General goods retailer Walmart Inc. (WMT) reported slightly worse-than-expected results for the fiscal fourth quarter ended January 21, 2020. Total revenue of $141.7 billion rose 2.1% year over year, but fell 3.3% short of our estimate. Too, adjusted earnings per share of $1.38 were $0.03 below the year-ago figure. Same-store sales for Walmart U.S. were up 1.9%, missing the 3% mark Walmart had been forecasting. Increases in traffic and the average transaction amount were roughly the same.
Networking equipment and software maker Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported in-line results for the fiscal second quarter ended January 25, 2020. However, some investors were disappointed with the company's order book, and the shares were down in response.
New Jersey-based drugmaker and Dow-30 component Merck & Co.
(MRK) reported fourth-quarter GAAP earnings of $0.92 a share
, versus $0.69 in the comparable period of 2018. The sharp year-over-year improvement was fueled primarily by higher revenues and a lower share count, partially offset by increases in production (+12%), SG&A (+9%), and R&D (+15%) expenses. Meantime, adjusted earnings
, which exclude one-time gains, losses, and other nonrecurring items, and are more closely followed by Wall Street, came in at $1.16 a share
, versus $1.04 in Q4, 2018.
Wall Street sent shares of entertainment and media conglomerate The Walt Disney Company upward despite a slip in profitability, as investors seemed pleased with the company’s improved business prospects.
Petroleum industry leader Chevron Corp. (CVX) has reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.49 versus our estimate of $1.57 and the year-earlier tally of $1.95. The figure excludes a major writeoff of natural gas properties, partly offset by a gain from the sale of pumping assets in the North Sea. Share profits also fell on a full-year basis, given a poor industry operating environment. Oil prices remain weak, having never fully recovered from a late-2018 selloff. Market sentiment has deteriorated even further lately, on the thinking that the China-based coronavirus will restrict travel, thereby keeping a lid on fuel demand. The stock sold off after the earnings announcement on a bad day for stocks overall.
Caterpillar beat profit expectations
for the fourth quarter of 2019,
but the shares
were down modestly
in value after the manufacturer of heavy equipment reported a sales miss
and issued a disappointing 2020 outlook
Electronic payments processor Visa Inc. kicked off fiscal 2020
with solid operating results
(fiscal years end on September 30th), but the stock traded slightly lower following the earnings release, nonetheless.
Oil giant Exxon Mobil (XOM) has reported earnings of $1.33 a share for the fourth quarter of 2019, largely helped by a $0.92 gain on the sale of assets. Excluding that item, the slide to $0.41 a share from operations for the quarter compared poorly to our estimate of $0.77 and the $1.41 posted in 2018. For the full 12 months, the company earned $3.36 a share, versus $4.88 the previous year. The slippage in operating profits had become increasing likely in recent weeks after what has been a tough year, given a lackluster industry backdrop marked by weak oil prices. The shares eased further following the earnings announcement after recently hitting a series of 52-week lows.
Verizon Communications stock trades
on the telecom giant’s
The Coca-Cola Company
(KO) continues to demonstrate healthy top-line momentum
. Most notably, organic growth clocked in at 7% for the December quarter and 6% for the full year. This progress
, which was evident in both sparkling and still beverages
, helped the company to achieve its largest value share gains in nearly a decade. And management emphasized
that it was able to make these positive strides
, including in the flagship Coca-Cola brand, even as consumers look to reduce caloric intake by shifting away from full-sugar beverages.