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Meta at 20: Mark Zuckerberg Charts the Future Beyond Facebook’s Milestone

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Mark Zuckerberg, the visionary at the back of Facebook for the beyond two a long time, is now guiding Meta into uncharted territories because the corporation is celebrating its twentieth anniversary.

While the founders of other foremost tech giants, consisting of Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Larry Page of Google, have stepped right down to make manner for a new era, Zuckerberg stays firmly at the helm. Unlike his opposite numbers, he continues to make formidable and long-term investments, in particular in the metaverse and synthetic popular intelligence (AGI).

In a current video, Zuckerberg hinted at Meta’s grand plan to delve into the improvement of AGI, a sector that has gained giant traction because of the advent of technology like ChatGPT. However, the info of when this AGI magic will manifest or its ability shape remained undisclosed at some stage in his interview with The Verge.

Zuckerberg’s strategic attention extends from Metaverse dreams to AGI aspirations, coupled with ventures into digital reality (VR) hardware. Benefiting from a soaring Meta stock, which has surged 168% in the past twelve months, the employer’s fee has breached the $1 trillion mark, raising Zuckerberg’s internet worth to an excellent $142 billion.

Despite these economic profits, there are doubts about Zuckerberg’s capability to convince skeptics that the metaverse is the subsequent massive component. Meta’s Reality Labs division, housing its VR tech, has collected a huge $ forty-seven billion in losses for the reason that 2019. However, Meta plans to retain investing in this section, acknowledging that the payoff may also take at least a decade.

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Even Meta’s CTO, Andrew Bosworth, recognizes the challenges, pointing out in a December weblog that making lengthy-time period bets on emerging technology is neither guaranteed nor reasonably priced. Yet, he emphasizes that it is essential for an era corporation’s long-term relevance.

As Zuckerberg approaches his fortieth birthday in May, a hypothesis arises approximately whether or not he’ll follow in the footsteps of enterprise leaders like Bezos or Gates, who moved directly to discover new ventures. Nevertheless, given his unwavering control over Meta, only Zuckerberg will decide when the time is proper for a brand new path. Despite uncertainties, Zuckerberg’s strategic vision for the following decade at Meta is step-by-step.

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Standard Chartered CEO Defends ESG Investing Amid U.S. Backlash

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  • Standard Chartered chief executive Bill Winters defends environmentally conscious investing, dismissing U.S. backlash against ESG.
  • Winters emphasizes the importance of sustainable practices for both the planet and business profitability.
  • Despite political tensions, Winters highlights ongoing engagement with net-zero objectives and business growth.

Standard Chartered CEO, Bill Winters, asserts that environmentally conscious investing remains beneficial for businesses, despite the political backlash against ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives in the United States.

In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe,” Winters addressed concerns surrounding the perception of ESG as “woke capitalism,” emphasizing the importance of prioritizing sustainable practices. He stated, “I mean, I do want to wake up one day and have a planet so if that makes me woke, shoot me.”

Acknowledging the politically charged environment in the U.S., Winters pointed out the irony of Texas, a leading state in renewable power, opposing pension fund managers with ESG agendas. However, he remains committed to sustainable efforts, citing Standard Chartered’s dual-track objectives of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2025 and 2050 for its own firm and financed emissions, respectively.

Winters emphasized the alignment of sustainable initiatives with business profitability, noting the continued engagement of clients in pursuing net-zero goals. He highlighted the growth of Standard Chartered’s business supporting sustainable practices, indicating a positive outlook for both environmental impact and financial returns.

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Despite challenges and political tensions, Winters reaffirmed the company’s dedication to sustainability, emphasizing that it is “not philanthropy” but a commitment to “do the right thing for the planet” while ensuring business success.

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Europe’s GRANOLAS: Powering Stock Markets to New Highs Amid Magnificent Seven Comparisons

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In a remarkable feat, just 11 stocks have been the driving force behind half of the gains propelling Europe’s pan-European Stoxx 600 stock index to record highs. Termed the “GRANOLAS” by Goldman Sachs in 2020, these stocks represent a group of “internationally exposed quality growth compounders” with substantial market caps, akin to the Magnificent Seven U.S. tech giants.

Comprising GSK, Roche, ASML, Nestle, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, L’Oreal, LVMH, AstraZeneca, SAP, and Sanofi, the GRANOLAS collectively account for approximately a quarter of the Stoxx 600’s total market cap. Goldman Sachs analysts underscore their solid earnings growth, high margins, and robust balance sheets as key drivers of this group’s momentum.

Despite trading at high price-to-earnings ratios, typical of growth companies, the GRANOLAS offer significant value compared to their U.S. counterparts. They exhibit lower volatility, contributing to an enhanced Sharpe ratio and making them an attractive investment proposition.

Goldman Sachs forecasts continued strong growth for the GRANOLAS, with a projected 7% compound annual growth rate in revenue through 2025, outpacing the wider market. Moreover, these stocks offer dividend yields in the 2-2.5% range, further enhancing their appeal to investors.

While concerns about concentration risk loom, analysts point out the diversity of sectors represented within the GRANOLAS group, potentially mitigating such risks. However, caution is warranted, as prolonged market complacency could leave equities vulnerable to negative surprises, underscoring the need for prudent risk management strategies.

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As Europe’s GRANOLAS continue to dominate stock market gains, investors are closely monitoring their performance amid comparisons to their U.S. tech counterparts and the potential implications for broader market dynamics.

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Walmart’s Acquisition of Vizio: A Strategic Move to Transform Advertising and Boost Profits

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Walmart, the retail giant, recently made headlines with its announcement of acquiring smart TV maker Vizio in a significant $2.3 billion deal. Beyond just expanding its consumer electronics portfolio, the acquisition signals Walmart’s strategic push deeper into the realm of advertising.

By integrating Vizio’s extensive reach into its ecosystem, Walmart aims to tap into the lucrative world of streaming entertainment and link it seamlessly with consumer purchasing behaviors. Jefferies retail analyst Corey Tarlowe emphasizes that the core of this acquisition lies in the realm of advertising opportunities rather than the physical televisions themselves.

Vizio has evolved beyond being just a TV manufacturer. With its SmartCast operating system, it has transformed into a software company, offering viewers a seamless streaming experience with built-in apps like Netflix and Hulu. Moreover, SmartCast facilitates targeted advertising, providing Vizio with multiple revenue streams through ad placements on the home screen, within its free streaming app WatchFree+, and through agreements with third-party streaming platforms.

With Walmart’s ownership, the potential synergies are vast. Not only can Walmart dictate pricing and expand SmartCast’s user base by integrating it into its own brand of TVs, but it can also leverage Vizio’s data insights to deliver highly personalized ads. Vizio’s knowledge of streaming preferences combined with Walmart’s deep understanding of consumer purchasing habits creates a powerful synergy for targeted advertising.

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Additionally, Walmart’s aggressive expansion of its advertising business aligns with its broader strategy of driving profitability. Compared to traditional retail operations, advertising offers significantly higher margins, making it a lucrative avenue for revenue growth. With Amazon’s success in advertising as a reference point, Walmart aims to replicate a similar model, capitalizing on the rapid growth of its advertising segment.

The acquisition of Vizio also aligns with Walmart’s efforts to enhance its existing advertising platforms. With Walmart Connect experiencing significant growth in recent quarters, the addition of Vizio’s advertising capabilities could further accelerate this momentum. Furthermore, with the rise of streaming services, Walmart stands to benefit from TV spot placements on these platforms, opening up new revenue streams.

While Walmart’s exact plans for Vizio post-acquisition remain undisclosed, Walmart CFO John David Rainey has expressed excitement about the potential synergies, describing advertising as a vital part of the business. With Vizio under its wing, Walmart is poised to reshape the advertising landscape and drive growth in its digital ecosystem.

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