SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Huge beat. Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) crushes earnings estimates, reporting its fourth straight profitable quarter as its heavy investments start to pay off.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: He`s out. Influential
investor Carl Icahn exits his entire position in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL),
sending shares and the broader market lower.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Picasso. Renoir. Pollock. Warhol. Bacon. Chagall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: One of the great collections of modern art few have seen before,
until now — hidden in the heart of Iran.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, April
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
A blow-out quarter from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that few could have predicted.
The online retailing powerhouse continued to drive along to get people the
items they want at their doorstep when they want them. And its efforts are
paying off. More customers joined its prime loyalty program and revenue
jumped in its cloud services businesses.
Look at the numbers. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported earnings of $1.07 a
share, estimates were almost half that, 58 cents a share. Sales of $29
billion were 28 percent higher than a year ago, surpassing not only Wall
Street estimates but Amazon`s own forecasts and as for shares, they took
off, initially in after-hours trading. There is a chart of them.
Josh Lipton has more on Amazon`s strong results.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: $1.1 billion, that was
a big number in Amazon`s earnings release. It refers to the operating
income that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported for the first quarter, and it was
way above analyst estimates.
Aaron Kessler of Raymond James says that number proves two points. One,
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) can demonstrate leverage when it wants to. Also, the
company is bouncing its significant investments in everything from
fulfillment centers to prime video with margin expansion.
Their real worry with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) we know, at least among
investors, whether there was enough margin in the model. This report,
Kessler says, would suggest that margins can be much more meaningful over
the long term.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
HERERA: But it was not a good day for another well-known tech name. After
an influential investor said he was out of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Carl Icahn
sold his entire position in the stock. And that caused shares to tumble
and pressured the broader market. It`s an about-face for Icahn who about a
year ago said the company could be worth more than $1 trillion.
In an interview today on CNBC, he said the world`s most valuable company
has an uncertain future in China and he`s concerned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL ICAHN, INVESTOR: We don`t want to have a position in Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL). To start, I think Tim Cook did a great job. I have a great
relation with him. I called him this morning to tell him that and he was a
little sorry, obviously. But I told him I think it`s a great company.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: After those comments the damage was done. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average dropped 210 points to 17,830. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) the
worst performer on that index, off 3 percent. The NASDAQ fell 57 points.
The S&P 500 was off 19.
MATHISEN: But it wasn`t just Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that weighed on stocks
today. A big disappointment out of the Bank of Japan overnight sent some
global markets lower. Many expected Japan`s central bank to take further
steps to stimulate that country`s tepid economy. But in the end, it did
And as Bob Pisani reports, the market is still vulnerable to central bank
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The Bank of Japan
declined to introduce new stimulus measures overnight, sending the Nikkei
stock market index down 3.6 percent. It`s been a rough year for the
Japanese market with the Nikkei down 12 percent year to date as Bank of
Japan`s stimulus measures have had only limited success.
So, auto companies like Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Honda, for example, were down
3 percent to 4 percent. The weakness in Japan initially spilled over into
Europe, but the markets there turned around and most of the major exchanges
there ended in the green.
Same in the U.S. with the broad market sound at the open, but it quickly
turned around at positive news from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) helped tech and
social media. Oil turned positive. And by midday energy stocks were in
the green. Then, it all fell apart a little after 2:00 p.m. after Carl
Icahn made his comments about exiting Apple`s stake.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: Joe Duran joins us now to talk more about what`s going on in this
market and what you should do about it. He is CEO and founding partner of
United Capital Financial Advisers.
Good to see you again, Joe. Welcome back.
You say —
JOE DURAN, UNITED CAPITAL FINANCIAL ADVISORS CEO: Nice to be back.
HERERA: You say one of the issues is there`s no growth anywhere in the
world, even here in the U.S.?
DURAN: I think we`re in a growth recession worldwide. What you`re seeing
is I think we`re a healthy tortoise but we`re a tortoise and it`s very
slow, steady, boring growth and not enough top-line growth in our GDP
that`s causing a lot of struggles for companies to generate top-line
revenue growth. And they`re being punished if they don`t, like Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL), or rewarded handsomely, like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), if they
are. That`s translating across the globe. There`s a lot of concern the
central banks have done everything they can and they`re not able to create
real GDP growth which can translate into revenue growth for corporations.
MATHISEN: So we had a guest on earlier today by the name of Icahn who said
he thought, to address your question of the central banks having done what
they can do, he thought big stimulus was called for. Do you think that?
DURAN: I think it is but it won`t happen. I think when you look at the
balance sheets of all of these countries around the world, they just don`t
have the appetite or ability. So, what they`re doing instead is continuing
to drive down their currencies, keep interest rates artificially low.
What we`re seeing is it`s not impacting the economy and we`re out of
bullets. I think what you`re seeing is an understanding that we`re going
to have very low interest rates for very long and really volatile markets
with not as high a rate of return for the foreseeable future. And that`s
something that people need to adjust their thinking for, that they`re going
to have to need to work longer, they`re going to need to save more, they
should expect more volatile returns on their portfolios because without
growth, the range of outcomes become a lot higher. We are quite fully
valued today. So you need to be careful.
HERERA: So, if — if do you have a longer-term time horizon then, how do
you put money to work in this market? What are the best strategies for
DURAN: Well, first, you must own U.S. stocks because they are the safest.
While not as rewarding as in the past, the best place to invest. You want
to earn big companies, because they have the most flexibility on their
You see right now, interest rates going up some, they have the ability to
take advantage of that. They can borrow money cheaply. Small companies
have less latitude.
You also want companies that are global because growth is coming from
emerging markets more than the U.S. They can take advantage of that. So,
we are still — prefer larger companies, dividend payers so that you get
paid while you wait, and expect that it`s going to be more volatile. So
adjust your portfolio to get ready for higher levels of volatility, 10 to
15 percent declines once a year at least.
HERERA: All right. On that note, Joe, thank you very much. Joe Duran
with United Capital Financial Advisers.
MATHISEN: A trio of health care deals today wasn`t enough to lift the
market overall. The largest medical device maker Abbott Labs` purchase of
St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) for $25 billion, the largest deal of the day.
AbbVie buying a cancer drug startup and Sanofi making an unsolicited offer
for the biotech company Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN).
Meg Tirrell has the details and why there may be more deals to come.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Not bad for a
Thursday. Three deals or potential deals totally more than $40 billion
were announced in the health care space. And some wonder if it spells a
turnaround for the sector`s recent woes.
MICHAEL YEE, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS BIOTECH ANALYST: If you`ve looked at
biotech valuations, they`re down 35 percent off the top in the last six to
eight months on political rhetoric that we`ve talked about. So, asset
prices have come down and become a lot more attractive.
TIRRELL: The biggest health care deal of the day, Abbott Laboratories` $25
billion purchase of St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ), expanding its offerings of
heart devices. Abbott`s cardiovascular business and St. Jude together will
have revenue of more than $8.5 billion. The company says it`s expanding in
the area as 40 percent of American adults are projected to have some form
of cardiovascular disease by 2030. More deals could be in the offing.
BILL GEORGE, FORMER MEDTRONIC CEO: I think this is going to trigger a lot
more consolidation in med tech space as companies try to compete with J&J,
which has long been the dean of the immediately, and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)
with is Covidien acquisition now. It`s a very broad portfolio.
And I think some of the high-quality mid-sized companies are going to be
looking for opportunities.
TIRELL: But Abbott Labs` stock fell Thursday in part over concerns St.
Jude has been losing market share to Medtronic (NYSE:MDT).
Abbott wasn`t the only company buying. Its drug company spinout AbbVie
announced a deal for cancer startup Stemcentrx, for about $5.5 billion.
Investors in the private biotech are eligible to receive an extra $4
billion if certain milestones are met.
And finally, French drug giant Sanofi announced an unsolicited offer for
San Francisco biotech company Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN), worth more than $9
billion. Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN) makes a prostate cancer drug which drew
nearly $2 billion in 2015 revenue.
That split was Medivation`s partner, Astellas. Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN)
stock traded above the offer price Thursday, signaling investors think a
higher bid may materialize.
And according to Credit Suisse, Sanofi may not be the only one interested.
They say Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), Roche, and AstraZeneca could all
potentially take a look.
Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN) said it`s reviewing the offer. Meanwhile, all the
deal activity gave a little boost to biotech valuations across the board.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
HERERA: DreamWorks and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) made it official.
Last night we told you two companies were close to a deal. Well, today,
they confirmed they are getting together in an acquisition worth $3.8
billion. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) is the parent company of CNBC,
which produces this program, and it says it expects to receive regulatory
approval and the purchase will help Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) grow
its film, television, and theme park products. Shares of DreamWorks up
more than 24 percent. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) slipped.
MATHISEN: And there was one more, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) agreed to buy cloud
service provider Textura for more than $660 million. The deal expands
Oracle`s offerings for the construction and engineering industries by
helping contractors manage large projects. Shares of Textura soared more
than 30 percent, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), though, down 1.25 percent.
HERERA: New data on the economy which grew at its slowest pace in two
years during the first three months of 2016. The economy recorded growth
of 0.5 percent, a bit less than expected. Consumer spending slow, and
exports fell, and business investment declined. But many experts believe
the economy will bounce back in the current quarter.
MATHISEN: The number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits
rose last week but to levels still considered historically low. Initial
claims for jobless benefits, a proxy for layoffs, increased by 9,000. That
basically matched expectations. The report is indicative of a healthy
HERERA: A major vulnerability in the global financial system may have been
exposed. As we reported, hackers were able to steal hundreds of millions
of dollars from the Bangladesh government account held at the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York. And now, we`re hearing from a New York Fed
Eamon Javers spoke to him exclusively and he joins us this evening —
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, sue.
The New York Ted official told Steve Liesman and me that the Fed is taking
this issue very seriously and cyber security at banks around world that the
Fed transacts with is, quote, “critical to the stability of the global
Now, remember, back in February, crooks got into the computer systems at
the Bank of Bangladesh and requested 35 transfers of nearly $1 billion out
of the bank`s account at the New York Fed.
Now, in New York, systems blocked some of those transfers. But ended up
releasing $81 million to accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Some
of that money was sent on to casinos in the Philippines and converted to
chips on the gaming tables there. Authorities still don`t have any idea
who stole all that money.
Now, despite that brazen heist, the Fed official told us that the Fed has
no control over cybersecurity at the global banks that it does business
with and that means there`s potentially an enormous amount of money at
risk, as many as 250 central banks and entities around the world have
accounts at the New York Fed. That totals about $3 trillion in assets.
Now, roughly $80 billion is wired into and out of those accounts every day,
officials said, and that staggering pool of money represents a rich and
tempting target for cyber thieves.
But if those cyber thieves do strike, the New York Fed says it does not
have to tell anybody about it. The official said there`s no law or
regulation that requires the Fed to reveal that heists have occurred.
Now, Steve Liesman and I asked if there have been other cyber thefts like
the Bank of Bangladesh heist and the official replied that there have not
been in a central bank context. But the official and the Fed spokesperson
declined to respond to several questions about whether accounts that
private banks hold at the New York Fed have ever been victimized, Sue.
So, still some open questions here.
HERERA: This reads like a spy novel. It`s amazing. But don`t they have
to report cyber theft from the Fed? Or not?
JAVERS: That`s what we thought going into this. Steve and I were both
surprised when we asked this Fed official and he said no, there`s no rule
or regulation that requires them to report it to anybody if there`s a cyber
theft out of an account at the New York Fed. With $3 trillion sitting in
those international accounts, that`s a lot of money. As we know, bank
robbers go where the money is.
MATHISEN: Is there no central bank authority anywhere in the world, or why
can`t the Fed of New York tell banks whose security they don`t trust,
you`ve got to tighten up or you can`t do business with us?
JAVERS: Yes, ultimately there is none. That`s part of the fact that this
is a global disbursed system. These are independent central banks around
the world that have banking relationships with the New York Fed.
The Fed sends them guidance and requirements for cyber security but in
their own boiler plate, they also say that each of these central banks
around the world have to use its own judgment for what it considers to be
good cyber security.
So, ultimately no, there`s no way for the fed to force these other banks to
adopt different cyber security standards than what they`ve got going. And
when you`re dealing with 250 different countries around the world, that`s a
lot of different places where hackers can potentially get in.
HERERA: Very scary stuff, Eamon, thank you very much. Eamon Javers in
EAMON: You bet.
HERERA: There`s more to read about cyber security and the Fed, you can do
that by heading to our Web site, NBR.com.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, in smog-ridden China, drivers are shifting gears to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: China is getting
plugged in behind the wheel. I`m Phil LeBeau in Shenzhen, China, with a
profile of the largest electric vehicle maker in this country and what the
future looks like for the electric vehicle in China. That story coming up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: An abrupt resignation at Priceline. The online travel company CEO
Darren Huston left the company after an internal investigation found he had
an improper relationship with an employee. The investigation concluded
that Huston broke the company`s code of conduct. The company says his
resignation is not related to his operational or financial performance.
MATHISEN: Ford reported record profits easily beating Wall Street
estimates. Net income more than doubled because of strong demand for
trucks and SUVs as well as low gas prices. The automaker had its most
profitable quarter in Europe since 2008. Ford`s CEO says demand is healthy
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK FIELDS, FORD CEO: Well, when we look at the markets around the world,
here in the U.S., for example, the macro economic fundamentals point to a
very healthy market and a very healthy industry that we have right now that
we could see for the next couple of years, barring any kind of fiscal or
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Ford shares today up more than 3 percent in a down market.
HERERA: The largest maker of electric vehicles in China is pushing to
triple sales this year. It`s one more sign that the world`s second-largest
economy is becoming the center of the global race to get more people behind
the wheel of an all-electric car.
Our Phil LeBeau has our story from Shenzhen, China.
LEBEAU: Hongyuan just bought his first car ever, an electric crossover
complete with a $15,000 rebate from the Chinese government.
HONGYUAN MEI, ELECTRIC CAR OWNER (through translator): I think it`s pretty
exciting because you don`t need to worry about gas price anymore. And the
electricity price is always stable.
LEBEAU: Incentives for buyers have helped China become the world`s largest
market for electric vehicles, easily outpacing the U.S. with many of
China`s electric vehicles built in Shenzhen by the company BYD.
It`s easy to see why Chinese consumers who want an electric car would buy a
BYD. BYD is the largest electric vehicle maker in this country with
designs on becoming much larger.
MICHAEL SHU, BYD CHINA GENERAL MANAGER: By 2020, there will be 5 million
(ph) electrical vehicles running in China. So that particular year, 2020,
there will be 10 percent of the new sales cars will be electrical.
LEBEAU: Occasionally, you see Teslas in China but not many, because
they`re imported and have hefty tariffs.
But for as much as China`s government wants to cut pollution levels by
having more people drive electric cars, there are challenges, including
finding places to recharge electric cars in congested cities.
JAMES CHAO, IHS (NYSE:IHS) AUTOMOTIVE: Chinese consumers generally live in
large apartment complexes. Not in standalone homes where they can more
easily have a charging solution. So, one of the conundrums for a potential
buyer of an EV is, where do you charge it?
LEBEAU: Not a concern for Hongyuan, who is part of China`s charge to lead
the world in electric vehicles.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Shenzhen, China.
HERERA: And to read about the push for electric cars in China, head to our
MATHISEN: Volkswagen executives despite being embroiled in the diesel
emissions cheating scandal are optimistic and believe the automaker is
ready to turn the corner. The German company predicts strong financial
results this year despite setting aside $18 billion to fund the recall of
millions of cars and to take care of those legal claims.
HERERA: Aetna (NYSE:AET) tops expectations, that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus.”
Rising premiums and better than expected enrollment in the health insurer`s
public exchanges helped lift results. But even with the strong growth the
company only expects to break even on its Affordable Care Act business.
CEO Mark Bertolini said changes still need to be made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BERTOLINI, AETNA CHAIRMAN & CEO: We need a broader population to
join, so we need younger people to join. We need more of the uninsured to
join. We need a different set of products, more ratings flexibility, a
broader range of rates for people to buy from, and more markets that we
have strong lower cost control to offer products on an affordable base.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Shares up a fraction to $114.63.
Strong sales at Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) pharmaceutical and medical unit
helped the company beat revenue and earnings estimates. Despite the decent
results, though, the company narrowed its earnings forecast for the year as
Cardinal works to expand its portfolio of medical products. That sent
shares down 9 percent to $78.51.
GNC`s CEO called his company`s results unacceptable. The health and
wellness retailer reported a drop in revenue and lowered its financial
outlook for the rest of the year. The company says GNC`s turnaround plan
is taking longer than expected. Shares fell nearly 29 percent to $25.32.
News on two big pharmaceutical companies is showing payouts to
shareholders. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) raised its quarterly dividend
in nickel to 80 cents per share. Meanwhile, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) declared a
quarterly dividend of 30 cents. It is the 310th consecutive pay by Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE). Shares of both stocks were down slightly on this down market
MATHISEN: UPS saw a 10 percent rise in quarterly income while also seeing
revenue gains. The package delivery company reaffirmed its full-year
guidance with the company CEO highlighting one segment in particular.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD PERETZ, UPS CFO: What really is driving UPS right now is e-
commerce and the features of service that we`ve added over the last years
to enable e-commerce to be more efficient. In fact, if you look at our
results, our cost per piece is coming down. And we`re really creating
great economics for e-commerce today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: On the day, UPS fell about 1.5 percent to $104.91.
Low commodity prices continue to weigh on ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) as the
energy company issued another quarterly loss. The results still manage to
top Wall Street estimates. Cuts in deep-water exploration activity
prompted the company also to cut its 2016 capital spending by 11 percent.
Shares down about 1 percent today at $47.67.
And LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) reported a 35 percent increase in revenue aided by
strong demand for the company`s hiring services. As a result, the
professional networking company beat both earnings and sales forecasts.
Shares initially popped in extended hours trading following the news. They
finished the regular session up 3.5 percent at $123.01.
HERERA: Coming up, behind closed doors — a rare look at a modern art
collection hidden in an unlikely place: Iran.
MATHISEN: An update now on the strike at Verizon (NYSE:VZ), one of the
largest U.S. strikes in years. The company says it presented a final
contract proposal for the unions representing the 40,000 striking workers.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) offering a wage increase of 7.5 percent. It had offered
6.5 percent over the term of the contract. Workers walked off the job back
on April 13th.
HERERA: We all know that Iran has a lot of oil. But it also has a lot of
art. Very expensive art, hidden away from public view — until now.
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is in Tehran with the story of how it got there.
MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The Tehran
Museum of Contemporary Art sits on a busy street. On the walls inside hang
works by famous Iranian artists.
The spiral inside might remind you of the Guggenheim in New York. It leads
to the museum`s basement which holds a secret treasure.
Behind this door, one of the greatest collections of modern art in the
Picasso. Renoir. Pollock. Warhol. Bacon. Chagall. Just to name a few.
Rows and rows hidden away.
The pieces were collected in the late `70s by Queen Farah Pahlavi, wife of
the shah of Iran. When Islamic Revolution swept the country in 1979, she
and the shah escaped — the great works of art stayed behind.
The collection has been kept in the basement since 1979. It`s not clear
why. Believed to be the most valuable in the collection, this Poliakoff,
estimated to be worth $400 million.
The CNBC team was allowed in but only permitted to take photos with our
phones. NBC bureau chief and correspondent Ali Arouzi shot a story here
eight years ago. We believe it may be some of the only video that exists.
The manager tells us there are between 1,500 and 1,600 pieces in the
collection. There is no public catalog. Now, the museum displays one at a
time. Currently it`s this Magritte. However, you can buy postcards for
most of the works you cannot see.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Tehran.
MATHISEN: Fascinating story.
Before we go, here`s another look at the day, a down day on Wall Street.
The Dow dropped 210 points. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the worst performer after
Carl Icahn said he exited his position in the stock. The NASDAQ off 57.
The S&P 500 down 19.
HERERA: That`s it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for me as well. Have a great
evening, everybody. We`ll see you back here, thank goodness, it will be
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