TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: A tale of two tech stocks.
One beat earnings expectations by a lot. The other missed by a lot. And one may be a better long term investment than the other.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Protecting your privacy.
Broadband providers now need your permission to sell your digital
information. A win for consumers. A blow for telecom and cable companies.
MATHISEN: Final stretch. Why issues surrounding trade and agriculture
could tip the scales in the battleground state of Georgia.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
Two powerful tech companies reported very different quarterly results late
today. We begin with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its big earnings miss, not
coming anywhere near where Wall Street was expecting. And one reason was a
sharp rise in the e-commerce company`s shipping costs which rose more than
40 percent. Other expenses included investments in new growth markets like
fashion and beauty.
Here are the numbers. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) earned 52 cents a share. Wall
Street was looking for 78 cents. Revenue rose 29 percent from a year ago
to $32 billion.
But its sales guidance wasn`t as strong as some would have liked. That
sent shares lower in initial after-hours trading.
Deirdre Bosa has the one key takeaway from Amazon`s results.
DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Over the last two
quarters, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has blown earnings expectations out of the
water. So, when it came up short this time, the stock sold off in the
after hours. A key takeaway is its revenue guidance for the fourth
quarter. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was expected to make a killing in the e-
commerce space during the all-important holiday shopping season but its
outlook fell a little short.
On the bright side, its e-cloud business continues to grow at a healthy
clip, 55 percent in the last quarter.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Deirdre Bosa, San Francisco.
MATHISEN: Meantime, Alphabet, the world`s second largest company and the
parent of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), reported its profits, too, and they blew
past expectations. The company also reported that double digit increase in
sales helped by strong sales of ads on mobile devices, a market in which it
is one of the dominant players in mobile.
Now, Alphabet earned $9.06 a share. That was a full 43 cents better than
expectations. Revenue was up about 20 percent to more than $22 billion.
And that along with plans to repurchase 7 billion of its class “C” shares
helped the stock rise, as you right there, in initial after-hours trading.
Jon Fortt takes a closer look at Alphabet`s quarter.
JON FORTT, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) out
with earnings after the bell that beat analysts` expectations in the top
and bottom line. But the real number that you need to pay attention to in
this report is paid clicks. They are through the roof, mainly because of
growth at YouTube that continues to be a bigger and bigger share of
Google`s advertising revenue. Mobile is a part of that. It is absolutely
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jon Fortt.
HERERA: So, as we said, it was two very different earnings outcomes for
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Google`s parent company Alphabet.
Despite the mixed results, which one might be a better long term investment
in your portfolio?
Dan Morgan joins us. He`s the senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust.
He owns shares of both companies and he joins us now.
Dan, nice to see you again. Welcome back.
DAN MORGAN, SYNOVUS TRUST SR. PORTFOLIO MANAGER: How are you doing?
HERERA: Let me start first of all with Amazon`s miss. Were you surprised?
MORGAN: It was a little bit disappointing. Revenue was pretty much in
line, as you said, earnings was way below. We know that Bezos is known to
spend money on future products and fulfillment centers. You mentioned some
of the things that they spent money that really increased over this
quarter. But it was a little bit disappointing because we kind of thought
some of that had gotten behind us a little bit. Now, we`re going to start
getting some of the benefits of all those future or past talks associated
MATHISEN: The big factor there, it seems, was the cost of shipping which
has gone up. Does Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) — and I know they`ve made some
steps in this direction — does Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) need to capture more
of its own shipping, in other words build its own network?
MORGAN: Well, it`s interesting, Tyler, because when you look at the
increase in prime, right, which is free shipping, $99, you can buy stuff
and get free shipping, one of the concerns with that was that it was going
to eat into margins a little bit or eat into costs, because now, Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) is taking on that cost.
So, you`re presenting an interesting proposal, which is do they start kind
of taking care of that and trying to bring that cost down, as opposed to
relying on U.S. post office or ups or something. So, that`s kind of an
interesting dynamic of the whole prime phenomenon.
HERERA: Now, let`s switch to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Alphabet, its parent
company. That was the opposite issue. Really, it out-performed on its
earnings on the top and bottom line. You own both shares, Dan. Are you
more inclined towards Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Alphabet at this point than
you are to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)?
MORGAN: Well, you know, Sue, it`s hard just on one quarter to make a
judgment. I mean, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is still really, really interesting
in the fact that we haven`t talked about their AWS or web service group.
It was up about 55 percent. They did about $3.2 billion. And that whole
cloud component on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) makes it very interesting.
But, you know, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is very interesting too. And the fact
that we haven`t talked about the things that they`ve done with their
artificial intelligence chips, they just came out with a new phone, the
Pixel, about $650. So, they`re doing some things that may really set them
apart in terms of technology that they have that other people don`t.
So, you know, both companies are — we both own both companies, like both
companies. Again, it`s very hard to say just because one missed and one
did well in the quarter, we`re going to get rid of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and
buy Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). I think they`re both interesting companies, in
terms of the things they`re doing away from their core businesses.
HERERA: All right. On that note, Dan, thank you so much.
MORGAN: Thanks, Sue.
HERERA: Dan Morgan with Synovus Trust.
MATHISEN: On Wall Street, stocks dropped on this, the busiest day of
earnings season. Investors also reacted to the rise in bond yields around
the globe, closing in on 2 percent here in the U.S. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average fell 29 points to 18,169, NASDAQ off 34, the S&P 500
HERERA: The biggest chip deal in history was made official. Qualcomm
(NASDAQ:QCOM) will buy NXP Semiconductor for $39 billion. As we`ve
reported, the two companies have been in talks for a while. It follows a
wave of other chip makers who have merged. The Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO
says this deal will extend Qualcomm`s reach beyond smartphones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MOLLENKOPF, QUALCOMM (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO: If you look at the larger
context of what`s happening in the industry, the car, the Internet of
things, the technology roadmap, and the amount of technology and
technological change that`s going to occur in both those industries, it
reminds me of what the smartphone looked like in 2000, before there was a
smartphone. Everyone was trying to figure out, how do you assemble all of
the assets, the technology breadth, to be successful in that huge
transition? That same thing is going to happen in the Internet of things,
the same thing is going to happen in automotive. We`re happy to have the
big pieces to be able to drive it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Shares of both NXP and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) rose in trading
MATHISEN: Gannett`s potential takeover of Tronc may be in doubt. As first
reported by Bloomberg, the banks involved in financing the deal are backing
out. Gannett (NYSE:GCI), the owner of “USA Today,” wanted to buy Tronc, to
create a company that could better compete with online news sites.
So, what the heck is Tronc? The formerly known as Tribune Publishing,
owner of “The L.A. Times”, among other properties. The report from
“Reuters” however says the two companies remain in advanced talks. But the
damage was done. Tronc dropped nearly 28 percent, Gannett (NYSE:GCI) down
HERERA: UPS delivered on revenue in the latest quarter, beating Wall
Street expectations. The world`s largest package delivery company said it
was helped by a rise in the number of daily shipments.
But as Morgan Brennan reports, UPS has turned its attention to what it
expects to be another record breaking holiday season.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: UPS is gearing up
for another record holiday season. The delivery giant expects to move more
than 700 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year`s Eve, a
staggering sum that`s 14 percent more than last year.
There are two additional delivery days on the calendar this holiday season.
But the big jump can still be largely attributed to the persistent surge in
online shopping activity.
RICHARD PERETZ, UPS CFO: We`ll see over 60 percent of those days having
over 30 million packages. And just a few years ago, we might have had two
or three days over 30 million. But we`re prepared. We`ve been spending
the entire year making sure that we can make the necessary adjustments,
collaborating with our customers, and ensuring that we`re going to deliver
a great Christmas season for everybody around the world.
BRENNAN: To get it right, ups is deploying a specialized routing software
in all its U.S. delivery trucks, adding temporary facilities to handle the
flood of packages, and recruiting some 95,000 seasonal workers. Those
details coming on the heels of earnings results this morning as well, with
UPS reporting that profit and revenue both grew last quarter and the
company on track to hit its 2016 guidance.
As e-commerce demand continues to soar and as more retailers look to have
goods moved as quickly as possible, ups is also making a bigger long term
investment that won`t begin to pay off until late next year. The company
is purchasing more planes for the first time since 2013, expanding its
existing fleet of over 500 owned and leased jets. And it isn`t disclosing
the cost of the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 747-8 freighters. But the list price is
in the billions of dollars.
Analysts say the big bet stokes uncertainty, one reason stocks came under
DONALD BROUGHTON, AVONDALE PARTNERS: If it modernizes the fleet, lowers
the cost of shipping, more fuel efficient, then it`s great news, it can
help margins, that`s certainly what it did for FedEx (NYSE:FDX). If it
doesn`t, if it just increases capacity and puts pressure on global pricing
for air freight shipments, then that`s bad.
BRENNAN: But heading into the final months of 2016, it`s still all about
the holiday season, as UPS and rival FedEx (NYSE:FDX) prepared to deliver a
record number of gifts to consumers. And if all goes well, solid returns
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, big investment. Why one candidate for president
wants to spend a trillion dollars fixing our roads, bridges, and more.
MATHISEN: Federal Communications Commission today approved unprecedented
new rules to protect your online privacy. It is a win for consumers, but a
blow to broadband providers.
Hampton Pearson has more on the sweeping new regulations.
HAMPTON PEARSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Federal
communications commissioners voted 3-2 to approve first time privacy rules
for broadband. From now on, internet service providers like AT&T (NYSE:T),
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), must get consent
from consumers before using sensitive data like a customer`s web browsing
history or what apps are used for marketing and advertising.
TOM WHEELER, FCC CHAIRMAN: It is the consumer`s information. It is not
the information of the network the consumer hires to deliver that
PEARSON: Republican commission members opposed the new policy. They say
it unfairly gives websites like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter, and Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), the ability to harvest more data than service providers.
AJIT PAI, FCC COMMISSIONER: Nothing in these rules will stop providers
from harvesting and monetizing your data, whether it`s the websites you
watch, what you visit, or the YouTube videos you watch or the e-mails you
send, or the search terms you enter on any of your devices.
PEARSON: The new FCC policy comes just days after AT&T (NYSE:T) and Time
Warner (NYSE:TWX) announced an $85 billion proposed merger, joining forces
to compete for targeted ads as a selling point. Now they may have less
access to consumer data. Anti-regulation consumer groups say even more
restrictions may be coming.
BERIN SZOKA, TECHFREEDOM PRESIDENT: This is one first step towards pushing
us to a more European-style heavily restrictive approach to privacy. That
would be bad for the entire Internet and for innovation.
PEARSON: No surprise, consumer advocates generally like the new plan,
because it`s closer to longstanding Federal Trade Commission privacy
policy, including rules aimed at preventing identity theft and the
unauthorized sale of private data.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson in Washington.
HERERA: To politics. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has a
plan to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure over the next decade. The
outline, drafted by his advisers, relies on private funding.
John Harwood is following the story for us from Washington.
John, Mr. Trump has been speaking about spending lots of money on
infrastructure for some time now. Is the price tag here what`s new, or is
there other things here that are new?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The price tag is the
same. He`s been saying $1 trillion for a while, Sue. What`s new is that
his advisers, Peter Navarro and Wilber Ross, outlined how the fund that
they`re proposing would actually work.
And, essentially they`re saying private investors would put up $167 billion
and the rest would be borrowed money. And the money would be repaid by the
revenue streams from projects that they would be building.
MATHISEN: So, John, how does this proposal compare with Hillary Clinton`s?
HARWOOD: Well, it`s twice as big as Hillary Clinton`s. She`s got a $500
billion infrastructure proposal. A bunch of that, more than half of it
would be direct public spending. But Hillary Clinton would also create a
similar private fund, an infrastructure bank with $25 billion, to also try
to leverage private investment.
One of the key differences is Donald Trump`s program would apply to
programs with dedicated revenue streams, user fees on the people who
consume it. Hillary Clinton`s does not have that restriction. Therefore,
it would be generally available infrastructure. Some people might object
to the privatization component in Donald Trump`s plan.
HERERA: Given how close we are to this election, John, might this proposal
make a significant difference in the race at this point or not?
HARWOOD: I doubt it. Policy at this point doesn`t really break through,
given how much is known about these candidates. But the idea of spending –
– putting a lot of people to work building infrastructure is something with
appeal in the states like Ohio and Pennsylvania that Donald Trump is
counting on for his electoral vote majority if he can get one.
But, of course, we know that he`s down about six points in national polls.
He`s got a long road to travel to get back in this race.
MATHISEN: So, just so that I`m clear, Mr. Trump`s plan would target things
like toll roads that have revenue streams, airports that have revenue
generating capacity, right?
HARWOOD: They say they are not in favor of toll roads themselves. They
haven`t really laid out all of the elements. But it would have dedicated
user funds. That is how they say they would get borrowing costs down, by
HERERA: All right. John, thank you so much. John Harwood in Washington.
MATHISEN: And now to the Clinton camp where a newly-leaked memo indicates
two chief fundraisers from the Clinton Foundation urged donors to steer
business, including paid speech opportunities, to former President Bill
Eamon Javers joins us now with more on this interaction of political power
Eamon, what did we learn today that we didn`t already know?
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tyler, for one
thing, we learned that President Clinton`s former top aide Doug Band
thought of himself as the CEO of Clinton, Inc., and maybe Bill Clinton as
the chairman of that enterprise.
Doug Band laid out in this stolen memo on elaborate strategy whereby all
the elements of the Clinton universe would raise money and generate clients
from pretty much the same group of clients — so, the Clinton Foundation,
the Clinton Global Initiative, those are the charitable arms, Bill Clinton
personally in terms of speeches that he gave, and then Doug Band`s private
consulting firm called Teneo, would all hit up the same set of clients for
donations and revenue. That was an intentional effort going back to the
early days of Bill Clinton`s post-presidency.
HERERA: Is any of this illegal?
JAVERS: It doesn`t seem to be illegal. As of right now, we`re not seeing
evidence in these WikiLeaks e-mails that anybody traded favors in exchange
for these donations. We`re not seeing any indication of any illegal money
changing hands. What we are seeing is something that a lot of voters won`t
necessarily like the smell of, which is intertwining these charitable
operations with Bill Clinton`s own personal efforts to make money for
himself and for his family, and the lifestyle, the private jets, the hotels
and all of that. All of it is spelled out in enormous detail in these e-
MATHISEN: Some would call this ingenious cross-selling, wouldn`t they, and
others would say this was pay for access.
JAVERS: Yes, an interesting choice of phrase. And what you don`t see in
these e-mails, at least what I haven`t seen, having read a lot of them now,
is any indication that the Clinton people gave a whole lot of thought to
what it was these donors thought they were buying, why would you want to
buy this much time of Bill Clinton, why would you spend this much money on
his charitable enterprises, why would you want to give him your private
plane to use for the afternoon. All of that seems to be a blind spot by
the Clinton people.
And, then, of course, we`re also learning a whole lot about the really
significant infighting between Chelsea Clinton and Doug Band, a fascinating
sort of edible struggle there between Bill Clinton`s daughter and a staffer
that a lot of people considered to be Bill Clinton`s moral equivalent of an
adopted son. Fascinating dispute there as well.
HERERA: More to come.
MATHISEN: Eamon, thanks very much.
JAVERS: You bet.
MATHISEN: Yes, fascinating insights into palace intrigue.
Eamon Javers in Washington.
HERERA: North America dings Ford`s results, and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The automaker said a drop in North American sales and costs associated with
the company`s door latch recall caused profit to slip by more than half.
Nonetheless, the results were still better than analysts` estimates. The
company also said it plans to cut back on production in the current
quarter. Ford shares were off 1 percent to $11.74.
Profit and revenue at Twitter climbed in its latest quarter, beating street
expectations. And in an effort to turn a profit next year, the company
plans to lay off 9 percent of its total workforce. That`s about 350
employees. Twitter rose 11 cents to $17.40.
The energy company ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) narrows its loss more than
expected, thanks in part to cost cuts. The company reported a drop in
revenue as a rise in oil production was offset by lower selling prices due
to the ongoing commodity slump. Conoco also trimmed its capital budget
outlook for 2016. Shares were up 5 percent to $44 even.
And the health insurer Aetna (NYSE:AET) topped analysts` earnings
expectations helped in part by higher fees and cost cuts. The company,
which has said it will discontinue its participation in most of the
affordable care plans, added it expects losses from those government plans
to persist. The company`s CEO says the flawed exchange isn`t expected to
improve anytime soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BERTOLINI, AETNA CEO: We need to fix the risk adjustment program.
This population has clearly got more morbidity than had been initially
anticipated. If we can fix the risk adjustment, we can stabilize the
market. But until that happens, it`s only going to get worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Aetna (NYSE:AET) was off a fraction to $110.83.
MATHISEN: Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) said robust drug sales lifted
profit and revenue above estimates. The solid results prompted Bristol to
raise its 2016 guidance and launch a $3 billion share buyback program. The
company`s CEO says the future is bright.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOVANNI CAFORIO, BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CEO: We have really exciting
potentially innovative medicine, not only in oncology, in the heart
failure, in immunoscience, fibrosis, all of those programs are moving
forward and the long term prospects for the growth of the company are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares rose nearly 5.5 percent on the session to $51.96.
Community health systems warned of a third quarter loss ahead of its
quarterly earnings report next week. The hospital operator said fewer
patient admissions would cause revenue to take a hit. Community health`s
stock was also downgraded by two banks following the news. Shares were cut
in half, closing at $5.05.
Shares of GNC Holdings took a dive after the vitamin and supplement company
posted lower profit and revenue that missed estimates. The company also
said same store sales fell. Management says it`s addressing key issues
that it hopes will kick start growth. Investors didn`t hang around today
to find out. Shares plunged nearly 25 percent to $15.13.
And China-based shipping company ZTO Express (NYSE:EXPR) made an
inauspicious stock market debut today, raising almost $1.5 billion in its
initial public offering. That`s the largest in the U.S. this year. That`s
the good news. Less good news is the stock opened at $18.40. That was a
full dollar below the company`s initial offer price. And shares began to
swoon from there, ending the day down 15 percent to $16.57.
HERERA: Coming up, why Georgia, home to Delta, Home Depot (NYSE:HD), and
Coke, is now a battleground state in the race for the White House.
HERERA: Here`s a look at what to watch for tomorrow. Big oil earnings
from Dow components ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) are out.
We`ll find out how fast the economy grew in the third quarter with the
release of the GDP report. We`ll also get a fresh read on consumer
sentiment. That`s what to watch for on Friday.
MATHISEN: Agriculture and trade are two economic issues voters of Georgia
are thinking about ahead of Election Day. And while Georgia historically
votes Republican, this election cycle, nothing is certain.
Andrew Ross Sorkin reports tonight from this somewhat surprising
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: With two weeks
to the election, we are in Georgia, which is turning into a battleground
state, talking to local business people, politicians, and others about what
are the most important economic issues here in Georgia.
Georgia is joining the list of typically conservative states that have
turned into battlegrounds.
GREG BLUESTEIN, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: An “Atlanta Journal-
Constitution” poll actually showed Clinton ahead by four points in August.
That was also after a really rough week for Trump`s campaign. But it`s
been close throughout. I still think it will be a close election.
SORKIN: The Peach State has voted for Republicans in the past five
presidential races. While Trump is leading, changing demographics and a
skeptical Republican base have helped move the needle to the left in recent
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: To close the gap, we
have folks on the ground. We have 13 field offices across the state.
We`re running competitive state house and state senate races. And we`re
knocking the doors. We are getting all done that we can.
SORKIN: Agriculture is a top campaign issue. The state is known for
cotton, soybeans and, of course, Georgia peaches. But the top exports,
according to the Census Bureau, are aircraft and engine parts.
Georgia is home to multiple shipping ports, meaning trade and the Trans
Pacific Partnership are top of mind.
SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R), GEORGIA: You have to have open trade. America has
always had open trade. What we haven`t had is fair trade. And what Donald
Trump is talking about is creating a level playing field.
SORKIN: The poultry industry come dominates the northern part of the
state, and textile manufacturing in the west. Atlanta is a major hub for
employment. It`s home to Fortune 500 companies like Delta, Home Depot
(NYSE:HD) and UPS.
DANIEL HALPERN, JACKMONT HOSPITALITY CEO: As a businessman, I do three
things. I try and grow revenue, control expenses and invest capital. And
I think the country needs to do the same thing.
SORKIN: Early voting in Georgia began last week but has been completed by
hurricane Matthew. The state`s top election official refusing to extend
voter registration deadlines in counties hit hardest by the storm,
prompting criticism by voting activists.
Trump is still ahead in the polls but Clinton is gaining ground as we head
into the final stretch.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Andrew Ross Sorkin, Atlanta, Georgia.
HERERA: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.
MATHISEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great evening, everybody. Hope to
see you right back here for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tomorrow night.
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