Roku Would Fare Best Among Consumer Tech Stocks Under Sanders

D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte says Roku will gain from Bernie Sanders' promise of free broadband internet for all, says an analyst.
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Looking at the impact of a Bernie Sanders presidency on consumer technology companies, streaming platform/player company Roku  (ROKU) - Get Report would fare best and Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report would fare worst, according to D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte.

Roku would gain from Sanders’ promise to provide broadband internet service to all, Forte wrote in a report. Roku can take advantage of that through its advertising business and “by selling consumers its proprietary hardware or having consumers purchase smart TV's with with its operating system.”

As for Apple, Sanders’ commitment to ending corporate tax breaks would hurt the tech giant, given its position as one of the largest taxpayers in the country, Forte said. Also, “the tax cuts freed up additional capital for Apple to return money to shareholders via buybacks, which contributed to the strong performance of its stock in 2019, in particular.”

Forte’s No. 2-ranked Bernie beneficiary is online retailer Qurate Retail  (QRTEA) - Get Report. The idea here is that consumers have been distracted by the drama surrounding President Trumpso his exit from the White House would send them back to their electronic devices for shopping.

Forte’s No. 2-ranked Sanders casualty is Amazon.com AMZN. 

“While there are multiple policies of Mr. Sanders that could be favorable to Amazon, taken as a whole, the company would be negatively impacted,” the analyst wrote.

The biggest problem is Sanders’ desire to double the size of unions, Forte said. “Amazon, for the most part, has avoided unions at its U.S. operations,” he noted. “We believe this would materially increase the cost of its labor,” especially at fulfillment centers.

Amazon also would get hit by higher corporate taxes, just like Apple, Forte wrote.

At last check, Roku traded at $112.64, down 5.65%; Apple was at $298.65, down 4.6%; Qurate at $9.10, down 1.89%; and Amazon at $2,004.78, down 4.35%.