Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Another big day in the nation’s capital is expected today. Aside from further rumination of pandemic relief from Congress, we will see top tech CEOs — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai — appear before lawmakers, ostensibly to explain to the American public why their businesses do not amount to monopolies at odds with anti-trust laws. These are summits that are familiar to business heads like Zuckerberg and Cook, and often lead to not much by way of new legislation.

However, in an election year there is more focus on these types of issues, especially with odds improving for Democrats to wrest congressional power this November. What we may be seeing today is a preview of concerns of progressive lawmakers regarding these anti-trust measures. Are these tech giants monopolies? Do they have meaningful competition from smaller businesses? Do our current anti-trust laws need to change? All this and more are on the menu.

Advance Trade in Goods for June improved month over month and better then expectations: -$70.6 billion versus the Zacks consensus of -$74.9 billion, and an improvement from the downwardly revised -$75.3 billion reported for May. Exports came in at $102.6 billion, +$12.5 billion from the previous month, while Imports of $173.2 billion improved by $7.6 billion from May.

Q2 Earnings at a Glance

The Boeing Company BA, experiencing a very rough year-plus regarding it troubled 737 MAX and the strong down-trend in air travel during the pandemic, missed earnings estimates widely in its Q2 report released ahead of today’s opening bell: -$4.79 per share was well off the -$2.93 expected, to say nothing of the $2.92 profit in the year-ago quarter. The aircraft giant has only surpassed consensus earnings estimates once in the last four quarters. Revenues of $11.81 billion missed the Zacks consensus by 6.35%.

Shares are up a tad upon the news in pre-market trading, but consider Boeing shares are down 47.6% year to date. With the 737 MAX coming back online and air travel hopefully on the rebound, brighter days may be ahead for the company. For more on BA’s earnings, click here.

Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell)-rated General Electric GE posted mixed results in its Q2 earnings report, missing bottom-line estimates by a penny to -$0.15 per share (it was +17 cents in the year-ago quarter) while revenues outperformed expectations by 4.3% to $17.75 billion in the quarter (down from the $28.83 billion in Q2 2019). Shares are up 1.6% on the news in early trading, but still down roughly 37% year to date. For more on GE’s earnings, click here.

General Motors GM also came out with Q2 results, with a big beat on its bottom line: -$0.50 per share versus -$1.72 per share in the Zacks consensus. But revenues of $16.78 billion was well off expectations for the quarter’s top line. With plants having reopened during the course of GM’s Q2, the automaking major continues its string of big beats on the bottom line; its trailing 4-quarter average positive beat was 100%+.

Health insurer Anthem ANTM also put up mixed numbers in its Q2 statement this morning: $9.20 per share easily surpassed the $8.77 our analysts were looking for, and way ahead of the year-ago $4.64 per share, though revenues of $29.18 billion missed expectations by 0.87%, even as it outpaced the $25.18 billion from the same quarter last year. Shares are down more than 10% year to date. For more on ANTM’s earnings, click here.

Music streaming service Spotify SPOT missed big in its Q2 report, with a bottom-line loss of $2.10 well below the -49 cents anticipated, on revenues of $20.8 billion that came in lower than expected by 4.21%. Despite the big miss, Spotify did sign up more users in the quarter than anticipated. However, the stock has traded up more that 78% year to date, but is giving about 3.5% of that back in early trading. For more on SPOT’s earnings, click here.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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