Microsoft Earnings Jump as Cloud Services Thrive
Topic of the day
Microsoft Corp. continued to benefit from the global shift toward remote work as its cloud business boosted its revenue last quarter. On Tuesday it reported revenue of $45.3 billion for the three months through Sept. 30, up 22% from the year-earlier period. Net income rose 48% to $20.5 billion. The results exceeded analyst expectations of $44 billion in sales and $15.7 billion in profit, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet. The Redmond, Wash., software company said it expected to bring in between $50.15 billion and $51.05 billion in revenue in the current quarter. The company’s shares, which have climbed more than 45% over the last 12 months, climbed around 1.5% in after-hours trading following the quarterly report. The lukewarm market reaction to Microsoft’s earnings beat is most likely due to the shares being “priced in prior to the print,” said Brad Reback, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp. Microsoft is among tech companies that have benefited most from the sustained shift to working-from-home and remote schooling that followed the outbreak of Covid-19.
The positive trend on the Swiss stock market continued on Tuesday. Above all, positive corporate results in the reporting season, which is gaining momentum, drove sentiment, it was said. Concerns about further increases in energy prices and ongoing supply chain problems were currently being pushed into the background, they added. Two Swiss heavyweights, UBS (+1.3%) and Novartis (+1.1%), presented their results, both of which were convincing. The SMI gained 0.7 per cent to 12,147 points, closing at its high for the day. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 16 price gainers and four price losers. 36.31 (previously: 28) million shares were traded. According to statements from the trade, Logitech's business figures met market expectations. It reported record second-quarter revenue of $1.31 billion, up 4 per cent from last year's exceptional level.
European equity markets ended friendly on Tuesday as Wall Street rose to new record highs amid a flurry of corporate earnings. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.8% to 475.84 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 each gained 0.8%. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gained 1%, while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.8%. Orange backed its 2021 guidance after revenue decreased in its third quarter on the back of a decline in co-financing received from other operators on its fiber network in France. The French telecommunications company said revenue stood at 10.51 billion euros ($12.20 billion), down 0.7% on a reported basis and 0.4% on a comparable basis. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization after leasing, or Ebitdaal--a key indicator of profitability for the company--fell to EUR3.56 billion from EUR3.58 billion on a comparable basis. The company began using Ebitdaal as a financial indicator in January 2019 to account for the adoption of the IFRS 16 accounting standard. Thales SA backed its 2021 targets on Tuesday after reporting slightly lower sales and higher order intake in its third quarter. The French aerospace-and-defense company posted sales of 3.56 billion euros ($4.15 billion) in the period compared with EUR3.58 billion the prior year. Organically, sales fell 1.4% due to a “high basis of comparison,” especially at its defense-and-security division, it said.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average cruised to another pair of closing records after solid earnings and upbeat consumer data gave investors a fresh dose of economic optimism. Both benchmarks advanced from Monday's record closes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added less than 0.1%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite finished less than 0.1% higher. Earnings season so far has beaten investors' expectations and helped lift stocks out of a September slump. United Parcel Service powered both the Dow and the S&P 500 after the delivery company topped analysts' estimates. Investors have been buoyed by strong figures from major banks, consumer companies and manufacturers. Jitters about the labor market and inflation have somewhat given way to optimism about a recovering economy. Consumer confidence rose last month, halting a three-month decline, according to the Conference Board. The latest home-sales figures from the Commerce Department also highlighted an increase in purchases across the country, topping analysts' projections. General Electric Co. reported stronger profits with cost cuts offsetting lower-than-expected sales of its industrial equipment in the September quarter, as the manufacturer felt the pinch of global supply disruptions. Revenue increased in the company’s jet engine business as air travel rebounded from the start of the pandemic, but sales declined in its healthcare business amid product shortages. GE’s renewables division also booked a sales drop while the power business was flat. Eli Lilly & Co. has begun asking U.S. health regulators to approve a new treatment for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, hoping for a rare victory against a disease that has proved difficult for the pharmaceutical industry to tackle. Indianapolis-based Lilly said Tuesday it began filing a rolling submission of study data and other information to the Food and Drug Administration for the experimental drug, Donanemab.
On Wednesday, the stock markets in East Asia and also in Sydney are falling across the board. Chinese authorities have now ordered the founder of troubled property giant Evergrande to use his personal assets to repay debts. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index fell by 0.6 per cent to 28,933 points, with the yen, which is sought after as a safe haven, also weighing on the index.
U.S. Treasury yields moved mixed on Tuesday after the release of several important economic indicators and ahead of the Federal Reserve's (Fed) monetary policy meeting next week. Yields on the 10- and 30-year Treasury declined to their lowest levels since Oct. 18, while the two-year Treasury rose. The rate on the 10-year Treasury note lost 1.8 basis points on Tuesday, to 1.610%.
IR lowers Unilever target to 4.000 (4.200) p – Hold
Deutsche Bank lowers FMC target to 62 (67) EUR – Hold
Citi rises Michelin target to 165 (160) EUR – Buy
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