GM Affirms Profit Outlook Despite Chip-Shortage Woes
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GM reiterated its guidance Wednesday while reporting first-quarter net profit of $3.02 billion, up from about $300 million a year earlier, when the coronavirus pandemic disrupted operations. The company said the semiconductor shortage will hurt second-quarter output but that it will continue to give priority to its most profitable vehicles, large pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The nation's largest auto maker by sales said pretax profit adjusted for one-time items hit $4.42 billion, equivalent to $2.25 a share. That beat the $1.05 average estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet. GM said it is confident that it will hit the high end of its previously issued guidance of $10 billion to $11 billion for the year, even as the impact from the semiconductor shortage cuts as much as $2 billion from the bottom line. Shares rose about 4%. Shares of Peloton Interactive slid $14.08, or 15%, to $82.62 after the company agreed to recall its treadmills and its chief executive apologized for an initial refusal to comply with federal safety regulators.
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After the previous day's drop, the Swiss stock market recovered on Wednesday. The SMI gained 1.3 percent to 11,109 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 19 price gainers and one loser. 43.27 (previously: 42.96) million shares were traded. Against the positive trend, Alcon fell by 5.6 percent. The ophthalmology group had returned to profit in the first quarter. But analysts had hoped for more and were disappointed in part. Lafargeholcim was different, with premiums of 2.1 percent. The building materials group is buying the aggregates business in Mandra and two ready-mix concrete plants in Gerakas and Aspropyrgos in Greece from German Heidelbergcement. Neither the DAX-listed group nor the Swiss company gave financial details. Richemont climbed 2.4 percent after a positive analyst assessment by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Roche rose 0.9 percent after receiving approval in the EU for Tecentriq. Partners Group is buying in the US. The asset management company is acquiring women's healthcare provider Axia Women's Health. Partners Group shares rose 2.1 percent. Among the second-line stocks, Swiss Steel rose 10.5 percent, the steel producer had presented convincing first-quarter figures. Landis+Gyr gained 2.9 percent, the energy specialist had better than expected operating results. Addex fell 0.6 percent after the presentation of first quarter figures.
European equity indices ended substantially higher on Wednesday, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tempered her comments suggesting that interest rates could rise in the United States. These statements had weighed on Tuesday on U.S. and European equity indices. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 1.8% to 441.6 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gained 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 2.1%, while in London, the FTSE 100 rose 1.7%. It was a busy earnings day in Europe. Aker Solutions backed its full-year guidance, after swinging to an surprise first-quarter net profit. Shares of the energy-industry service provider jumped over 5%. Stock in A.P. Moeller-Maersk climbed over 3%, after the shipping giant said it would accelerate its share buyback program and launch a new program of up to 31 billion Danish kroner ($5.01 billion). Rising demand and freight rates have propelled the company's earnings and cash flow higher, the company said. Merck lifted its 2021 outlook late on Tuesday, after a "very strong" first quarter and high demand for its product, a trend the German pharmaceuticals-and-chemicals company sees continuing this year. Shares rose 3%. Shares of Vestas Wind Systems rose over 2%, as the wind turbine maker posted an unexpected first-quarter net loss, but backed full-year guidance as it pledged to make up lost ground later this year.Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk lifted its full-year guidance and increased share buybacks, after posting a forecast-beating rise in first-quarter net profit. Shares rose around 2%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average set a record Wednesday as a strong earnings season continued and fears of rising interest rates eased. It was the Dow’s 22nd record close of 2021—tying the number of records the blue-chip index set in all of 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Stocks have climbed in recent months as the economy heals from the pandemic-induced slowdown and corporate profits beat expectations. The S&P 500 has notched 25 records and gained 11% in 2021. The Dow rose 97.31 points, or 0.3%, to 34230.34. The S&P 500 added 2.93 points, or 0.1%, to 4167.59. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, dropped 51.08 points, or 0.4%, to 13582.42, as shares of Microsoft, Amazon.com and Facebook declined. Recent data from the Commerce Department showed that robust growth in the first quarter returned the U.S. economy to just below its pre-pandemic size. Among individual stocks, shares of T-Mobile US climbed $5.65, or 4.4%, to $134.13 after the telecommunications company topped first-quarter revenue and earnings expectations. The first-quarter figures of computer games provider Activision Blizzard (+1.6%) were well received. The company also raised its targets for the year. The business figures of Akamai were surprisingly positive. In addition, the provider of security software gave an optimistic outlook. The share climbed by 3.2 percent. Peloton shares plunged 14.6 percent. The company recalled an exercise treadmill after the death of a child.
The stock exchanges in East Asia display a mixed trend on Thursday. In Japan and mainland China, trading resumed on Thursday for the first time after several days of holiday breaks. But while the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo rises strongly by 1.7 percent to 29,310 points, it goes down in Shanghai with the composite index by 0.2 percent. On the Hong Kong stock exchange, which was open throughout the past few days, crumble initially more significant gains. The Hang Seng Index is still trading 0.2 percent higher. In Seoul, where trading was suspended on Wednesday because of a holiday, the Kospi gains 0.5 percent.
U.S. Treasury yields edged lower on Wednesday as investors shrugged off additional evidence of the economic recovery, underlining the bond market’s recent resilience to reflation fears. The 10-year Treasury note yield was down 0.7 basis point to 1.584%, falling for a fourth straight session.
Berenberg increases Hellofresh target to EUR 94 (85) - Buy
Liberum raises Lufthansa target to EUR 9 (5) - Sell
Deutsche Bank raises BNP Paribas to EUR 61 (57) - Buy
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