09. November 2020 | 11:08 CET
Vodafone, UPCO International, Apple: Phone, Pay, Chat!
Telecommunication today is an inexpensive service that we take for granted. In the past, however, international calling was an exciting affair. I can still remember the time before the mobile telephone. It was 1990, in Death Valley, United States with a temperature of almost 50 degrees, there was a Pacific Bell coin-operated telephone which only accepted quarters (US 25 cent coins). When dialling a German number, the operator said: "Please insert USD 4.75 to proceed with this call." Prepared for this, with 19 quarters, one would insert the coins and wait under the plexiglass hood for the connection. One congratulated a family member on their birthday or exchanged a brief update on a vacation and then after 1 minute 30 seconds the call would end. At the very least, the relatives 9,100 km away had received a sign of life. All is well!
time to read: 4 minutes by André Will-Laudien
Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.
Vodafone - share at a 5-year low
Telecommunications today are in the hands of large providers, such as the British Vodafone Group plc. The shares value has lost 70% since 2015 and is now at a 5-year low. The Vodafone Group is one of the largest global mobile communications companies. With over 445 million customers in 26 countries, the Company is the world's second-largest mobile phone provider. The Company focuses on the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and Australia.
In addition to its services and mobile products, the Company also trades in cell phones, smartphones, tablets and computers sold under license. In 2013, Vodafone sold its shares in the US provider Verizon Wireless and thus the US business to Verizon. They also acquired Kabel Deutschland Holding AG. Since then, they have been providing not only mobile customers but also private households with cable networks and DSL services.
Since 2018, the telecom giant’s revenues have been declining, with losses in 2019 and 2020 due to the necessary acquisition of 5G licenses. The equity ratio is only 42% with total assets of EUR 142.8 billion. Vodafone's dividend yield of 7.6% and capitalization of just EUR 33.6 billion remains exciting. The share is not likely to fall forever.
UPCO International - network access all over the world
UPCO offers a fascinating business model internationally. The small Canadian Company operates an entirely self-sufficient Internet cell phone platform for communication and data traffic. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Vancouver and New York City, the Vancouver-based telecommunications and digital services Company owns a competitively priced, high-quality, privacy-protected social platform for telecommunications and communications payments.
The chief attraction is its geographical positioning. The Company offers its services where telephony is still expensive and cumbersome, in so-called emerging or niche markets. In such countries, the big telecom operators are still the local top dogs. However, UPCO offer normally priced Internet access with which a smartphone owner can make a VOIP (Voice-over-IP) call, i.e. making phone calls via the data line. If the other party also has UPCO installed as an app, this call is free, just like Skype or WhatsApp.
But now UPCO offers two more features. Firstly, by using wholesale discounts, it is possible to make cheap international calls via VOIP to any network connection, which would otherwise not be affordable in countries in the Middle East, Africa or Asia. And the second feature has just been rolled out and is in the test phase: UPCO Pay. The customer owns a so-called e-wallet with his bank accounts and possibly also crypto accounts and can send money with one click within a secure crypto environment. So if you want to support a close relative or friend remotely, UPCO allows you to transfer funds within the shared chat function at 40% less than traditional credit card payments. UPCO is revolutionizing mobile payment and is currently working on a B2B solution for retailers and restaurants. The stock is worth just CAD 4 million...and that with these service packages, almost unbelievable!
APPLE - The apple does not fall far from the tree
Apple stood at USD 134.00 in summer 2020 and had a value of USD 2.8 trillion - this corresponds roughly to the French gross national product. With the seemingly high exchange rate, a split was carried out, but since this summer high not much has happened to the share price. It even corrected downwards by over 20% in October. Apple is currently driving a hot tire because the current management would probably prefer a high level of debt to a lower valued share. Thus, shares are being repurchased undiminished. Given the threat of a recession in 2021, it would be advisable to reduce debt significantly because the equity ratio has fallen to below 25% with a dynamic debt ratio of 357%.
So the leverage is quite good at Apple, and since the last quarterly figures, we have seen better prospects. First, a failure in iPhone sales in the next quarter could be harrowing for Apple. In the current Q3 report we have already seen a decline in iPhone sales, which could harm the next quarter.
While Apple was able to explain part of the loss in sales as "consumer decisions" that wait for the release of the iPhone 12 and thus delay already planned purchases, the significant decline we see in China is much more difficult to explain. For Apple, China is the critical growth market for iPhones. There the iPhone is both a tool and a status symbol. The looming threat of a ban on apps - especially WeChat - could easily distract the Chinese, who use only one device, from iOS-compliant phones. The days of the never-ending Apple stock price rally are likely to be numbered. A capitalization of USD 2.5 trillion can fall from time to time if the apple tumbles and does not fall far from the tree. A rally such as Apple has experienced does not disappear in days, but instead, it happens gradually.