The Covid-19 pandemic has done a number on the global economy, causing investors to flee in terror and severely limiting investment opportunities. While the markets will almost surely bounce back, people with free capital have been left desperate for what to do with their money until they do. One sector that sailed through the recession almost unscathed is technology. The tech companies not only didn’t suffer any major losses, some of them even thrived during the pandemic. As such, they are a prime target for investors, as witnessed by a huge interest for their shares on the world’s stock exchanges.
When Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975, they probably couldn’t have imagined the success the company will have. Their Windows operating systems became synonymous with personal computers worldwide and accompanying the software (well, apart from the Internet Explorer) was also wildly successful. In the recent decade, following the departure of Mr. Gates, the company has managed to pivot to cloud computing, moving all of its software solutions online. The move was executed perfectly, leaving Microsoft perfectly positioned for the upcoming challenges. Under the leadership of the current CEO Satya Nadella, the company has managed to weather the Covid-19 pandemic and come out even stronger than before.
Playtech’s star is on the rise, as is the entire iGaming industry since the pandemic started. One of the leaders in gambling and casino software, according to AskGamblers.com, Playtech has been around since 1999. Even if you are an infrequent visitor of online casinos, chances are you have played one or more of their games. Virtue Fusion is its bingo platform, one of the most popular bingo solutions in the industry. Through their subsidiary Playtech BGT Sports, they offer sports betting solutions to bookmakers. They also have a highly successful poker platform, imaginatively called iPoker. It was designed by Geoff Hall, one of the world’s premier developers of gambling solutions. Playtech is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a part of the FTSE 250 Index.
The world’s leading online retailer and e-commerce platform, Amazon seems to be going from strength to strength. Even the founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s divorce last year failed to have any impact on the value of their stocks. Even if the divorce managed to knock him off from the top spot of the richest people on the planet, during the pandemic his wealth increased by some $24 billion, mostly due to Amazon working in overdrive to meet the demand of online shoppers. Apart from retail, the company has become a leader in cloud computing, overtaking both Google and Microsoft, its closest rivals. All in all, Amazon is always a great investment opportunity.
Many feared that the death of Steve Jobs would mean imminent Apple’s demise, but the events proved them wrong. The Cupertino company issued their 14th iPhone last year, equipped with 5G technology Even though the customers seem to be prolonging the replacement interval between swapping their old devices for the latest ones issued by Apple, the sales are still going strong. Apple services are a huge moneymaker, earning $14.5 billion for the company in September 2020 alone. One thing that could be a fly in the ointment is the antitrust investigations they are faced in both the United States and Europe. Even if those come to fruition, the worst is that Apple will pay a fine. Regardless of how hefty it is, they will be able to shrug it off and continue with operations.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet represents one of the most valuable companies in the world. Their stock price reflects that status and that may be one thing stopping small investors from investing in it. The entry point is just too high. On the other hand, judging from the last year’s performance, it is hard to imagine anything slowing Alphabet’s growth. Even with the drop in online advertisement due to the pandemic, the company managed to stay in the black, bringing profit to its shareholders. As the world’s economy rebounds, so will Google’s main source of income increase. Their shares are already on the rise, following up strong predictions for 2021. Apart from their core business, the Alphabet’s other operations are also showing strength. Cloud computing and consumer hardware products represent a significant portion of their revenue.
Facebook is without doubt the largest social media company in the world. With Instagram, which it owns, they have more than 2 billion users, most of which are active daily on either of the platforms. However, Facebook is facing strong opposition in the United States over the links between Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump. There are voices demanding the company to be held responsible for fake news shared through their network and even outright calls for its division. While all of that is still in the future, it reflects on the price of their stock. If you believe in the company’s future, now may be a good time to invest.
The pioneer of Internet television and streaming services, Netflix has become of one the world’s biggest video producers. Every year, they invest billions in new content, shared with the users through their streaming service. The driving idea in the last few years has been to create a worldwide users base, by investing in expanding and localizing their content. At the same time, the company has invested heavily in creating content with local producers. The hope is to become a major global video content supplier, with streaming service just a method of delivery. In general, the idea sounds good, but what is worrying the shareholders is that Netflix is doing it too fast, even at the expense of profits. However, with several competitors breeding down its neck, it is easy to understand the need for speed.