By now most investors know that they can make a lot of money if they own a stock President Trump likes. But what they don’t know is that they could make even more money when he “hates” one.
Like he “hates” the company I want to tell you about today.
The Last Time We Saw This Pattern, You Could Have Grabbed 1,180%
What was the one sector that created more millionaires under President Obama than any other?
Many investors think it’s renewable energy thanks to the tens of billions of dollars in stimulus the president sent that direction. It’s not for nothing that energy-heavy investments like Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (NYSE: BEP) returned 170% during Obama’s tenure.
Others will tell you that it’s got to be health insurers thanks to Obamacare. That’s a good guess considering companies like United Health Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) turned every $10,000 invested into $80,600 under his administration for a jaw-dropping 706% return.
But the real answer may take you by surprise.
President Obama hated guns with a passion and seemingly went out of his way to cripple the industry. Yet, gun-related companies like American Outdoors Brand Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) – formerly Smith & Wesson – shot up more than 1,100% during his time in office.
Now, we’re seeing the same story unfold – just with a new president and a new company.
Never one to mince words, President Trump has made it very clear that he cannot stand his coverage by The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT).
And legions of Trump-haters have responded accordingly… by signing up!
Just as President Obama prompted a run on gun sales, President Trump is inadvertently creating a subscription boom that defies the imagination.
When Legions of Liberals Hit “Subscribe”
This is counterintuitive, but every time President Trump lashes out at The New York Times, hundreds if not thousands of anti-Trumpers hit “subscribe” as a personal act of defiance.
For example, The New York Times added 41,000 subscribers to its print and digital platforms in under a week following his election. And the paper’s numbers are accelerating with each new diatribe.
The company’s CEO, Mark Thompson, is crystal clear on the benefit that progressive contempt for Trump can have on The New York Times – so much so that he couldn’t help but wrap the anti-Trump mantle around his paper when he had this to say during the company’s most recent earnings conference:
President Trump was once again busy tweeting this weekend that our audiences and our subscribers were, to use his word, “dwindling.”
Well, not so much, Mr. President. We had spectacular audiences in the quarter, with 220 million unique users coming to us in November, for example. And, as for subscribers, in Q4 we added 276,000 net new digital subscriptions to our news product. For comparisons, that’s more net new subscriptions in one quarter than we added in the whole of 2013 and 2014 combined.” [my emphasis added… combined!]
What Thompson didn’t say is that each of the 276,000 new subscribers may be paying the company up to $237.6 a year for subscriptions. That’s the single best quarter for the newspaper in more than five years.
Obviously the paper still has a long way to go, but numbers are numbers.
The New York Times just celebrated its three millionth subscriber, which is worth noting when you consider the potential universe of more than 65 million Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton.
Interestingly, the numbers are not entirely driven by liberal Americans like you’d think.
People around the world are taking part. According to company data, foreigners living outside the United States account for 13% of NYT subscribers, which works out to nearly 300,000 readers and a percentage that has held steady well beyond last November’s “Trump Bump.”
Here’s where it really gets interesting, though.
Three Reasons President Trump Will Be Better for the NYT Than President Obama Was for Gun Stocks
Millions of Americans who value their guns had a major market impact for gun stocks. But that was “only” a few million Americans, because people abroad had no Obama-driven incentive to buy arms and ammunition. In many cases, they couldn’t because their governments prohibited doing so.
But we’re not talking about “only” a few million Americans here. We’re talking about tens or even hundreds of millions of people both at home and abroad who disdain Trump and who are happy to shell out a few dollars a week to stick an imagined thumb in his eye by purchasing a subscription.
What I like about this from an investment perspective is that President Trump isn’t afraid to burn bridges abroad any more than he is at home in his quest to “make America great again.” That suggests millions of potential subscribers around the globe will be turned off accordingly, no matter who else is cheering.
Another plus is that signing up for The New York Times is much quicker and easier than buying a gun in America. You don’t need to pass a background check nor do you have to wait three days to complete the purchase, for example. You merely point and click, as I expect millions of people to do during Trump’s administration.
And finally, President Trump is a tireless tweeter, which means he continually returns to the proverbial well every time he hits the “send” button. President Obama’s elections and his 2015 executive order to strengthen background checks each happened once.
Trump rails on The New York Times several times a day when he gets going, and every one of his tweets is almost instantaneously retweeted by followers and opponents alike. Naturally the media has a field day with this, and that further enhances the reach we’re talking about.
Normally I’d say a social play like this dies down as the novelty wears off, but I don’t think that’ll be the case any time soon based on Thompson’s defiant comments. Like any good CEO who understands his market, he knows exactly how much his paper has to gain by provoking President Trump.
That’s why I expect The New York Times to become even more hostile towards the president, and why I think the profits we’ve seen to date may be but a fraction of what’s ultimately on the table.
And to think that people don’t find politics profitable.
Until next time,