Daily Market Report | Oct. 29, 2020

US FINANCIAL MARKET

U.S. Stocks Edge Up Ahead of Tech Earnings – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • U.S. stocks edged up Thursday, rebounding after fresh data showed jobless claims dropped and the economy expanded sharply in the third quarter.
  • Worries that an uptick in Covid-19 cases will lead to new lockdowns and restrictions, which could erode the pace of economic recovery, have weighed on markets this week in both the U.S. and Europe.
  • The U.S. reported nearly 79,000 new coronavirus cases for Wednesday, the second day in a row the total has come in over 70,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • France and Germany on Wednesday unveiled new restrictions on business and social activity, including shutting down restaurants, bars and some shops for a few weeks to stem the rising tide of infections.
  • Fresh data showed that 751,000 Americans applied for initial unemployment benefits through the week ended Saturday, down from a seasonally adjusted 791,000 in the prior week.
  • The decline is a sign that the labor market is slowly recovering, though claims remain at historically high levels.
  • Meanwhile, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter rose at an annual pace of 33.1%, the biggest gain ever.
  • The increase followed a record drop in output earlier in the year when the virus and related shutdowns disrupted business activity across the country.
  • Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon.com and Twitter are scheduled to report their latest financial results after markets close, marking what may be the most important day of the current earnings season for the tech sector.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Cases Surge in Several States – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • New coronavirus cases continued to climb in the U.S. as several states reported daily totals near all-time highs.
  • The U.S. reported nearly 79,000 new coronavirus cases for Wednesday, the second day in a row the total has come in over 70,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Illinois reported more than 6,100 new cases for Wednesday, just below a record set Saturday. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia also reported totals that were the second-highest since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins data.
  • Across the country, more than 45,000 people were hospitalized due to Covid-19 as of Wednesday, a level last reached on Aug. 14, in the midst of the summer surge in infections, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
  • The nation’s death toll rose by 996 Wednesday, slightly higher than the 985 fatalities reported a day earlier, according to Johns Hopkins. The total U.S. death toll stands at more than 227,000.

France, Germany Announce New Lockdowns to Combat Covid-19 Resurgence – Wall Street Journal, 10/28/20

  • France and Germany announced new lockdowns Wednesday in a sign of how Europe’s strategy for containing the coronavirus has buckled under the pressure of mounting cases and deaths.
  • In a national TV address, French President Emmanuel Macron announced tough restrictions. A national lockdown, which will begin Friday and last at least one month, will require people to remain inside their homes while restaurants, bars and shops deemed nonessential will close, he said.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country’s federal and state governments had agreed to a one-month shutdown of restaurants, bars, fitness studios, concert halls and theaters, starting Nov. 2. Hotels are barred from hosting tourists until the end of the month, she said, and public gatherings will be limited to 10 people from two households.
  • In France, which has emerged as the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak, the seven-day average of new daily patients admitted for intensive care has increased by 38% over the past week. More than half of the beds in ICUs are now occupied by 2,918 Covid patients, according to health authorities. At the peak of the crisis in April, more than 7,000 Covid patients were in ICUs.
  • Germany’s main epidemiology institute, the Robert Koch Institut, reported Wednesday a record of 14.964 new daily infections.
  • In a study published Thursday, Imperial College London and polling company Ipsos Mori estimated the number of new daily infections in England was running at 96,000 over the 10 days through Oct. 25, almost six times higher than the average official daily case count for the same period.
  • French Budget Secretary Olivier Dussopt said on Wednesday that a new monthlong lockdown could cost France up to 2 to 2.5 percentage points of economic output.
  • The restrictions from Europe’s two biggest economies are likely to pile pressure on other countries to follow suit.

Shopify revenue beats estimates as online boom pulls in more merchants – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Canadian e-commerce firm Shopify beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue on Thursday, as more brick-and-mortar businesses listed on its platform to tap the pandemic-driven surge in online shopping.
  • Revenue, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, came in at $767.4 million, a 96% surge on-year, and above analysts’ estimate of $663.4 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • The Canadian company’s gross merchandise volume (GMV), a metric used in the e-commerce sector to measure transaction volumes, surged 109% to $30.9 billion in the quarter, the highest since its IPO in 2015.

Visa profit falls 23% as payment volumes plunge – Reuters, 10/28/20

  • Visa missed Wall Street estimates for fourth quarter profit on Wednesday, as high unemployment due to the coronavirus-induced recession continued to weigh on consumer spending.
  • Net revenue fell 17% to $4.8 billion as consumer spending was limited due to the health crisis, which has triggered the worst economic downturn in decades and prompted massive layoffs.
  • The payments processor said total spending decreased 10% on a constant dollar basis, and the number of processed transactions tumbled 13% from a year earlier.
  • Cross-border volume slid 47% as the continuing global pandemic continued to hurt travel demand.
  • Visa’s net income fell to $2.4 billion, or $1.07 per Class A share, for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, from $3.03 billion, or $1.34 per Class A share, a year earlier.

EBay beats quarterly profit estimates, forecasts current-quarter sales above expectations – Reuters, 10/28/20

  • EBay’s quarterly profit topped Wall Street expectations on Wednesday and the e-commerce company forecast fourth-quarter sales above estimates, as people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic took to online shopping.
  • Revenue rose about 25% to $2.61 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.48 billion. However, the company missed its prior revenue forecast of $2.64 billion to $2.71 billion.
  • EBay, which has made its platform simpler to use through grouped listings and personal recommendations, said active buyers grew 5% to 183 million in the third quarter.
  • Net income from continuing operations rose to $621 million, or 88 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $210 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.
  • EBay said it expects fourth-quarter revenue in the range of $2.64 billion to $2.71 billion, while analysts estimate $2.54 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • The company raised its full-year sales outlook to between $10.04 billion and $10.11 billion.

ServiceNow Earnings Top Views, Software Stock Climbs Following Market Sell-Off – Investors Business Daily, 10/28/20

  • ServiceNow earnings and revenue topped Wall Street’s third-quarter estimates on Wednesday while adjusted subscription billings guidance met expectations.
  • ServiceNow earnings rose 22% vs. a year earlier to $1.21 an adjusted share.
  • ServiceNow revenue climbed 30% to $1.15 billion.
  • A year earlier, ServiceNow earned 99 cents a share on sales of $886 million.
  • Analysts expected ServiceNow earnings of $1.03 a share on revenue of $1.11 billion for the period ended Sept. 30.
  • The software maker said it closed 41 deals with more than $1 million in net new annual contract value vs. 40 in the previous quarter.
  • In addition, the software maker said subscription revenue rose 31% to $1.09 billion, topping estimates of $1.06 billion.
  • For the current December quarter, ServiceNow forecast subscription revenue in a range of $1.14 billion to $1.15 billion vs. analyst estimates of $1.127 billion.
  • Also, ServiceNow said it expects adjusted subscription billings in a range of $1.61 billion to $1.63 billion vs. estimates of $1.61 billion.

Fastly Falls After Missing Q3 Revenue, Profit Expectations – TheStreet, 10/28/20

  • Shares of Fastly dropped after hours Wednesday after the cloud services company reported third-quarter results that missed analyst estimates for the period.
  • The San Francisco-based company reported revenue of $71 million in the quarter, a 42% year over year increase.
  • The company also reported a net loss of 4 cents per share.
  • Analysts were expecting Fastly to report a break-even quarter with revenue of $73.57 million.
  • Fastly’s enterprise customers accounted for 88% of its revenue for the period, holding steady from the previous quarter.
  • Joshua Bixby, CEO of Fastly, touted the company’s customer growth as its total customer count rose to 2,047 in the second quarter from 1,951 the previous quarter.

Pinterest’s Revenue Soars as Pandemic Boosts Engagement – Wall Street Journal, 10/28/20

  • Pinterest posted strong revenue and user growth in the third quarter, as the social-media company saw significantly greater pandemic-fueled engagement than it did in the spring and said it benefited from an advertiser boycott at Facebook.
  • The image-sharing company that makes money exclusively through advertising sales said revenue rose 58% from a year earlier to $443 million, compared with 4% growth in the second quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected sales of $383 million.
  • Monthly users world-wide rose by 37% in the third quarter to 442 million, beating analysts’ expectations of an 11% increase.
  • International user numbers soared 46% compared with 13% for the U.S.
  • Pinterest reported a third-quarter loss of $94 million.
  • That figure reflects a one-time charge of $90 million during the period for the termination of an office lease in San Francisco.
  • It compares with a loss of $125 million in the same quarter a year ago.
  • For the current quarter, San Francisco-based Pinterest expects revenue to grow approximately 60%.

Spotify adds more subscribers as music streaming gets back on track – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Spotify added more subscribers than expected in the third quarter and forecast strong growth in the current quarter as the music streaming service expands into more markets.
  • Third-quarter revenue rose 14% to 1.98 billion euros ($2.34 billion). Analysts were expecting 2 billion euros.
  • Premium subscribers, which account for most of its revenue, rose 27% to 144 million in the third quarter from a year earlier.
  • Analysts on average were expecting 142.5 million paid subscribers, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • Spotify now has 1.9 million podcasts, up from 1.5 million in the second quarter, boosted by big launches such as “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and “Mama Knows Best” by influencer Addison Rae.
  • It reported a net loss attributable to the company of 101 million euros, or 58 euro cents per share, versus a profit of 241 million euros, or 36 euros cents, a year earlier, when it benefitted from one-off gains.
  • Spotify lowered the top end of its revenue guidance range for the fourth quarter to 2.2 billion euros from 2.25 billion.
  • Spotify expects 150-154 million total premium subscribers in the fourth quarter, versus analysts’ forecast of 151.5 million.

Gilead cuts 2020 sales outlook as COVID-19 drug remdesivir falls short – Reuters, 10/28/20

  • Gilead Sciences on Wednesday cut its 2020 revenue forecast, citing lower-than-expected demand and difficulty in predicting sales of remdesivir, the only treatment approved in the United States for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Third-quarter revenue of $6.6 billion beat the average analysts’ estimate of $6.31 billion.
  • Remdesivir brought in $873 million in the quarter, below analysts’ estimates of $960 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
  • Sales of the company’s flagship HIV drugs rose 8% from a year earlier to $4.55 billion, as patient demand normalized following disruption related to the pandemic.
  • The company posted adjusted earnings per share of $2.11, topping Wall Street expectations by 21 cents.
  • Gilead lowered the top end of its full-year sales outlook to $23.5 billion, which is below Wall Street estimates of $24.1 billion.
  • The company had previously forecast 2020 sales as high as $25 billion.

Comcast beats revenue expectations on broadband growth – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Comcast on Thursday reported better-than-expected third-quarter revenue, as strong sign-ups for broadband offset pandemic-related weakness in its theme park and filmed entertainment businesses.
  • Comcast reported third-quarter revenue of $25.53 billion, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $24.74 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • The company’s NBCUniversal segment, which includes NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures, reported revenue of $6.72 billion, down 18.9% from a year earlier.
  • Revenue at the filmed entertainment unit fell 25% from a year earlier due to shuttered movie theaters. Theme park revenue plummeted 80.9%.
  • Broadcast TV advertising revenue was down 11.5% and ad revenue at Comcast’s cable networks fell 2.1%.
  • The media giant gained 633,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of 534,000 net additions, according to research firm FactSet.
  • Comcast lost 273,000 video customers in the quarter, fewer than the 466,000-loss estimated by FactSet and fewer than the 477,000 video customers it lost in the second quarter.
  • Comcast said it had 22 million signups to its Peacock streaming service, launched nationwide on July 15.
  • The company reported adjusted earnings per share of 65 cents, down 17.7% from the same period a year ago.

Etsy Sales Lifted by Demand for Face Masks – Wall Street Journal, 10/28/20

  • Etsy reported higher sales in the fiscal third quarter as online shoppers flocked to its platform looking for masks and home décor, making the e-commerce company a standout in a struggling retail sector.
  • The online marketplace for buying and selling handmade and vintage items said revenue more than doubled to $451.5 million from a year ago, propelled in part by demand for masks.
  • Gross merchandise sales, a metric that looks at the total value of items sold on the e-commerce site, more than doubled to $2.63 billion.
  • Etsy’s 3.7 million active sellers, which have grown from 3.1 million in the second quarter, have helped the company fill supply-chain gaps where other retail companies like Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Wayfair and IKEA are still struggling.
  • Etsy had 69.6 million active buyers on its platform in the third quarter, up from 60.3 million buyers in the second and 44.8 million in the year-earlier period. The company said that of 138 million total buyers on its platform, about 50% have purchased something on its platform within the last year.
  • Etsy’s earnings rose to $91.8 million, or 70 cents a share, from $14.8 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Coach owner Tapestry beats sales estimates on strong China demand – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Coach owner Tapestry beat quarterly results estimates on Thursday and forecast growth for the year as demand for luxury handbags and apparel rebounds in China from pandemic lows.
  • Net sales fell 13.7% to $1.17 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 26, but beat analysts’ average estimate of $1.07 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • The New York fashion house’s shares gained 8% in premarket trading as it said online sales jumped by a triple-digit percentage while sales in Mainland China rose in double digits, reflecting similar trends reported by European peers LVMH, Kering and Hermes.
  • The company’s net income rose to $231.7 million from $20 million a year earlier, when Tapestry took on more than $70 million in impairment charges.

DuPont results, annual forecast beat estimates on cost-cutting push – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • DuPont forecast annual profit above expectations on Thursday as a tight check on costs and a recovery in the automotive industry, one of its biggest markets, helped the industrial materials maker’s quarterly results beat estimates.
  • Sales of $5.1 billion also surpassed $5 billion estimated by analysts.
  • Its third-quarter sales in transportation and industrial business fell 14%, but rose 20% from the prior quarter.
  • Sales in its electronics and imaging business rose 7%, helped by builds in semiconductor technologies ahead of the launch of some premium smartphones.
  • DuPont’s adjusted earnings per share of 88 cents for the quarter beat estimates of 75 cents.
  • DuPont raised its cost-cut target, saying it expects to save $280 million for the year, $100 million more than its prior forecast, as it renegotiated some contracts and speeded up its workforce reduction plans.
  • It forecast full-year profit of $3.17 to $3.21 per share, well above estimates of $3.03, according to Refinitiv data.
  • Net sales forecast of $20.1 billion to $20.2 billion was at its midpoint, marginally above estimates of $20.1 billion.

Ford sees full-year pretax profit, posts stronger than expected quarterly earnings – Reuters, 10/28/20

  • Ford Motor on Wednesday posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong U.S. demand for pickups and SUVs, and forecast a full-year pretax profit instead of a loss, boosting shares in after-hours trading.
  • The company’s adjusted EBIT margin in the quarter was 9.7%, with a full-year target of 8%.
  • Ford’s net margin in the period was 6.4%.
  • Ford reported net income in the third quarter of $2.4 billion, or 60 cents a share, compared with $400 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.
  • The company said it now anticipates better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, as well as a full-year pretax profit of between $600 million and $1.1 billion.

Sales up at parts maker Aptiv as auto industry bounces – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Auto parts maker Aptiv reported a dip of just 1.5% in third-quarter profit on Thursday, and rising sales, as its key customers ramped up production to deal with a recovery in demand for new cars in Europe, China and the United States.
  • Net sales rose about 3% to $3.7 billion. Sales growth in Europe, Asia and China was offset by a dip of 3% in North America.
  • Sales in the signal and power components unit, which is the company’s biggest business, making connectors, wiring assemblies and electrical power and signal distribution systems for cars, rose about 3% to $2.65 billion in the third quarter.
  • Adjusted net income attributable to Aptiv dipped to $320 million, or $1.13 per share in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $325 million, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier.
  • Aptiv, which counts General Motors and Volkswagen among its biggest customers, also said it expects net sales to be between $12.5 billion and $12.7 billion in 2020, above analysts’ estimate of $12.3 billion.

Western Digital Stock Rallies as Earnings Top Estimates, Driven by PC Growth – Barron’s, 10/28/20

  • Western Digital shares are trading higher after hours on better-than-expected financial results for the company’s fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 30.
  • The disk-drive and flash-memory company posted revenue of $3.9 billion for the quarter, off 3% from a year ago but ahead of the Street consensus at $3.83 billion.
  • Western Digital said revenue in the client-devices segment was $1.95 billion, up 20% from a year ago, driven by growth in demand for solid-state drives used with laptops, desktop PCs, and Chromebooks.
  • In the company’s data-center devices and solutions business, revenue was off 26%, due in part to lower data-center demand due to Covid-19-related shutdowns.
  • Client-solutions revenue—the company’s retail business—was down 5% from a year ago.
  • Non-GAAP profits of 65 cents a share were nicely ahead of the Street at 54 cents.
  • For the December quarter, Western Digital sees revenue of $3.75 billion to $3.95 billion, with non-GAAP profits of 40 to 60 cents a share; previous consensus was $3.86 billion and 64 cents a share.

Taco Bell online growth helps Yum beat comparable sales estimates – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Yum Brands posted a smaller-than-expected drop in comparable sales and beat profit estimates on Thursday, helped by strong online sales at its Taco Bell chain as COVID-19 pandemic fears kept customers at home.
  • Total revenue rose about 8% to $1.45 billion.
  • Comparable sales fell 2% for the KFC owner in the quarter ended Sept. 30, but beat the average analyst estimate of a 3.74% slide, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • Taco Bell posted comparable sales growth of 3%, well above the estimate of a 1.75% rise.
  • At Pizza Hut, Yum’s pizza chain that has long been grappling with stiff competition from Domino’s Pizza and others, comparable sales were down 3% and slipped 4% at KFC.
  • Net income rose about 11% to $283 million in the third quarter, as Yum recorded $8 million of pre-tax income due to the change in fair value of its investment in food delivery firm Grubhub.

Textron profit drops 48% as business jet deliveries fall – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Textron reported a 48% fall in quarterly profit as the Cessna business jet maker’s big corporate clients canceled aircraft orders or deferred deliveries to cut costs during the coronavirus crisis.
  • The company’s business jet deliveries fell 44% to 25 planes in the third quarter ended Oct. 3, but recovered from a 50% slump in the second quarter.
  • The company’s net income fell to $115 million, or 50 cents per share, in the quarter, from $220 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier.

ConocoPhillips posts smaller-than-expected loss as oil prices recover – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Oil producer ConocoPhillips, which is buying Concho Resources for $8.3 billion, posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as it benefited from a recovery in crude oil prices from pandemic-driven lows.
  • Third-quarter production was 1.2 million barrels of oil and gas per day, 4% below last year’s levels.
  • It expects to exit the year making 1.1 million barrels of oil and gas per day.
  • ConocoPhillips reported a loss of $500 million, or 42 cents per share, compared with third-quarter 2019 earnings of $3.1 billion, or $2.74 per share.
  • It narrowly beat analyst expectations with an adjusted loss of 31 cents per share, 1 cent narrower than analysts’ average expectations, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Shell raises dividend as CEO says oil output past peak – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday raised its dividend after easily beating quarterly profit forecasts and CEO Ben van Beurden said the group’s oil output probably peaked in 2019 as he spearheads a transition to low-carbon energy.
  • Its adjusted earnings in the third quarter fell 80% to $955 million, but easily beat company-provided average analysts forecasts of a $146 million profit.
  • In a sign of renewed confidence in its short and long-term outlook, Shell said it would boost its dividend on an annual basis only six months after it cut the payout for the first time since the 1940s.
  • Shell is planning a major restructuring as part of “a complete overhaul” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
  • In line with plans to shrink its oil and gas portfolio, it said on Thursday it would cut back its oil refineries from 14 sites to six “energy and chemical parks”.

Rise in at-home cooking helps Kraft Heinz beat sales expectations – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Kraft Heinz beat third-quarter revenue expectations on Thursday, as consumers bought more of its packaged foods and condiments for at-home cooking, sending its shares up about 4% in premarket trading.
  • The company, known for brands from Philadelphia cream cheese to Heinz ketchup, said quarterly sales grew 6% to $6.44 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $6.32 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
  • Sales in the United States, its biggest market, rose 7.4%, helped by a 4-percentage point hike in prices due to reduced promotional activity compared to a year earlier and as a step to offset higher dairy prices.
  • Organic sales, which strips off impacts from M&A and currency fluctuations, rose 6.3% in the quarter and the company said it continues to expect mid-single-digit organic sales growth for the fourth quarter.
  • Excluding items, the Chicago-based company earned 70 cents per share in the reported quarter.
  • For the full year, Kraft raised its forecast for adjusted core earnings to high single digits from mid single digits.

Ralph Lauren misses revenue estimates, sees more pandemic pain ahead – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Ralph Lauren missed revenue estimates for the second quarter on Thursday, as fewer customers spent on its high-end apparel and accessories during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Net revenue fell about 30% to $1.19 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 26, missing analysts’ average estimate of $1.21 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
  • The company reported a net loss of $39.1 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with a profit of $182.1 million, or $2.34 per share, a year earlier.
  • The luxury apparel retailer said it expects third quarter and full year earnings to continue to be adversely affected by the pandemic that has dulled consumer demand.

Online Beer Sales Soar at Brewers of Budweiser, Miller Lite – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • Homebound drinkers bought more beer online and at supermarkets, cushioning two of the world’s biggest brewers amid Covid-19 restrictions that have cut into sales at bars and restaurants.
  • Revenue fell to $12.82 billion from $13.17 billion for the same period a year ago.
  • But, on an organic basis, revenue rose 4%, beating analysts’ forecasts for a 4.2% decline.
  • Overall beer volumes grew 2.6%, driven largely by South America.
  • AB InBev reported a 20% jump in beer volumes in the region for the quarter.
  • Miller Lite-owner Molson Coors Beverage, meanwhile, said its online beer sales have grown roughly 200% in the U.S. over the course of the pandemic, and it is accelerating e-commerce options for consumers in Canada.
  • AB InBev, which brews one of every four beers sold, including the Budweiser and Bud Light brands, didn’t detail U.S. online sales, but said North American revenue overall grew 4.7% in the quarter on an organic basis—which strips out currency moves and acquisition impacts—compared with a year earlier.
  • AB InBev’s net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 fell to $1.04 billion from $3 billion a year earlier, when results were boosted by a hedging-related gain.
  • Underlying profit, which strips out gains tied to hedging and the impact of inflation, dropped to $1.6 billion from $1.87 billion.

Dunkin’ Closes Stores as Deal Talks Continue – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • Dunkin’ Brands Group said it is continuing to negotiate its possible sale to Arby’s parent Inspire Brands Inc., while closing hundreds of stores hit hard by altered customer behavior during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Sales rose to $361.5 million from $355.9 million. Analysts expected sales of $344.9 million.
  • For the quarter, the chain posted a profit of $74 million, or 89 cents a share, compared with $72.4 million, or 86 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year.
  • Dunkin’ said Thursday that it closed 687 U.S. cafes during the quarter ended Sept. 26 and that it expects to shut a total of 800 domestic locations that underperformed even before the pandemic.
  •  The stores represent 8% of Dunkin’s U.S. total restaurants and approximately 2% of 2019 chain division sales.

Marvell Nears Deal to Buy Inphi – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • Marvell Technology is nearing a deal to buy Inphi for as much as $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be the second big semiconductor tie-up this week as the industry rapidly consolidates.
  • The companies could announce a deal as soon as Thursday, assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the people said.
  • Marvell, which has a market value of roughly $26 billion, primarily makes chips used in data storage and networking. Buying Inphi would help Marvell expand its reach in networking, a fast-growing segment that has helped push Inphi’s stock up roughly 50% this year.

US ECONOMY & POLITICS

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since Start of Coronavirus Pandemic – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment insurance fell last week to the lowest level since the pandemic began, suggesting layoffs are easing despite a rise in coronavirus infections.
  • Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, fell by 40,000 to 751,000 in the week through Oct. 24, the Labor Department said Thursday.
  • Last week’s new claims were more than three times the weekly average early this year, before the pandemic.
  • In total, more than 20 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits through regular state and emergency programs.
  • Anecdotal evidence—companies big and small announcing plans to lay off more workers as the pandemic persists—suggests the labor market recovery will be protracted.

U.S. Economy Recovered Significant Ground in Record Third-Quarter GDP Rebound – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • The economy grew at a record pace in the third quarter—increasing 7.4% over the prior quarter and at a 33.1% annual rate—recovering about two-thirds of the ground it lost earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The third-quarter increase followed a 9% quarter-to-quarter decline in the second quarter, or a 31.4% annualized drop.
  • That puts the economy about 3.5% smaller than at the end of last year, adjusted for inflation and seasonal fluctuations.
  • Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic output, increased at a 40.7% rate in the third quarter, powering the economy’s growth.
  • Spending on long-lasting goods was particularly strong. The report showed the pace of consumer spending on durable items rose at a 82.2% rate during the quarter, a sign of increased discretionary purchases on vehicles and recreational goods.
  • Residential fixed investment—spending on home building and improvements—increased at a 59.3% rate in the third quarter.
  • Nonresidential fixed investment—which reflects business spending on software, research and development, equipment and structures—rose at a 20.3% annual rate.
  • Spending on equipment rose strongly, although spending on structures, a category tied to the struggling oil and gas sector and commercial real estate, fell at a 14.6% annual rate.

Pelosi Says Details of Coronavirus Package Could Change After Election – Wall Street Journal, 10/28/20

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday the coronavirus relief plan she has been discussing with the White House could morph in the lame-duck session of Congress, absent any formal agreement on its details and shifting incentives for both parties after the election.
  • Any deal this year would need to make it through the Republican-controlled Senate, where GOP lawmakers are divided on the level of assistance that is needed, if any. The new Congress and president take over in January.
  • Democrats may have incentive to make compromises on a coronavirus relief package if their leverage is about to dramatically increase in 2021 from winning the White House and seizing back control of the Senate.

U.S. States Face Biggest Cash Crisis Since the Great Depression – Wall Street Journal, 10/28/20

  • Nationwide, the U.S. state budget shortfall from 2020 through 2022 could amount to about $434 billion, according to data from Moody’s Analytics, the economic analysis arm of Moody’s Corp.
  • That’s greater than the 2019 K-12 education budget for every state combined, or more than twice the amount spent that year on state roads and other transportation infrastructure, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.
  • Even after rainy day funds are used, Moody’s Analytics projects 46 states coming up short, with Nevada, Louisiana and Florida having the greatest gaps as a percentage of their 2019 budgets. Louisiana said it didn’t expect its shortfall to be as large as Moody’s projected.
  • The estimates assume no additional fiscal stimulus from Washington, further coronavirus-fueled restrictions on business and travel, and extra costs for Medicaid amid high unemployment.

Up to 23 million people in U.S. could move thanks to remote work, survey finds – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • America’s biggest cities should brace for a chunk of families moving out because they prefer to work remotely from less crowded and less expensive areas, according to a survey by Upwork released Thursday.
  • The survey showed 14 million to 23 million people plan to pack up, many of them from big U.S. cities.
  • Of those planning a move, 20.6% are currently in a major city, 41.5% are moving more than four hours away and 13.2% are moving two to four hours away.

EUROPE & WORLD

Samsung Posts Profit Increase as Pandemic Fuels Tech Demand – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • Samsung Electronics reported its largest profit in more than 18 months, fueled by a bounceback in smartphone sales and demand for memory chips.
  • Revenue grew by 8% to 66.96 trillion won from 62 trillion won during the same period a year ago.
  • Samsung’s semiconductor division reported 18.8 trillion won in revenue, over the prior year’s 17.59 trillion won, despite cooling demand from data centers.
  • Operating profit for the company’s semiconductors business rose to 5.54 trillion won, 81% over last year’s 3.05 trillion won third-quarter haul.
  • Its operating profits in its mobile division rose 52% to 4.45 trillion won from 2.92 trillion won a year prior.
  • For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Samsung’s net profit rose to 9.36 trillion South Korean won, equivalent to $8.24 billion, a 49% rise from the prior year’s 6.29 trillion won.
  • On a Thursday earnings call, Samsung said sales for its key products, though especially smartphones, are expected to remain strong because of pent-up demand and the rollout of 5G.

Airbus Stems Cash Losses, Warns of Delayed Recovery – Wall Street Journal, 10/29/20

  • Airbus SE stemmed an outflow of cash in the third quarter as it learned to navigate an industry reeling from the pandemic, but also said the aviation market’s recovery would start later than initially forecast.
  • The European plane maker posted Thursday a net loss of €767 million for the third quarter, compared with a profit of €989 million a year earlier.
  • Revenue fell 27% to €11.2 billion.
  • The world’s largest plane maker posted a positive free cash flow of €600 million, equivalent to $705 million, as it started delivering more planes.
  • Airbus still has finished planes awaiting delivery, but the company was able to reduce the number by around 10 aircraft to 135.
  • It is now aiming to lift A320neo production to 47 a month in the third quarter of next year, after slashing production by a third, to just 40 a month, in April.
  • It still forecasts demand will return to pre-pandemic levels between 2023 and 2025, but thinks the initial recovery will start later than previously expected.
  • Airbus declined to give a target for full-year deliveries, but analysts are expecting around 500 planes, down from 863 in 2019. Boeing is expected to hand over just 170 jets.
  • It set a target for free cash flow to be at least break even in the fourth quarter, its first guidance since the start of the pandemic. Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said the latest guidance took into account the new lockdowns.

China’s premium car buyers drive VW back to profit – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Volkswagen returned to profit in the third quarter as surging Chinese demand for luxury cars helped offset a 1.1% drop in vehicle deliveries due to the pandemic, sending its shares as much as 3% higher on Thursday.
  • Excluding one-time items, third-quarter operating profit was 3.2 billion euros ($3.8 billion), down from 4.8 billion euros a year earlier, but up from a second quarter loss of 1.7 billion.
  • Volkswagen reiterated it expects to post a profit for the full year, saying its business “recovered noticeably” in the third quarter as sales in China of premium vehicles, including Audi and Porsche sports cars, rose 3%.
  • Volkswagen said its net liquidity rose to 24.8 billion euros from 18.7 billion at the end of the second quarter.

Panasonic beats forecasts, developing new battery cell for Tesla – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Panasonic said on Thursday it is working to develop a new battery cell for Tesla based on the U.S. electric vehicle maker’s new cell format, as the Japanese company moves forward its decade-old partnership with Tesla.
  • Panasonic’s July-September operating profit rose to 92.8 billion yen ($886.34 million), compared with 83.9 billion yen a year ago.
  • Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda also said the company has decided to launch an additional production line at the Nevada factory next year, increasing the plant’s total capacity by some 10% to 38-39 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year by around 2022.
  • Tesla’s new battery cell — a larger cylindrical format called 4680 that can store more energy and is easier to make — is key to achieving the goal of cutting battery costs in half and ramping up battery production nearly 100-fold by 2030.

Nokia cuts profit forecast and revamps strategy, shares slump 13% – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Telecom equipment maker Nokia cut its full-year profit and margin forecasts on Thursday, sending its shares tumbling 13% as the Finnish company’s new chief executive overhauled its strategy to win the 5G race.
  • Nokia said its July-September underlying earnings were flat year-on-year at 0.05 euros per share, meeting the 0.05 euros consensus in a Refinitiv poll.
  • Its quarterly revenue also fell due to weakness in its services business.
  • Announcing a new strategy under which the company will have four business groups, CEO Pekka Lundmark said Nokia would “do whatever it takes” to take the lead in 5G where it lags Swedish rival Ericsson and Chinese group Huawei.
  • Nokia lowered its full-year profit outlook range by 0.02 euros to a midpoint of 0.23 euros per share, having reported third-quarter results broadly in line with analysts’ expectations.
  • The company also cut its 2020 operating margin forecast to 9% from 9.5% and for 2021 expects operating margin of 7-10%.

Brazil miner Vale nearly doubles net profit as output recovers – Reuters, 10/29/20

  • Brazilian miner Vale on Wednesday reported its third-quarter net profit nearly doubled from the same period a year ago, as the company boosted iron ore production and inventories following a deadly dam disaster in January 2019.
  • Net profit for the three months through September climbed to $2.9 billion from $1.6 billion a year earlier, though it still fell well short of a Refinitiv estimate of $3.6 billion.
  • Results were driven by a 26% increase in prices for iron ore and a 20% increase on ore sales volumes, Vale said.
  • The world’s second-largest producer of the key steelmaking ingredient earlier this month reported a 31% recovery in iron ore output compared to the second quarter.

Factmonster – TODAY in HISTORY

  • The New York Stock Exchange crashed on Black Tuesday, precipitating the Great Depression. (1929)
  • European leaders signed the European Union’s first constitution. (2004)
  • Hurricane Sandy smashed into the eastern seaboard of the U.S., killing 117 people in the U.S. and 69 in Canada and the Caribbean. The storm caused about $50 billion in damage in the U.S. (2012)

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