Facebook’s backflip is good news for Australian media … and which ASX stock has the X-factor

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Feb 26, 2021, in Features

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Facebook is back.

After the backlash from world leaders, Facebook decided to do business with the Australian government and deal monetarily with news providers.

The results is that Australian Facebook users now have their newsfeeds back and

Australian media companies, whose revenues have slowly declined over the last few years, as individuals took to the internet and social media for their daily news, may now claw some of that revenue back.

“The Australian government must be applauded for the recent agreements with both Google and Facebook, which has forced Facebook to negotiate and pay for content from Australian media companies,” Wealth Within founder Dale Gilham says.

“Australia used to have several very strong media companies that we all enjoyed owning shares in, however, this has changed dramatically over the last decade as several household names now no longer trade on the stock exchange. While the recent agreements with Google and Facebook is good news, you have to question whether it is not only too late to save our local industry but to see it grow once again.

“In my opinion, Australians need to have a very strong independent media presence rather than just being part of a global newsfeed that seeks to censor what we see, read and hear. Australia has many great journalists and I think the government needs to go further to ensure the independence that Australians value by ensuring media companies supply a large percentage of locally produced content. This would not only protect our media industry and jobs for those in the industry, but it would also protect our way of life.

“Google, Facebook and other social media companies have had their way for far too long, as they have been able to dictate to and manipulate what information we consume. As such, they have created mass division in the US, which has played out on TV screens around the world over the last six months. So, once again, I congratulate the government for taking these first steps, although I hope these are only the first steps and that there is more to come.”

Otherwise it may be back to cat memes as a news source.

Two stocks to watch

Elixir Energy (ASX: EXR)

Elixir’s share price has been running the past two weeks and is now up to 22 cents.

EXR made Mongolia’s first ever gas discovery and is now progressively unlocking a massive, clean burning, natural gas source in Mongolia.

This gas resource is right on China’s doorstep and could help China replace burning coal for its energy needs.

Read: EXR Doubles its Gas Resource on China's Doorstep

MyFiziq Limited (ASX: MYQ)

Big news for MYQ this week, with the announcement that it has made two prominent Board appointments and signed on William Bradford in a full-time capacity as MYQ’s new Global Chief Business Officer for MyFiziq in the US.

The appointments strengthen MYQ’s US appeal ahead of its imminent NASDAQ listing.

Mr Bradford has a very strong CV.

Here are just a few highlights of his career to date:

  • running Fox.com, the Fox Now streaming service
  • Running all of Fox’s social platforms
  • Leading digital innovations such as launching online voting for American Idol and The X Factor
  • Served as Chief Product Officer on the Hulu launch team - a joint venture between Fox and NBC
  • Held product roles at Yahoo!, American Online, and tech implementation leadership roles at Oracle Corporation.

Most recently, he was the Chief Digital Office at Beachbody LLC - now one of the most successful online fitness and nutrition platforms in the US.

Bradford built the strategy and team that delivered the core engagement hub for customers, and this product now commands over US$1BN in annual revenue.

Beachbody is now set to list on the NASDAQ via a $2.9 billion SPAC merger and MYQ will be hoping he can deliver similar traction.

The other two appointments include Mr Edward Greissing Jr who works with global business and government leaders, investors, philanthropy, NGOs, and academic thought leaders to improve health outcomes for individuals and communities everywhere and Mrs Luisa Ingargiola who has almost 20 years of experience in public company finance, compliance, capital markets oversight and mergers and acquisitions.

In terms of her skillset in relation to MYQ, Ms Ingargiola has helped guide the uplist or IPO of several companies to NASDAQ or the NYSE.

She has been involved in the successful execution of over $500 million in financing and merger transactions and has assisted companies navigate Board governance, merger diligence, regulatory compliance, financial controls and corporate strategy.

The best and worst performing sectors this week

Energy is the best performing sector up over 5 per cent followed by Materials up over 4 per cent, while Financials is up over 1 per cent. The worst performing sectors include Information Technology up over 7 per cent followed by Communication Services and Consumer Discretionary, which is down over 4 and 3 per cent respectively.

The best performers in the ASX/S&P top 100 stocks include IDP Education up over 13 per cent followed by Lend Lease Group up over 12 per cent and Nine Entertainment Co up over 11 per cent. The worst performers include Appen down over 21 per cent, The a2 Milk Company down over 15 per cent and SEEK Limited down over 14 per cent.

What's next for the Australian share market?

According to Gillham, “The Australian stock market continued its sideways movement this week up one day and down the next, highlighting the erratic nature our market has been in since we welcomed in 2021. Despite this, I believe the current unpredictability will ease and that the All Ordinaries Index will start to move in an upward direction overall in the next month and possibly longer.

“I am confident we will see the market trade higher into March to not only achieve a new all-time high but in doing so trade above 7,400 points. That said, any move up now will be short lived as the next low for the Australian stock market will occur in late April or May. As I have previously communicated, opportunities are likely to come from sectors such as Energy, Materials and Financials.”

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