TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Trio of tech beats.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN),
all top earnings forecasts, potentially setting a positive tone for
tomorrow after a big rally in stocks today.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Key milestone.
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) says sales are growing in the U.S. for the first time
in two years. It`s a long-awaited turn around finally here?
MATHISEN: And retirement savings gap. Why sitting on too much cash
could shortchange your financial future.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
A recipe for a rally, earnings, economic data, and the prospect of new
stimulus measures in Europe. All that caused stocks to take off at the
open and never look back. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 320
points to 17,489. The NASDAQ rose 79. And the S&P 500 gained 33.
And that optimism could extend into tomorrow after a trifecta of
positive tech earnings from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN),
and Google`s parent company, Alphabet, were released late today.
So, let`s start with alphabet — starts with the letter A, after all.
The company reported earnings per share of $7.35, 14 cents better than
expectations. Revenue also beat estimates and was 13 percent higher than
The company said the number of clicks on ads shown on its Web site
grew more than 20 percent. It also announced a $5 billion buyback. That
sent shares higher in initial after-hours trading.
With the new corporate structure, shareholders may be in for some
bigger changes when the company releases its next earnings report.
And as Josh Lipton reports, it could bolster the case for the Alphabet
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: When Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founder Larry Page explained why he created Alphabet, he
said one reason was to build a cleaner, more accountable company.
Investors have applauded Page`s decision. The stock has moved higher since
the company announced its new corporate structure in August.
And analysts think it continues climbing higher from here. That`s
because when the company next reports earnings in January, it will break
out the performance of its core business. That means Wall Street should
have a better sense of how search, maps, ads, YouTube, and Android are
Financial analysts say investors will be pleasantly surprised.
ROBERT PECK, SUNTRUST MANAGING EDITOR: Investors are excited to see
this because there are really two businesses within Google (NASDAQ:GOOG),
one their core and one these investment areas, or the non-core. Those
investment areas are operating at losses. They`re not making profits,
which is artificially suppressing the overall profits investors get to see
currently. When they break the two apart, investors will be able to see
that the profitability of the core is actually much higher than what we`ve
seen so far and hence the core is more valuable than people realized right
LIPTON: When investors see that profitability, the argument is that
they will bid up the stock in the same way they piled into Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) after the e-commerce giant broke out the growth of its
powerful cloud-computing business. It isn`t just the increased disclosure
that has Alphabet`s fans excited. They also point to strong revenue growth
and a new CFO who is more cost-conscious.
The risk for Alphabet — when the company does break out its business
units in January, investors could see that those non-core business units
are in fact even more unprofitable than they estimated.
There`s also the broader risk of increasing competition for ad dollars
by social media giants like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Right now, though, 90
percent of analysts say Alphabet is a buy. We could have a better sense of
whether they are right when the company next reports.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
MATHISEN: And now to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). The tech giant and Dow
component easily beat Wall Street expectations today. Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) earned 67 cents a share in its most recent quarter compared
with estimates of just 59 cents. Revenue for the quarter came in at $21.7
billion. Now, that was down nearly 7 percent from a year ago.
But the target was comparatively modest, about 21 billion. So, it was
a beat. Shares initially popped about 7 percent after hours.
HERERA: As for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the company posted a surprise
profit in its latest earnings report, its second straight quarterly gain.
The company citing strong sales in North America and growth in cloud
computing. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) earning 17 cents a share, expectations
were for a loss of 13 cents. Revenue coming in at last $25.5 billion, also
topping estimates. Shares initially spiking more than 10 percent on the
Jon Fortt tells us the key takeaway from both Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
and Amazon`s reports.
JON FORTT, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Good day for
Seattle. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) both out with
earnings that beat analysts` expectations on the top and bottom line.
So, one thing to look for in Amazon`s report is the guidance for the
important holiday quarter. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) at the high end guiding
above analysts` expectations to $36 billion in revenue. We`ll see where
they actually come down.
And then Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) — strong quarter from them as well.
Beat on the PC line, though the expectations were low. The one thing to
look at there is the growth in Cloud. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) saying the
cloud annualized run rate revenue was up 70 percent year over year to $8.2
billion, keeping pace with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jon Fortt.
MATHISEN: And the latest results from McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) gave
investors hope that the fast food chain is beginning to turn around. The
company`s U.S. sales rose for the first time in two years, and investors
were loving it, sending shares up 8 percent to an all-time high.
Mary Thompson has more now on McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) tasty quarter.
MARY THOMPSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Less than a
year on the job, McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) CEO Steve Easterbrook making good on
his promise to revive the fast food giant.
STEVE EASTERBROOK, MCDONALD`S PRESIDENT & CEO: Whilst we`re still in
the early phases, our turnaround plan is working.
THOMPSON: Evidence of his plan to include quality, service, and to
simplify McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) menu reflected in the company`s first
increase in global same-store sales in a year and the first increase in
U.S. same-store sales in two.
Easterbrook saying the momentum continues in the current quarter.
EASTERBROOK: Looking ahead, as we begin fourth quarter, global
comparable sales are expected to be positive in all segments.
THOMPSON: Behind the stronger global sales, a more than 20 percent
increase in China same-store sales. The rebound a year after supplier
issues in that country cratered them.
In the U.S., its largest market, the firm crediting better service and
new items like a deluxe chicken sandwich for its higher sales.
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) profits beat estimates too thanks to a lower tax
rate and a lower share count. And while sales improved, analyst Matt
DiFrisco sees other hurdles to clear.
MATT DIFRISCO, GUGGENHEIM SECURITIES: Certainly, labor is a big
issue. January 1st, 2016, you have over 20 states that are going to turn
the minimum wage up higher. Certainly, you have other restaurants looking
for the best talent. So, wage pressure`s going to go up. Benefits are
going to go up. You need to offset that.
THOMPSON: This putting added pressure on McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) to
keep sales growing in order to offset those higher costs. An expected
driver of sales, all-day breakfast introduced at the beginning of this
EASTERBROOK: I would say the enthusiasm that was from customers and
from our teams in the restaurants are high. It`s been a successful
THOMPSON: As a global firm McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) sees currency
headwinds taking 8 to 10 cents off its bottom line in the current quarter.
Still, the winds of change seem to be bringing a breath of fresh air to
what had become a tired and troubled brand.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mary Thompson.
HERERA: So, is this the start of the long-awaited turnaround in
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) that shareholders have been waiting for?
Jake Bartlett with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey has a buy rating on the
stock with a price target of $125.
Welcome. It`s great to have you here, Jake.
And I guess with a price target like that and a buy rating, you do
think that this is the beginning of the turnaround.
JAKE BARTLETT, SUNTRUST ROBINSON HUMPHREY: Yes, I do. They`ve really
set the stage here in the U.S. by improving the service and core menu items
like the quarter pounder. We also have toasted buns. We have a new
chicken sandwich that has been a tremendous success. So, they`ve really
done a lot of work behind the scenes over the last year that is producing
what we`re seeing today.
MATHISEN: Is the customer experience getting better? That has been a
BARTLETT: Yes. I think the customer experience is getting better.
There`s been some question about whether all-day breakfast could interrupt
service a little bit.
But in general, they`ve taken items off the menu. That speeds up
service. It speeds up the quality of what you`re getting. So, it really
has improved. They`re put a lot of work into it.
HERERA: Now, they introduced the all-day breakfast which you just
mentioned. In their press release, they did cite the fact they thought it
drove foot traffic. Even though it hasn`t been in place for very long, how
much of a boost do you expect that to give their business as it goes into
BARTLETT: Right. So, the breakfast launched in the beginning of
October, which is the beginning of the fourth quarter. So, we haven`t seen
that in numbers yet. They`re guiding for positive same-store sales in the
U.S. in the fourth quarter. They didn`t quantify what that would be.
My estimate is 2 percent. Those who put a number on it, I think the
breakfast adds about 1 percent to 2 percent. It really makes about flat
traffic. So, this is all moving in the right direction.
We did have negative traffic in the third quarter. So, there`s a lot
more work to be done. I think the next step is really a national value
platform. That`s a 2016 story really. But that is the next step to its
turnaround and what could really give it some legs.
MATHISEN: You know, I don`t want to get wonky here, but you`re
predicting that the earnings per share are going to go up from what you had
previously said. I wonder how much of that is real profit or how much of
it is driven by stock buybacks. And they`ve been aggressive with it.
BARTLETT: You know, their margins — because of their sales were
better than expected, they did get more leverage. We had higher profits in
every segment of their balance or their income statements. So, each region
is contributing to higher than expected profit. So, it`s really been
broad-based in the third quarter today, was a real broad-based recovery.
We`re talking about the U.S. now, but every region was actually better than
HERERA: All right, Jake, we`ll leave it there. Thanks so much for
BARTLETT: Thank you.
HERERA: Jake Bartlett with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
MATHISEN: And the fellow Dow component Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) slashed
its outlook today. The company said weak demand for equipment used in
mining and oil drilling will eat into earnings for the full year.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) also reaffirming its forecast for a decrease in
sales in 2016 for the fourth consecutive year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG OBERHELMAN, CATERPILLAR CEO: Our big markets are mining our oil
business. Supplies to that market are very soft right now. We announced a
major restructuring a month ago to address this, to get out in front of it
for 2016. We`re doing all we can to fortify this company to get through
this very rough patch we`re seeing today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: The stock, however, did rise because the results were
pretty much in line with expectations and not worse.
HERERA: 3M (NYSE:MMM) is cutting its full-year profit forecast and
says it will shed about 1,500 jobs worldwide. The maker of Scotch Tape and
Post-It notes reported a sales drop of 5 percent in its latest quarter,
hurt by a strong dollar and a slowing global economy.
Wall Street liked the idea, though, of the cost cuts, and it sent
shares higher by 4 percent.
MATHISEN: And still ahead, a new report today shows the housing
market is still hot. So why are some realtors worried?
MATHISEN: The number of Americans filing for new unemployment claims
rose slightly less than expected last week, remaining near levels not seen
since late in 1973. Claims rose by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000.
Most economists were expecting 265,000. Now, 300,000 is the level usually
tied to a strengthening labor market. Anything below that is good. And it
is the 33rd straight week we have been below that mark.
HERERA: And there`s more signs of strength in the housing market.
Sales of existing homes in September hit their second highest monthly pace
since early 2007. The National Association of Realtors says sales rose
nearly 5 percent to an annual rate of more than 5.5 million units.
But as Diana Olick reports, realtors are starting to get worried.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: September sales
rounded out a strong spring and summer season for the housing market. The
numbers are well above a year ago and price gains are still strong. The
trouble is the bulk of the action is on the high end. The median home
price hit $221,900 in September, but sales were strongest for homes priced
above that median. Above 250k, sales gained 22 percent from last year.
But sales of homes priced below 100k, they fell. That`s because there`s so
little supply on the low end.
SUSAN MAKLARI, UBS SECURITIES: Because land prices have remained
elevated in this recovery, builders are having a harder time building a
lower-cost home. It`s harder for them to do that because they can`t reach
the profitability levels that they need to realize in their numbers.
OLICK: Overall, the number of listings actually fell in September.
It usually rises in the fall due to slower sales.
The lack of cheaper homes is at least partially to blame for the drop
in first-time buyers. They`re nowhere near normal levels and even fell
from a month ago. Typically, this is the time of year singles or young
couples without kids make that first home purchase.
KEN ROSEN, ROSEN CONSULTING GROUP: First-time home buyer has trouble
getting mortgage credit. They require a higher down payment, and it`s more
difficult for a first-time entry buyer to get in today than it has been —
it has been in three or four years because a lot of the new rules and
regulations make it difficult for that buyer to qualify.
OLICK: Realtors claim credit is easing a little bit and that could
help, but if supply doesn`t turn higher through the colder months, things
will get tighter and tougher come spring.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
MATHISEN: Mortgage rates fell slightly this past week. According to
Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage ticked down to 3.79
percent. The 30-year has now been below 4 percent for three months.
HERERA: To Europe now, where comments from European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi helped drive stocks higher. He signaled the bank
could extend its stimulus program beyond 2016 in an effort to increase
growth and tackle weak inflation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO DRAGHI, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN: If we were to see that
the technical assumptions underlying these projections have worsened or the
downside resell (ph) increasing them further are materializing, we may well
change the size, the composition, the design of all our monetary policy
instruments as need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: The ECB`s next meeting on monetary policy is in December.
MATHISEN: United Airlines raises its profit margin forecast, and that
is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The airline topped analyst expectations helped by lower fuel costs,
the company`s acting CEO promised better service for travelers as he tried
to reassure shareholders that united was in good hands. This following the
heart attack of CEO Oscar Munoz and the recent resignation of former CEO
Jeff Smisek. Shares of the company up close to 3 percent today. They
finished at $56.05.
Sticking with the airlines, Southwest also benefiting from lower fuel
costs. The airline reported higher revenue and record third quarter profit
that beat expectations. CEO Gary Kelly said traffic demand is also
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY KELLY, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CHAIRMAN & CEO: The capacity that the
airline industry offers is increasing to meet that demand. We`re growing
our capacity over 7 percent this year and will be growing 5 percent to 6
percent next year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares jumped over 7 percent today to $44.08.
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) also citing lower fuel costs as a driver for
growth this quarter. The company saw its plastics business improve, mainly
in Europe. It is also reviewing options for its pesticide and seed
segments and raising its dividend. Shares of the company up more than 5
percent to $49.92.
Under Armour (NYSE:UA) reported higher profits and a jump in quarterly
revenue as the company expands its presence in footwear. Its core apparel
business also grew, helping Under Armour (NYSE:UA) post its first ever
billion-dollar quarter for sales. But some investors are concerned about
weakening margins. That pressured the stock, and it was down more than 5
percent at $93.81.
HERERA: AT&T (NYSE:T) releasing its earnings after the bell today,
beating analyst expectations. This report is the first after the company
completed its acquisition of DirecTV in July. The company saw subscriber
growth in both its wireless group and its newly acquired satellite
television business. Shares closing a percent higher for the day to $33.96
and seeing a jump in after-hours action as well.
Investors getting a chance today to react to Community Health Systems`
earnings warning issued late yesterday. The health care services provider
saw a decrease in hospital admissions as well as higher payroll costs
associated with hiring more physicians. Shares of the company getting
crushed today, down over 35 percent to $26.30.
Shares of GNC Holdings feeling the heat after the Oregon attorney
general filed suit against that company. That suit alleges that the
nutritional supplement retailer knowingly sold products spiked with
synthetic drugs. GNC says the claims are without merit. Shares of the
company falling 14 percent to $34.50.
And shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals continue to come under pressure.
The company said it plans to host a conference call to address all the
recent allegations against the company. As we reported yesterday, a short
seller accused Valeant of fraudulent business practices. Shares down more
than 7 percent today to $109.87.
MATHISEN: The golden years could be rocky for many people nearing
retirement. New findings in a study show that there`s a very large gap
between the amount people need in retirement and how much they`ve actually
saved. The study was conducted by Blackrock, which surveyed more than
Sharon Epperson is here with more on the findings.
Sharon, what is the actual savings gap that Blackrock found?
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, it
might be pretty surprising to you. What`s good is that people have an idea
of how much money they need. Baby boomers say they need about $45,000 a
year in retirement. But what they`ve actually saved would allot them only
about $9,000 a year.
MATHISEN: That`s a big, big hole.
EPPERSON: Right, exactly. So that $139,000, $140,000 that they have
in their nest egg is only going to amount to $9,000 a year. It`s a $36,000
annual savings gap. That`s a big gap.
HERERA: It is. And it`s a huge shortfall. But is there a reason why
that shortfall is there other than people perhaps not saving enough?
EPPERSON: Well, not saving enough of course is a problem but also
where you save is important, where you put that money. And a lot of people
are just putting it in cash. They`re saying we`re not comfortable with
this market, we`re just going to keep it in cash, instead of knowing they
should put a third of their money they think in cash. They`re putting 65
percent of their holdings in cash.
And so, because they`re not well-diversified, that`s one of the
reasons why they`re having the shortfall.
MATHISEN: And does that income gap include the money that I might
collect from a pension or Social Security, or is that just the amount that
my savings are going to be —
EPPERSON: This is looking at your portfolio. This is looking at your
EPPERSON: The issue is that people aren`t saving enough and aren`t
being long-term savers. The majority of folks were not putting their money
into longer-term investments. The majority of folks were not working with
a financial adviser to figure out how the Social Security part and the
investments that you`re making on your own will work together and how much
you really need to stay.
HERERA: Well, what do you do, then? I mean, obviously, working with
a financial adviser as scary as that may be, a lot of it is fear.
EPPERSON: A lot of it is fear and realizing that yes, you have a age
that you`d like to retire but if you are able to retire at 65, 66, and some
people maybe even 70, you are also likely to live longer.
There are a lot of drugs out there that keep you healthy and keep you
in the game for a lot longer than you may expect. We`re talking about 10,
20, 30 years in retirement. So, you`re going to need a lot of money and
you`re going to need your money to grow.
So, the idea of putting that money in cash, putting that money in
fixed income, that old —
MATHISEN: It pays zero. Cash pays zero.
EPPERSON: It really does not work. And you need to be more
aggressive. It`s fear about doing that. It seems very, very risky. But
it`s the reality.
MATHISEN: We have to wrap here. But you`ve often pointed out that
people above 50 can take advantage of some sort of late start or catch-ups
EPPERSON: Yes, so catch-up. So, 401(k)s, for IRAs, extra 6,000 for
your 401(k) and extra $1,000 for your IRA. So, put that money in, put as
much money in as you can.
MATHISEN: Sharon, fantastic. Sharon Epperson, appreciate it.
HERERA: And as we continue, coming up, game on. One company`s big
move to be a leader in the fast-growing and competitive gaming industry.
HERERA: John Malone`s Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) is reportedly in
talks to acquire Cable and Wireless Communications. “The Wall Street
Journal” reports that deal could be worth more than $5 billion. Cable and
Wireless, which trades in London, has more than 6 million subscribers, and
it offers pay television, internet, land line, and wireless services in the
Caribbean, Panama, and Monaco.
MATHISEN: United Auto Workers Union has approved a new labor pact
with Fiat Chrysler. Seventy-seven percent of workers ratified the four-
year deal, and the agreement will now be used as a blueprint for contracts
with the other automakers. The union says it will next target General
HERERA: Activision making a big push into competitive video gaming,
otherwise known as e-sports. The company behind the “Call of Duty”
franchise is creating an entire division devoted solely to this fast-
And as Julia Boorstin reports, it has a lot at stake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s take a look at —
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: As the land
grab for e-sports continues, video game giant Activision Blizzard
(NASDAQ:ATVI) is staking a claim, announcing a new division devoted to e-
sports, and two big hires to run it. Former CEO of ESPN and the NFL
network Steve Bornstein will be the division`s chairman, and Mike Sepso,
formerly president of major league gaming, will be its SVP.
ERIC HANDLER, MKM PARTNERS: When you look at e-sports, it`s a $600
million revenue opportunity globally. U.S. market`s very small, a little
over $100 million. Most of it is corporate sponsorship. You bring someone
like Steve Bornstein in to think of other ways to monetize the business.
BOORSTIN: This follows Activision`s announcement last month that it`s
creating a world league for its hit “Call of Duty”, with $3 million in
prize money. Activision`s Blizcon event will feature the global finals for
games including “Starcraft 2” and “World of Warcraft. Gamers competing for
more than $4 million in prizes.
This is just the latest bet that more consumers will want to watch
people play video games. The number of e-sports fans is expected to grow
from 116 million this year to 165 million in 2018, according to a report
And traditional media is moving further into e-sports. Last month,
Turner and agency WME/IMG partnered to create a new e-sports league and to
air the competitions on TBS.
HANDLER: I think it`s a low-cost risk for someone like Turner to put
on some live event programming that`s going to draw in a youthful audience.
That`s going to be very favorable for advertisers. It`s not going to cost
a lot to do. And they`ll see what works. Video games is a growing
business. It`s got a broad user base and this console cycle is off to a
very good start.
So, I think there`s a lot of reasons to be hopeful.
BOORSTIN: Up until now, YouTube and Twitch, which Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) bought for a billion dollars, have been the main destinations
for watching video game play. Now, we`ll see if video game giant
Activision and the companies that draw millions of users to traditional
sports can cash in on e-sports as well.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
MATHISEN: And let`s take another look. Let`s just linger on today`s
rally on Wall Street, shall we? The Dow rose 320 points, nearly 2 percent.
The NASDAQ gained 79, about 1 2/3 percent. And the S&P 500 added 33.
I think McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) surprised a lot of people.
HERERA: Oh, I think it did. And, you know, good for them if that
turnaround so long in coming is finally here. We`ll see what the breakfast
— all-day breakfast menu adds to it.
MATHISEN: And Mario Draghi helped too in Europe.
HERERA: Oh, in Europe, yes. Easy rates for a long time to come.
That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks
for joining us.
MATHISEN: Thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great
evening, everybody. We will see you back here tomorrow night.
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