Starting off a new week in the markets, we expect to see the heaviest deluge of Q4 earnings reports. Between this week and next, a significant number of companies will be reporting earnings for the past quarter. Thus far, earnings results have been mostly positive, but this is based on falling guidance ahead of releases from several major companies, with a somewhat murky look into the future based on the partial government shutdown year to date, and a U.S./China trade war that has kept a clearer economic read at bay to this point.
That said, earnings reports so far, based on strong consumer confidence and historically robust employment data (see Friday’s 300K+ new jobs created last month), have been surprisingly positive amid these various and unpredictable headwinds. The proof is in the pudding, as was once said, and Q4 reports are bringing plenty of substance. For a comprehensive look at earnings season at this stage, check out Zacks Director of Research Sheraz Mian’s latest take: Q4 Earnings Season Better than Feared.
We also start seeing economic data lost to us during the shutdown filtering back in over time. Later this morning, we expect to see Factory Orders from November. Based on non-farm payroll results in the Manufacturing sector, these numbers may surprise to the upside. They had been expected to fall 20 basis points after a 2.1% drop in October. This report is expected to be released at or around 10am ET. The December report will be released at an even later date.
Q4 Earnings Roundup
After the closing bell today, we hear from Google parent Alphabet GOOGL with its Q4 earnings results. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)-rated company is the last of the FAANGs — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google — to report. Aside from Apple’s struggles within the slowing Chinese market (based on trade war issues and China’s own declining economic output), these reports have been relatively healthy overall, especially Facebook FB.
Clorox CLX beat estimates on the bottom line — $1.40 per share reported in the quarter versus $1.32 expected — while missing marginally on revenues to $1.42 billion. Nevertheless, shares of the household products giant are up 4.75% in today’s pre-market, based partially on a strengthening Lifestyle segment, which was up 25% year over year.
Pharmaceutical firm Alexion ALXN outperformed estimates on both top and bottom lines on stronger-than-expected Soliris sales, posting $2.14 per share on $1.128 billion in revenues. These bested the $1.83 per share and $1.06 billion we had been looking for. Earnings guidance also pushed out of the Zacks consensus range, and as a result, Alexion shares are up 2.5% in early trading.
We also see mixed results this morning from food products giant SYSCO SYY, which beat bottom-line estimates by 3 cents to 75 cents per share on revenues which marginally missed expectations to $14.77 billion in the quarter. Yet shares are trading up more than 3% in the early hours of Monday’s market.
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