THE CHANGING FORTUNES OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST
he luxury goods market has taken a particularly big hit during the pandemic, but luxury conglomerate LVMH reported signs of a comeback last week. The news—and subsequent stock rally—has made its chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault, $8 billion richer this week, with a net worth of $122 billion.
Between Thursday, October 15 and Thursday, October 22, LVMH’s stock jumped 6%, far outperforming the S&P 500, which was down 0.9% over that time period, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was down 0.5%.
LVMH is not out of the woods. The company—parent to legacy brands like Bulgari, Guerlain and Dom Pérignon—reported a 21% drop in revenue in the first nine months of the year on October 15. Its cosmetics, beverage, jewelry and retail sectors all reported lower revenues in the third quarter than for the same period last year, but its fashion and leather goods business was up 12%. The boost to the company’s largest division was driven largely by strong sales from Louis Vuitton and Dior.
LVMH is not the only luxury house experiencing an uptick. Birkin bag-maker Hermès also reported 7% growth in the third quarter. Although sales were way down in Europe and the Americas, they were up nearly 21% in Asia as countries that have successfully controlled the spread of Covid-19, including China and South Korea, experience a strong economic recovery.
Arnault wasn’t the only billionaire to gain big money this week. Social media stocks experienced gains thanks to a strong quarterly report from Snap Inc, which crushed investor expectations for revenue, sending the stock soaring 37% . It also has lost a would-be competitor. On Wednesday, short-form video service Quibi announced it was shutting down after only six months. Between October 15 and October 22, Snap cofounders Evan Spiegel (net worth: $7.7 billion) and Bobby Murphy (net worth: $8.1 billion) got $2 billion and $2.2 billion richer, respectively.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Snap Inc. Co-Founder & CEO Evan Spiegel speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 at Moscone Convention Center on October 04, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)Getty Images for TechCrunch
Snap’s success led investors in Facebook to expect even stronger numbers when the site reports quarterly earnings next week. Facebook’s stock rose 4.3% over the week through Thursday, despite the Senate Judiciary Committee’s move to subpoena Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over their platforms’ moderating of a New York Post article that made what appear to be unverified claims about Hunter Biden. As of October 22, Zuckerberg was worth $102.1 billion, up $4.1 billion in the week .
Google parent company Alphabet also had a strong week, gaining 3.6% between October 15 and October 22. The stock rose ahead of next week’s earnings announcement, despite the antitrust case announced by the Department of Justice on October 20. Google cofounders Sergey Brin (net worth: $69.6 billion) and Larry Page (net worth: $71.6 billion) each gained $2.1 billion.
HERE ARE THE BILLIONAIRES WHOSE FORTUNES INCREASED THE MOST THIS WEEK.
The net worth change is from close of markets Thursday, October 15 to Thursday, October 22.