DowDuPont Charge, China Growth, Currency Manipulation: CEO Daily for October 19, 2018
I previewed the Fortune Future 50 yesterday, but it’s worth more attention today. In a world where short-termism reigns supreme, this is our attempt to identify companies that are focused firmly on the long term. You can read about our methodology here. But in a nutshell: Half a company’s score is derived from the wisdom of the crowd—we look at the portion of a company’s market value that is not attributable to its current reported earnings stream. And the other half is the creation of our partners at BCG and looks at 17 different factors that have proven to correlate with growth over time—including an au courant AI assessment of SEC filings and annual reports. It’s an impressive effort.
It also delivers results: Last year’s Fortune Future 50 performed almost 3x better than the stock market. Our picks averaged more than 35% over the past year, while the S&P 1500—large- and mid-caps—returned 13%.
Top of the list this year is Workday, which spends a mind-boggling 31% of its revenue on R&D. You can read Adam Lashinsky’s piece on the company here. Many other companies on the list won’t surprise you—Netflix (No. 8), Salesforce (No. 10), Nvidia (No. 11), Alibaba (No. 14), Baidu (No. 15), Tencent (No. 16), Amazon (No. 29) and Alphabet (No. 32). Then there are fast risers like ServiceNow (No. 3), Adobe (No. 24), Red Hat (No. 26) and PayPal (No. 27). And there are the downright surprises, like Live Nation (No. 20), Monster Beverage (No. 40), and our friends and partners at state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (No. 23). Tesla (No. 48) and Facebook (No. 49) barely squeezed on, as recent controversies hurt their overall scores. Apple is nowhere to be found.
Interesting to note that 21 of the companies that made the list are based in China, and an equal number are in the U.S. The business battle for the future seems to be happening primarily, and equally, in those two countries.
You can explore the whole list here. Let us know what you think. More news below.
DowDuPont’s agriculture unit has revised its long-term sales and profit expectations, and is taking a $4.6 billion charge in the third quarter due to a lowering of the fair value of goodwill and other intangible assets. The company’s financial statements for the quarter ended September 30 are not affected by the change, but its share price fell 4.1% in after-hours trading. Wall Street Journal
China’s economic growth slowed to 6.5% year-on-year in the last quarter—its slowest pace since early 2009. Analysts were expecting 6.6%; the previous quarter saw 6.7% growth. Nonetheless, China’s stock markets finished the day up. UBS Global Wealth management’s Kelvin Tay: “China cannot be growing at 6.6-6.7% every quarter because of the fact that they’re starting to deleverage and also for the fact that you’ve got a trade dispute going on with the Americans.” CNBC
The U.S. Treasury did not—as was expected—label China a currency manipulator this week. It did say China’s policies were of “particular concern” but did not determine in a biannual foreign exchange report that China’s authorities were trying to suppress the yuan’s value. BBC
Tesla’s Model 3 was supposed to be the company’s mass-market offering, with prices starting at $35,000. However, the version on sale for the last year is the long-range version, costing between $49,000 and $78,000. Now Elon Musk has said Tesla will launch a version with a mid-range battery pack for $45,000, or $35,000 after incentives. Fortune
Around the Water Cooler
President Trump now says he believes the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and the kingdom will face “severe” consequences if it is found to have played a role in his death. “I mean it’s bad, bad stuff. We’ll see what happens. Ok?” Trump said. The president has previously been reluctant to join the rest of the world in believing Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents after he visited the country’s Istanbul consulate. CNN
House Democrats claim President Trump personally blocked the FBI’s plans to relocate its headquarters, as its current complex—across the street from the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue—would probably end up becoming a hotel. The White House claims the Dems “have it all wrong” and the FBI doesn’t want to move its headquarters. Fortune
Apple’s next product unveiling is scheduled for October 30. It is expected to show off new iPad Pros, a cheaper MacBook and a revised Mac mini desktop. Apple revamped its lower-cost iPads earlier this year. The new iPad Pros will reportedly use facial recognition for unlocking and contain an Apple-designed graphics chip. Bloomberg
Starbucks is selling off 83 of its European stores to partner Alsea, which already operates more than 900 Starbucks outlets in Mexico and South America. The stores being sold are in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. SFGate