Transcript: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Susie Gharib.

TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Show me the money. Stocks retreat as investors turn their lonely eyes to you, corporate America, hoping profits haven’t left and gone away as earnings season begins.

SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: First out of the gate. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) with a big earning beat. Is the company’s push to remake itself paying off?

MATHISEN: Cutting cancer costs. Quality care that’s less expensive? Tonight, a new study finds it’s very possible.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday, July 8th.

GHARIB: Good evening, everyone.

Here is the new worry on Wall Street: earnings — investors want to see U.S. companies deliver strong profits and revenues as the new quarterly earnings season kicks off this week. But Dow said corporate America won’t come through on that, a sign that super high stock prices are not justified is one reason stocks sold off today. Technology, Internet, biotech stocks and a lot of small cap companies were swept up in the selloff.

Here’s a rundown of today’s closing numbers. The Dow lost 117 points, closing below that key 17,000 mark. The NASDAQ tumbled by 60, a decline of more than 1 percent, and S&P off by 14 points.

MATHISEN: Well, the first company to report its numbers, Alcoa (NYSE:AA), didn’t disappoint. The company earned 18 cents a share, that excludes special accounting items and it was a beat of 6 cents a share. Revenues also easily whip the Wall Street estimates. Management says global aluminum demand will grow 7 percent this year. Shares moved higher in after-hours trading.

That strong second quarter at Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reflects a new strategy by the Pittsburgh-based metals giant as it transitions from a commodity provider to a product maker for the auto and aerospace industries.

Morgan Brennan has more.


MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alcoa (NYSE:AA) shed light on a much bigger story, the company’s ongoing fundamental shift from a pure aluminum producer to an industrial manufacturer.

KLAUS KLEINFELD, CHAIRMAN & CEO OF ALCOA: It’s a strong quarter — transformation in high gear. You see our value at business now makes up roughly 59 percent off the revenues, but almost 70 percent off the profits.

BRENNAN: Alcoa (NYSE:AA) has been concentrating more on producing parts for airplanes, autos, heavy trucks, gas turbines and building supplies, forging them from aluminum but also nickel and titanium.

(on camera): It’s a stark transition from just three years ago when global aluminum prices were tumbling amid tepid demand, and overproduction in China. That forced Alcoa (NYSE:AA) to cut back on its mining and smelting operations ad focus increasingly on finished products — a higher margin business that could benefit from lower commodity cost.

(voice-over): Since then, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) has forged partnerships with automakers for aluminum based panels, rolled out expansion plans of several aerospace-related facilities and last month announced the acquisition of a jet engine parts maker Firth Rixson, for nearly $3 billion.

JOSH SULLIVAN: We really think the next leg of the story is actually aerospace, and the Firth accusation last week really highlights what Alcoa (NYSE:AA) can truly put together.

BRENNAN: So far, the strategy seems to be working. Despite being booted from the Dow Industrial Average, the stock claimed dramatically over the past year, as products have accounted for more and more of Alcoa’s revenue.

SULLIVAN: The value-added the business of which the aerospace is a component went from 43 percent of operating income to 80 percent. So, when you talk about a transformation of the company, that’s already taken place. And with the stabilization on the commodity side of the business, any upside from there is just icing on the cake.

BRENNAN: But there are headwinds. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) faces increased competition from other aluminum producers, as well as steelmakers in the auto industry. And despite diversification, aluminum prices do continue to weigh on the company’s mining and smelting businesses.



GHARIB: Andrew Burkly joins us now to talk for about second quarter earnings season and the impact on the market. He’s a portfolio strategist at Oppenheimer and company.

So, Andy, we got that positive news from Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and it came on the same day that Samsung warned investors of a possible 26 percent drop in its quarterly profits. So, how is this earning season shaping up in your view and how’s it going to play up in the markets?


Yes, I think it’s going to be a pretty good earnings season. I mean, we’re looking for about 7 percent year over year growth for S&P 500 operating profits, on about 3 percent revenue growth, which is what we see the economic data currently tracking.

So, it looks like after the soft patch in Q1, the economy is certainly reaccelerating here. We think profit growth probably, you know, will be pretty good here in the second quarter. Probably most importantly for the markets is really going to be hearing what companies say in terms of forward guidance for the second half of the year because we know that analysts expectations for the second half are already pretty optimistic.

So, in order for them to push those numbers higher, which is what the market would need to push significantly higher, you know, we’re going to see — we need to see some better guidance coming from the companies as they report.

MATHISEN: Andrew, which sectors might be standouts or laggards and where might we spot some surprises?

BURKLY: I think, you know, let’s start with energy as an interesting sector, because we haven’t seen energy sector post year over year growth since early 2011. So, it’s been quite a period of time and the sector seems to be hitting on all cylinders broadly speaking, certainly higher crude oil prices had helped. But in the equipment side, we’ve seen a lot of infrastructure working as well, and then the refiners have been doing very well, also.

So, I think energy is an interesting one. I think, really, a key one is going to be financials, because expectations for financials are relatively low. It’s the only sector at this point that’s expected to have negative year over year growth and we think when it’s said and done, that might actually be a slight positive. So, we think financials could be a key and really the important one for the overall market.

GHARIB: So, Andy, how vulnerable are the markets to a correction, especially if some high-profile, bellwether stock reports an earnings miss or some negative number?

BURKLY: Yes, I mean, whatever you come into an earning’s season, you’re close on all time high and, certainly, as we’ve gotten over the Dow, 17,000 milestone here, you’re likely to have a correction or your vulnerability of correction certainly goes up, especially because evaluations have crept up quite a bit on a P/3 multiple bases. You know, we’re at the high end of the range over the last 10 years or so.

So, I think there is a lot of good news priced into the market that really is going to be up to earnings to come through. You know, we think maybe somewhere in the 3 percent to 5 percent correction is more likely if we see misses. We don’t see a bigger correction than that. Really, in terms of interest rates really start to move higher and we think we’re quite a bit away from that still.

MATHISEN: So, do you think the market broadly speaking, the S&P and the Dow can end higher? And if so, by roughly how much?

BURKLY: I think so. I mean, we’ve been looking for a 10 percent year. We did 6 percent in the first half of the year, so that means we have less in the second half, probably about 4 percent. I think, you’re going to see volatility pick up here as we go to the earnings season. But, I think, you know, you can get another 4 percent to 5 percent on top of this, which is another double digit year, which will be good.

GHARIB: All right. Good note to end the conversation on. Thanks a lot, Andy.

Andrew Burkly with Oppenheimer and Company.

MATHISEN: The chair of the Federal Reserve is gearing up to testify before Congress next week. Janet Yellen will deliver the Fed’s semi-annual U.S. monetary policy report on July 15th to the Senate Banking Committee. The following day, she will appear before the House Financial Services Committee.

GHARIB: Some good news about jobs. The Labor Department says that in May, U.S. businesses posted the most job openings in seven years, more Americans also quit their jobs, which usually happens when they find a better or higher paying one. Some economists see all this as a good sign of this year’s strong trends in hiring is likely to continue.

MATHISEN: Small businesses are hiring more workers, even as optimism from business owners retreated in June from a six-year high.

Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business, says new hiring has been a big driver for small business owners.


BILL DUNKELBERG, NFIB CHIEF ECONOMIST: The two components that did well were the labor market components, job openings hard to fill. That went up again, and plans to create new jobs, that went up again. So — and, of course, we are hiring more now. We have nine months in a row now that the small businesses have on average added new employees.


MATHISEN: But the survey notes that the optimism index fell because firms appear less confident that the overall U.S. economy will improve much in the coming months.

GHARIB: Well, even with all those new jobs, the CEO of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is worried about the financial health of his shoppers. His comments came on a day that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) met with small U.S. manufactures to get more American made products on its shelves.

Courtney Reagan has more.


COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than 900 meetings took place between small businesses, manufacturing products in the U.S., and the world’s largest retailer today in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is looking for vendors with products at least 90 percent made in the U.S. to add to store shelves and online as part of a 10-year, $250 billion commitment to support domestic products and jobs.

Joe Rosenberg, vice president of sales of garbage manufacturer Aluf Plastics, travelled to Arkansas from New York to participate in the retailer’s Made in the USA open call. Wal-Mart’s version of shark tank.

Rosenberg said it went even better than he hoped.

JOE ROSENBERG, ALUF PLASTICS: This will take us to the next level. Doing business with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) will really put us on the map, it will give us the ability to grow our company even more.

REAGAN (on camera): While getting a distribution deal with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) offers an incredible opportunity for suppliers who are pitching in the rooms behind me, the company has seen sales decline for five straight quarters and the stores open a year here in the U.S.

Wal-Mart’s U.S. CEO says while the unemployment rate is at the lowest in six years, Wal-Mart’s core consumer isn’t a part of that job growth.

BILL SIMON: The unemployment numbers particularly have been difficult to read with the number of people dropping out of the workforce, and I think it’s going to take a while, six months or a year for those numbers to balance out. Hopefully, after six years, we’re starting to gain a little traction in the U.S. and that traction is coming at the top end. I think the middle and down is still pretty challenged.

REAGAN (voice-over): Joe Rosenberg is anxious to do what he can to help Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) grow sales and traffic, one box of sustainable garbage bags at a time.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Courtney Reagan in Bentonville, Arkansas.


MATHISEN: Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) isn’t alone in needing to grow sales. Late today, the Container Store reported weak earnings, revenue, and issued soft guidance. Its he CEO went so far to call it a, quote, “retail funk”, that the weakness isn’t just due to the weather and calendar shift but an overall tepid environment that other retailers are also experiencing. That sent shares of the Container Store sharply lower after the bell.

And still ahead, cutting the cost of treating cancer. Can it be done without sacrificing patient care? We have the results of a new study on that.


GHARIB: The Justice Department appears closer to reaching a multibillion-dollar deal with Citigroup (NYSE:C) to settle lawsuits over risky mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis. Dows is reporting that Citi is expected to pay more than $4 billion as early as next week to avert the federal suit.

MATHISEN: The cost of cancer care is growing 15 percent a year. It’s expected to top $175 billion in the United States by the end of this decade. Costly cancer drugs one reason, but a new study out tonight from the insurer UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) finds there are other ways providers can cut costs dramatically.

Bertha Coombs has more.


BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The study aimed to cut costs by removing the profit motive to order costly procedures and higher priced drugs.

DR. LEE NEWCOMER, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: We froze the profit margin that a doctor could make on chemotherapy and medications, and we thought that would actually reduce the amount of high cost drugs that were being used.

COOMBS: UnitedHealth worked with five cancer centers over three years, including northwest Georgia oncology, giving them a fixed fee for each patient.

NEWCOMER: And we showed them all the things that were happening in their practices, their use of medications, the hospitalizations, use of diagnostics.

COOMBS: They cut costs, but the end result was a surprise.

DR. BRUCE GOULD: Even though we lost the battle, so to speak in controlling the drug cost, we won the war in terms of controlling the global cost of care.

COOMBS: They’d estimated drug cost at $7.5 million, the actual cost, $21 million. But they were more than offset but lower medical costs for high priced hospitalizations and radiation. The estimated tab under a normal contract, nearly $100 million.

Under the pilot program, costs were 1/3 lower, with no change in the outcomes for the cancer patients.

NEWCOMER: Their survival was exactly the same as our national averages and fee for service. So, quality is not taking a hit.

COOMBS: Dr. Bruce Gould credits the change to sharing data.

GOULD: Being able to put numbers to those different aspects of costs makes me more thoughtful in terms of how I use those resources.

COOMBS: One way he cut down on costs, hiring a physician’s assistant to coordinate the hospital care of his office’s patients.

GOULD: And they would end up spending an extra night in the hospital and being discharged the next morning. With a full-time physician’s assistant or in the hospital, the patient could be discharged that day.

COOMBS (on camera): But all of that coordination cost the practice money which Dr. Gould hopes they’ll make up by sharing in the savings from the program. At a time when Medicare and other insurers are cutting reimbursement. He says doctors have to pay a more central role in trying to coral cancer costs without sacrificing patient care.



GHARIB: Abbvie has sweetened its offer to buy Shire (NASDAQ:SHPGY). And that’s where we begin tonight’s “Market Focus.”

The Irish drug maker has rejected Abbvie’s past three offers. Now, this new cash and stock proposal is worth $51 billion, that’s $5 billion more than its last bid, or 11 percent higher. Shire’s board has said that earlier takeover approaches significantly undervalued the company, but no comment yet on this latest one.

Shares of Abbvie fell almost 3 percent to $55.69. Shire (NASDAQ:SHPGY) also down almost 2 percent to $232.92.

Cummins (NYSE:CMI), the maker of diesel and natural gas engines, announced plans to increase its dividend. It upped the payout by 25 percent to 78 cents a share. The board also authorized a stock buyback of up to $1 billion in shares after it completes its current $1 billion repurchase program. But despite that, shares fell slightly to $155.96.

MATHISEN: Elon Musk’s plans to expand in China might have hit a detour. The electric car maker faces a trademark infringement lawsuit in China. Tesla has announced a settlement of the case between the company and a Chinese businessman, that happened back in January, but now, he’s taking the automaker to court and demanding that it stop all sales and marketing activity in that country.

Shares of Tesla were down more than 1.5 percent to $219.07.

Now, the dividend hike to tell you about, this one from KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC). The chipmaker increased its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 50 cents a share. It also announced a $1 billion stock buyback. Shares of KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) up a fraction today, $74.09.

GHARIB: A profit warning from Samsung coming a few weeks ahead of its official earnings report, as we mentioned a little earlier in the program. The South Korean electronics giant is warning that profits could fall by 25 percent in the current quarter because fewer consumers, especially in China and Europe are buying its Galaxy smart phone.

MATHISEN: It looks like the nation’s cupcake craze may be ending, three years after going public at the height of the gourmet cupcake boom. The crumb’s bake shop chain shut down all of its 48 stores in 12 states late Monday. This comes after several years of losses, a dwindling cash supply and sales that were, forgive us, crummy.

GHARIB: The market-to-build rental apartments is super hot and so is a derivative play that’s just as hot. Student housing, private developers are now moving into that market and right on to campuses.

Diana Olick has the story.


DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are not the 1960’s cinder block sales most of us knew and loved. They are high style, high rise dormitories, backed by big money private developers.

BILL BAYLESS, AMERICAN CAMPUS COMMUNITIES: This is an industry ripe with opportunity. If you look at the student housing sector, it was ignored by the real estate industry for more than 40 years. And so, the modernization of our sector is just now taking place.

OLICK: Modernization to put it mildly, American Campus Communities (NYSE:ACC), real estate investment trust, is the largest player in the student housing space. It is grouping in, putting up swanky new dorms like this on campus at Drexel University in downtown Philadelphia. Is it a dorm or a day spa? Suites with private bedrooms, baths and kitchens, a full-sized fitness center, complete with a virtual golf driving range, a multi seat movie theater, a business center, and all for a comparable price to older dorms.

MIKE LYNCH: You definitely got the most you can get out of what you’re paying.

OLICK (on camera): Here at the University of Maryland, there are about 37,000 students but less than 10,000 university-owned beds and as universities want to focus their dwindling funds on academics, they are inviting private developers in and right on to campus.

ROBERT FRANCIS: They really know how to do this kind of housing right. They have a really good grip on the market, on what students want and what millennials want.

OLICK (voice-over): And what the growing population of international students want.

BAYLESS: International students are a big component of student housing in America today. At this particular property, this year, our international population is about 9 percent of our resident-based. Next year, it’s 19 percent.

OLICK: The boom is also being fueled by baby boomers, moving into college towns and eating up off campus apartments. Ironically, it’s all that student housing built for them back in the 60s that now needs to be replaced.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Diana Olick at the University of Maryland, College Park.


GHARIB: Coming up, Alibaba is one of the year’s most anticipated IPO, but once it starts trading, are you better off adding shares of this Chinese Internet company to your portfolio or maybe Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)? Our global rival series continues.


GHARIB: A big auto recall to tell you about and this time it’s from Ford. Ford Motor (NYSE:F) is recalling more than 100,000 vehicles in the U.S., six separate recalls in all. It’s to fix a variety of safety defects, including leaky roofs and corrosion.

Most of the recalled cars, 92,000 of them, are for Ford 2013 and 2014 Ford Tauruses and Lincoln MKS models, to fix a problem with the drive shaft. No injuries had been reported related to the defects.

To see a full list of the recalled cars, go to our Web site,

MATHISEN: World Cup semifinals being battled out. Host nation Brazil took on Germany in the World Cup semifinals.

And in the latest round of NBR’s ultimate stock cup, two giants of the Internet square off in the global marketplace. Representing the U.S., it’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), going up against China’s Alibaba.


MATHISEN (voice-over): At its core, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a search engine, a company that helps you find stuff. Its profits embedded in search-related ads. So, how big is it? Well, how many companies have ever become a verb?

Founded in 1998 by Stanford PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, it’s headquartered in Mountain View, California. 2013 revenue: more than $59 billion.

Page and Brin posed ads at first, hoping to keep their page uncluttered. It’s since become cluttered with money, which allowed them to buy the companies that have given us the likes of YouTube, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Earth, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps and Android, and that’s only a short list of Google’s gaggle.

Only a year later in 1999, Alibaba was founded in China by a one-time English teacher named Jack Ma. It’s headquartered now in Hangzhou and soon to go public in New York. 2013 revenue: about $7.5 billion.

One Alibaba service, Taobao, gives 7 million smaller businesses a chance to sell direct to consumers. Sellers buy ad space hoping to get noticed. Another service, Tmall, is where companies like Nike (NYSE:NKE), Gap (NYSE:GPS), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) pay Alibaba, so they can sell online in China.

Alibaba has also been expanding into mobile phones, mobile payment, banking and even TV and film production.

Alibaba and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), it’s a battle of a lifetime.


GHARIB: So, who will dominate in this global rivalry? Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Alibaba?

Channing Smith weighs in. He’s portfolio manager at Capital Advisors. I know that you favor Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Tell us why you think Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) over Alibaba is the stronger player, make the case.

CHANNING SMITH, CAPITAL ADVISORS: Well, I think one of the things you have to look at and kind of looking at Germany and Brazil today, I kind of liken Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to Germany. They are very controlled. They play very possession type of game.

If you look at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) search, they have 70 percent of the desktop market. They have about 70 percent of the mobile market. This is their bread and butter, but they also are able to set up opportunities in other areas, which they have invested in.

If you look at mobile advertising, this is an $8 billion type of business. It’s growing. We think it can double or triple over the next couple of years. They have YouTube, which is an enormous franchise, if you look at views, page views over the last year, it’s up 50 percent.

We think that this could be, you know, a $5 billion business this year, probably triple. They have number of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) payments. They have all types of different businesses that can grow revenues and earnings going forward at a steady pace.

MATHISEN: But, Channing, there is bound to be tremendous excitement this year, probably this summer, when Alibaba comes public. What would you advice American stock investors to do when they hear inevitable on this program and other places a lot of that talk about Alibaba?

SMITH: We would be careful. I mean, we’re very interested new with Alibaba. Look, this is a company that controls 84 percent of the Chinese e-commerce market. They dominate. They have a strong network. This is a company that’s going to benefit from an urbanization trend, growing middle class, from wages increasing, from Internet increasing in China.

But the valuation reflects a lot of this. Look, I’ve heard $200 billion to $250 billion is the evaluation. You know, to assume that that valuation is right, you have to assume 40 percent revenue growth over the next couple years.

And if you look at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), it’s just much cheaper. The revenues and earnings are five times greater than Alibaba.

And we would say, take a step back. Can the company produce this? Can they grow at this? Can they meet expectations?

Look what happened to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). You know, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) came out with higher expectations, the stock went down 50 percent.

GHARIB: Right.

SMITH: A recent example would be Twitter. They lost 50 percent.

So, we would take a step back and kind of wait for an evaluation. If it comes under $150 billion, we think it’s a buy.

GHARIB: All right. Well, while people are waiting, another area that — to compare these two companies is in terms of innovations, in terms of creativity, both of them have a very broad product mix. Who’s got the edge when it comes to disruptive innovations and creativity?

SMITH: Well, I think both companies are very strong. You know, if you look at Alibaba, it’s more of a China play. I wouldn’t say it’s a global play.

If you look at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), it’s more of a global pay. Most of the growth is from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) right now is coming outside of its borders.

But we like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) because of the Android. There is a $1 billion installed base for users there that creates big opportunity for advertising within that space. We like the video they are in. So, it’s really two different companies.

We think Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is more broad at this point, but don’t count Alibaba out. You know, the growth opportunity in China is enormous, that — you know, within — inside the borders, that country has tremendous growth opportunities and Alibaba can grow for a long time at a very high rate, just within its borders in China.

GHARIB: Well, it’s going to be interesting to watch this competition.

Channing Smith with Capital Advisors, thank you so much.

So, you just heard what our guest thinks. Now, we want to hear from you, which stock do you prefer? Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Alibaba? Go to vote on our Web site,

MATHISEN: And now to the results from last week’s global rivals challenge, where we asked you to choose between Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Adidas. The winner, big-time, Nike (NYSE:NKE). Sixty-eight percent of you voted for the American sportswear company, while just 32 percent of you thought rival Adidas was the better investment.

GHARIB: We’re seeing competition all around and all the ones that we’ve been doing over the last two weeks.

Well, that’s it for us NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I’m Susie Gharib. Thanks for joining us.

MATHISEN: And thanks from me, as well. I’m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great evening, everybody. We hope to see you back here tomorrow night.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post broadcast at The program is transcribed by CQRC Transcriptions, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. (c) 2014 CNBC, Inc.

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