Written by: Steve Clayton, HL Select Global Growth Fund Manager
Over in the States, the Q1 earnings season has kicked off. Energy stocks earnings should benefit from the surge in oil and gas prices. But we expect to see the strongest underlying growth coming from the technology sectors, where demand for the products and software that underpin the digital economy looks set to keep marching higher for years to come.
Here are some interesting names that are changing industries with new technologies:
Kornitt Digital is a US listed business, headquartered in Israel and seeking to fix one of the world’s greatest ecological challenges. Textile production is hugely impactful on the environment. Cotton is a crop with huge water demand and then the production of fabrics utilises yet more, whilst the dyeing process can be highly polluting. Kornitt’s digital fabric printing technologies allow inks to be applied directly to the fabrics, rather than immersing the garments into dyes. The result is a big reduction in the carbon and ecological footprint of the fabric and garment production processes. Their technology is advancing, allowing Kornitt to be applied to more and more fabric and garment production categories.
Zebra Technologies is helping workplaces, healthcare settings and warehouses to go digital. Their bar code and RFID technologies allow businesses to track goods around their facilities, hospitals to locate equipment and personnel. Zebra’s products can play key roles in automating business processes and the business is a direct beneficiary of the rising investment in digitisation by companies worldwide.
GoDaddy brings the benefit of digital commerce to small businesses and sole traders alike. Their core business was supplying domain addresses but the business has expanded to provide a suite of products that allow smaller companies and traders to progress through to a full suite of ecommerce capabilities. Key to their success is a low cost of acquiring new customers, who might typically sign up for a domain name and to have a website built and hosted, but then add additional products as their business scales.
With the world re-opened to travel, Booking.com should be cleared for take-off. Booking is best placed among the digital travel agents to benefit due to its commanding shares within the hotel and accommodation booking sectors. They have a leading digital car rental service in the shape of Rentalcars to add to the offering and have also partnered with Viator, one of the leading excursion aggregators to offer the full range of services for people building their vacations online.