Snap, Twitter Show Where the Party Is
Topic of the day
Social media made a splash on Thursday as its second-quarter earnings kicked off. Both Twitter Inc. and Snap, Inc. reported better-than-expected quarters, beating Wall Street’s estimates on both their top and bottom lines. Twitter’s sales growth shows it might be gaining more traction incrementally, at least among advertisers, but Snap’s record usage and revenue growth show its Snapchat platform remains the life of the party. Taken together, the reports shed a positive light on what investors can expect next week from Facebook and Pinterest, which are set to report earnings on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Twitter said monetizable daily active users—a measure of its users who can view ads—grew 11% year on year. That’s down from an average of more than 25% growth over the previous six quarters, according to FactSet. But it also said its revenue grew 74% versus the same period last year, with U.S. advertising revenue nearly doubling. Snap, meanwhile, said both revenue and daily active users grew in the quarter at their highest annual rates in the last four years. Snap’s shares soared 13%, while Twitter’s rose 5%, in after hours trading on Thursday following the reports. With both companies providing a solid third-quarter outlook, choosy investors must now decide whether to take a chance on comeback kid Twitter or more-consistent Snap.
Weighed down by Roche and Nestle, the Swiss stock market tumbled on Thursday. The SMI lost 0.4 percent to 11,977 points. On the corporate side, the reporting season was in focus and here the pharmaceutical company Roche. This had presented half-year figures, which were described as solid overall. However, the momentum seems to be somewhat weakening, said a trader, who also criticized the profit trend. "The figures are not convincing," said another market participant. The share price lost 3.6 percent. Nestle lost 1.6 percent. The turmoil surrounding Unilever also dragged down the food group's shares. "Unilever is suffering from rising cost prices, and that translates one-to-one to its competitors," a market participant said. Machinery maker ABB was up 1.5 percent after the capital goods group's profit beat forecasts by nearly 20 percent. The stock is not highly valued due to its stable growth trend and high dividend yield of more than 4 percent, a trader said. Across the board, Givaudan's financials were above expectations. "However, free cash flow of 186 million francs is well below the estimate of 311 million," a market participant complained. Givaudan fell 0.6 percent. Sika (+0.2%) raised its outlook. According to Baader Helvea, the company presented very good results. This was mainly contributed by the construction chemicals business. Among others, Cembra (-2.5%), Sulzer (+3.3%), Leonteq (-2.9%) and Mikron (-0.9%) had also presented business figures.
European stock indices ended Thursday's session in mixed order, although reassured by the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy announcements. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.6% to 456.5 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 have each taken 0.3%. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 0.6%, while the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.4%. "The ECB meeting helped investors maintain an upbeat view, but the FTSE 100 suffered due to losses in oil and mining stocks," noted Chris Beauchamp, chief analyst at IG. Ipsos (+4%) said it was "likely" that its organic growth would be "well over 10%" in 2021 compared to fiscal 2020 and "not far from 10%" compared to 2019. Publicis (+0.3%) expects to restore its main financial indicators to their pre-Health crisis levels as early as this year, a year ahead of its initial forecast. Technip Energies (+1.8%) raised its operating margin forecast for the full year 2021 to a range of 5.8% to 6.2%, up from its previous forecast of 5.5% to 6%, after reporting robust first-half results. EssilorLuxottica (+0.9%) announced that it would appeal the €125.2 million fine imposed on it by the French competition authority in an investigation targeting several high-end eyewear manufacturers and brands. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena shares gained 4% on the Milan stock exchange after the Monte dei Paschi Foundation, the Italian bank's former main shareholder, agreed to drop claims for compensation that amounted to several billion euros. The Swedish private-equity firm EQT jumped nearly 12% after reporting earnings growth that exceeded analysts' estimates. Unilever tumbled over 4% after posting a decrease in pretax profit for the first half of the year.
U.S. stocks edged higher in a quiet session Thursday, keeping major indexes on course to close out the week with gains. Stocks have stabilized the past three days after dropping sharply Monday on fears that the spread of the Delta variant could force countries to lock down their economies again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.35 points, or 0.1%, to 34823.35. The S&P 500 climbed 8.79 points, or 0.2%, to 4367.48 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 52.64 points, or 0.4%, to 14684.60. Domino’s Pizza jumped $68.45, or 15%, to $538.82 after reporting earnings that beat estimates and disclosing a new share-repurchase program. Semiconductor company Texas Instruments slipped $10.33, or 5.3%, to $183.91 after it signaled a likely slowdown in growth in the third quarter. Casino operator Las Vegas Sands declined $2.20, or 4.5%, to $47.22 after it reported revenue that missed analysts’ estimates and a bigger loss than expected. Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department’s latest data on jobless claims, viewed as a proxy for layoffs, showed that 419,000 people applied for unemployment insurance last week. That was up from the preceding week. Economists had been expecting claims to fall to a new pandemic low.
The stock exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong close with slight losses, while the index in Seoul is little changed. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is closed on Friday due to a public holiday. Among individual stocks Kakao gain 1.7 percent on the Seoul Stock Exchange after the Internet company set the issue price for the initial public offering of its online bank. Naver (+3%) benefit for the second day in a row from the convincing business figures presented by the company the previous day.
U.S. Treasurys rallied on Thursday, sending the yield on the 10-year note back down to around 1.26% following an unexpected rise in weekly jobless benefit claims. Meanwhile, European yields declined as the European Central Bank adjusted its forward guidance in keeping with its newly adopted inflation target. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped 1.5 basis points to 1.264% after trading above 1.30%.
Deutsche Bank raises ASML target to EUR 600 (560) - Hold
Berenberg increases SAP target to EUR 139 (138) - Buy
Jefferies raises Zur Rose target to CHF 571 (550) - Buy
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