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Q3 Productivity, Labor Costs Revised Down; Plus AZO Beats

Mark Vickery

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Pre-market stock futures are swinging from negative to positive at this hour, responding in real time to a new Wall Street Journal announcing that officials are “laying the groundwork” toward an agreement that would delay the new tariffs on Chinese goods, scheduled for December 15th. This was expected to have affected nearly $160 billion in new Chinese imports to the U.S. — the latest shot across the bough in the U.S.-China trade war.

Prior to this, we got a final read on Q3 Productivity, with cooler-than-expected results on the headline: -0.2%, worse than the -0.1% anticipated but better than the previous read’s -0.3%. This is considered an important component to overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and it marks the lowest level of final Productivity since Q4 2015, which totaled -3.5%. Hanging a negative number on goods-producers for the quarter will necessarily dampen expectations of GDP results yet to come, but hopefully not by as much as previously expected.

Q3 Unit Labor Costs also produced a lower revision this morning, to +2.5% on the headline. This is better than the +3.0% analysts were expecting and the 3.6% reported last time around. Lower costs of labor is good for profitability, if not necessarily productivity.

Aside from these economic metrics, we happen to be in a surprisingly active week of earnings reports, catching many companies who report “odder” quarters. This morning we have fiscal Q1 2020 results from AutoZone AZO, which posted $14.30 per share versus a Zacks consensus of $13.69, and easily surpassing the $13.47 per share reported a year ago. Revenues of $2.792 million topped the $2.761 million analysts were looking for.

Shares are selling off moderately on the news, however. AutoZone’s performance in 2019 has been very good, +39.4% year to date, outpacing the S&P 500’s returns over the same time period. For more on AZO’s earnings, click here.

After the bell, we’ll see still more earnings reports — from companies such as GameStop GME, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet OLLI and Dave & Buster’s PLAY. Later this week, we get Oracle ORCL, Adobe ADBE and Broadcom AVGO, among others.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. (OLLI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Oracle Corporation (ORCL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Adobe Systems Incorporated (ADBE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
GameStop Corp. (GME) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. (PLAY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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