Shares of major global technology companies are set to face a busy scenario in 2022, after the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, indicated that it will raise interest rates to control inflation.
Technology companies are characterized by requiring high levels of investment to gain scale and market share, until they reach profitability in the future.
However, with higher interest rates expected for the next few years on a global scale, investors began in the middle of last year to review the models outlined for the growth of these businesses. This review should intensify in the coming months, according to Ruy Alves, a specialist in global equities at Kinea Investimentos.
According to Alves, this correction began in November last year, “when the Fed began to sound more in favor of tightening monetary policy [elevar os juros, o que retira moeda de circulação]”.
In the accumulated of 2022, until January 27, the American stock exchange Nasdaq, known for the high concentration of technology stocks, retreated almost 15%. In the third week of the month alone, the devaluation was 7.5%, the highest for the range since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020.
“Returns on US stocks will be lower and more volatile this year than they were before,” says the manager at Kinea, an investment company controlled by Itaú, with around R$60 billion in assets under management.
The expectation that is starting to gain strength and that has led to the ongoing repricing of shares is that, with the end of the era of easy money approaching, technology companies should find it more difficult to monetize their operations, adds Gabriela Santos, global markets from JP Morgan Asset Management.
According to her, for investors who already have a relevant portion of their investments in technology sector papers, the recommendation is to sell a part of these shares.
“Profit taking has been strong among the companies with the most expensive shares, especially in the technology sector. It’s important for investors to think about the price they are paying for the shares,” says Gabriela, who is based in New York.
Instead, says the expert, investors should prioritize shares in companies that are more dependent on the current economic situation, in sectors such as banking, industry and basic materials.
“It makes sense to have a reorientation of portfolios from the growth style represented by the technology sector, to the value style in sectors such as banking, industry, energy, which are at the highest discounts in 20 years”, says the strategist.
“What worked in the last cycle will not necessarily be what will work going forward”, he observes.
In the same vein, Ruy Alves, from Kinea, says that the house’s multi-strategy funds, in the variable income portion, have currently invested in shares of companies more linked to domestic consumption, “which became very cheap”, instead of global shares. in the United States.
Among them, Alves highlights shares on the Brazilian stock exchange of companies such as Assaí, Hapvida, Vivara and Vamos. While the Nasdaq drops almost 15% in 2022, the Ibovespa, the main stock index on the Brazilian stock exchange, is up about 7%, until the 27th.
The Kinea manager says that the instability caused by the Fed’s monetary tightening will affect not only American big tech stocks, but also those of Brazilian companies such as digital banks Nubank and Inter and ecommerce platforms such as Magazine Luiza.
“It’s the type of action that is very much based on an expectation of future growth, and not on the present”, says the Kinea manager.
Gabriela Santos, of JP Morgan Asset, works with a base-case scenario of at least four rate hikes by the Fed throughout 2022, with the US interest rate ending the year within a range between 1% and 1.25% per year. year.
At the end of the high cycle, which should last until mid-2024, the interest rate in the United States should be, “at least”, 2.5% per year, predicts the strategist.
“In the short term, the realization of profits [das ações de tecnologia] may continue, because this is an uncertain monetary tightening cycle”, says the manager of JP Morgan Asset, which has about US$ 2 trillion (R$ 10.8 trillion) in assets under management.
The strategist also says that, if investors still do not have shares in the technology segment, this may be a good time to take advantage of the recent drop in prices to make a purchase, with a long-term view.
Alves, from Kinea, says that he has already started to look more carefully at some businesses that seem to have excessive discounts. He cites the case of Netflix and Twitter. “These are papers that have already had drops of around 50% since the peaks reached in mid-2021, in which we already see value emerging”, he says.
Franklin Templeton’s technology manager Jonathan Curtis recognizes that, with higher interest rates, investors should be more selective when putting money into companies in the new digital economy.
But it also says that, as the use of the tools offered by big techs has advanced tremendously during the last few months of the pandemic, the shares of these companies, which already show robust results, should recover from eventual fluctuations more easily than those of small and medium-sized companies. midsize.
“There shouldn’t be as much pressure on the bigger companies because they’re already big cash generators and investors should feel more comfortable holding those stocks in their portfolios,” says Curtis, who is based in California.
He mentions numbers above market expectations presented this week by Microsoft and Apple.
The manager says that, faced with an environment of persistent inflationary pressure in the United States, companies have increasingly sought to automate their operations as much as possible, in order to gain efficiency and reduce costs.
“We will see volatility, especially among the smallest companies in the sector, but the fundamentals are still very strong. I am not worried about the increase in interest rates affecting the fundamentals of these companies, in an environment of high inflation that leads to the search for greater automation by part of the companies”, says Curtis.
The strategist says that, in the portfolio of the fund dedicated to the technology sector under his management, he holds Nubank shares.
“I consider Nubank a very promising company, with a strong relationship with its clients, solving problems not only in Brazil, but throughout Latin America, helping clients to have access to fundamental financial services”, says the manager of Franklin Templeton, a global company with around US$ 1.5 trillion (R$ 8.1 trillion) in assets under management.
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