Stocks go up, stocks go down, what does it all mean? In the very recent declines of the stock price of credible companies, you saw them punished for good quarters but guiding lower. Even “big tech” stocks like Google and Amazon were punished for revenue misses and cloudy guidance.
And then there’s China–is the US in a trade war or a new cold war? (Read Mike Pillsbury for the answer.) Spotify’s has double whammy exposure to China trade woes plus the Ten Cent investment (itself getting hammered by China’s President for Life’s concerns about videogame addiction).
What’s happening with the Spotify stock price? I would argue the main downward driver for SPOT is much more straightforward–the market is simply catching up to the Spotify DPO and its insider-heavy stock sales. We won’t really know the hard numbers on insider trades until the SEC starts making those insider Form 4 sales more easily available online. That should should happen any day now (and none of the mainstream music industry publications seem to be interested enough in the the truth setting them free to actually dig through the SEC Form 4 filings at the source).
But–there could be enough shares out there in the marketplace that SPOT may be starting to trade like an IPO as opposed to an insider cash-out (or DPO). And once the market really becomes part of the Spotify trading day and trading volume increases, a few things start happening. One is that as more shares are held by the public, there are an increasing number of shares available to allow the “buy high, sell low” short trading that can cause big swings in a stock’s price due to short covering if nothing else.
SPOT also starts to become more susceptible to the other stocks in its cohort as more retail investors have to answer the question, what will I sell to buy Spotify? The answer will be different for different people, but if there are more sellers than there are buyers, we know what happens. That’s why the majors, Sony in particular, were very smart to start selling their holdings almost immediately.
What would you sell to buy Spotify? Probably not its competitor Apple–whose shares trade almost opposite to Spotify on a relative basis.
If you’re looking at the performance of SPOT, you have to ask yourself what about this chart says “buy”?
You have a stock that’s broken through both its 100 and 50 day moving averages to the downside as of yesterday, and so far in today’s action is testing lower lows. And not surprisingly sank like a stone following a “head and shoulders” top technical chart pattern indicating a potential bearish trend that has now been confirmed (as I began watching in June on Music Tech Policy before the stock gave up almost $50 of its share price).
I guess the MMA safe harbor is priced in.
Keep asking yourself that question: What would I sell to buy SPOT? If you’re not an insider, that question will eventually guide you (and the market) to the right share price. That will have nothing to do with Spotify’s royalty payouts, how many floors of World Trade Center it rents, or competition with YouTube or Apple. Don’t let the analysts (or the company) fool you–although some analyists are starting to face the Spotify reality.
That will be–I would suggest–a problem with the insider-controlled Direct Public Offering structure and the SEC’s decision to allow Spotify to price at a meaninglessly high number. What goes up on fantasy comes down hard on reality.
Buckle your chin strap.