residents. AstraZeneca will transfer the technology if the vaccine works.Brazil is one of the hardest-hit countries of the virus and has more than a million confirmed cases.The company's AZD1222 vaccine is a co-development with the University of Oxford. Italy's pharma giant, Catalent, will manufacture the drug starting in August 2020.AstraZeneca shared its data on three cancer studies. Tagrisso, which treats adjuvant lung cancer, is in Phase III. Imfinzi is in Phase III and treats extensive-stage small cell lung cancer. And Enhertu is in Phase II trials in gastric, lung, and colorectal cancers.On Stock Rover, AZN stock has an 87/100 score on quality. Its gross margin is 49.9% and may potentially rise as the economy re-opens.As of this writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America's 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post 7 International Stocks to Buy as the World Economy Restarts appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Coronavirus update: U.S. case tally climbs above 2.6 million, and top Republicans now call on Americans to wear face masks

    Coronavirus update: U.S. case tally climbs above 2.6 million, and top Republicans now call on Americans to wear face masks

    The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus illness COVID-19 in the U.S. climbed above 2.6 million on Wednesday, a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci said it could spike to more than 100,000 a day if the fresh clusters emerging in the South and West are not brought under control.

  • Two in Five Fortune 500 Companies Choose Alibaba Cloud
    Business Wire

    Two in Five Fortune 500 Companies Choose Alibaba Cloud

    Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, said today it has supported 38 percent of the Fortune 500 companies over the past fiscal year.

  • Business Wire

    Alibaba Cloud and Unilever to Usher in Next-Generation Digital Marketing Initiatives

    Alibaba Cloud and Unilever pioneer a strategic initiative that will enable Unilever to action on next-generation digital marketing campaigns

  • Tech Tycoons Flood H.K. With $20 Billion of Stock Listings

    Tech Tycoons Flood H.K. With $20 Billion of Stock Listings

    (Bloomberg) -- China’s tycoons are flooding Hong Kong’s exchange with $20 billion worth of new listings.While the city’s rich are preparing for a worst-case scenario amid a controversial national-security law, major mainland billionaires are coming in. The latest to do so: William Ding of NetEase Inc. and JD.com Inc.’s Richard Liu, whose companies completed secondary listings there last month. They follow Jack Ma, whose Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stock issuance in November was the city’s largest since 2010.Together, the three moguls’ firms have raised $20 billion from share sales in the former British colony, and that may be just the start of a new wave of listings by mainlanders.“Chinese billionaires’ tech companies are helping the capital market in Hong Kong for a pivotal change and secure its Asia financial hub status,” said Edward Au, managing director of the southern region at Deloitte China. “The city’s stock exchange is also trying to make it a more appealing destination for new-economy companies.”The national-security law that was approved on Tuesday is threatening to erode Hong Kong’s judicial independence from the mainland, a key part of the city’s appeal to international companies and investors. The U.S. has already started to make it harder to export sensitive American technology to Hong Kong, and the House of Representatives passed a bill imposing sanctions on banks that do business with Chinese officials involved in cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.While Chinese billionaires have myriad reasons for pursuing listings there -- including a less welcoming political environment in the U.S. -- their choice of the city over alternatives on the mainland may help ease concerns that the former British colony risks losing its status as a financial center.Chinese tech tycoons with companies trading in the city now have a combined net worth of $182 billion, more than the 10 richest people in Hong Kong, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. For them, Hong Kong is becoming increasingly appealing as Chinese companies listed in the U.S. face growing scrutiny and potential delistings following an accounting scandal at Luckin Coffee Inc. and mounting tensions between the world’s two largest economies.JD.com and NetEase have raised a combined $7 billion with their secondary listings last month -- almost two-thirds of the total for Hong Kong in the first half of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Deloitte expects that as many as six Chinese companies currently traded in the U.S. will choose the city for a second listing by year-end. Robin Li’s Baidu Inc. is among those weighing that option.The city eased listing rules in 2018 to attract companies such as smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. and Meituan Dianping, China’s largest on-demand food delivery service. The move could eventually reshape the composition of the benchmark Hang Seng Index, according to Deloitte’s Au. In May, the index manager announced new criteria to allow companies such as Alibaba to be included in the gauge.“The influx of these companies will greatly increase the representation of new-economy companies in Hong Kong, adding vibrancy and diversity to the market,” said Louis Lau, partner at KPMG China’s capital markets advisory group. “The continued listing of mega-sized Chinese firms also reinforces Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s financial hub.”(Updates with new U.S. bill in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Upstart CEO Steps Down After Building $44 Billion Fortune

    China Upstart CEO Steps Down After Building $44 Billion Fortune

    (Bloomberg) -- Colin Huang stepped down as chief executive officer of Pinduoduo Inc. after building the five-year-old startup into a force in China’s e-commerce industry and, in the process, becoming one of the country’s richest people.He’s turning the role over to Lei Chen, another founder at the Shanghai-based company, effective immediately, PDD said in a letter to employees posted on its website. Huang, 40, will remain chairman.“I hope that through the management changes, we can gradually hand over more managerial duties and responsibilities to our younger colleagues, give space and opportunities for the team to grow, and drive Pinduoduo to become a more mature company with continuous entrepreneurial spirit,” Huang wrote in the letter.While tech founders often eventually cede management duties to lieutenants, Huang is handing over the reins just a few years after PDD’s start. Huang and his co-founders began the group-shopping app in 2015 at a time when Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. seemed to have a lock on the e-commerce business in China.But PDD provided an innovative service with discounted goods and customized offerings, and went public in 2018. The company’s shares have soared more than four-fold since then and its market cap is about $102 billion. Huang’s net worth is $44.3 billion, the third-highest in China, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Analysts at Jefferies and Citigroup Inc. said the move was unexpected and a surprise. PDD’s shares were little changed in U.S. trading.Huang, previously an engineer at Google, said in the letter that he had transferred around 371 million ordinary shares currently under his name to the Pinduoduo Partnership, and that he wanted some of the stock to be used for research and social responsibility. That transfer is equal to about 7.7% of total shares, he said. In addition, Huang said he had officially set up a charity foundation and that together with the founding team, had donated to it around 114 million Pinduoduo shares, or about 2.4% of total shares.In a separate Q&A circulated to media, Huang said he would step back from day-to-day management to work on the company’s long-term strategy and corporate structure, and devote more time to fundamental research that could drive the future of PDD.A data scientist by training, Chen has served as chief technology officer since 2016. He said he will focus on growing the company’s newer business units, citing its shipping information system as an example. “This division of labor will help us steer the company in its next phase of growth and development,” Chen said.(Adds more detail throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 58.COM INVESTOR ALERT by the Former Attorney General of Louisiana: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Investigates Adequacy of Price and Process in Proposed Sale of 58.com Inc. - WUBA
    Business Wire

    58.COM INVESTOR ALERT by the Former Attorney General of Louisiana: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Investigates Adequacy of Price and Process in Proposed Sale of 58.com Inc. - WUBA

    Former Attorney General of Louisiana Charles C. Foti, Jr., Esq. and the law firm of Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC ("KSF") are investigating the proposed sale of 58.com Inc. (NYSE: WUBA) to Quantum Bloom Group Ltd. Under the terms of the proposed transaction, shareholders of 58.com will receive only $28.00 in cash for each class A or B share and $56.00 in cash for each American depositary share ("ADS") of 58.com that they own. KSF is seeking to determine whether this consideration and the process that led to it are adequate, or whether the consideration undervalues the Company.

  • Coca-Cola Shuts Down Its Odwalla Juice Brand, Eliminates Refrigerated Trucking
    Motley Fool

    Coca-Cola Shuts Down Its Odwalla Juice Brand, Eliminates Refrigerated Trucking

    After spending several years evaluating its Odwalla brand of juice in an effort to find a way to make it profitable, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) announced that it is closing down the brand permanently. The move will end slightly less than 19 years of Coca-Cola ownership of the brand, which it acquired in October 2001 for $181 million. At the time, John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, called the acquisition "a very smart deal for Coke," while Odwalla CEO Stephen Williamson remarked that "the entrepreneurial spirit of Odwalla will be nurtured by the opportunity for growth that this new relationship presents."