The five big technology stocks that make up the FAANG collection have drawn some blood from investors during the market volatility in recent weeks, but they’re still very much alive.
The FAANG designation refers to Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (officially Alphabet Inc., but the acronym needed another consonant). It’s a collection of high-performing, technology-oriented stocks. Together these five companies represent over $3 trillion of market value. That’s 13 percent of the market value of the entire S&P 500 stock index. Each of them has outperformed the stock index over the past year.
The FAANG stocks are enormous companies extending well beyond their technology roots. Amazon is a grocery store. Facebook and Google have become 21st Century utilities. Google’s parent company reports earnings Monday. Facebook is Wednesday and Amazon is due out Thursday. They come after Netflix’s blockbuster quarterly report in the past week and ahead of Apple’s turn in early May.
Facebook and Amazon, particularly, have had their difficulties recently, but for very different reasons. Facebook’s privacy practices have come under intense scrutiny after it disclosed millions of its users personal data was shared with third party companies. Google wasn’t spared by the stock sell-off a month ago. Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos, meantime, have been targeted by presidential tweets. The president has criticized Amazon or its founder six times this year on Twitter by Bloomberg’s count.
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The quintet is expected to grow earnings an average of 26 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data. That’s double the growth rate compared to the fourth quarter of last year and well ahead of the broad market.
Unlike vampires, the FAANGs aren’t immortal, as the recent sell-offs attest. But what matters to long-term shareholders is the bite of their businesses.
Tom Hudson hosts “The Sunshine Economy” on WLRN-FM; @HudsonsView.