Wall Street’s main stock indexes dropped following a batch of mixed earnings results and amid investor concern over new coronavirus variants.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both fell 1.3%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index shed 1.6%.
Among large corporates scheduled to report quarterly earnings results after the bell today are US tech giants including Facebook and Apple, as well as Tesla.
In earnings news, shares of Starbucks declined 6.7% after the coffee chain’s 1Q sales fell short of analysts’ expectations, while 2Q guidance also missed Street forecasts. 1Q revenue fell 5% to $6.75 billion and missed analysts’ forecasts of $6.93 billion. The coffee chain operator reported that the year-over-year decline in sales was a result of lower traffic and reduced operations amid the pandemic-led store closures.
3M soared 6.1% after the N95 mask maker posted EPS of $2.38 in 4Q that beat analysts’ estimates of $2.14. Revenue grew 5.8% to $8.6 billion year-on-year, exceeding the Street consensus of $8.3 billion. 3M’s CEO Mike Roman, said, “Throughout 2020 we distributed two billion respirators globally and supported the development and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics to help the world respond to COVID-19.”
Advanced Micro Devices reported better-than-expected 4Q results. Adjusted earnings per share soared 63% during the quarter to $0.52 year-on-year. The bottom-line results of the semiconductor company also surpassed analysts’ expectations of $0.47. Fourth-quarter sales jumped 53% to $3.24 billion and beat the Street’s estimates of $3.02 billion. AMD’s 1Q and 2021 revenue outlook came in higher than analysts’ expectations. Shares dropped 3.4% after surging more than 90% over the past year.
Texas Instruments dropped 3.5% even as 4Q sales rose 22% to $4.1 billion year-on-year, and exceeded analysts’ estimates of $3.6 billion. The revenue increase was driven by strong demand for the company’s semiconductors and ICs (integrated circuits) in personal electronics, automotive and industrial markets. Texas CEO Rich Templeton commented “TI’s first quarter outlook is for revenue in the range of $3.79 billion to $4.11 billion and earnings per share between $1.44 and $1.66.”
In M&A news, Twitter has snapped up startup Revue for an undisclosed sum. Revue is a free service that allows anyone to start and publish their own newsletters and to monetize their audience. Twitter has lowered the paid newsletter fee to 5%, allowing writers to keep more of the revenue that is generated from subscriptions for themselves. The introduction of Revue to Twitter allows those looking to generate revenue through paid newsletters to grow their paid subscription base while incentivizing them to produce content that drives conversations on Twitter.
In coronavirus updates, Sanofi has inked an agreement to help with the production and supply of 125 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. According to the agreement, Sanofi will provide BioNTech access to its infrastructure and expertise to manufacture over 125 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. Supply will initially be provided from the French drugmaker’s production facilities in Frankfurt starting this summer. “Although vaccination campaigns have started around the world, the ability to get shots into arms is being limited by lower-than-expected supplies and delayed approval timelines owing to production shortages,” said Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. Sanofi shares slipped 1.2%.
Eli Lilly & Co. said new data showed that treatment with two of its antibody therapies reduced COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients by 70%. According to the results of the Phase 3 trial testing the treatment of bamlanivimab and etesevimab together met the primary endpoint. Among the 1,035 patients, there were 11 events, or 2.1% in patients treated with the therapy and 36 events, or 7% in patients taking placebo, representing a 70% risk reduction. There were 10 deaths among patients taking placebo, and no deaths in patients taking bamlanivimab and etesevimab together. Lilly shares fell 2.4%.