SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Learning the Alphabet.
Google`s parent reports a profit slide because of a big European fine. But
the underlying business is clicking along as easy as A, B, C.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Cash is king. Home prices
hit a fresh record. So, why did one Texas seller with 22 offers decide not
to take the highest bid?
HERERA: Distributors disrupted. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) could be going after
its biggest target yet. The middlemen.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, July
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
The Nasdaq closes at an all-time record, but we begin tonight with an
after-hours slip in the shares of Google`s parent company, Alphabet. The
stock which you may own in a fund or retirement account or individually
initially fell by more than 3 percent when the company reported profits 28
percent lower than a year ago. That was largely because the company booked
a $2.7 billion fine from European regulators. Ongoing regulatory risk is
apparently what spooked investors this afternoon.
Overall, the business is clicking right along. Net revenue rose 21 percent
to $26 billion. Clicks on ads jumped 52 percent compared with a year ago.
Cloud revenue up smartly as well.
Josh Lipton has our report on Alphabet, the world`s largest advertising
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Eighteen-point-four
billion dollars, that was a big number in Alphabet`s latest earning report,
refers to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) property revenue, or revenue generated from
search and YouTube.
Aaron Kessler of Raymond James says it`s critical because that`s the
highest margin businesses for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the revenue jumped
nearly 20 percent year over year. However, Kessler also notes there could
have been some disappointment in the report, specifically with traffic
acquisition costs, that`s what Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) pays its partners for
mobile traffic. When that rises, it can pressure overall company margins.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
HERERA: Let`s turn now to A.B. Mendez for more on Google`s parent
company`s earnings and the beat there and what he sees ahead for the
company. He is portfolio manager at Frost Investment Advisors. He does
own the stock.
Welcome back. It`s nice to have you here.
A.B. MENDEZ, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, FROST INVESTMENT ADVISORS: Thanks, Sue.
Good to be with you.
HERERA: You`ve held this stock for quite a long time and you intend to
continue to do so, correct?
MENDEZ: Correct. We bought Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares, first bought them
a decade ago in June of 2007. Few years after the 2004 IPO, the company is
consistently outperformed the broader tech base since then and in our view
continues to be on the cutting edge of innovation, especially around
artificial intelligence and machine learning, and also kind of coming into
its own as an enterprise cloud vendor.
MATHISEN: Are there any nits to pick in this report other than the
headline number which overall the profits were down because of the big
European fine? One of the things that I`ve seen some people point to is
not the number of ad clicks they got, but the price per ad click, which was
apparently a little lower than some expected.
MENDEZ: Yes, Tyler. It`s a good point. The total count of the clicks is
growing extremely well, if anything, you know, positive inflection but the
cost per click for now is declining as more of those clicks come from
mobile channels. And that`s a lower cost per click.
HERERA: Where would you like to see improvement, or where do you see the
biggest potential for this company?
MENDEZ: Well, the company is still relatively in early innings in terms of
its international business. The digital media business, especially the
cloud business where it`s sort of in its infancy maybe where Microsoft`s
Azure cloud was two or three years ago. So, I`d say, specifically look the
at their capex priorities, and they`re spending a lot of money hiring
developers on the cloud side. And again, I think that some of that
artificial intelligence, I.P., where they have real leadership, could have
very valuable application in that area.
MATHISEN: So, you like this stock, it`s in the high 900s or 900 something
a share. Where do you see it in two to five years? Nine ninety-eight.
MENDEZ: Well, it`s hard to predict with precision. But we can just say in
the decade that we owned it, it`s performed well ahead of the broader
market and even the broader technology space. Looking at a valuation
basis, it`s currently trading at 20, 21 times price to free cash flow,
compare that to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), closer to 30
times. Even Coca Cola traded 27 times free cash flow. So, relative to the
growth prospects, we still view it as very attractive.
HERERA: We`ll leave it there. Thanks so much.
MENDEZ: Thank you.
HERERA: Good to see you, A.B. A.B. Mendez with Frost Investment Advisors.
MATHISEN: On Wall Street today, the Nasdaq started this earnings heavy
week at a record, though the other indexes fell. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average dropped 66 to 21,513. Nasdaq up 23 to an all-time high. The S&P
500 dipped two.
Domestic crude was higher after Saudi Arabia pledged to lower crude exports
and Nigeria plans to limit its production. It was the first rise for oil
in three sessions.
HERERA: Relatively low oil prices have been good for the global economy.
That`s according to the International Monetary Fund which said the world
economy is strengthening. But the organization cut its forecast for U.S.
economic growth, reflecting doubts about President Trump`s ability to
deliver on his planned tax cuts and infrastructure spending. The
organization now calls for the economy to grow at a little bit more than 2
percent both this year, and next.
MATHISEN: Home prices hit a record even as sales stumbled. The National
Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes retreated 1.8 percent
in June. It`s not for a lack of demand, it`s supply. There are so few
homes for sale that what is listed is going fast and at a high price. The
median house price rose to a record of about $263,000 last month. In some
cases, the houses aren`t going, though, to the highest bidder but the buyer
who can pay all cash.
Diana Olick tells us why cash is king.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This home
in a Dallas suburb of Coppell sold in less than a week. Not surprising to
anyone who`s out shopping for a home today.
BRIAN MACADAMAS, PROSPECTIVE HOME BUYER: Every house kind of goes pretty
quick. You know, it`s not on the market very long.
OLICK: In fact, Laura Barnett, the agent showing the house, put this
similar home on the market three weeks ago and got 22 offers. But she did
not take the top one.
With today`s prices rising so fast, she took the cash offer because today`s
appraisals are not keeping up.
LAURA BARNETT, REALTOR: Yes, they are coming in low. They`re putting a
glass ceiling on our market.
OLICK: Barnett says sellers don`t want to risk a deal falling through due
to financing, even if they have to take a little less money. The median
price of a home sold in June hit a new high according to the realtors but
days on market dropped dramatically, with homes going so quickly,
appraisers can`t keep up with the comparable sale prices.
BARNETT: They are being instructed that unless they have actual comps from
past sales, that they cannot go on just the fact that they`ve been given
multiple offers. They have to have comps to support it.
OLICK (on camera): During the last housing boom, appraisers did just the
opposite, often inflating prices because lenders wanted the deal done. And
we all know what happened next. Lenders today are far more leery of home
values and would rather err on the side of caution. That hits young
mortgage dependent buyers hardest.
LAWRENCE YUN, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: The cash buyers always
pushes out the first-time buyers who are more reliant on low down payment
mortgages and from sellers` perspective, they see all these different
offerings and say, well, if we go with cash, we solve much of the problem.
OLICK (voice-over): The problem for sellers, perhaps, but not for younger
shoppers who long to be homeowners but are short on cash.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
MATHISEN: So are cash deals the sign that the housing market could be
reaching a top?
Aaron Terrazas is senior economist at Zillow and he joins us now to
You know, Aaron, Diana pointed out very clearly that a decade or so ago,
the appraisals were sort of outstripping the real value. Here, it may be
Are these prices rising so fast that the appraisers can`t keep up with
them? They`re afraid. Is that a sign of a top?
AARON TERRAZAS, SENIOR ECONOMIST, ZILLOW: So, particularly in fast-moving
markets like Dallas, you know, where home values are rising, 3 percent in a
quarter, it would take some time for those appraisals to hit kind of the
transaction records. So, you know, certainly, what`s transacting today
could be a little bit ahead of what appraisers are seeing.
HERERA: But do you see that as the market topping out or not yet?
TERRAZAS: It`s very different. When we talk about the market topping out,
really people are worried about a repeat of what we saw a decade ago, kind
of a drop in home values. And remember, that was driven by loose lending
standards which cause people to overpay and then the markets drop. We
don`t have loose lending standards today. By contrast, lending standards
are still kind of really prudent, so it`s impossible for the market to drop
like it did a decade ago.
MATHISEN: And this is evidence, I guess you would say, here the case in
Dallas, it is evidence that the lending standards are stricter. The
appraisers are restraining themselves from just sort of green lighting a
value based on the number of offers that are there.
TERRAZAS: That`s correct. And it`s frustrating, particularly for those
first-time and entry-level buyers who just can`t borrow as much as they
would like. And it benefits people who have the cash to come to the table.
That said, it does almost function like a natural break on excess
consumption and overtaking of risk.
So, in some ways, it`s frustrating for a lot of people, but it does prevent
us from repeating the mistakes we made a decade ago.
HERERA: It does, but if you`re selling your house, and you have multiple
offers above your asking price, which certainly is happening in our nick of
the woods and in Dallas and other places, it`s almost as though the
appraiser is functioning — is skewing the market. In other words, the
market is not regulating itself.
TERRAZAS: Well, the market is — the appraisers are slowing down the pace
of market growth and, you know, their job really is to provide this
independent assessment of what a home is worth. They`re not paid to make
an appraisal in the interest of the seller, nor the buyer. So, you know,
yes, their job is to put the brakes on excess.
MATHISEN: What are the hottest markets in the country right now and what
are the major metros that aren`t? Quickly.
TERRAZAS: So, certainly the hottest markets are in the Northwest and the
Southeast. Places like Seattle and Portland. And the Southeast, you have
Dallas and Orlando and Nashville. It`s important to remember, right now,
kind of the labor market particularly in those communities is as strong as
it`s ever been. At the same time, interest rates are at historic lows.
MATHISEN: All right. Aaron, thanks very much. Aaron Terrazas with
TERRAZAS: Thank you.
HERERA: And still ahead, the Senate will move on health care tomorrow, but
it`s not clear what`s going to happen.
MATHISEN: Molina Health, an insurer that specializes in the Obamacare and
Medicaid programs, reportedly plans to cut about 10 percent of its
workforce. As first reported by “Reuters”, the company`s decision came
after it recently reported a quarterly loss related to the Affordable Care
HERERA: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote
tomorrow on whether to open debate on a health care bill. He added that
the only way the Senate can actually consider ways to overhaul the current
health care law is by opening debate in chamber. And the president is
applying pressure to members of his own party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To every member of the
Senate, I say this: the American people have waited long enough. There`s
been enough talk and no action. Now is the time for action.
We are here to solve problems for the people. Obamacare has broken our
health care system. It`s broken. It`s collapsing. It`s gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: John Harwood joins us. He`s covering the action in Washington.
So, John, why is tomorrow`s vote so important for the Republicans, and what
do you think is going to happen?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, if they can`t
get 50 votes tomorrow with a tie being broken by Vice President Mike Pence
to take up the health care bill, that means the debate on the effort that
Republicans have launched at the beginning of this year that got through
the House to write a Republican-only health care bill will have failed.
And that point, they will have to turn to other options Mitch McConnell has
suggested, working with Democrats on a bill to stabilize the marketplaces.
It does not look good. A strategist familiar with McConnell`s thinking
told me today they do not expect the legislation to ultimately pass, but
whether they can get 50 to begin the debate is something that we`re just
going to have to see when they lay the votes on the table tomorrow.
But part of McConnell`s thinking has been to make people take a stand even
if he`s going to lose so that everyone will have been forced to stake out a
position and then they can move on if need be.
MATHISEN: I assume John McCain will not be there to vote, John.
HARWOOD: Assume not, though there`s discussion by John Cornyn, the Senate
Republican whip, of somehow getting John McCain flown back to Washington to
vote. Now, if McCain shows up, you would think that would mean that they
do have the votes because it`s hard to imagine his colleagues imposing on
him in the wake of that surgery to return to Washington if they don`t have
MATHISEN: What about this Democrat plan called the Better Deal that was
announced today? What`s in it, what makes it better?
HARWOOD: Well, Democrats have been facing pressure, Tyler, for seemingly
only emphasizing their opposition to Trump rather than an affirmative
agenda. So, what they did was, the Democrat caucuses in the House and
Senate retreated. They came up with a plan and what they came out with
today was some familiar stuff and some new stuff.
The familiar was a call for big infrastructure plan they say will create
jobs. Calls for reducing Medicare prescription drug prices by letting the
federal government negotiate with drug companies.
The new point of emphasis for Democrats was a newly hawkish approach to
reviewing corporate mergers, saying that one of the problems that consumers
face is lack of competition which drives up prices and reduces their
HERERA: Right. John, on that note, I know it`s going to be another busy
day tomorrow. We`ll see you then.
HARWOOD: You bet.
HERERA: John Harwood in Washington.
MATHISEN: Arconic, the American company that sold the panels at the center
of that London apartment building fire a month or so ago has some long
awaited positive news. It reported better than expected earnings and it
also raised its full-year outlook. Despite distancing itself from the
fire, shareholders still have some concerns. And that sent the stock
Morgan Brennan has more.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It was a quarter
packed with drama. Yet, Arconic managed to beat Wall Street`s
expectations. Analysts largely welcomed the results especially since the
stock recently whipsawed on a parade of P.R. crisis.
CHRIS OLIN, SENIOR ANALYST, LONGBOW RESEARCH: Arconic reported a strong
second quarter earnings number, especially concerning the noise surrounding
the company`s construction and aerospace engine businesses. However, we
don`t think the full year guidance range is enough to get investors
BRENNAN: Arconic, which was spun out of aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE:AA)
last fall has most recently come under scrutiny for its combustible
cladding on Grenfell Tower, the London Apartment building that caught fire
in a deadly blaze. Speaking to analysts today, interim CEO David Hess
(NYSE:HES) called the fire, quote, a terrible strategy. But he also
stressed that Arconic was not involved in the design or installation of the
broader insulation system used.
DAVID HESS, INTERIM CEO, ARCONIC: For our portion in the supply chain, we
believe we`ve been compliant in the sale of our product.
BRENNAN: Nonetheless, Arconic recently halted sales of the panels for a
high-rise application and one shareholder suit has already been filed.
It`s the latest incident to impact the maker of plane and auto parts which
was also blamed for the temporary grounding of Boeing`s new hotly
anticipated 737 MAX just days before the jetliner`s debut.
JOSH SULLIVAN, SEAPORT GLOBAL SECURITIES: As a company coming out, you
know, as a new brand, it`s definitely had some challenges here in a short
life span of about six to nine months.
BRENNAN: Including finding a new CEO, after an abrupt departure in the
midst of the bitter proxy fight with top shareholder Elliott Management.
SULLIVAN: That will likely be the next catalyst for the stock, is whoever
they bring in, and is able to put forward a more strategic plan for Arconic
that`s aerospace and automotive focused, you know, I think that`s going to
be good for Arconic over the long term.
BRENNAN: Meanwhile, after plunging more than 20 percent last month, shares
of Arconic have largely regained ground, despite closing in the red today.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
HERERA: The health site, WebMD, is going private and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The private equity firm, KKR (NYSE:KKR), is buying the online information
company for nearly $3 billion. Under the deal, KKR (NYSE:KKR) will fold
WebMD into its Internet brands unit which operates several other health-
focused Websites. WebMD`s shares rose nearly 20 percent to $66.10.
Rising sales of Transformer action figures and Nerf toys helped Hasbro
(NYSE:HAS) top profits and revenue estimates. Those gains were just enough
to offset weaker demand for products like Easy Bake-Ovens and Playskool
toys. Still, shares sold off, falling more than 9 percent to $105 even.
And the retailer Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) said challenging sale trends
would negatively impact its results and as a result, the company expects
same-store sales for the second quarter to fall 10 percent. Hibbett also
sees that weakness weighing on its gross margin. Shares plunged 33 percent
And Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) posted a bigger than expected quarterly
loss that missed estimates by a wide margin. The egg producer said lower
selling prices and competition from egg alternative products hurt its
results. Revenue also came in light. Cal-Maine shares were off 6 percent
MATHISEN: Strong sales at Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) helped sales
and profit rise more than Wall Street expected. Those results prompted the
company to raise its earnings guidance for the full year. Stanley says the
integration of Craftsman, which it bought from Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD), is
progressing and expects about $100 million a year in revenue initially from
the Craftsman brand. Shares nonetheless off 2 percent at $143.70.
The oil services giant Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) reported a stronger than
expected rise in revenue, as the company saw higher demand for pumping and
well construction services in the U.S. Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) also swung
to a profit that beat expectations but the company warned that growth in
U.S. oil rigs is showing signs of plateauing. And that sent shares down 4
percent to $42.51.
The apparel retailer VF Corp said strong demand online as well as
internationally helped drive sales higher. The maker of the North Face and
Wrangler jeans also reported profit that beat estimates by a penny. Shares
were up 23 cents to $58.888.
And Boeing (NYSE:BA) said it expects solid demand for aircraft personnel
over the next two decades. The aerospace and defense contractor said over
the next 20 years it sees demand for more than 1 million pilots and
technicians to support the world`s growing commercial airplane fleet.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares up a tick to $212.18.
HERERA: And shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) rose today after a Wall Street
analyst said the online retailer will one day be the most valuable company
on the planet. In a note to clients, the analyst wrote that he sees few
competitive threats to its core retail and marketplace businesses. The
stock is now trading firmly above $1,000 a share. It still trails Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL), though, in market cap by a wide margin.
Now, the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) juggernaut may be setting its sights on a new
target to disrupt. Bob Pisani takes a look.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s not just
retailers. Now, there`s a broader concern. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has the
potential to disrupt middlemen in general.
So, here`s the issue. If you don`t make the object you`re selling, or you
don`t have some sort of intellectual property, then you`re just a
middleman. And you`re increasingly more vulnerable.
So, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is taking aim at middlemen in the whole industrial
space and even beyond. In 2005, they bought a business called
smallparts.com. In 2012, it was renamed Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Supply with
the idea of supplying industrial and commercial customers. In 2015, it was
re-branded again, this time it`s called Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Business and
it`s got a bigger goal, to be a supplier to the entire business-to-business
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Business now has 300,000 registered corporate buyers
according to Cranes (ph). And passed $1 billion in sales according to
“Reuters”. That`s big. It started to impact industrial distributors like
Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) and Grainger. They sell screws and pumps and tools
and other parts for industrial America.
Last week, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) urged investors to sell Grainger in a
note, as well as genuine parts company, which is a distributor of
automotive replacement parts because of their susceptibility to price
competition and lower margins particularly due to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
They could even get more aggressive, pulling a Whole Foods deal in the
industrial space, potentially.
Last week, a Gabelli analyst said, quote, we would not rule out an
accusation of Grainger by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) if such a deal were embraced
by both parties. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for its part had no comment.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
MATHISEN: Coming up, in this world of oversharing on social media, why you
may want to read the fine print on a new popular app.
MATHISEN: Shares of Snap, owner of popular messaging app, Snapchat, hit a
new low. Snap is also approaching the expiration of its so-called lockup
period, which means it will be the first time many company insiders can
sell shares following the IPO.
But Snap also has another issue it is dealing with, and that would be
privacy. Recently, its Snap map has become a big worry for users,
especially teenagers who may be sharing too much.
Andrea Day has our story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, there`s two of my friends hanging out right now.
ANDREA DAY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): See that
Bitmoji? That`s a friend on Snapchat. You can see exactly where they are,
driving, listening to music, even playing tennis.
MICHAEL KASDAN, WIGGIN AND DANA PARTNER: The app is very addictive. Every
time you open it, it marks where you are.
DAY: It can also work like a breaking newsfeed, letting you pan around the
globe and see what people are doing right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is she? She`s in Sweden.
DAY: Hot spots show where big crowds are all snapping.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a protest.
DAY: And users are snapping it up.
KASDAN: People are getting more comfortable sharing more and more
DAY: And experts say it could become a powerful tool for advertisers. But
does map take sharing and connectivity too far? If you opt in, Snap shares
your location with friends, down to the address.
Attorney Michael Kasdan specializes in privacy.
KASDAN: There`s that risk of real bad actors, you know, someone stalking
and someone being able to locate someone in the real world.
DAY: A concern for teenage users, who may just download apps and not read
the fine print.
KASDAN: A lot of people often don`t look at it, and don`t really
understand sort of the scope of what they`re agreeing to.
DAY: And according to Kasdan, it`s something businesses need to be aware
KASDAN: Giving this much information to, you know, Snapchat, itself,
allows them to really target our behavior in ways that are a step up from
what they would be able to do without this type of location data.
KASDAN: If you turn it on, you can always opt out of the feature by
turning it on ghost mode. But it`s easy to forget to turn it off and wind
up being tracked. GPS tracking apps like this are all right on law
MICHAEL DOWNING, PREVENT ADVISORS EVP: It creates almost a flash mob
DAY: Former LAPD Chief Michael Downing says showing where big crowds are
in real time can be a security risk, especially after events like
DOWNING: Soft targets are something that we are trying to defend against
right now, not only on the inside of stadiums and arenas, but hardening the
outside core, where you have less control.
DAY: According to Snapchat, quote: The safety of our community is very
important to us. With Snap Map, location sharing is off by default for all
users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly what
they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change the
setting any time.
(on camera): But Kasdan says parents still need to be very aware of what
their kids are doing. Teenagers might not be thinking too much about
privacy but just connecting with friends and doing what everyone else is
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Andrea Day.
HERERA: And on that note, that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight, I`m
Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us.
MATHISEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me as well. Have a great
evening, everybody. And we`ll see you right back here tomorrow night.
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