If it makes you feel better, many massive companies have never made a profit. Ever.
That does make me feel better. Thank you. But how does that even work?
Ok listen up because I'm going to get technical. The first way is "Purposeful Reinvestment" - which means the company makes cash but keeps pouring it back into the business. Like Amazon, which produces very small profits from its retail biz. The there's "Hopeful Expansion" which is basically wishful thinking for at least a decade. Like Twitter (of which more later). Finally there's "Initial Growth" which means there's been a great expansion (like Uber) and investors hope profits will follow. Kind of more wishful thinking.
There's a lot of fingers crossed going on there
Indeed. Especially this month, with Uber about to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) which could value it at $120 billion. Without ever making a dime. Its rival cab company Lyft went public last month (also never made a penny) and investors were stung when prices bombed below the $72 IPO price on day two.
More fool them for investing in a company that's never made money and has Uber as its cutthroat competition.
Anyway, I'm enjoying this - who else is seriously poor?
Well Twitter was in the red for about 11 years, which invariably tested investors' patience, until suddenly in Q4 2017 it made a profit and has been in the black ever since. However monthly users, especially in the US, are on the slide, so much so that Twitter is refusing to publicly report its user numbers any more.
That'll be Trump to blame. Enough to put anyone off tweeting. Who else is in the red?
Spotify. Founded in Sweden 13 years ago this month, in February this year it announced it has 96 million paid subscribers, up 36% from the same period last year, trouncing Apple Music. But it still makes zero profit andFortune magazine believes it never will - mostly because the "relentless" music industry demands higher and higher royalties.
Those greedy musicians. (Only kidding Mr Yorke). What about Snapchat?
Loses a tonne. Its shares peaked on the day it went public in February 2017 at $24 and are now worth a measly $11. Its first quarter loss for this year is expected to be between $165 million and $140 million. Its real enemy is Zuckerberg who steals all its ideas for Instagram - like stories - and is stunting Snap's growth. Poor founder Evan Spiegel - he's only worth $2.5 billion.
And Elon Musk's car company Tesla? It's always in debt too
Improving. Tesla made a $139 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2018, the first time it ever posted back-to-back profitable quarters in its 15-year history. And yet it still posted a $1 BILLION loss across the year.
What about Tumblr, rashly bought by Yahoo! for $1.1bn back in 2013?
Ova, or at least dying according to reports this month. The blogging platform beloved by teens is unlikely to be making any profit - in December it was forced to ban "adult content" (I thought it was all about interior design!) and has since lost 30% of its traffic - from 521 million down to 370 million by February. So definitely no growth there.
What investors increasingly want these days is "bleed back" — firms that actually make profits.
As revealed last week for the first time, the most bleed back of them all is Aramco, the oil company which made $111 BILLION in pure profit last year.
My father worked for them all his life - without share options.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.