PepsiCo to Sell Tropicana, Other Juice Brands For $3.3 Billion

The company, which bought the orange juice maker in 1998 for roughly $3.3 billion and U.S.-based Naked Juice nearly a decade later for $150 million, will keep a 39% stake in the new joint venture and have exclusive U.S. distribution rights for the brands.

The sale will give PepsiCo the funds to develop and grow its portfolio of health-focused snacks and zero-calorie beverages, Chief Executive Officer Ramon Laguarta said, as the company focuses on more profitable brands.

Rival Coca-Cola Co has also been streamlining its product range over the past year, discontinuing its TaB diet soda and Coca-Cola Energy brands in the United States and selling its ZICO coconut water brand.

“Companies are finding it difficult to provide effective marketing support behind an infinite number of brands that often compete for very similar occasions,” Rabobank Food and Beverage analyst Stephen Rannekleiv said in May.

He added that companies are looking to launch new products that have been developed in-house.

The juice businesses made about $3 billion in net revenue in 2020 for PepsiCo, with operating profit margins that were below the group’s.

The deal is one of the many food and beverage investments PAI has made over the last few years. In 2019, Nestle SA sold its U.S. ice cream business, including brands such as Häagen-Dazs, to a joint venture backed by PAI in deal valued at $4 billion.

Centerview Partners is the financial advisor to PepsiCo on the deal, while J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is advising PAI.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur)

Coca-Cola Tops Q2 Earnings Estimates, Raises Full-Year Guidance

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drink manufacturer, reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the second quarter, largely driven by a recovery in markets where coronavirus-related uncertainty has abated, sending its shares up over 1% on Wednesday.

The most popular and biggest-selling soft drink reported earnings per share of $0.68, beating analysts’ expectations of $0.56. The company said its net revenue surged over 41% to $10.13 billion, beating the Wall Street consensus estimates of $9.32 billion.

Coca-Cola said it expected to deliver organic revenue (non-GAAP) growth of 12% to 14% and comparable net revenues (non-GAAP) to grow in the range of 1% to 2% in the full year 2021. The company also expects to deliver comparable EPS (non-GAAP) growth of 13% to 15% versus $1.95 in 2020.

Following the upbeat results, Coca-Cola shares 1.28% to $56.55 on Wednesday. The stock rose over 3% so far this year.

Analyst Comments

“Short term, we see a well-above-consensus post-COVID-19 topline/EPS recovery ahead through 2022, and longer-term, see a return to pre-COVID-19 outsized sales growth vs. peers, improved execution with a reorganization, and higher margins with productivity/rational industry environment,” noted Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We are Overweight Coca-Cola (KO) after significant stock underperformance given COVID-19 impacts on KO’s on-premise eating / drinking out business (~40% of sales) and gas & convenience (~10%) with gov’t mandated restaurant closures and reduced foot traffic. COVID-19 impacts drove a large -9% organic sales decline in 2020, but we forecast a recovery to ~14.5% organic growth in 2021 and ~8% in 2022 with a post-COVID-19 recovery in away-from-home. We believe Coke’s LT topline growth outlook is above peers, with strong pricing power, and favorable strategy tweaks under Coke’s CEO, including increased innovation and a cultural shift towards a total beverage company.”

Coca-Cola Stock Price Forecast

Ten analysts who offered stock ratings for Coca-Cola in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months of $61.20 with a high forecast of $64.00 and a low forecast of $58.00.

The average price target represents an 8.22% change from the last price of $56.55. From those ten analysts, six rated “Buy”, four rated “Hold” while none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave the stock price forecast of $65 with a high of $75 under a bull scenario and $40 under the worst-case scenario. The firm gave an “Overweight” rating on the soft drink company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also updated their stock outlook. Cowen and company raised the target price to $60 from $57. JPMorgan lifted the target price to $59 from $56. Jefferies increased the target price to $59 from $57. Guggenheim raised the target price to $59 from $56.

“Our FY21-23 EPS ests are little changed (we raised our forecast into KO’s 2Q print) and maintain our Hold post KO’s strong 2Q. The recovery in AFH channels, continued resilience in AH channels (notably in DMs + for new occasions), improved market share, and commitment to restoring A&M are all encouraging. We like the strategic direction; however, expectations appear reasonable, and we see less scope for shares to re-rate higher at ~25x P/E. Hold, $60 price target,” noted Kevin Grundy, equity analyst at Jefferies.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

No Direct Impact On Sales from Ronaldo Snub -Coca-Cola CFO

By Uday Sampath Kumar

Ronaldo, a health fanatic with an aversion to carbonated drinks, snubbed the brand by holding a bottle of water and saying “agua”, Portuguese and Spanish for water. His action sent the internet into a frenzy and briefly wiped off billions of dollars from the company’s market capitalization.

“You have to take the long view on these partnerships. You’re always going to have some events that don’t necessarily go your way and we just deal with them and manage them as such,” Coca-Cola Chief Financial Officer John Murphy said in an interview.

“Our commitment to these major tournaments has not been affected,” Murphy added.

The soda maker raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts on Wednesday, as demand bounces back from pandemic lows for its beverages following the re-opening of theaters, restaurants and stadiums.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Earnings vs Inflation – What Is The Right Bet?

As investment money will always be looking for a place to roost many stocks still look like the best opportunity for alpha, especially some of your bigger high-tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc… who don’t face the same headwinds created by supply chain dislocations, higher commodity prices, etc.

Fundamental analysis

Bulls are hoping to see more money lured into the market by strong Q2 earnings which have so far failed to ignite a meaningful rally. Analyst expectations for S&P 500 company earnings is still around +65%, something stock bears argue is lofty considering the extreme level of supply chain dislocations and labor shortages.

There is also a lot of debate about whether corporate profit gains are “peaking” in the face of slower growth in the quarters ahead as the reopening boom begins to fade. Remember, investors place bets on the future, not what happened last quarter.

The earnings pace really picks up next week with highlights including IBM on Monday; Chipotle and Netflix on Tuesday; ASML, CocaCola, Novartis, and Verizon on Wednesday; Abbott Labs, AT&T, Biogen, Capital One, Dow Inc., Intel, Snap, Southwest Airlines, Twitter, and Union Pacific on Thursday; and American Express, Honeywell, and Nextera on Friday.

Inflation

One of the biggest factors that seem to be weighing on investor sentiment continues to be inflation. The latest indication of rising costs was reflected last week in U.S. Import Prices, which climbed for an eighth straight month in June.

However, the year-on-year increase slid to +11.2%, down from +11.6% in May is an encouraging sign that some inflationary pressures might be starting to ease. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, repeated the script he’s stuck with for months, saying inflation will likely remain elevated in the coming weeks and months before moderating.

Powell also told lawmakers that the Fed is not in a hurry to start paring its monthly asset purchases but he stressed that the central bank is prepared to adjust policy if they see signs of inflation moving “materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal.” Wall Street increasingly expects the Fed to start trimming asset purchases later this year and even start lifting rates as soon as Q4 2022.

The Fed meets next on July 27-28 but most analysts think Powell will wait to make any big policy change announcements at either the annual Jackson Hole symposium at the end of August or possibly the FOMC’s September policy meeting. Central banks in Canada and New Zealand this week scaled back their asset purchase schemes which some worry could start to put pressure on central bankers in other developed countries to also tighten.

The European Central Bank releases its latest policy decision next Thursday. Bulls still largely believe that U.S. growth will be able to outpace “transitory” inflation pressures but the outlook for some companies could dim if the Fed starts reining in its “easy money” policies sooner than investors have been anticipating.

sp500 analysis forecast 18 july 2020

SP500 technical analysis

SP500 pulled back last week after another attempt to break out. There is no surprise we see such choppiness in the middle of summer. Moreover, very likely this price activity will stay for a few more weeks. We are still in a bull market. However, the risk of deep pullback is rising. If that happens, SP500 will target to close the gap near 4000.

On the other hand, if the price sustains above Gann resistance 4400, bulls will target 4500 at least. Two of my favourite indicators are giving opposite signals now. So, I don’t have any strong bias at the moment. Advance Decline Line remains bearish. At the same time, Insider Accumulation is bullish. In general, swing traders have to focus on daily support and resistance. Likely it will take few more weeks to see a real direction. Short-term traders can use Gann levels and Cycles on 4h charts to find trading opportunities.

Earnings to Watch Next Week: IBM, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Twitter, Intel and American Express in Focus

Earnings Calendar For The Week Of July 19

Monday (July 19)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: IBM

The Armonk, New York-based technology company is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $2.32 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 6% from $2.18 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The world’s largest computer firm would post revenue growth of about 1% to $18.24 billion. In the last four consecutive quarters, on average, the company has delivered earnings of over 5%.

The better-than-expected results, which will be announced on Monday, July 19, would help the stock recover its last year’s losses. IBM shares rose about 12% so far this year.

“We expect IBM to marginally beat the consensus estimates for revenues and earnings. The company has reported better than expected earnings figures in each of the last four quarters while revenue beat consensus in three of the last four quarters,” noted analysts at Trefis.

“In the past year the company has increased its investment in R&D and capex and since October has acquired seven companies focused on hybrid cloud and AI. As the pace of vaccination increases and countries are opening up, we expect the momentum to continue in the second-quarter FY2021 results as well. Our forecast indicates that IBM’s valuation is around $140 per share, which is in line with the current market price of $140.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 19

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
TSCO Tractor Supply $2.97
PPG PPG Industries $2.20
JBHT J B Hunt Transport Services $1.57
CCK Crown $1.78
STLD Steel Dynamics $3.38
PACW Pacwest Bancorp $0.99
WTFC Wintrust Financial $1.59
FNB FNB $0.28
SFBS ServisFirst Bancshares $0.93
IBM IBM $2.32
PLD ProLogis $0.45
ACI AltaGas Canada $0.68
ZION Zions Bancorporation $1.29
NVR NVR $72.35
ELS Equity Lifestyle Properties $0.28
AN AutoNation $2.67

Tuesday (July 20)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NETFLIX, UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS

NETFLIX: The California-based global internet entertainment service company is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $3.18 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of 100% from $1.59 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The streaming video pioneer would post revenue growth of about 19% to around $7.3 billion. In the last four consecutive quarters, on average, the company has delivered earnings of over 5%.

“Areopening consumer and the lingering effects of 2020’s production delays suggest risk to consensus 2Q/3Q estimates. However, more content is on the way, supporting an increase in net additions in 4Q21/’22. In this cross-asset report, we reiterate OW on shares and reiterate our recommendation to buy 10Y bonds in credit,” noted Benjamin Swinburne, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe share performance is highly dependent on increasing global membership scale. Proven success in the US and initial international markets provides a roadmap to success in emerging markets, and scale should allow NFLX to leverage content investments and drive margins. Higher global broadband penetration should increase the NFLX addressable market, driving member growth and providing further opportunity given NFLX’s global presence. Longer-term, we see the ability to drive ARPU growth, particularly given increased original programming traction.”

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS: One of the largest airlines in the world is expected to report a loss for the sixth consecutive time of $4.21 in the second quarter of 2021 on July 20 as the aviation service provider continues to be negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and renewed travel restrictions.

However, that would represent a year-over-year improvement of about 55% from -$9.31 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 20

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
DOV Dover $1.82
OMC Omnicom $1.38
SBNY Signature Bank $3.14
PM Philip Morris International $1.54
HCA HCA $3.16
SYF Synchrony Financial $1.38
KEY KEY $0.54
ALLY Ally Financial $1.50
MAN ManpowerGroup $1.41
GATX GATX Corp $1.03
BMI Badger Meter $0.46
ONB Old National Bancorp $0.40
FMBI First Midwest Bancorp $0.38
NFLX Netflix $3.18
CNI Canadian National Railway USA $1.49
CMG Chipotle Mexican Grill $6.50
IBKR Interactive Brokers $1.03
UAL United Airlines Holdings -$4.21
PNFP Pinnacle Financial Partners $1.44
RXN Rexnord $0.50
UCBI United Community Banks $0.62
SNBR Scs Group Plc $1.07
FULT Fulton Financial $0.33
RUSHA Rush Enterprises $0.79
ISRG Intuitive Surgical $3.07
UBS UBS Group $0.42
TRV Travelers Companies $2.38
HAL Halliburton $0.22
CFG Citizens Financial $1.10
SNV Synovus Financial $1.03
IRDM Iridium Communications -$0.06
NEOG Neogen $0.14
EXPO Exponent $0.42
RNST Renasant $0.77

Wednesday (July 21)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: COCA-COLA

The world’s largest soft drink manufacturer is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $0.56 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 30% from $0.42 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The company’s revenue would grow over 30% to $9.4 billion.

“We are Overweight Coca-Cola (KO) after significant stock underperformance given COVID impacts on KO’s on-premise eating / drinking out business (~40% of sales) and gas & convenience (~10%) with gov’t mandated restaurant closures and reduced foot traffic. COVID impacts drove a large -9% organic sales decline in 2020, but we forecast a recovery to ~8% organic growth in 2021/2022 with a post-COVID recovery in away-from-home,” noted Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe Coke’s LT topline growth outlook is above peers, with strong pricing power, and favorable strategy tweaks under Coke’s CEO, including increased innovation and a cultural shift towards a total beverage company.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 21

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
JNJ Johnson & Johnson $2.29
ASML ASML $2.98
KO Coca-Cola $0.56
ANTM Anthem $6.34
NDAQ Nasdaq Omx $1.72
RCI Rogers Communications USA $0.62
NTRS Northern $1.71
BKR Baker Hughes Co $0.16
MTB M&T Bank $3.65
MKTX MarketAxess $1.72
LAD Lithia Motors $6.01
HOG Harley Davidson $1.21
BOKF BOK Financial $1.83
STX Seagate Technology $1.84
KNX Knight Transportation $0.88
CCI Crown Castle International $0.68
CSX CSX $0.37
DFS Discover Financial Services $4.01
EFX Equifax $1.71
GL Globe Life Inc $1.83
LVS Las Vegas Sands -$0.15
SEIC SEI Investments $0.91
WHR Whirlpool $5.95
GGG Graco $0.61
REXR Rexford Industrial Realty $0.09
OMF OneMain Holdings $2.12
THC Tenet Healthcare $1.07
FR First Industrial Realty $0.22
SLM SLM $0.37
LSTR Landstar System $2.33
SLG SL Green Realty $0.17
VMI Valmont Industries $2.50
RLI RLI $0.75
UFPI Universal Forest Products $1.56
STL Sterling Bancorp $0.50
UMPQ Umpqua $0.45
FTI FMC Technologies -$0.01
CNS Cohen & Steers $0.82
MC Moelis & Company $0.83
TCBI Texas Capital Bancshares $1.24
BXS BancorpSouth $0.67
PLXS Plexus $0.91
NVS Novartis $1.54
SAP SAP $1.44
TXN Texas Instruments $1.83
EBAY eBay $0.95
KMI Kinder Morgan $0.19
URI United Rentals $4.90
IPG Interpublic Of Companies $0.43
FNF Fidelity National Financial $1.41
CMA Comerica $1.60
MTG MGIC Investment $0.42
FCFS FirstCash $0.60
CVBF CVB Financial $0.35
PTC PTC $0.63
PPERY PT Bank Mandiri Persero TBK $0.18

Thursday (July 22)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: TWITTER, INTEL

TWITTER: The online social media company that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”, is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $0.07 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 105% from a loss of -$0.16 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The San Francisco, California-based company would post revenue growth of about 55% to $1.06 billion.

“Lack of Negative Revisions and Relative Valuation: Valuation continues to be expensive, but we think investors are likely to continue to pay a premium for TWTR given 1) continued turnaround progress and 2) platform scarcity,” noted Brian Nowak, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Execution Risk Remains Around Driving Advertiser ROI: Advertiser ROI has clearly improved on Twitter, but the company needs to improve ad targeting and measurability to compete with the larger players. To do that it will have to further personalize the content that users see and use its data more effectively, both of which remain key strategic challenges (and priorities) for management.”

INTEL: The California-based multinational corporation and technology company is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $1.07 per share, which represents a year-over-year decline of about 14% from $1.23 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The company’s revenue would fall over 10% to $17.73 billion.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 22

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
ULVR Unilever £1.29
PSON Pearson £8.40
ABB ABB $0.36
CBSH Commerce Bancshares $1.02
DOW Dow Chemical $2.36
DHR Danaher $2.05
FITB Fifth Third Bancorp $0.81
FAF First American Financial $1.70
RS Reliance Steel & Aluminum $4.73
T AT&T $0.79
WBS Webster Financial $0.99
UNP Union Pacific $2.54
BKU BankUnited $0.86
SNA Snap-On $3.21
ABT Abbott $1.02
NEM Newmont Mining $0.81
MMC Marsh & McLennan Companies $1.42
BIIB Biogen $4.60
TRN Trinity Industries $0.09
DGX Quest Diagnostics $2.86
ALLE Allegion $1.30
CLF Cliffs Natural Resources $1.52
TPH Tri Pointe Homes $0.81
VLY Valley National Bancorp $0.29
EWBC East West Bancorp $1.39
DHI DR Horton $2.82
SON Sonoco Products $0.86
POOL Pool $5.49
WSO Watsco $3.01
SAFE 3 Sixty Risk $0.33
CSL Carlisle Companies $2.22
WRB W.R. Berkley $0.98
SAM Boston Beer $6.69
SIVB SVB Financial $6.42
CE Celanese $4.34
RNR Renaissancere $4.62
TWTR Twitter $0.07
INTC Intel $1.07
WSFS Wsfs Financial $0.90
GBCI Glacier Bancorp $0.72
ABCB Ameris Bancorp $1.20
OZK Bank Ozk $0.92
ASB Associated Banc $0.47
FFBC First Financial Bancorp $0.52
VICR Vicor $0.33
VRSN Verisign $1.36
COF Capital One Financial $4.57
INDB Independent Bank $1.08
ASR Grupo Aeroportuario Del Sureste $36.49
SKX Skechers USA $0.51
RHI Robert Half International $1.05
FE FirstEnergy $0.57
SNAP Snap -$0.18
AEP American Electric Power $1.12
LUV Southwest Airlines -$0.27
AAL American Airlines -$2.12
DPZ Dominos Pizza $2.86
ALK Alaska Air -$0.62
NUE Nucor $4.76
BX Blackstone $0.78
FCX Freeport-McMoran $0.75
SASR Sandy Spring Bancorp $1.20
GPC Genuine Parts $1.52
ORI Old Republic International $0.53
HTH Hilltop $1.03
CROX Crocs $1.54
BCO Brinks $0.98
FFIN First Financial Bankshares $0.38
CNA Centrica £1.80

Friday (July 23)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
HON Honeywell International $1.94
SLB Schlumberger $0.26
AXP American Express $1.63
KMB Kimberly Clark $1.74
NEP Nextera Energy Partners $0.61
ROP Roper Industries $3.67
RF Regions Financial $0.53
NEE NextEra Energy $0.69
AIMC Altra Industrial Motion $0.81
GNTX Gentex $0.44
FBP First Bancorp FBP $0.22
VTR Ventas -$0.08
GT Goodyear Tire & Rubber $0.16
ACKAY Arcelik ADR $0.48
MGLN Magellan Health $0.60
SXT Sensient Technologies $0.78

 

Stocks, Yields Slip as Investors Await Next Catalyst

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 16-month low last week as the U.S. labor market steadily gains traction while other data showed import prices rose solidly in June but have probably peaked.

Wall Street traded lower even as the four largest U.S. consumer banks posted blockbuster second-quarter results earlier this week that were above analysts’ estimates.

Investors are looking for visibility into future earnings as stocks have already surged in anticipation of stellar growth.

“We had the rally going into the earnings season. Now that we’re actually here, we’re seeing some softness. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see a lot of strength during this reporting season,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

Analysts expect strong earnings, with IBES data from Refinitiv showing consensus looking for a 65.8% gain from a year ago, making corporate guidance more important than results.

‘NAME OF THE GAME’

Energy and technology stocks led the decline on Wall Street, with defensive consumer staples and utilities the only two of 11 S&P 500 sectors to gain. Staples have pricing power that could help Procter & Gamble Co, Coca-Cola Co and others rise, once it is clear their margins remain intact, said Tom Hayes, founder and managing member of Great Hill Capital LLC.

“Guidance is the name of the game. A lot of good news is already baked into the market and even with strong guidance, you may get a breather here,” Hayes said.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, closed down 0.33% to 723.66 after touching a record high on Wednesday. Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.92% at 1,761.30, less than 20 points from an all-time peak set Monday.

Losses in Europe were broad-based, with economically sensitive stocks such as banks, automakers and travel down between 0.3% and 1.6% as investors grew wary of rising COVID-19 cases and their potential economic impact.

Official data showed that the United Kingdom reported the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since Jan. 15.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 0.15% gain but the S&P 500 fell 0.33% and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.70%.

Shares in emerging markets rose, bucking the global trend, with MSCI’s index gaining 0.77%.

The 10-year Treasury note fell 5.9 basis points to yield 1.2972%, while the dollar index, which tracks a basket of six currencies, rose 0.19% to 92.586.

The rally in U.S. and European bond prices, which show the inverse of yields, suggested growing investor caution.

The dollar has climbed in recent weeks as investors take stock of the Fed’s increasingly upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy, which for some investors has brought forward the timeframe for its next rate rise. Rates have fallen on Japanese buying and investors selling long-dated maturities for shorter-duration government debt, which has pushed prices up.

The euro fell 0.21% at $1.1810, while the yen traded slid 0.18% at $109.7900.

Oil prices fell as investors braced for increased supplies after a compromise agreement between leading OPEC producers and after a surprisingly low weekly reading on U.S. fuel demand.

Brent crude fell $1.29 to settle at $73.47 a barrel, while U.S. crude slid $1.48 to $71.65 a barrel.

Gold hit a one-month peak, spurred by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s dovish comments that squashed market interest rates.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,830.00 an ounce.

COVID-19 VARIANT FEARS

China’s economic data showed average growth surpassed the first quarter, while June retail sales and industrial output beat expectations. But it also showed authorities, which only last week injected 1 trillion yuan into the financial system, will ensure that conditions stay loose.

The World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 dashboard reported the first weekly rise in global deaths from the virus in 10 weeks and a 5.6% jump in daily case numbers on Wednesday.

“The market is fearing the Delta variant could take a hold of different economies so you are almost seeing that we are back to the ‘bond yields lower, tech doing well’ scenario,” said Justin Onuekwusi, portfolio manager at Legal & General Investment Management.

The likes of Amazon and Google are up 6-8% this month, while China’s biggest tech firms Alibaba and Tencent have surged more than 12% since China’s central bank made a supportive policy tweak for the first time in nearly a year on Friday.

The Chinese yuan dipped to 6.4628 per dollar in Asia after hitting a three-week high of 6.4508 overnight.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Additional reporting by Sujata Rao; Editing by Will Dunham, Alex Richardson, Barbara Lewis and Gareth Jones)

Coca-Cola Perfectly Positioned for Breakout

Dow component Coca-Cola Co. (KO) is trading lower with U.S. stocks on Tuesday morning but looks are deceiving because the beverage icon is perfectly positioned to complete a rally into 2020’s all-time high and enter a strong uptrend. Seasonality is lending a hand in the uptick, with dividend plays often attracting buying interest in the second and third quarters, as investors sell first half winners and park profits until new opportunities arise.

Pandemic Pummeling

Revenues got battered through most of 2020, with lucrative sports franchises and stadium deals gathering dust due to pandemic shutdowns. Restaurant closures also compounded losses, along with an overly-narrow product line, at least compared to rival PepsiCo Inc. (PEP). The venerable Coke machine even took a hit because thirsty customers were reluctant to hold physical coins and bills or touch potentially-infectious plastic surfaces.

The current downturn in world markets should add to upside in coming months, with growing worries about inflation and over-valuation triggering a flight to safety. However, we can’t rule out the adverse impact of surging agricultural prices, which could undermine profit margins in coming quarters. Even so, it could be a blessing in disguise because targeted price increases have the power to overcome those headwinds and add to the bottom line.

Wall Street and Technical Outlook

Wall Street is getting the message, lifting consensus to a ‘Moderate Buy’ and $60 target. CEO James Quincy supported that bullish analysis in an interview last month, stating the company will exceed guidance if the second quarter strength matches Q1 results. However, he admitted that cost pressures could have an impact as economies reopen and demand rises but said the company will “manage price increases” to maintain profitability.

Coca-Cola completed a round trip into the 1998 high in the 40s in 2013 and entered a multiyear test, finally clearing resistance in 2019. It failed the breakout after posting an all-time high at 60.13 in February 2020, dropping 40% in just five weeks. A slow motion recovery wave reached major Fibonacci resistance in December, yielding a pullback, followed by a bounce that’s now testing that harmonic barrier.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Disclosure: the author held no positions in aforementioned securities at the time of publication. 

Coca-Cola Tops Earnings Estimates; Target Price $58

The world’s largest soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the first quarter, largely driven by a recovery in markets where coronavirus-related uncertainty has abated, sending its shares up about 1% in pre-market trading on Monday.

The most popular and biggest-selling soft drink reported earnings per share of $0.55, beating analysts’ expectations of $0.50. The company said its net revenue rose about 5% to $9.02 billion, rising for the first time in the last four quarters, also beating Wall Street consensus estimates of $8.6 billion.

Following this, Coca-Cola shares rose about 1% to $54.08 in pre-market trading on Monday.

Analyst Comments

“Net, we’d expect a positive stock reaction to much better than expected top-line results in Q1 with 6% organic sales growth, well above the flat consensus (both of which included extra days), or +1% y-o-y underlying ex extra days, which confirms our viewpoint – even sooner than we expected – that Coke’s top line is poised to rebound above consensus,” said Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We remind investors that consensus only assumes a 29% 2021/22 top-line recovery of the estimated lost $ organic sales in 2020 due to COVID-19, which seems way too low and is far below COVID-19 impacted peers at more like 75%.”

Coca-Cola Stock Price Forecast

Five analysts who offered stock ratings for Coca-Cola in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months of $58.50 with a high forecast of $62.00 and a low forecast of $56.00.

The average price target represents an 8.98% increase from the last price of $53.68. Of those five analysts, three rated “Buy”, two rated “Hold” while none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave the base target price of $60 with a high of $73 under a bull scenario and $38 under the worst-case scenario. The firm gave an “Overweight” rating on the soft drink company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also updated their stock outlook. Jefferies raised the target price to $56 from $53. RBC upped to outperform from sector perform and lifted the target price to $60 from $55. HSBC increased the target price to $60 from $58. Guggenheim upped target price to $54 from $53.

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: Quicker than expected post-COVID-19 recovery, KO wins tax appeal, favorable FX, greater price/mix, higher productivity/cost savings, and marketing efficiency -highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: Unfavourable resolution of a tax dispute with the IRS, negative FX movements, prolonged impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior, emerging markets macro volatility, health & wellness pressures, lower than expected productivity, and sugar taxes.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Earnings to Watch Next Week: Coca-Cola, United Airlines, NetFlix and SVB Financial in Focus

Earnings Calendar For The Week Of April 19

Monday (April 19)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: COCA-COLA, UNITED AIRLINES

COCA-COLA: The world’s largest soft drink manufacturer is expected to report its first-quarter earnings of $0.50 per share, which represents a year-over-year decline of about 2% from $0.51 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The company’s revenue growth to be flat at $8.6 billion. However, in the last two years, on average, Coca-Cola has beaten revenue estimates over 70% and earnings estimates of nearly 90%.

Coca-Cola, which has still not seen a full recovery to its pre-COVID-19 level, may be a decent investment opportunity at the moment. The stock traded around $60 pre-COVID in February 2020 and is 11% below that level. However, the stock has gained 40% since its March lows of $37, following the Fed’s stimulus package and measures announced by other economies. The gradual lifting of lockdowns and successful vaccine rollout has further enthused markets in anticipation of faster economic recovery,” noted analysts at TREFIS.

“However, the stock is unlikely to surpass its pre-Covid level anytime soon, as most of its business depends on demand from people going to entertainment venues, sporting events, etc. These locations are not yet fully operational in most parts of the world. With the recent spike in Covid cases, there are some forms of lockdowns imposed again in certain economies, thus slowing the recovery in demand. Therefore, in the absence of another complete lockdown (as was seen in 2020) and implementation of the vaccination program the stock is likely to rise, but full recovery to February 2020 levels looks unlikely in the near term. KO stock has a potential upside of about 10%.”

UNITED AIRLINES: One of the largest airlines in the world is expected to report a loss for the fifth consecutive time of $6.91 in the first quarter of 2021 on April 19 as the aviation service provider continues to be negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and renewed travel restrictions.

That would represent a year-over-year decline of over 168% from -$2.57 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The Chicago-based airline’s revenue would decline about 60% to around $3.3 billion.

“Most of the US airlines will report 1Q21 earnings the week of April 19 and 26. We expect the focus to be on higher fuel costs, the nascent traffic recovery, and improving the balance sheet. Our focus remains on domestic leisure airlines while watching borders reopening to determine recovery for international traffic. We also expect airlines to talk about repairing their balance sheet,” said Helane Becker, equity analyst at Cowen and Company.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE APRIL 19

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
KO Coca-Cola $0.50
PLD ProLogis $0.37
MTB M&T Bank $3.00
ONB Old National Bancorp $0.41
UAL United Airlines Holdings -$6.98
CCK Crown $1.37
STLD Steel Dynamics $1.84
ZION Zions Bancorporation $1.18
PNFP Pinnacle Financial Partners $1.43
ACC American Campus Communities $0.15
HXL Hexcel -$0.16
WTFC Wintrust Financial $1.40
FNB FNB $0.25
SFBS ServisFirst Bancshares $0.95
HDS HD Supply Holdings $0.39
IBM IBM $1.68
EIDX Eidos Therapeutics Inc -$0.80
LII Lennox International $1.25
CDNS Cadence Design Systems $0.74

 

Tuesday (April 20)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NETFLIX

The California-based global internet entertainment service company is expected to report its first-quarter earnings of $2.97 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 90% from $1.57 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The streaming video pioneer would post revenue growth of over 23% to around $7.15 billion.

“We expect paid net adds to be in line with guide, helped in part by ongoing COVID shutdowns in some markets. Our view is supported by our positive 1Q survey data, which implies NFLX continues to lead living room TV apps. We also view the 45% of survey respondents who share passwords as a LT opp’ty for incremental subs. Reiterate Outperform & $675 Price Target,” noted John Blackledge, equity analyst at Cowen and Company.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE APRIL 20

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
ABF Associated British Foods £17.31
XRX Xerox $0.29
AN AutoNation $1.85
DOV Dover $1.45
JNJ Johnson & Johnson $2.33
PG Procter & Gamble $1.19
ABT Abbott $1.27
PM Philip Morris International $1.40
LMT Lockheed Martin $6.31
DANOY Danone PK $0.46
TRV Travelers Companies $2.38
FITB Fifth Third Bancorp $0.69
EDU New Oriental Education Tech $0.06
NTRS Northern $1.49
KEY KEY $0.47
OMC Omnicom $1.13
CMA Comerica $1.38
SNV Synovus Financial $0.93
HOG Harley Davidson $0.90
IRDM Iridium Communications -$0.05
MAN ManpowerGroup $0.67
WBS Webster Financial $0.90
GATX GATX Corp $0.89
SFNC Simmons First National $0.52
BMI Badger Meter $0.42
NFLX Netflix $2.97
ISRG Intuitive Surgical $2.64
CSX CSX $0.96
EW Edwards Lifesciences $0.47
WRB W.R. Berkley $0.83
IBKR Interactive Brokers $0.87
THC Tenet Healthcare $0.73
HWC Hancock Whitney Corp $0.97
UCBI United Community Banks $0.64
FULT Fulton Financial $0.35
FMBI First Midwest Bancorp $0.37
EMR Emerson Electric $0.89
PCAR PACCAR $1.29
TER Teradyne $1.04
ENTG Entegris $0.72
CIT CIT $0.98
AVNT Avient Corp $0.71
ELS Equity Lifestyle Properties $0.35
PACW Pacwest Bancorp $0.91
BECN Beacon Roofing Supply $0.08

 

Wednesday (April 21)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SIGNATURE BANK

The New York-based full-service commercial bank is expected to report its first-quarter earnings of $2.85 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 50% from $1.88 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The bank would post revenue growth of about 18% to around $428 million.

SBNY has a unique business model, with its single-point-of-contact bankers, excellent credit culture, and a highly efficient operating structure. Its loan growth continues to outpace peers, given its relatively new focus on growing its PE/VC capital call lending business, while strategically de-emphasizing its NYC MF portfolio,” Ken Zerbe, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“While we do expect losses in SBNY’s CRE portfolio, we believe the market is overly discounting this in the stock price, particularly given its strong underwriting history and conservative lending.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE APRIL 21

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
HCSG Healthcare Services $0.27
ERIC Ericsson $0.11
TEL TE Connectivity $1.48
NDAQ Nasdaq Omx $1.72
RCI Rogers Communications USA $0.53
BKR Baker Hughes Co $0.11
HAL Halliburton $0.17
RANJY Randstad Holdings $0.46
SBNY Signature Bank $2.85
FHN First Horizon National $0.35
KNX Knight Transportation $0.70
BOKF BOK Financial $1.92
NEP Nextera Energy Partners $0.33
FCFS FirstCash $0.70
ASML ASML $3.06
NEE NextEra Energy $0.58
ANTM Anthem $6.38
LAD Lithia Motors $4.74
CP Canadian Pacific Railway USA $4.35
CACI Caci International $3.68
CMG Chipotle Mexican Grill $4.89
KMI Kinder Morgan $0.24
DFS Discover Financial Services $2.81
WHR Whirlpool $5.04
GGG Graco $0.50
GL Globe Life Inc $1.63
SLM SLM $1.05
REXR Rexford Industrial Realty $0.06
LSTR Landstar System $1.63
FR First Industrial Realty $0.24
RLI RLI $0.66
VMI Valmont Industries $1.92
SLG SL Green Realty -$0.14
UFPI Universal Forest Products $0.87
UMPQ Umpqua $0.44
TCBI Texas Capital Bancshares $1.09
BXS BancorpSouth $0.63
SNBR Scs Group Plc $1.85
CNS Cohen & Steers $0.76
RUSHA Rush Enterprises $0.52
PLXS Plexus $1.25
TBK Triumph Bancorp $0.91
BDN Brandywine Realty $0.02
EFX Equifax $1.53
LRCX Lam Research $6.60
CCI Crown Castle International $0.53
STL Sterling Bancorp $0.46
CHDN Churchill Downs $0.64
NWE Northwestern $1.12
RHI Robert Half International $0.80
SEIC SEI Investments $0.88
CVBF CVB Financial $0.37
LVS Las Vegas Sands -$0.27
PKX Posco $2.22
URI United Rentals $3.08
BZLFY Bunzl plc $0.15
ELISA Elisa Oyj €0.51

 

Thursday (April 22)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SVB FINANCIAL

The parent of Silicon Valley Bank is expected to report its first-quarter earnings of $6.47 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of about 153% from $2.55 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

In the last four consecutive quarters, on average, the company has delivered an earnings surprise of over 45%. The Santa Clara, California-based company would post revenue growth of over 50% to about $1.24 billion.

SIVB is one of the fastest-growing banks in our coverage universe, with an average of 20%+ loan and deposit growth annually since 2010, with the growth driven by its unique niche of lending to the technology and life sciences industries, including PE and VC capital call lines. While we expect growth to slow, we still see low-teens loan growth (well above peers) for the next several years,” noted Ken Zerbe, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We are Equal-weight the shares due to valuation. SIVB is trading at just over 20x forward earnings and more than 10 P/E points above its peers (versus a 4-6x multiple premium that we believe it deserves). SIVB‘s earnings are highly sensitive to changes in Fed funds. Rate increases would drive higher EPS.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE APRIL 22

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
WSO Watsco $0.88
LUV Southwest Airlines -$1.88
VLO Valero Energy -$1.56
AAL American Airlines -$4.18
HCA HCA $3.31
SAP SAP $1.21
GPC Genuine Parts $1.14
FRME First Merchants $0.78
NUE Nucor $3.07
FCX Freeport-McMoran $0.51
PNR Pentair Ordinary Share $0.61
ALK Alaska Air -$3.68
SASR Sandy Spring Bancorp $1.02
ORI Old Republic International $0.46
DOW Dow Chemical $1.10
DHR Danaher $1.74
WNS Wns Holdings $0.69
FAF First American Financial $1.31
RS Reliance Steel & Aluminum $3.55
T AT&T $0.78
UNP Union Pacific $2.08
TPH Tri Pointe Homes $0.47
TAL TAL International -$0.23
HBAN Huntington Bancshares $0.32
AEP American Electric Power $1.18
BIIB Biogen $5.02
DHI DR Horton $2.18
EWBC East West Bancorp $1.25
BX Blackstone $0.75
DGX Quest Diagnostics $3.74
POOL Pool $1.14
ALLE Allegion $1.02
CLF Cliffs Natural Resources $0.35
TSCO Tractor Supply $0.97
TRN Trinity Industries $0.06
MKTX MarketAxess $2.12
BKU BankUnited $0.74
SNA Snap-On $3.03
IQV IQVIA Holdings Inc $1.85
SON Sonoco Products $0.86
ODFL Old Dominion Freight Line $1.58
SKX Skechers USA $0.49
INDB Independent Bank $1.09
HTH Hilltop $1.01
CE Celanese $2.98
OZK Bank Ozk $0.86
FFBC First Financial Bancorp $0.47
CSL Carlisle Companies $0.68
SAM Boston Beer $2.60
STX Seagate Technology $1.33
VICR Vicor $0.19
WWE World Wrestling Entertainment $0.20
ABCB Ameris Bancorp $1.13
ARI Apollo Commercial Real Est Finance $0.33
GBCI Glacier Bancorp $0.75
SBCF Seacoast Banking Of Florida $0.48
VRSN Verisign $1.34
MAT Mattel -$0.34
WSFS Wsfs Financial $0.86
SNAP Snap -$0.21
SIVB SVB Financial $6.47
ASB Associated Banc $0.43
FE FirstEnergy $0.69
ADS Alliance Data Systems $3.21
CTXS Citrix Systems $1.42
PBCT People’s United Financial $0.34
CAJ Canon $0.27
WST West Pharmaceutical Services $1.42
NVR NVR $61.90
FFIN First Financial Bankshares $0.37
VVV Valvoline Inc $0.37
SAFE 3 Sixty Risk $0.33
ASR Grupo Aeroportuario Del Sureste $23.55
ORAN Orange $0.24
INTC Intel $1.14
KPELY Keppel Corporation $0.14
SAVE Spirit Airlines -$2.55
CS Credit Suisse -$0.40

 

Friday (April 23)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
SXT Sensient Technologies $0.75
ALV Autoliv $1.43
SLB Schlumberger $0.18
AXP American Express $1.60
KMB Kimberly Clark $1.93
HON Honeywell International $1.80
RF Regions Financial $0.47
GNTX Gentex $0.49
E ENI $0.42

 

Soda Maker Coca-Cola Forecasts Revenue Growth in 2021; Shares Gain About 2%

The world’s largest soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola said it expects to deliver organic revenue growth in 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic battered sales last year and reported better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter, sending its shares up about 2% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

The Atlanta-based company said its EPS declined 29% to $0.34, and comparable EPS (non-GAAP) grew 6% to $0.47, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.42 per share. For the full year, EPS declined 13% to $1.79, and comparable EPS (non-GAAP) declined 8% to $1.95.

The company, which trademarks are now sold in over 200 countries, said its net revenue declined 5% to $8.60 billion, just a tad lower than the market expectations of $8.63 billion.

KO delivered a mixed-quality 4Q EPS beat, w/ unit cases/org sales -3% YoY in-line, GM% worse/SG&A better (thematic for KO in ’20), driving better EPS $0.47 vs. Street $0.42.1Q21 off to slow start (lock-down measures) w/volumes down MSD % through early Feb. More importantly for stock: a) initial FY21 EPS guide slightly better (~$2.15 vs. Street$2.10); and b) worst-case transfer tax outcome ~in-line w/expectations. At 23x P/E, we expect muted + stock reaction,” said Kevin Grundy, equity analyst at Jefferies.

Coca-Cola shares, which dipped about 1% in 2020, rose about 2% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

Coca-Cola Stock Price Forecast

Nine analysts who offered stock ratings for Coca-Cola in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months $56.67 with a high forecast of $62.00 and a low forecast of $55.00.

The average price target represents a 14.02% increase from the last price of $49.70. From those nine analysts, four rated “Buy”, five rated “Hold”, and none rate “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $55 with a high of $67 under a bull scenario and $31 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the soft drink manufacturer’s stock.

“We are Overweight on Coca-Cola (KO) after significant stock underperformance given COVID impacts on KO‘s on-premise eating / drinking out business (40% of sales) and gas & convenience (10%) with gov’t mandated restaurant closures and reduced foot traffic. COVID impacts drove a large -26% organic sales decline in 2Q20, but trends improved to -MSD% in July/August and -LSD% in September/October. We forecast a recovery to 8% organic growth in 2021/2022 with a post-COVID recovery in away-from-home,” said Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Jefferies lowered the target price to $53 from $57. Guggenheim cut the price objective to $53 from $55. Coca-Cola had its price target decreased by HSBC to $58 from $61. Deutsche Bank cut shares to a hold rating from a buy and reduced their price target to $55 from $57.

In addition, JPMorgan lowered shares to a neutral rating from overweight and set a $55 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company started coverage and issued an overweight rating and a $62 price objective on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada lowered shares to a sector perform rating from an outperform and set a $55 price objective on the stock.

Analyst Comments

“Net, we’d expect a bit of a relief rally on low-quality Q4 EPS upside, in-line FY21 EPS guidance, which is likely better than feared, unsurprisingly weaker volume trends so far in 2021 (through February but with easier comparisons starting in March), and lower than expected accruals for tax considerations,” Morgan Stanley’s Mohsenian added.

“We believe Coke‘s LT topline growth outlook is above peers, with strong pricing power, and favourable strategy tweaks under Coke’s CEO, including increased innovation and a cultural shift towards a total beverage company.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: Quicker than expected recovery of COVID-19, favourable FX movements, greater realized price/mix, higher productivity/cost savings and marketing efficiency- highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: Unfavorable resolution of a tax dispute with the IRS, negative FX movements, prolonged impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour, emerging markets macro volatility, health & wellness pressures, lower than expected productivity, and sugar taxes.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar