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FANG's Strong Run Gives Risky Exchange-Traded Product Top Marks

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01/13/2020 | 12:13pm EST

By Michael Wursthorn

The FANG stocks are already sinking their teeth into 2020.

The long-running FANG trade of buying highflying technology stocks including Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. is continuing to pay off for investors this year. All four stocks are up at least 2%, led by Facebook, which has surged 7.4%.

Those gains have pushed one exchange-traded product that tracks those stocks and uses leverage to magnify its returns near the top of the leaderboard.

The MicroSectors FANG+ Index 3X Leveraged exchange-traded note is up 23% this year, better than most of the other 2,300 exchange-traded products listed in the U.S., including other leveraged and non-leveraraged products, according to according to Morningstar. That follows a 117% rise last year.

The note, launched by Bank of Montreal in 2018, tracks an index that has an equal exposure to 10 technology and communication stocks, including the FANG companies, as well as Tesla Inc., Apple Inc., Nvidia Corp., Twitter Inc., Baidu Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. All of those stocks have outperformed the broader market through the first two weeks of the year.

But the FANG+ note takes on additional layers of risk to deliver an even bigger return.

Unlike an exchange-traded fund, exchange-traded notes don't own a portfolio of assets. They are simply debt issues by banks that promise a return to the investor linked to the performance of the assets they track. If the issuer collapsed and couldn't pay off the debt, the investors could lose everything. ETFs, on the other hand, generally can liquidate their assets.

The note also uses derivatives to magnify the moves of the underlying index. So while the index tracked by the note is up just 7.3%, the FANG+ note has risen more than three times that. The leverage, however, works both ways and has the potential to magnify losses, making the strategy especially risky during volatile periods.

Even without the leverage, FANG stocks remain outperformers. The S&P 500, which has risen 1.4% in 2020, trails the 10-stock FANG index by about 6 percentage points.

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This item was corrected on Jan. 14, 2020 to show that The MicroSectors FANG+ Index 3X Leveraged exchange-traded note as of Monday had risen more than three times the index it tracks. An earlier version incorrectly said the note had risen nearly three times the index it tracks.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING -2.50% 212.59 Delayed Quote.2.80%
ALPHABET INC. -2.21% 1483.46 Delayed Quote.13.85%
APPLE INC. -2.26% 313.05 Delayed Quote.9.08%
BANK OF MONTREAL -0.33% 100.92 Delayed Quote.0.45%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.78% 28992.41 Delayed Quote.2.84%
FACEBOOK -2.05% 210.18 Delayed Quote.4.55%
MORNINGSTAR, INC. -1.92% 161.56 Delayed Quote.9.52%
NASDAQ 100 -1.88% 9446.687755 Delayed Quote.10.27%
NASDAQ COMP. -1.79% 9576.590101 Delayed Quote.8.47%
NETFLIX, INC. -1.54% 380.07 Delayed Quote.19.35%
NVIDIA CORPORATION -4.74% 294.07 Delayed Quote.31.19%
S&P 500 -1.05% 3337.75 Delayed Quote.4.81%
TESLA, INC. 0.18% 901 Delayed Quote.115.00%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 85 662 M
EBIT 2020 31 475 M
Net income 2020 25 987 M
Finance 2020 68 372 M
Yield 2020 -
P/E ratio 2020 23,3x
P/E ratio 2021 19,4x
EV / Sales2020 6,34x
EV / Sales2021 5,12x
Capitalization 612 B
Chart FACEBOOK
Duration : Period :
Facebook Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends FACEBOOK
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsNeutralBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 52
Average target price 244,76  $
Last Close Price 210,18  $
Spread / Highest target 42,7%
Spread / Average Target 16,5%
Spread / Lowest Target -42,9%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Sheryl Kara Sandberg Chief Operating Officer & Director
David M. Wehner Chief Financial Officer
Michael Todd Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer
Atish Banerjea Chief Information Officer
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