Uber Posts Significant Loss due to Corona Crisis
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The US ride-hailing company Uber has posted another significant loss due to the Corona pandemic. In the fourth quarter of last year, revenues fell by 16 per cent to 3.2 billion US dollars compared to the same period last year, the company announced. Uber thus posted a loss of 986 million dollars. The company was able to partially offset the loss in the mobility division with growth in its food delivery service Uber Eats. Revenue in the ride-hailing business fell 52 per cent year-on-year, but the delivery division saw strong growth. Last year was a "test of Uber's resilience", said company chief Dara Khosrowshahi. But the company has also been able to "dramatically" expand its capabilities in local commerce.
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The Swiss stock market continued to perform well on Wednesday compared to many other places in Europe. This was helped by a gain in the heavily weighted Nestle share, which rose 0.9 per cent on the news and was the third best performer. The SMI gained 0.2 per cent to 10,826 points. The day's gainers were again Lonza, up another 1.4 percent to 595.80 francs, still buoyed by the 4.2 billion franc sale of its chemicals business to two affiliates. In response, analysts at Berenberg massively raised the price target to 690 from 410 francs. For Lonza, the sale marks the beginning of a new era. The company now offers an interesting opportunity to invest in the fast-growing biotechnology sector. Swisscom slipped 0.3 per cent. The company had reported the acquisition of Zurich-based SAP service provider Webtiser. Financial details were not disclosed. Among the winners were shares from the financial sector such as the banks UBS and Credit Suisse and the insurers Zurich Insurance and Swiss Re. They are likely to have benefited from the recent upward trend in interest rates in the USA. The weakest SMI stock was Alcon with a discount of 1.0 per cent.
Europe's stock markets closed lower on Wednesday in generally quiet trading. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell by 0.2 % to 409.5 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 each lost 0.4 %. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 lost 0.6 %, while the FTSE 100 fell 0.1 % in London. In individual stocks, the reporting season made the music. Thyssenkrupp gained 6.4 per cent, the steel and industrial group returned to the black operationally in the first fiscal quarter and also raised its forecast for the year. Given improved demand in the materials business and vehicle components, high single-digit growth is now expected to bring adjusted EBIT close to breakeven in 2020/21. Societe Generale's net profit (2.8 per cent) lifted well above consensus expectations, according to Citigroup. On an adjusted basis, this was due to higher revenues and lower provisions, partly neutralised by higher-than-expected costs, it said. The core capital ratio rose by 30 basis points to 13.4 per cent, above consensus expectations. French asset manager Amundi (up 1.1 per cent), like much of its peers, delivered a strong final quarter of 2020. The company also plans to pay a higher-than-expected dividend. After figures that were in line with expectations, profit-taking set in at Delivery Hero (minus 3 per cent). Heidelberger Druckmaschinen was up 17.1 per cent. The increase in the EBITDA margin excluding the restructuring result to around 7 per cent was viewed positively on the stock market. But the statement on the "wallbox" business also confirmed the stock market's assessment.
After the breather on the previous day, the indices on Wall Street resumed their record chase on Wednesday. New record highs were reached right at the start, before small profit-taking gained the upper hand. US Federal Reserve Chairman Powell provided a brief positive impulse during the course of the day. On the one hand, he said that inflation was not a problem at the moment and signalled again that monetary policy would remain loose for longer. The determining factors on the market continued to be the expectation of a stimulus package worth billions from the new US government, progress in the Covid 19 vaccination campaign and falling infection figures as well as good quarterly reports from companies. The Dow Jones index gained 0.2 per cent to 31,438. The S&P-500 slipped minimally and the Nasdaq indices lost a good 0.2 per cent. On the Nyse, there were 1,626 (Tuesday: 1,865) gainers, 1,591 (1,371) losers and 85 (76) unchanged stocks, according to initial data. On the corporate side, Coca-Cola (down 0.2 per cent) suffered a 5 per cent drop in quarterly sales, but this was not as weak as feared. Earnings also exceeded forecasts. Under Armour (up 8.3 per cent) expects 2021 sales growth in the high single digits after the sporting goods maker returned to profit in 2020 and beat sales expectations. General Motors (GM) also beat expectations, but the stock still lost 2.1 per cent. The chip shortage currently affecting many carmakers could reduce earnings by $2 billion in 2021, GM said. GM also plans to continue paying no dividend for the time being. The ride-hailing company Lyft (up 4.8 per cent) performed better than feared in terms of sales. Cisco, on the other hand, lost 2.6 per cent.
There is little movement on the stock markets in East Asia and Australia on Thursday. The US is showing a slightly negative trend. Impulses from the region are rare, as the important stock exchanges in Japan, China and South Korea are closed for holidays. Trading on the stock exchanges in mainland China is suspended until Wednesday of next week due to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. In Hong Kong and Singapore, trading was also shortened on Thursday due to the Chinese New Year holiday. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong ended 0.4 per cent higher.
In the bond market, prices rose more sharply, so yields fell, fuelled by the moderate inflation data. The 10-year and 30-year US government bonds each fell by around 3 basis points.
JPM raises Santander target to EUR 3.10 (2.50) - Neutral
Barclays lowers Prudential target to GBP 1,441 (1,511) - Overweight
LBBW raises Delivery Hero target to EUR 83 (72) - Sell
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