Corona exposes the companies that are only apparently digital

Uber office in Hong Kong

The travel agent Uber announced billions in depreciation and withdrew its forecast.


(Photo: dpa)

The analysis was as short as it was hard. “Most people will be poorer after the corona crisis,” said Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, a few days ago. But this hardly applies to many founders of large internet companies. The assets of AmazonChief Jeff Bezos can’t do anything about the corona pandemic. The richest man in the world has even risen a few billion dollars since New Year’s Eve. No stock was able to recover as quickly from the stock market crash in March as the papers of the world’s largest online delivery service.

Crisis? What crisis? Many technology companies are emerging as preliminary economic winners of the pandemic. The streaming service Netflix overtook the traditional group for the first time this week Disney as the most valuable media company in the world. In the shadow of Corona, a changing of the guard that has already begun is gaining momentum. “Euphoria is your enemy,” is one of the bon mot of legendary investor Warren Buffett.

But there is much to suggest that the enthusiasm of the stock exchange is more rational than many might think – although investors should carefully differentiate. Because Covid-19 is primarily a virus that hits the analogue world with full force. Corona, on the other hand, is becoming a turbocharger for the digital world: In the home office, people are now communicating via online video conferences, ordering their food and new shoes via digital delivery services and discovering that films can be streamed quite well at home.

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Even if normal life returns little by little, many people will never forget this: Digitization offers – also and especially in crisis situations – many opportunities that make life easier.

But Corona is also currently exposing which companies are digital, but which are not really. So the operator broke Over already posted depreciation in the billions and withdrew its forecast. Uber is essentially a taxi business. The company is more like the car rental company Sixt, which, however, has a solid balance sheet.

Investors should therefore weigh it up carefully. Only companies whose heart beats as completely as possible in the digital world are little affected by the economic consequences of Covid-19. That should ensure that Netflix & Co. emerge stronger from the crisis. Technology stocks have so far been considered more volatile on the stock exchange. That could change. Large technology companies like Google, Facebook and Apple have what it takes to become the safe havens of the future on the stock exchange.

More: Softbank puts € 38 billion package against the stock collapse.

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