TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Sink or soar. Cisco`s
strong results show that old tech companies still have what it takes. While new tech firm Twitter struggles to retain users.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Growing risks. Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the economy faces new challenges but she`s
not ready to change course just yet.
MATHISEN: And the hack attack at the IRS. The two words taxpayers don`t
want to hear as they prepare to file.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Wednesday,
HERERA: Good evening, everyone. Welcome.
Slowdown? What slowdown? After issuing a downbeat prediction for the most
recent quarter, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reported profits well above what Wall
Street was expecting and it didn`t stop there. Cisco`s outlook for the
current quarter was upbeat as well. The Dow component increased its
dividend and added $15 billion to its buyback.
The company earned 53 cents a share, 3 cents better than estimates.
Revenue for the quarter around $12 billion, a slight decline from a year
As for the stock, shares took off initially after that report was released.
And the results come at a tough time for the tech sector.
And as Josh Lipton explains, Cisco`s report was being closely watched as a
proxy for business spending.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Tech has tanked with
the NASDAQ now down more than 10 percent so far this year, a big part of
the concern, the global economic slowdown means companies are spending less
on technology. That`s why tech investors were so interested to hear from
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), which is seen as a barometer of corporate IT spending.
SCOTT KESSLER, S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE: It generated $49 billion in
revenue in its last fiscal year. So, the bottom line is, it was very big,
it remains big, and its earnings report is important for folks that want an
updated view as to how the global economy and technology spending are
playing out for this kind of company.
LIPTON: We`ve already heard from two big tech names that set a challenging
global economy, and soft IT spending was impacting their business. IBM`s
CFO Martin Schroeter called the macro environment mixed, and Intel
(NASDAQ:INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich said macro weakness weighed on the chip
The problem for many tech companies, though, is that global tech spending
is expected to grow at only a moderate pace. Business and government
purchases of tech goods and services will only grow about 2 percent this
year according to Forrester, that`s better than the 3 percent drop suffered
last year, but still represents a modest pace of expansion. Analysts say a
rising U.S. dollar and weaker economic growth in China and Europe will
pressure spending in 2016.
So, where does that leave tech investors? There`s a good chance that the
bad news is already priced in as S&P`s Kessler notes, many of these stocks
have already sold off. Now, as a result, S&P recommends investors buy
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), IBM, and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
MATHISEN: From old tech to new — Twitter which wants to attract more
users didn`t. The social media company`s average monthly active users
stalled in the fourth quarter, disappointing those who were looking for
fresh signs of growth. Twitter earned 16 cents a share and that was better
than expected. Revenue is just about in line, $710 million, but it was up
strongly from a year ago.
Now, the stock was volatile after hours initially falling sharply only to
rebound soon after.
Julia Boorstin has more now on Twitter`s results.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Twitter`s quarterly
report disappointing investors and sending the stock plummeting because of
one key fact. Its users numbers actually declined from the third to fourth
quarter, which ended with 305 million monthly active users. The number
excludes its SMS fast followers which use the service on more old-fashioned
Though the company met revenue expectations and beat earnings projections,
it was the fact it`s been unable to grow that Twitter user base that
weighed on the stock. And the fact that it`s Q-1 revenue guidance
disappointed expectations didn`t help any. Twitter saying in its letter to
shareholders that user trends are improving so far this year, and that
marketing efforts are paying, but that failed to reinsure investors.
Back over to you.
HERERA: Thank you very much, Julia.
Rather confusing day on wall street trying to make sense of testimony from
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. We`ll have more on what she said a bit
later in our program.
The Dow index gained 187 points mid-morning, but then those gains faded.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 100 points to
15,914. The NASDAQ gained 14. The S&P 500 finished basically flat.
MATHISEN: Well, the worst performing stock on the blue chip Dow index
today was Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Company. It reported record earnings as
we told you last night, but falling profit at its media unit dragged down
shares. Separately, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) shares were also lower, much
lower after reporting a bigger than expected drop in quarterly revenue and
disappointing results at some of its cable networks. Shares of both closed
at multi-year lows.
HERERA: Tim Nollen joins us now to talk more about the ailing media
sector. He is senior media analyst at Macquarie Securities.
Tim, welcome. Nice to have you with us this evening.
TIM NOLLEN, MACQUARIE SECURITIES, SR. MEDIA ANALYST: You`re welcome.
HERERA: What about the market`s response? Disney`s report was pretty
good. Is the market overreacting to some of the concerns out there about
the media stocks?
NOLLEN: I think it`s something of an overreaction for some of these names.
I think the justification is that the cord cutting fears are really
weighing now. You know, Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) both
talked about subscriber declines for the basic TV bundle in the quarter
Really everything else in both of their reports was fine. Time Warner
(NYSE:TWX) actually met — actually exceeded guidance and they raised
guidance for next year, but it was that one single point I think for both
of these companies that was the concern. And it`s a legitimate concern
because this has been the primary profit driver of these companies for a
long, long time.
MATHISEN: It`s not just obviously, Tim, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) or Disney
(NYSE:DIS) that was taken out to the woodshed. It was Discovery, it was
Viacom (NYSE:VIA) most especially. Talk to me about those two.
NOLLEN: Well, interestingly on Viacom (NYSE:VIA), you know, yesterday when
they reported, they actually reduced their guidance for affiliate fee
growth for the remainder of 2016, that was a high single digit growth
figure, it`s now a mid to low single digit growth figure.
And there are actually some reasons behind that which may make sense,
foreign exchange. And they include OTT, SVOD sales to Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX) and the like in that figure. So that may rebound actually
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), though, talked about 5 percent growth figure at
Turner in the quarter which is maybe just a little bit light, but they`ve
got double digit, they`ve got low teens growth in affiliate fees, into 2016
and 2017. So, I think there is some legitimate anxiety, but, you know,
there is still growth. Certainly maybe not as high as it was, but Time
Warner (NYSE:TWX) has some nice built-in growth.
And don`t forget, we`re talking about the traditional bundle that has been
under pressure, but there are some alternative options. Disney (NYSE:DIS)
talked about skinny bundles like Sling TV. Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) talked
about HBO Now, the OTT service which has 800,000 subscribers. So, there
are some nice offsets there.
It`s companies like Viacom (NYSE:VIA) that don`t have those options
available to them that are really suffering more.
HERERA: Tim, thank you very much for your insights.
Tim Nollen with Macquarie Securities.
NOLLEN: Thank you.
MATHISEN: And to politics now, Carly Fiorina suspending her presidential
campaign after a seventh-place finish in last night`s New Hampshire
primary. Chris Christie will also drop out as well after he finished
The big winners, of course, were Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as voters
showed their support for anti-establishment candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight, we serve
notice to the political and economic establishment of this country that the
American people will not continue to accept a corrupt campaign finance
system that is undermining American democracy and we will not accept a
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE : We are going to make America
great again, but we`re going to do it the old-fashioned way. We`re going
to beat China, Japan. We`re going to beat Mexico at trade. We`re going to
beat all of these countries that are taking so much of our money away from
us on a daily basis. It`s not going to happen anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: John Harwood covering the story for us.
You know, the other day I asked you when will we get down to the final
four? I guess we`re down to the final six right now. Trump seemingly the
front-runner for the nomination. Does he have the organization in some of
these next states to pull it off?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: No, but I don`t think
he`s going to need the organization, Tyler. We`ve seen the power of his
message is significant. The attraction he has, especially to working class
voters in the Republican Party. He`s pretty powerful.
Now, we go to South Carolina where we`ll test whether the ideological
conservatism of Ted Cruz and the establishment credibility of Jeb Bush, you
know, brother of former president who`s still got pretty good numbers down
there, and Marco Rubio is going to try to rebound. John Kasich got a lift
out of New Hampshire, whether they can compete and slow him down.
But he`s got a big lead, and his prospects are pretty good at this point,
HERERA: Let`s switch to Bernie Sanders, John. Given the win that he just
had, is Hillary Clinton in trouble?
HARWOOD: She`s in trouble, but not nearly as serious trouble as the rest
of the Republican field opposing Trump is. Hillary Clinton remains a solid
favorite for the Democratic nomination. The path for Bernie Sanders gets a
lot steeper as he gets to states where there are more African-American and
Latino voters who are favorable to Hillary Clinton, but he`s definitely lit
a fire of enthusiasm.
He will have a chance. He`ll have some money to test whether he can expand
that base of support. The — you have to say by history the odds are not
good, but can`t count him out.
MATHISEN: He`s attracting some money. He`s got a lot of the youth vote.
Let`s talk about money in this campaign. It has not translated into
advantage. The two best-financed candidates, Bush and Clinton, are not
HARWOOD: Exactly right. And Donald Trump hasn`t spent very much money.
It shows that his ability to get press coverage and favorable press
coverage, his celebrity, as well as his message, have overpowered the
influence of money in the race and the enthusiasm behind Bernie Sanders has
overpowered Hillary Clinton`s money, although sanders has had enough to get
his own message out.
You know, we`ve seen for some time, Tyler, the importance of television
advertising has been diminishing in the race has social media and other
avenues of information have proliferated, made it easier for campaigns to
reach voters in other ways. This may be the campaign that kind of breaks
the idea that a big bank account is what gets you elected.
MATHISEN: All right. John, thank you very much. John Harwood reporting
tonight from Washington.
HERERA: Still ahead, does Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen see things in
the economy that others don`t? What she told lawmakers when testifying on
Capitol Hill today.
HERERA: The federal government reported a budget surplus of more than $55
billion in January. The Treasury Department says that`s an improvement
from a year ago and it was helped out by a timing quirk, $42 billion in
benefit checks were sent out in December because the regular payment period
fell on a weekend.
MATHISEN: Fed chair Janet Yellen told Congress today that growth prospects
in the U.S. economy have fallen in recent weeks. She walked a careful line
in the first of two days of semiannual testimony on Capitol Hill. She
highlighted the strength of the labor market, but said financial and market
conditions, including overseas could restrain U.S. growth.
Hampton Pearson reports.
JANET YELLEN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: Thank you.
HAMPTON PEARSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers continued global economic woes and market
volatility might force the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of future rate
hike but not right away.
YELLEN: I want to make clear that monetary policy is not on the preset
course, and so, our evaluation of the likely impact of those developments
on the economic outlook are in our ability to meet both our employment and
inflation objectives. Those are the factors that will govern the future
stance of monetary policy.
PEARSON: The Fed`s semiannual report to Congress raises concerns about
China`s economic slowdown and weaker currency, the further decline in oil
prices and the strong dollar hurting U.S. exports.
But the Fed chair told lawmakers strong hiring, rising wages, and more
consumer spending could help the U.S. economy weather the storm.
YELLEN: Ongoing employment gains and faster wage growth should support the
growth of real incomes and, therefore, consumer spending. And global
economic growth should pick up over time supported by highly accommodative
monetary policies abroad.
PEARSON: But Yellen did admit monetary policymakers have at least studied
negative interest rates, which central banks in Japan and Europe have
recently used as a policy tool.
REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: So, at this point, it`s unclear
whether or not the fed does have legal authority to implement negative
YELLEN: I am not aware of any — anything that would prevent us from doing
it, but I`m saying that we have not fully investigated the legal issues
that would — that still needs to be done.
PEARSON: Day one of the Fed chair`s congressional testimony ended with no
major surprises but also a concession that monetary policymakers are,
indeed, closely watching global economic developments.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson in Washington.
HERERA: The National Retail Federation expects sales to grow a little bit
more than 3 percent this year. That`s higher than the ten-year average and
excludes automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants. The industry group
cites a strengthening job market and steady consumer confidence and says
more spending will shift away from the mall. Consumer spending accounts
for about 70 percent of all economic activity.
MATHISEN: The Supreme Court blocked the White House`s clean power plan.
The justices put on hold rules that would curb carbon dioxide emissions
from coal-fired power plants. The court decisions means the regulations
will not go into effect until an appeals court makes its ruling. The White
House says it disagrees with the decision.
HERERA: Also in Washington, the Internal Revenue Service says identity
thieves hacked into their system. Their goal was to steal your tax refund.
Eamon Javers has more on the last thing any taxpayer wants to see during
Good to see you, Eamon.
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi, Sue.
This is one of those ones where the IRS said they were able to nip it in
the bud. They were able to stop this attack as it was happening. But it
really reminds you of just what a huge target the IRS is for hackers around
the world. So much financial information, so much personal on the servers
at the IRS, hackers really want to get in there and the IRS knows they`re
under attack every single day.
Here`s what happened as far as we know in this latest incident which they
revealed last night. They said thieves used previously stolen data to
generate what are called E-File PINs, those personal identifying numbers to
try to get in there and create and file returns.
Now, what they said was this involved 464,000 Social Security numbers and
said the attack was halted and so, therefore, no data was lost. Now, this
was similar to, but a little bit less serious to an attack that happened
last summer involving the “get transcript” feature of the IRS in which
people were trying to hack in and get returns and then use the data on
those returns to get bogus refunds.
The IRS commissioner was on Capitol Hill today and he explained the
difference. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KOSKINEN, IRS COMMISSIONER: I would note that both the get transcript
difficulty and the more recent attack in the last couple weeks both were
sophisticated forms of identity theft. The criminals already had all of
the personal information of the taxpayer that they need. None of those
attacks breached our system, itself. They were not cyber breaches in the
sense that our database was accessed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAVERS: So, Sue, the key here is the IRS says they were able to stop this
one before any major damage was done.
HERERA: So, you explain what happened here, but what now happens to those
— I think you said 400,000-plus people whose information is out there now?
JAVERS: Yes, that`s right. The IRS said those were people where the
hackers had stolen their information somewhere else and then were using it
at the IRS to try to generate these bogus returns. What the IRS said
they`re going to do is write letters to all these people telling them, hey,
you better pay attention, your information has been stolen, it is out there
on the black market, you might want to take cyber security steps to protect
MATHISEN: As Butch said to Sundance, Sundance to Butch, who are these
JAVERS: That`s one of the really good questions here. A lot of people
think a lot of this is coming from Russia and Eastern Europe. But
attributions in cyber security is so difficult, because they can use
computers, drone those computers can be in anywhere in the world. Very
hard to tell sometimes.
HERERA: All right, Eamon. Thank you so much.
JAVERS: You bet.
HERERA: Eamon Javers in Washington.
MATHISEN: The health insurer Humana (NYSE:HUM) sees its quarterly profit
drop by nearly a third and that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company attributed the steep loss to the cost of its medical insurance
plans under the Affordable Care Act, a bright spot, the insurer said its
2016 earnings will be above forecast.
Last July, Humana (NYSE:HUM) agreed to be acquired by rival Aetna
(NYSE:AET) for $37 billion. Shares of Humana (NYSE:HUM) up 1 percent to
Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) (NYSE:GLW) saw its shares rise today after the
company increased its quarterly dividend by 6 percent and posted better
that expected quarterly profits. The glass and roofing products maker also
issued an upbeat outlook for 2016 saying it sees continued growth in its
three main business segments. Shares rose over 2.5 percent to $43 even.
Fitbit which makes health and finance products you wear on your wrist saw
its shares bulk up after two prominent stakes in the company were revealed.
An SEC filing showed that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff had taken a 5 percent
stake in the company. On another filing disclosed, Vanguard Group now owns
a big 9 percent share. Fitbit rose nearly 3 percent to $14.68.
MATHISEN: Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) says it`s received approval from European
regulators to buy rival Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), as long as those companies
dismantle all of Office Depot`s European operations in an effort to ease
competition concerns. The merger is valued at more than $6 billion.
The deal still needs approval from the U.S. and from Canada. U.S.
regulators have challenged that deal over concerns about competition.
Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) was up a penny to $8.41. Office Depot (NYSE:ODP)
popped more than 2 percent to $5.03.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is buying back up to $5 billion worth of its shares.
The new program would replace the $2 billion buyback the company issued in
2010. Shares of the e-commerce giant rose initially in extended trading
after closing up more than a percent today to $490.48.
And despite issuing a worse than expected loss for its latest quarter, the
automaker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) saw its shares jump in after-hours
trading, strong deliveries and guidance for the year. The reasons for the
Tesla said it expects to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 new Model S and
Model X vehicles in 2016. The announcement came with news at the company
posted a much worse than expected loss in its latest quarter. Shares were
down more than 3 percent today to $143.67, but had a strong showing after
the bell on that guidance.
MATHISEN: A sharp drop in interest rates prompted more homeowners to
refinance their mortgages last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association
reports that total application volume increased more than 9 percent.
Behind most of those gains: refinancings. Not new purchases. Purchase
apps are still 25 percent higher than they were a year ago.
HERERA: And a new trend is taking hold in housing. Generations of
families are living under one roof. Think “Downton Abbey”.
Americans have moved away from the model in the last century, of course,
but now, they`re suddenly moving back, which opened up new doors, new
designs and new opportunities for the home builders.
Diana Olick has this all in the family story.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Jennifer Michaels
never intended to live with her mother, Lucy Abbott.
But when Michaels sold her house faster than she expected, she and her kids
needed somewhere to stay. So, they went to grandma`s.
Much to all their surprise, they didn`t hate it.
JENNIFER MICHAELS, MOVED IN WITH MOM: We decided it just was like the
perfect fit. And we never left.
LUCY ABBOTT, LIVES WITH DAUGHTER: I enjoyed the life that the kids bring
to you when they`re around you all the time, but we did have our
OLICK: The challenge was not a bigger space, but separate spaces.
ABBOTT: I`m time traveler.
OLICK: Lucy likes the video games.
ABBOTT: I`m a gamer and I`m up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. And the
kids need their sleep.
OLICK: So, mother and daughter decided to buy a next gen home by builder
Lennar (NYSE:LEN), a leader in this trend. The home has two entrances,
separate kitchens, and living areas.
MICHAELS: I literally have gone three days without seeing her.
OLICK: Fourteen percent of all U.S. households, that`s 16.5 million,
already live multi-generationally.
JOHN BURNS, JOHN BURNS REAL ESTATE CONSULTING: One of the reasons we`ve
seen so much immigration in the last 25 years and other cultures around the
world tend to live multi-generationally. That`s caused the numbers to
OLICK: The recession also played a part, young adults were hit hardest in
the job market and some were unable to move out. They`re also delaying
marriage, which keeps them home longer.
On the other end of the spectrum, baby boomers are retiring and downsizing.
Burns surveyed 20,000 potential home buyers were surveyed and found nearly
half would like to accommodate their elderly parents in their next home and
almost as many want to live with their adult children.
MICHAELS: Not at all about the finances. In fact, the house that we were
all living in, we`re renting it out so we didn`t even sell it to buy this
house. It`s more of a connection between the generations.
ABBOTT: Grandparents like me are more active. You know, we do more
things. We`re healthier. We live longer. So, the relationships with
grown-up children can mature.
OLICK: And so, with the right floor plan —
ABBOTT: The light bulb went on.
OLICK: — families that don`t play together can still stay together.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
MATHISEN: Grandma the gamer. Got to love that.
All right. Coming up, deep in the heart of Texas is the priciest ranch
ever sold to a sports mogul.
HERERA: The owner of the NFL`s Los Angeles Rams is now also the owner of a
massive Texas ranch and it`s not his first land-buying rodeo.
Jane Wells has more on the billionaire behind what`s quite possibly the
most expensive ranch ever sold in the U.S.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s good to be rich,
but with the stock market seesawing and the outlook murky, where does a
multibillionaire put his money? Real estate.
STAN KROENKE, DEVELOPER MAGNATE: It`s great to be here today.
WELLS: That`s exactly what this developer magnate Dan Kroenke has done.
Just a couple weeks ago, he announced approval to move his football team,
the Rams, back to Los Angeles, where he is financing a $2 billion state of
the art stadium on land he purchased in Inglewood.
Now, Kroenke has bought an even bigger piece of property. In fact, the
largest single ranch in the United States. The Waggoner Ranch in Texas
covers six counties, 800 square miles, 535,000 acres. It`s bigger than Los
Angeles and New York City combined.
The asking price was $750 million, actual purchase price unknown. Now, the
ranch has cattle, oil, horses, farmland, and it`s been owned by one family
Now, the Waggoner heirs say they picked Kroenke because he promised to
preserve what`s considered an American treasure, in other words, no
football stadium or team here.
Kroenke is married to one of Sam Walton`s daughters and together, Forbes
estimates they`re worth over $12 billion. They bought another large ranch
in Montana a few years ago, and now, with the Waggoner Ranch under his
belt, Stan Kroenke owns 1.4 million acres of American ranchland, making him
one of the top five private landowners in the country behind people like
John Malone and Ted Turner.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jane Wells.
MATHISEN: That`s breathtaking. Six counties.
HERERA: Six counties.
HERERA: Wow. We`ll keep track of that story for you.
That does it for us tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for watching.
MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great
evening, everybody. And we will see you right back here tomorrow night.