Microsoft Reports Earnings Beat

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported second quarter earnings after market close, topping Wall Street consensus expectations. The company's revenue of $43.08 billion was a year-to-year increase of 16.7% and beat estimates by $2.85 billion. Revenue by segment: Productivity and Business Processes: $13.35 billion (up 13%), with Office 365 Commercial increasing 20% and LinkedIn gaining 23%; Intelligent Cloud: $14.60 billion (up 23%), with Azure revenue increasing 50%; More Personal Computing: $15.12 billion (up 14%), with Xbox and related sales up 40% and Surface up 3%. Microsoft's GAAP earnings per share of $2.03 also beat by $0.39. “What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” CEO Satya Nadella stated in a press release. “Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”

Starbucks Reports Mixed Earnings

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) reported first quarter earnings after market close, producing mixed results. The company's revenue of $6.75 billion was a year-to-year decrease of 4.9% and missed Wall Street consensus expectations by $170 million. Starbucks' Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.61 and GAAP earnings per share of $0.53, however, beat estimates by $0.06 and $0.05, respectively. Comparable sales in the Americas declined 6% to miss the consensus expectations for a drop of 4.2%, while international comparable sales were down 3% to miss expectations of a decline of 1.3%. For the second quarter, Starbucks guides for U.S. comparable store sales growth of about 5% to 10%; China comparable store sales growth of nearly 100%; GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.36 to $0.41; and Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.45 to $0.50. For its full year 2021, Starbucks forecasts GAAP earnings per share of $2.42 to $2.62; Global comparable store sales growth of 18% to 23% and consolidated revenue of $28 billion to $29 billion.

U.S. Senate Confirms Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee Antony Blinken to serve as secretary of state. The chamber voted 78-22 to confirm, following his approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Blinken has previously served as Biden's adviser both in the White House and the Senate before becoming deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration. In his new role as the nation's top diplomat, Blinken will face a number of national security challenges, including ongoing relationships with China, Iran and Russia. At his confirmation hearing last week, Blinken pledged to work more closely with global allies and revitalize damaged American diplomacy.

Verizon Reports Earnings Beat

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) reported fourth quarter earnings before market open, mostly topping Wall Street consensus expectations. The company's revenue of $34.7 billion wasa year-to-year decrease of 0.2% but beat estimates by $230 million. Revenue by segment: Consumer: $23.9 billion (down 1%); Business: $8.1 billion (flat); Wireless Services: $16.7 million (up 2%); Media: $2.3 billion (up 11%). Verizon's Non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.21 beat estimates by $0.04, but GAAP earnings per share of $1.11 missed by $0.06. During the quarter, the company added 279K postpaid phone net adds and 703K wireless postpaid net adds; both below consensus expectations. For its full year 2021, verizon expects service and other revenue growth of at least 2%, including total wireless service revenue growth of at least 3%; adjusted earnings per share of $5.00 to $5.15; adjusted effective income tax rate in the range of 23% to 25%; and capital spending in the range of $17.5 billion to 418.5 billion.

Johnson & Johnson Reports Earnings Beat

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported fourth quarter earnings before market open, mostly topping Wall Street consensus expectations. The company's revenue of $22.48 billion was a year-to-year increase of 8.3% and beat estimates by $860 million. Revenue by segment: Pharmaceutical: $12.268 billion (up 16.3%); Medical Devices: $6.589 billion (down 0.7%); and Consumer Health: $3.618 billion (up 1.4%). JNJ's Non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.86 also beat by $0.03, but GAAP earnings per share of $0.65 missed expectations by $0.78. For the company's full year 2021, JNJ guides for revenue of $90.5 billion to $91.7 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $9.40 to $9.60. The company plans to report data for its coronavirus vaccine candidate's late-stage clinical trial soon.

Raytheon Technologies Reports Earnings Beat

Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) reports fourth quarter earnings before market open, mostly topping Wall Street consensus expectations. The company's revenue of $16.6 billion was a year-to-year increase of 111.7% and beat estimates by $530 million. Raytheon's Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.74 also beat by $0.05, but GAAP earnings per share of $0.10 missed expectations by $0.37. For the first quarter, the company forecasts for adjusted earnings per share of $0.70 to $0.75 on sales of $14.8 billion to $15.4 billion. For its full year 2021, Raytheon guides for adjusted earnings per share of $3.40 to $3.70 on revenues of $63.4 billion to $65.4 billion. The company also expects to produce roughly $4.5 billion in free cash flow and plans to buy back at least $1.5 billion in shares. "In 2021, our strategy of harnessing next-generation technologies across our resilient and balanced portfolio will continue to drive differentiated value for customers and advance our industry leadership for years to come," CEO Greg Hayes stated in a press release.

3M Reports Earnings Beat

3M Company (NYSE: MMM) reported fourth quarter earnings before market open, topping Wall Street consensus expectations. The company's revenue of $8.58 billion was a year-to-year increase of 5.8% and beat estimates by $190 million. Sales growth by segment: Safety and Industrial up 12.7%; Transportation and Electronics up 2.3%; Health Care up 5.4%; and Consumer up 10.6%. 3M's GAAP earnings per share of $2.38 also beat by $0.21. "Throughout 2020 we distributed two billion respirators globally and supported the development and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics to help the world respond to COVID-19," CEO Mike Roman stated in a press release. "We also took significant actions to transform and build 3M for the future, while advancing our core values. Moving forward we will continue to prioritize investments in growth, productivity and sustainability as we build on our progress and deliver strong results in 2021." For is full year 2021, the company forecasts sales growth in the range of 5% to 8%, organic local-currency growth of 3% to 6%, and earnings per share of $9.20 to $9.70.

American Express Beats on Earnings

American Express (NYSE: AXP) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings today before the bell, and in the afternoon its stock has fallen 3.5% to $117 despite the earnings beat. The financial services firm posted net income of $1.4 billion, down from $1.7 billion in the prior year period. American Express posted GAAP earnings per share of $1.76, down from $2.03 but easily beating consensus estimates of $1.29. The firm posted revenue of $9.35 billion, down 17.8% but beating estimates by $30 million. Provision for credit losses was a benefit of $111 million, easily beating estimates of $915.9 million. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $3.135 billion. Chief executive Stephen Squeri said American Express is seeing a steady improvement in trends.

General Electric Reports Mixed Earnings

General Electric (NYSE: GE) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings today before the bell, and at midday its stock has climbed 4.6% to $11.50 on the mixed earnings. The industrial conglomerate posted net income of $2.442 billion, up massively from $538 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of 27 cents, beating consensus estimates of 2 cents. GE posted adjusted earnings per share of 8 cents, down from 20 cents and missing consensus estimates of 9 cents. The firm posted revenue of $21.9 billion, down 16.5% but beating estimates by $280 million. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $5.23 billion. Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, GE sees adjusted earnings of 15 to 25 cents per share and industrial free cash flow of $2.5 to $4.5 billion.

Lockheed Martin Reports Mixed Earnings

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings today before the bell, and in the afternoon its stock has slipped 2.9% to $333.60 on the mixed earnings. The defense firm posted net income of $1.8 billion, up from $1.5 billion in the prior year period. Lockheed Martin posted GAAP earnings per share of $6.38, barely missing consensus estimates of $6.40. The firm posted revenue of $17.03 billion, up 7.2% and beating consensus estimates by $110 million. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $6.9 billion. Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, Lockheed Martin sees adjusted earnings of $26 to $26.30 per share on revenue of $67.1 to $68.5 billion, meeting analysts' expectations.

Prologis Beats on Earnings

Prologis (NYSE: PLD) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings today before the bell, and at midday its stock has risen 2.9% to $105.70 on the earnings beat. The logistics REIT posted net income of $280.5 million, down from $385.5 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of 38 cents, down from 61 cents. Prologis posted core funds from operations of $722.9 million or 95 cents per share, up from 84 cents and beating estimates of 92 cents. The firm posted revenue of $1.12 billion, up 35.6% and beating consensus estimates by $126.13 million. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $1.473 billion. Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, Prologis sees earnings of $2.36 to $2.52 per share and core funds from operations of $3.88 to $3.98 per share.

UBS Beats on Earnings

UBS (NYSE: UBS) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings today before the bell, and at midday its stock has risen 2.7% to $14.93 on the earnings beat. The Swiss financial institution posted net income of $1.71 billion, up a whopping 137% from $722 million in the prior year period and easily beating consensus estimates of $1.01 billion. UBS posted GAAP earnings per share of 46 cents, up from 19 cents. Wall Street did not provide earnings or revenue estimates. The firm posted operating income of $8.117 billion, up from $7.052 billion a year ago. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $6.6 billion, a 54% increase. UBS announced a new $4.5 billion stock buyback program over the next 3 years. Looking ahead, UBS declined to give earnings guidance due to pandemic and geopolitical uncertainty.

Freeport-McMoRan Falls on Mixed Earnings

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings today before the bell, and at midday its stock has fallen 7.4% to $26.85 on the mixed earnings. The mining firm posted net income of $708 million, up massively from $9 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of 48 cents, beating consensus estimates of 41 cents. Freeport-McMoRan posted adjusted earnings per share of 39 cents, up from 2 cents and missing consensus estimates of 40 cents. The firm posted revenue of $4.5 billion, up 15.1% and beating estimates by $170 million. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $599 million. Chief executive Richard Adkerson said the firm achieved strong operating performance and project execution.

Biden Open to Narrower Stimulus

US President Joe Biden’s top economic advisor Brian Deese said the Biden administration could be open to narrowing eligibility levels for the next round of coronavirus stimulus checks to ensure more targeted relief. Brian Deese told CNBC’s "Squawk Box" that Biden has welcomed Republican feedback and the focus on targeting relief plan to people in dire financial straits. He said about stimulus checks: "Certainly, if there are ways to make that provision, and other provisions, more effective, that’s something that we’re open to, that we’ll have conversations about." Deese’s comments came days after a bipartisan group Senators criticized Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and floated slashing the price, splitting it into parts, or tightening eligibility for checks. The proposal currently calls for a $1,400 stimulus check and billions for unemployment benefits, small business aid, and vaccine funding.

Brown & Brown Beats on Earnings

Brown & Brown (NYSE: BRO) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings yesterday after the bell, and today at midday its stock has fallen 3.5% to $46.05 despite the earnings beat. The insurance firm posted net income of $97.3 million, up from $76.5 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of 34 cents, easily beating consensus estimates of 28 cents. Brown & Brown posted adjusted earnings per share of 32 cents, up from 28 cents and beating consensus estimates of 29 cents. The firm posted revenue of $642.1 million, up 10.9% and beating estimates by $18.76 million. For the full year, the firm reported net income of $480.5 million. Chief executive Powell Brown said the firm is proud of its results in a challenging year.

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