Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 27, 2017

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

(NASDAQ:AMZN) knocks it out of the park with $38 billion in sales. But its
profit number was a huge whiff.

concerned the threat to the stock market rally might come from big oil.

MATHISEN: And ka-ching. Why home sellers are cashing in like it`s 2007.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, July

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

The earnings flood gates opened today on Wall Street. It was the busiest
day of corporate earnings so far this quarter and after the bell, a company
that`s seemingly in the news every day, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The company
posted its ninth straight profitable quarter after years of bleeding red

And at one point, the company`s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was the
richest man in the world and then he wasn`t. That`s because the stocks
fell after the numbers came out and here`s why: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) earned
40 cents a share. Good but Wall Street wanted $1.42. There`s the big
number, of course, revenue, which jumped 25 percent to $38 billion in the
quarter. But shares initially fell following the results.

Deirdre Bosa has the main take away for investors.


from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), its profit engine is slowing as the company
continues to spend big. Amazon`s cloud business, AWS, has become the most
profitable business segment for the entire company, but over the last now
nine quarters, growth has been decelerating as Microsoft`s rival cloud
business Azure has boomed.

Meanwhile, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) continues to invest heavily in new markets
like India and in new businesses and products. That may not matter much to
investors, though, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Jeff Bezos are known for making
bold investments even at the expense of profits.

Looking forward, investors will want to know when and how those big
investments will pay off and especially how its Whole Foods acquisition
fits into longer term plans.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Deirdre Bosa, San Francisco.


MATHISEN: R.J. Hottovy joins us now to talk more about that mixed quarter
from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and what he sees ahead for the company. He`s
sector strategist at Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN).

R.J., welcome. Good to see you again.

Did something go wrong here? Why were people so surprised with the number?

went wrong here. I think it was just a heavier investment quarter than
usual for this company. If you look at the things that they`re spending
on, we`ll get more clarity on the call this afternoon.

But it looks like, again, they`re investing in fulfillment centers, I`m
guessing that`s both U.S. and international. But there`s a lot of
technology expenses as well. And I`m assuming that has to do with the Echo
portfolio products, some of the other devices they`ve been working as well
as building out infrastructure for their AWS business as well.

So, I`d be more concerned if we weren`t seeing that top line accelerate.
You know, that`s the real number to focus on here, particularly with things
that are more sticky, too. So, the third party sales, so vendors selling
through the platform. That number is getting bigger. And that shows that
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is becoming a vital marketplace for the sellers.

AWS while decelerating is still a very big number, still a lot of value at
services there.

HERERA: Right.

HOTTOVY: I mean, Amazon`s own products, I mean, they`re doing well. The
first party sales are doing well, too.

HERERA: All right. You have viewed the stock as undervalued. Would you
add to positions on the slight selloff that we`ve seen in the stock post-

HOTTOVY: Yes. I think certainly the pull back opens up an opportunity on
this name. I think this is one of the more dynamic long-term stories
really in the consumer space that we`ve seen. I think that will continue
to play out.

Certainly, there`s going to be periods of investment where the profits look
a little bit weaker. But as long as they`re backing it up with both member
acquisition and more importantly retention and engagement, which I think is
the big part of the Whole Foods deal coming up, I think this is worth a
look at these levels.

MATHISEN: What`s Whole Foods going to do for them?

HOTTOVY: Yes, I think what`s interesting is really a number of facts to
the transaction. I think the first and foremost is it gives them
credibility in the fresh food market. That`s something they`ve lacked for
sometime. They`ve tried to get into the grocery space but really never had
the suppliers backing it. And I think this will help to move prime members
from the prime tier to the prime fresh tier.

I also think there`s a private label play here. I think you`re probably
going to see the third and fourth brand of Whole Foods removed and replaced
with Amazon`s own private label brand. On top of it all, too, I think
there`s a lot of interesting ways that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) can redesign
the stores, make it more of an experiential feel. Yes. I think there`s a
number of angles to this transition that ultimately keep more and more
shoppers coming back and more importantly, they`re paying for a higher
prime pricing tier, which drives a lot of the profits in the retail side of
the business.

MATHISEN: All right. R.J., thanks again. Good to see you.

HOTTOVY: Thank you.

MATHISEN: R.J. Hottovy with Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN).

HERERA: Another big company reporting after the bell was Dow component
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). And by most accounts, it was a strong one. The tech
company earned 72 cents a share, beating estimates by 4 cents. Revenue
came in just below $15 billion and ahead of consensus. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
also raised its full year sales outlook, and Wall Street responded
accordingly, giving shares an initial pop afterhours.

Josh Lipton has more.


billion dollars, that was a key number in Intel`s report. It refers to the
revenue generated by the data center group or chips used in data centers.

Betsy Van Hees of Loop Capital, an Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) bull, says the data
center has been struggling, but with this report, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) met
expectations for the quarter and more importantly, she says, reaffirmed its
full year guide of high single digit growth for the unit.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) bulls make the bet that sales of server chips can make
up for a challenged PC industry.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton, San Francisco.


MATHISEN: Two other Dow components out today, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). The return of unlimited data helped Verizon
(NYSE:VZ) sales surge past estimates. Meanwhile, cost cuts helped results
beat expectations at Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), although sales there were
flat. Investors liked the news out of both companies, in particular
Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which was up more than 7 percent.

HERERA: On Wall Street as a whole, the NASDAQ touched a record high before
tech and a big reversal during the day. The Dow managed another record
close. The Dow rose 85 points to 21796, Nasdaq dropped 40, and the S&P 500
was off two.

MATHISEN: Royal Dutch Shell said profits tripled while ConocoPhillips
(NYSE:COP) suggested earnings were much better than expected. As a result,
both companies higher on the days.

But while earnings season so far has been fairly strong, Bob Pisani
explains why the oil patch could, could be a threat to the stock rally.


along with gains of more than 10 percent now expected for the S&P 500 in
the second quarter. But there`s one potential little fly in the ointment
out there, and that`s big oil. ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX)
and other big names will be reporting tomorrow, and something unusual is
happening. Because oil never rallied in the second quarter as everyone
thought, analysts have been continuing to take down oil company earnings
estimates into July. And they`re also continuing to lower them to the
third quarter.

How did this happen? Well, it`s happened because no one can get the price
of oil right, they can`t get the direction of oil right whether it`s up or
down. In January when it was well over 50, analysts constantly predicted
oil would average around $56 by July of this year. Wrong, it promptly went
straight down bottoming around $42 in June.

Why has everyone been so wrong? Because global oil producers are big
cheaters, including Libya and Nigeria and then Russia did essentially
nothing to help cut production. It`s been bad news for oil stocks right
across the board. Analysts have already cut forecasts for ExxonMobil
(NYSE:XOM), as well as Chevron (NYSE:CVX).

So, just look at their stocks with the S&P 500 up 10 percent this year.
Exxon and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) are both down 10 percent for the year. That`s
not good.

Aside from oil prices, there`s another problem. Production growth is flat
or declining. It`s getting harder and harder for big oil companies to
replace the oil that`s pumped out of the ground with new oil, particularly
in international spheres.

Still, this bright spot. Exxon`s massive chemical operations, for example,
has done well and refining operations should also be strong, and big oil is
paying big dividends. Exxon pays a 3.8 percent dividend yield, well above
the S&P`s 1.9 percent yield. The dividends are still safe but it`s clear
that the stocks are not going to move anymore just because the dividend
goes up. They`re going to move on whether or not that commodity, oil, goes

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


HERERA: And we are now at the halfway point of second quarter earnings
season and the news has been good so far. What`s behind the results and
will the good news continue?

Lindsey Bell joins us, an investment strategist at CFRA Research, to talk
about that.

Good to see you, Lindsey. Welcome back.


HERERA: How would you characterize the quarter so far?

BELL: Oh, it`s been a great quarter. We`ve got growth of 8.9 percent.
That`s so much better than the 6.2 percent we were expecting going into the
quarter. And it`s well ahead of where we`re typically at, at this point in
the earnings season.

Usually, the index is showing a beat rate of about 1.2 percentage points at
this point in time. We`re at 1.4. So, that`s really good or 2 — excuse
me, 2.7. Sorry. My numbers are off.

MATHISEN: Yes. So, it`s better than it normally is, is really the point
you were trying to make there.

BELL: Right. It`s better than it normally is. And the numbers didn`t
come down significantly going into the quarter. That`s also important.

And we`re seeing top line growth come in significantly better than
expected. Usually, about 50 percent or so of the companies that report
beat on the top line. As it currently stands, 70 percent of companies are
beating our revenue estimates.

MATHISEN: That`s a really good economic sign. Let`s talk a little bit
about oil. You just heard Bob Pisani`s report suggesting that maybe some
of the big oil companies might throw a wet blanket on some of these
numbers, but I know you think energy`s actually going to be a pretty good
performer over all, earnings-wise, if not in the stock market?

BELL: That`s right. Earnings for the energy sector are going to be up
over 300 percent for the second quarter. So, this will be the second
quarter in a row where the sector has been able to show increases in
profitability after two years of declining growth on the bottom line for
these guys.

So, the reason for that primarily is oil prices. They were up in the
second quarter. They`re 5 percent higher on average, but that`s not as
good as what we saw in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, oil prices were 53 percent higher on average. And
earnings for this group are highly correlated to that price of oil.

HERERA: Right.

BELL: So, while we think this quarter is going to be good, it`s not going
to be as much of a contributor to the S&P 500 as it was last quarter.

HERERA: Very quickly. Give me some of the sectors that are going to be
winners and some of the sectors that are going to be losers when it`s all
said and done.

BELL: Sure. Well, tech is the biggest winner so far. Eighteen percent
growth in the quarter. It`s just after energy earnings growth.

Financials have been very strong, 10.5 percent growth. Those are the two
double digits earnings categories.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), we`re looking here more from. They have 4-1/2
percent growth coming.


BELL: So, those are really where your winners will be. And health care
has also been coming in a lot better than expected.

HERERA: Lindsey Bell, thank you so much for joining us. Lindsey is with
CFRA Research.

MATHISEN: And coming up, when it comes to houses, it`s a seller`s market
in more ways than one. We`ll explain.


MATHISEN: Republican leaders working on an overhaul of the nation`s tax
codes, said in order to move the plan forward, the controversial border
adjustment tax is dead. The BAT, border adjustment tax, was originally a
key part of the GOP plan. It would have taxed imports but not exports.
Most retailers lobbied aggressively against the tax. Congress hopes to
push through a tax reform plan later this year.

HERERA: So, joining us now with more on tax reform and what`s going on
with health care is John Harwood. He joins us from Washington.

Good to see you as always, John.

So, let`s start with health care. Where do things stand now? What`s next?

senators are getting ready to have votes tonight with their Democratic
colleagues and try to figure out if they can pass something to get to a
conference committee with the House. None of the comprehensive approaches
have succeeded so far. Republican leaders are now trying to pass what
they`re calling a skinny repeal, which is a narrow bill repealing just the
individual mandate and some other items as a means of getting to a

But, of course, the House has the possibility of simply passing that. Late
in the day, we`ve heard from John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson,
three Republican senators who say they will not vote for skinny repeal
unless they have a guarantee that the House will go to a conference
committee and just not pass it.

So, it`s a confused situation. Without those three votes, it couldn`t pass
but we don`t know how that`s going to go and voting is going to go late
into the night.

MATHISEN: On to tax reform, John, the Republicans as we mentioned, dropped
the border adjustment tax that raised a lot of revenue. So, how does the
GOP keep tax reform from ballooning the deficit?

HARWOOD: They do not know and that`s why they haven`t told us. That was
the number one lynchpin of tax reform in which they could change the tax
code in a way that didn`t cost the treasury a lot of money.

One option is to find another source of revenue, another which I think is
more likely is that Republicans are going to try to figure out a way to
pass a tax cut that does lose revenue because it`s simply too hard to find
other revenue sources. They might be able to do that if they can make
those tax cuts expire after 10 years, which is what the bush administration
did early in the 2000s.

HERERA: You know, earlier this week, we`ve talked about John McCain who
spoke so passionately the other day on the floor about bipartisanship.
Will tax reform be a bipartisan effort as it was back in 1986?

HARWOOD: No sign of it so far. Orrin Hatch, the Republican senator of the
Finance Committee has entertained that idea, but there`s not been a
consensus on that within the Republican leadership.

HERERA: We will leave it there. You`re going to be up late tonight, John.

John Harwood in Washington.

MATHISEN: Well, if you`re thinking of selling your home, now would be a
great time. As Diana Olick tells us, sellers are seeing the biggest
profits in a decade and not just because of higher prices.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you altogether?


at most open houses today and you will not be alone. You`ll probably see a
crowd. It is a seller`s market for sure as demand outpaces supply and
profits soar. In fact, those who sold their homes this past spring saw the
highest profit in a decade.

On average, $51,000 over their original purchase price. That represented
an average return of 26 percent, also the highest in a decade, all
according to Adam Data Solutions.

Here`s why: home values shot up quickly after the recession and continued
to move to new record highs, but it`s not just the price. The housing
crash kept homeowners in place longer than normal. Those who sold this
spring had owned their homes on average just over eight years, which is the
longest tenure going back to the year 2000, which is when Adams started
tracking this.

That`s because values fell so dramatically that it took about a decade to
see real gains again. So, where were the biggest profits?

San Jose and San Francisco, of course, and then Seattle and Denver, which
have high demand and extremely low supply.

So, given all that profit, why aren`t more people selling?

SVENJA GUDELL, ZILLOW CHIEF ECONOMIST: I think it really comes down to
something we at Zillow often call the musical chairs phenomenon. You know,
you don`t really want to get out of your chair because you`re not sure if
you`re going to get another chair once the music stops. And I think a lot
of sellers do feel that way right now.

OLICK (on camera): The competition is so fierce, more and more buyers are
using cash. That share increased annually for the first time in four years
last year spring. And some sellers are even willing to take a lower cash
offer over one using a mortgage just to get the deal done fast.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.


HERERA: Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) earnings leave investors with a bad taste.
That`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

Quarterly profits matched analyst`s expectations, while revenue came in
light. The coffee giants saw global same store sales pick up gains, thanks
to higher customer spending. But it still wasn`t enough to beat estimates.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) also said it would close all of its struggling
Teavana stores. Shares were volatile in after hours trading but they ended
the regular day at more than 2 percent to $59.50.

Anheuser-Busch InBev said strong demand in several of its international
market helped to offset softer sales in the U.S. Overall, the brewer of
Budweiser and Corona Beer reported earnings that grew although not enough
to top analyst estimates. Shares jumped 6 percent to $122.84.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) earnings topped expectations, thanks to
higher revenue in the company`s filmed, entertainment and themed park
businesses. The results were ahead of the expectations and the sales at
the cable giants also beat forecasts. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) is
the parent company of CNBC, which produces this program. Shares of Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) were up by 8 cents to $39.43.

MATHISEN: And Twitter is having a difficult time attracting new users to
its platform. The social media company reported user growth that stalled
from the previous quarter. Earnings and revenue, however, did beat street
targets, but that was not enough to improve investor sentiment for the
stock. Shares were down very sharply today, 14 percent or so, to $16.84.

The rise in online shopping was a boon for UPS in the latest quarter. The
company delivered more ecommerce packages leading to stronger than expected
profit and revenue. UPS also left its guidance for the year unchanged, and
that disappointed investors. Shares off 4 percent at $107.79.

Weak demand for Barbie Dolls and Fisher-Price toys caused Mattel
(NASDAQ:MAT) to post disappointing sales. The toymaker did note that it
saw strong sales to products tied to the “Cars 3” franchise. Mattel
(NASDAQ:MAT) posted a wider loss. Shares initially fell afterhours,
erasing a nearly 2 percent gain from earlier when shares closed at $21.30.

And the video game publisher electronic arts topped revenue estimates, but
the company gave a weak sales outlook for the current quarter. E.A. also
said higher sales of the games “Battlefield 1” and “The Sims” helped
earnings beat street targets. Initially, shares dropped after hours and
also ended the regular section down a fraction to $117.60.

HERERA: Finding skilled labor is becoming an increasingly burdensome
target for Main Street. A tight labor market is making it difficult for
small companies to find talent.

In her latest installment of “Small Business Matters,” Kate Rogers
(NYSE:ROG) is in Denver with a look at how entrepreneurs are dealing with
the skills gap.


Denise Burgess, the biggest challenge in running her construction
management firm is simply finding the right people for the job. Her
business, Burgess Services, is a second generation family owned company
with 12 to 15 year-round employees. But depending on the size of the
project she`s working on, Burgess can need more than 100 subcontractors at
a time and that`s when things get complicated.

DENISE BURGESS, BURGESS SERVICES CEO: They`re younger, not as trained, not
as seasoned as previously, and it`s also a career path that`s not
glamorous. It`s not Silicon Valley software. It`s not Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB). It`s something that you`re going to work hard but you also
get paid really well for. So, it`s a hard thing — it`s a hard sell, not
impossible sell.

ROGERS (on camera): Burgess isn`t alone in struggling with the workplace
skills gap. In fact, finding skilled labor has become a top three issue
for Main Street, behind taxes and government regulations. And here in
Denver, it`s an extremely tight labor market with unemployment at just over
2 percent.

really good news that companies are looking to hire, but it`s a real
struggle for them sometimes. It`s always a particular problem for smaller
companies that don`t have the networks the large companies do.

ROGERS (voice-over): West of Denver, in Evergreen, Colorado, Tony Song
employs 12 full time workers at his bike shop, Evergreen Bicycle
Outfitters. Song knows those with particular skill sets including his top
two mechanics would be nearly impossible to replace.

the labor market being what it is and how competitive it is, in the front
range, it would be very difficult for us to find a replacement for somebody
with that level of experience.

ROGERS: So, Song, like Burgess, works to offer competitive benefits like a
health care stipend, paid time off and flexibility in scheduling to hang
onto the good workers both small businesses have.

SONG: With the cycling industry being what it is, there are very few
people who are making, you know, six figures plus. So, our ability to be
able to retain employees has to come from somewhere outside of just the
dollar figure that they`re making. That ability to hold on to their
enjoyment in working in the bike shop is very key.



MATHISEN: Coming up, the half million dollar car Rolls Royce hopes will
reel in a younger crowd. We`ll have a first look.


HERERA: And here`s a look at what to watch for tomorrow. We get the first
look at second quarter GDP. Economists are expecting the economy in the
second quarter grew twice as fast as the first quarter.

As we mentioned a bit earlier, the market will be watching earnings from
big oil companies, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX). And
investors will be keeping an ear open for anything Minneapolis Federal
Reserve President Neil Kashkari says about the economy and interest rates
when he speaks. That`s what to watch for on Friday.

MATHISEN: Well, it is the status symbol among status symbols. The Rolls
Royce and tonight, the world`s most famous luxury car brand rolled out the
latest version of its flagship Phantom model and more than a decade after
the last one.

As Robert Frank tells us, this time, Rolls is aiming for a younger


the oldest existing car model in history, not to mention one of the most
expensive, the Rolls Royce Phantom. And today`s part of its effort to lure
younger buyers, Rolls Royce unveiled the first new version of its land
yacht in over 13 years. It`s called the Phantom VIII, since it`s the
eighth version since the Phantom debuted in 1925.

The new model is critical to parent company BMW`s plan to maintain the
Rolls` magic in a luxury car market crowded with competitors and younger
buyers who want smaller, sleeker, and more stealthy rides. Rolls hopes the
new version with its tougher front end, beefed up engine and aluminum body
that still weighs in at over two tons will bring in more millennials to the

TORSTEN MULLER-OTVOS, ROLLS-ROYCE CEO: What we`ve achieved over the last
seven years is to bring the average age of Rolls Royce customers
significantly down by nearly 10 years from 56 average age down to 45 now,
and that is due to quite a lot of factors. Number one is we are playing
quite a significant new game when it comes to marketing, social media, the
way how we position the brand. But also, of course, what kind of products
we`re offering.

FRANK: The price for a new Phantom starts around $450,000. But most
buyers pay a lot more since they custom design everything from the on board
humidors and champagne coolers, to the star constellations on the ceiling.

And selling a $450,000 car requires a different strategy. Rolls created a
mobile design center that`s been traveling the world, giving rich buyers a
sneak peek at the car and private rooms to design their own vehicles.

MULLER OTVOS: Our customers are not buying a car, they are buying a piece
of art and they`re even commissioning a piece of art. So, nearly all of
our cars are heavy bespoke cars where customers are putting quite
significant efforts into making sure that the car speaks their personal

FRANK (on camera): Last year, Rolls had its second highest sales ever,
delivering over 4,000 cars. The U.S. is their number one market, although
China is gaining fast. And while Chinese buyers like to be driven in the
back of their Phantoms, the U.S. buyers prefer the driver`s seat.

No word yet on the fuel consumption of the Phantom, but with a 6.75 liter
turbo V12, Phantom buyers are not likely to care much about gas mileage.



HERERA: I like the champagne cooler.

MATHISEN: The champagne cooler is nice. And I bet they don`t have to care
much about the gas price.

HERERA: No, that`s not going to be part of the equation.

MATHISEN: That`s not a worry.

HERERA: That will do it — exactly.

That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us.

MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me as well. Have a
wonderful evening, everybody. We`ll see you back here tomorrow night.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at The program is transcribed by ASC Services II
Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests
and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views
of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly
Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2017 CNBC, Inc.


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