Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 20, 2017

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Sue

through `em. Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) will team up with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to
sell some of its appliances. Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) stocks soared, but some
rivals lose billions in market value on the news.

cloud business is growing fast, proving to investors that its new
strategies are paying off.

HERERA: High fever. Banks are charging more and more for routine products
and services. Beware, the fees fatten their bottom line, but trim yours.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,
July 20th.

MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

Alexa, turn on my washer. Well, in a first, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) will sell
some large Kenmore appliances like stoves, refrigerators and more outside
of its own stores on — you guessed it — Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). It will
also sell some smart appliances that will respond to voice commands through
Amazon`s Alexa or Echo device.

The groundbreaking deal is a gamble. It might zap Sears` store traffic,
but it could inject new life into the company`s century old Kenmore brand.
Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) appliance sales fell nearly 10 percent last year to
just under $4 billion.

Now, the deal sparked a rally in shares of the iconic but beleaguered
department store. Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) stock up 10 percent. But it also
knocked the wind out of other companies that sell appliances, like Home
Depot (NYSE:HD), Lowe`s and Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR).

Courtney Reagan has more.


an active year for Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD). Most of it hasn`t been good, but
today`s announcement the 124-year-old retailer will begin selling its
Kenmore products on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).com sent Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD)
stocks soaring. Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) says it`s also integrating Amazon`s
Alexa smart assistant into Kenmore`s smart appliances, so consumers can
simply say, Alexa, turn off the air conditioner.

Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) home service will still deliver service and install
Kenmore products, but on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).com. In a blog post, Sears
(NASDAQ:SHLD) CEO and largest shareholder, Eddie Lampert, says, quote: This
is the kind of innovative collaboration we strive for at Sears
(NASDAQ:SHLD). Adding, the retailer will look for other innovative ways to
expand the reach of its brands.

It is one positive headline after a year of fighting to stay afloat. In
March, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) acknowledged its financial results indicate
substantial doubt it would survive on its own. At the time, chief
financial officer Jason Hollar said the retailer was taking steps to
mitigate the risk of failure. A month later, he left the company, the
second CFO in six months to do so.

Around the same time, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) sold its Craftsman brand to
StanleyBlack&Decker for nearly a billion dollars. After the sale, the
retailer got into a public tussle with the Chinese manufacturer of
Craftsman tools when it threatened to break its contract with Sears
(NASDAQ:SHLD) because of worries about the department store`s ability to
pay for the merchandise. Eventually, it was resolved. Since January, the
retailer has announced the closure of 260 Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) and K-mart
stores. It`s got hundreds of jobs and consolidated its corporate structure
to lower expenses, trying to offset some of the pain from a 20 percent
sales drop.

Most retail experts say a bankruptcy is inevitable, but as these moves
show, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) is doing everything it can to prove them wrong.



HERERA: Late today, two Dow components released their earnings, Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) and Visa (NYSE:V).

We start with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). The legacy tech company saw its
quarterly profit more than double, helped by growth in its cloud business
and the results come amid a global reorganization. The company earned 98
cents a share, easily topping Wall Street estimates. Revenue was also
better than expected and rose from a year ago. The stock, which is at an
all time high extended its gains initially in afterhours trading.

Josh Lipton takes a look at Microsoft`s quarter.


topping $18.9 billion in annual revenue from its cloud business. Kirk
Materne on Evercore ISI, who covers the company, says that is the key
number in this report that`s up from $15.2 billion in a prior quarter.
Gross margins for that business also expanding.

Under CEO Satya Nadella, the software giant has pivoted into a true
formidable player in the fast-growing cloud computing market with a stock
at all time highs. Materne says investors who were committing capital at
these levels are signing off on accelerating earnings growth which will be
driven by that cloud business.



MATHISEN: And here to discuss Microsoft`s latest quarter and what may lie
ahead for the software giant is Alex Zukin. He`s the managing director and
senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.

Alex, welcome. Good to have you.

To all appearances, this looks like a very good quarter. If I own
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), do I want to buy more here?

Yes, I think it is. And look, I think this is the third really good
quarter and it`s important to realize that, you know, Satya has really done
a great job turning the battleship and making this business, this cloud
business into a leading business for the company and he`s done it now
really, while at the same time being able to expand margins. So, you know,
what we`re looking for on the earnings report is what kind of investments
are they going to be making next year and how do we, how do they take
advantage and press their advantage in this market, because I think that
their scale and their ability to empathize with large customers, is
something that sets them apart from a lot of their competitors.

HERERA: Is there anything in their business model that you see right now
that might be viewed as a weakness?

ZUKIN: I think that for a long time, investors have wondered if the legacy
businesses, the server business, the OS business, was going to be something
that derails this cloud transition story. But Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has
done a good job in recasting those businesses. They`ve turned, you know,
on premise components into hybrid cloud, into edge computing. And so, I
think, you know, from our glance at the results, we didn`t see any weakness
in the current results.

Last quarter, they saw some weakness in surface business and the hardware
business. But that, you know, rebounded this quarter. So, we`re not
seeing any major points of weakness. It`s more of a question of, you know,
how much of the earnings growth story do we see next year as they invest to
press this advantage.

MATHISEN: It seems like it was two areas that really came through for
them. One was the cloud which you talked about there, notably Azure,
though they don`t break out the numbers there. And the other was the
Office 360 or 365, which is the online version of their productivity suite.
Tell me about that. That`s the product that lots of us had on our desktops
years ago, but now, has migrated to the cloud.

ZUKIN: That`s exactly right. And the important part there is you`re not
only seeing companies and customers go on to the cloud product, but you`re
also seeing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) being able to sell a higher priced skew
so office typically is sold in packages, and so when you go from an E1 skew
and E3 skew, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is able to get more dollars out of
each customer while delivering more value.

So, it`s more about — it`s becoming more about how do they migrate
customers across these skews, get more value out of it. We think that
again, this is another story that it`s playing out, but it`s still
relatively early and both of these stories are pushing both growth, but in
the Office case, what`s more important here in my opinion is the margin
story, they`re getting better margins at the same time.

MATHISEN: Very quickly, very quickly. Are you surprised they`ve been able
to do as well as they have? Stock is at an all time high.

ZUKIN: You know, I think we underestimate what some companies can do —


ZUKIN: — in the long-term. And we overestimate that they can do in the

I think Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is an example of a company where they`re at
the right place at the right time with the right product, with the right


ZUKIN: You`ve seen them reorganize their sales force now. We think that`s
all about delivering on a solution. It`s about how do you stop selling
efficiency to how do you start selling growth and better products, and I
think that`s where they`re going.

MATHISEN: Have to leave it there. Alex Zukin with Piper Jaffray, thanks.

HERERA: And now to Dow component Visa (NYSE:V), which people seem to be
using more often these days. The payments processor reported a sharp rise
in revenue driven by a higher number of transactions and like most payment
networks, Visa (NYSE:V) makes a lot of its money from transaction fees.
The company topped earnings and revenue estimates in the most current
quarter. It also raised its profit and revenue forecast for the year.
Shares initially rose in afterhours trading.

Deirdre Bosa is covering the story for us tonight.


continues to do all the right things by investors. It`s growing its
payment volume helped by Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and USAA partnership and
rising consumer spending here in the U.S. It is also aggressively pursuing
digital payments and trying to expand its reach into Europe.

Just this week, the payments processor expanding its partnership with
PayPal to offer debit cards in Europe.

Now, Visa (NYSE:V) is one of the best performing Dow components this year
and it expects a solid second half of the year as well, raising its full
year financial targets.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Deirdre Bosa, San Francisco.


MATHISEN: On Wall Street, the NASDAQ rose for the tenth straight day. It
wasn`t a big gain, but it was enough to eke out its first ten-day win
streak since 2015. While the NASDAQ and Russell 2000 rose to fresh
records, the Dow and the S&P 500 pulled back just a bit from there. The
blue chip Dow fell nearly 29 to 21,611. Nasdaq added about five points.
The S&P 500 fell less than a point.

As for the price of crude, it retreated after hitting a seven-week high.

HERERA: And the price of crude isn`t where many had expected it to be.
That could spell trouble for the energy sector when it starts reporting
earnings next week.

And as Jackie DeAngelis tells us, the largest risk to earnings equation is


week for energy company earnings and these reports will be important
because the S&P 500 energy sector is down double digits, so far this year.
For the markets to mark higher, this sector needs a boost. The second
quarter average price for Brent was about 8 percent higher than a year ago.
That in theory should bode well for the group, but when you take into
account the most recent drop in oil prices, companies could run into

That recent price drop caused estimates for energy companies to be cut.
With estimates already low, a weak report could be especially problematic
for shareholders.

JIM IUORIO, TJM INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES: I think if they come in worse than
expected, I think a new downtrend will ensue in the big — names of the big
integrated and I think we could explore some room to the downside.

DEANGELIS: We`ll hear from Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Anadarko on Monday.
Hess (NYSE:HES) on Wednesday. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Shell and
Marathon Petroleum on Thursday. Then, we finish the week on Friday with
Exxon and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).

While analysts are cautious, there`s also a glimmer of hope that we could
see some positive surprises. The price drop to the $45 level, while not
ideal, isn`t a danger zone for many companies, as long as they continue to
manage costs effectively.



HERERA: ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) was fined $2 million by the Treasury
Department for reckless disregard of U.S. sanctions and dealings with
Russia in 2014. That was when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Exxon`s

In a statement on its Website, the treasury says Exxon signed eight
documents with the head of the state-run Rosneft just weeks after sanctions
were imposed on Moscow for annexing Ukraine`s Crimea region. Exxon called
that decision unfair and sued the government in an effort to overturn the

MATHISEN: Still ahead, how one company wants to make older dumb cars a
little smarter.


HERERA: A trio of regional banks reported earnings today and they all had
a few things in common. Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK), KeyCorp
(NYSE:KEY), and BB&T (NASDAQ:MSDXP) (NYSE:BBT) all posted better than
expected revenue and all three cited an increase in fees.

This falls in line with a segment we brought you last night about how a
number of different industries are getting a growing percentage of their
revenue from those fees.

Tonight, Bob Pisani looks specifically at what the banks are doing.


reporting earnings and one item not getting enough attention is the rapidly
growing line item called not interest income, that`s a boring word for fees
that banks charge their customers, both businesses and consumers. It`s a
business that`s growing like mad for some regional banks. It`s already
close to 40 percent of their income.

Now, some growth in fee revenues may stem simply from the fact that
customer accounts are growing, but banks have been pushing up what they
charge for these fees for years now. They come in all shapes and sizes but
consumers get hit with dozens of them, transaction fees and insufficient
fund fees and inactivity fees and credit card fees. The list goes on and

Let`s look at two of the most typical fees.

First, overdraft fees. says the average overdraft fee for a
checking account was $33.04 in 2016, about flat from 2015. But before
that, it had been going up for 17 straight years. That adds up to big
profits for the banks.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) made nearly $2 billion from overdraft charges last
year. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) made a little less than that. This despite
the fact that by law, bank customers must choose to opt into ATM

And then, there`s ATM fees. These fees are particularly high if you`re
taking money out of a bank that`s not your own or out of your own network. found that last year, the average withdrawal fee for a
noncustomer bank was almost $3. All banks charge an average of $1.67 more
on top, a 2 percent increase from 2015, some, of course, get those fees
waive, but you get the idea. This can get very expensive.

Is there any limit to how high these fees can go? There doesn`t appear to
be, despite the existence of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, there
is no regulatory limit on what banks can charge for service fees on deposit

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.


MATHISEN: And as we`ve been reporting, a new rule from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau that Bob just referenced forces financial firms
to write arbitration clauses in ways that would make it easier for
consumers to bring class action lawsuits against banks. Today, House and
Senate lawmakers introduced companion measures to repeal the recently
issued arbitration rule, which we`ve been telling you about. The chairman
of the House Financial Services Committee who is also a vocal opponent of
the CFPB called the rule anti-consumer.

HERERA: The speaker of the house said today that the Trump administration
and Republican leaders in Congress are nearing consensus on tax reform.
Speaking at a factory in Massachusetts, Paul Ryan said the possibility of a
low corporate tax rate is very possible.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Our tax writers are running
their numbers to look at how we can get these rates as low as possible.
And there are various ways of doing it, and that`s the kind of analysis
that the tax writing committee, Ways and Means and Finance, are doing. So,
I believe we can get our rates down low. We have to make the decisions on
the trade off that gets you there, and that`s the decisions that will be
made ultimately by the tax-writing committees, Ways and Means and Finance.


HERERA: He added that the Republican Party is more united on tax reform
than it is on issues like health care.

MATHISEN: On the same day that the speaker toured that factory, we learned
that manufacturing growth in the Philadelphia region in July slowed to the
lowest level of the year. Many of the components of the Philadelphia
Federal Reserve`s index showed growth, but they fell from June`s levels.

HERERA: Bad weather cut into the profit at Travelers. That`s where we
begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The property and casualty insurer said its weaker than expected earnings
were largely due to significant tornado and hail activity. But revenue
rose and it beat expectations. Shares of the Dow component fell 1.5
percent to $124.57.

The railroad operator Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) said rising cargo volumes
and higher fuel surcharges helped that company grow profit and revenue.
The results topped analysts` expectations.


LANCE FRITZ, UNION PACIFIC CEO: We had a very good second quarter 5
percent volume growth is always good thing for a railroad to leverage. We
also generated excellent productivity, about $110 million. And we saw that
growth, it was concentrated in coal and in frack sand, but there are other
markets that there were relatively strong as well in grain and some others.


MATHISEN: Shares were off more than 1 percent to $106.14.

The tobacco giant Philip Morris cut its forecast for the year after
reporting lower cigarette shipments in the latest quarter. Revenue grew
but not at the clip that analysts were expecting and profits also came in
light. Philip Morris down $1.76 to $119.86.

And the snowmobile and ATV maker Polaris sales rose as the company said
there was strong demand in its international markets. Those results, along
with profit, were better than expected. The company`s CEO was pleased with
the results.


SCOTT WINE, POLARIS INDUSTRIES CEO: Overall, it`s a really good quarter
for us. Sales were up 20 percent. Organic sales up seven. So, it`s
really nice to get back to growth in the business.

Really, the entire Polaris team executed well. Our international business
was up 12 percent. Our side by side, which is our largest segment, got
back to growth after being down six quarters in a row.


HERERA: Wall Street liked it. Shares ended the day up 4 percent to

MATHISEN: Growing demand for software subscriptions to stop cyber threat
helped Check Point`s bottom line, which came in better than expected, and
was up from last year. Despite the rise in subscription, Check Point,
which is Israel`s biggest technology company, said it is seeing some
weakness in higher end deals. That pressured shares, they fell 7 percent
to $107.41.

Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) has a plan to increase earnings. The global
children`s publishing company plans to focus on cost cutting and will use
data analytics to guide marketing and sales decisions. In its most recent
quarter, the company reported a rise in both earnings and operating income,
but it also warned investors that earnings could drop next year through the
absence of new “Harry Potter” books. The stock fell 1 percent to $43.99.

And quarterly sales of Sarepta`s drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, were
much stronger than expected. That prompted the drugmaker to raise its full
year revenue guidance. Late yesterday, the drug which you may recall was
controversially approved by the FDA last year despite a negative
recommendation from a panel of outside advisers. Reaction today was
strong. Shares of Sarepta soared 20 percent to $40.93.

And after the bell today, the e-commerce giant eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) said
higher costs caused profit to plunge. Those results still managed to match
analysts` expectations. Revenue edged higher and the company said it would
launch a $3 billion share buyback program. That news, though, wasn`t
enough. Shares initially fell in afterhours trading, but they ended the
regular day up a fraction at $37.18.

HERERA: While automakers are racing to build smarter cars and trucks with
the latest technology, there`s another race for millions of other vehicles.
Tech companies are developing new devices and apps to connect older models
and make them smart.

Phil LeBeau has our story.


numbers are daunting. There are more than 271 million vehicles in the U.S.
The average car or truck almost 12 years old. They may still run like a
top, but most of these older models were built to be more connectivity took
off. Monitoring their performance or if they need maintenance is a

AutoBrain is trying to change that. Consumers plug the device into the
diagnostic cord under the steering wheel of their car or truck, load an app
on their smart phone and then for a monthly fee, they can track where their
car is located or how it`s driving.

JEREMY GELBART, AUTOBRAIN CEO: Knowing the behavior and understanding what
costumers want, we could drive them back retailer. For example, if we know
when a car hits 10,000 miles and needs that oil change, we could offer them
a discount on an oil change, Or if their tires need to be changed, we
could offer them a discount on that as well.

LEBEAU: For years, automakers and tech companies have talked about cashing
in on connected cars. And while some services like On Star have developed
a sizable customer base, the auto industry has yet to figure out how to
drive big profits from smarter cars once they leave the showroom and
they`re out on the roads.

Meanwhile, there are millions of older, so-called dumb cars or trucks,
logging mile after mile, an untapped market with enormous potential.

(on camera): AutoBrain is not alone in offering a device offering real
time monitoring of cars and trucks. Verizon (NYSE:VZ), for example, has a
similar device. And for some time, insurance companies like Progressive
(NYSE:PGR) have offered ways for you to monitor how your vehicle is
performing on the road. All part of the effort to get a better sense of
what`s happening on America`s roads.



HERERA: Coming up, O.J. is making headlines again and there`s still a lot
of money circling around his name.


MATHISEN: O.J. Simpson will soon be a free man. This after the Nevada
parole board unanimously granted his release after nine years in prison for
robbery, assault and other felonies. Simpson even now, one of the most
polarizing figures in America, can still attract an audience, evidenced by
today`s wall to wall cable coverage of his parole hearing. And Hollywood
last year profited from two award-winning television shows about the
Simpson saga.

So, what`s next for a man who may have paid his debt to society in one
case, but still owes millions in a wrongful death civil judgment in the
murders of his ex-wife and a companion?

Jane Wells has more from Lovelock, Nevada.


Simpson learned today he will be a free man as soon as October. Convincing
a Nevada parole board he deserved early release nine years after going to
prison for an armed robbery in Las Vegas to retrieve his own memorabilia.

O.J. SIMPSON, INMATE #1027820: I`m no danger to pull a gun on anybody. I
never have in my life. I`ve never been accused of it in my life. Nobody`s
ever accused me of pulling any weapon on them.

WELLS: Even one of his victims came to his defense.

BRUCE FROMONG, ARMED ROBBERY VICTIM: He`s a good man. He made a mistake.

WELLS: Simpson will leave prison to find an America where the O.J. saga is
once again big business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have O.J. in the car. He`s got a gun to his head.

WELLS: FX`s “The People Versus O.J. Simpson” won an Emmy last year,
followed by an Oscar for ESPN`s highly successful, “O.J.: Made in America”
documentary. Both reignited interest in his story, and so, the media
descended on the small town of Lovelock in northern Nevada where the prison
is located, selling out a handful of hotels.

DAN MURPHY, LOVELOCK CITY COUNCILMAN: It gives us an opportunity to
promote our town and make people realize that there are small towns like
this all across the country really and there`s a reason to get off the

lovelocks here and they put them on our Lovelock plaza. But we`ve been
told we should do O.J.`s picture on the back with lovelock on it or free
the juice.

WELLS (on camera): Simpson will leave prison a wealthy man. He has
pensions from his production company, the NFL and the Screen Actors Guild,
totaling over $4 million, money that is protected by law from going towards
the millions of dollars he owes in a civil judgment to the families of Ron
Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. But any money he might try to make on
the outside would have to go to that judgment if the families can find it.

(voice-over): For example, Simpson has said he now possesses the
memorabilia he was trying to take by force in Las Vegas, potentially
including the suit he wore that day he was acquitted of murder. That is
the sort of value both the Goldmans and Browns could take and ironically
when O.J. Simpson walks out of Lovelock prison October 1st —

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do vote to grant parole when eligible.

WELLS: — it will be one day before the 22nd anniversary of a jury
deciding he was not guilty of killing two people, a crime for which in no
one has ever gone to prison.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Lovelock, Nevada.


MATHISEN: If Simpson tries to earn money once released and attempts to
hide it from the Brown and Goldman families illegally, that could
potentially be a violation of his parole, which could land him back in

HERERA: That is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.

MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great
evening, everyone, and we`ll see you tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
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