Top US stocks to watch before the bell: Uber, General Motors and Boeing

Uber is due to report first-quarter results after Lyft updated the market yesterday, GM is confident it can navigate the global shortage in chips, Boeing faces delays to getting 737 MAX jets back up in the sky, Activision Blizzard ups expectations, and the Honest Co goes public today.

USA (1)

Uber and Lyft

Uber will release first-quarter results later today at 1100 PT. An earnings consensus compiled by Reuters shows analysts are expecting Uber to report revenue of $3.27 billion and a net loss of $983.8 million. The main focus will be on how well placed its ride-hailing division can recover as restrictions are eased and Uber will also have to allay fears about a shortage of drivers.

The results come one day after Lyft reported quarterly results showing revenue was down 36% year-on-year at $609 million and a net loss of $427.3 million compared to a $398.1 million loss. Revenue was higher than the $558.1 million expected by analysts but the loss was wider than the $315.9 million forecast.

Investors will also want to see how close Uber it is to achieving profitability after Lyft said it would start delivering sustainable profit at the adjusted Ebitda level starting in the third quarter of 2021.

General Motors

General Motors said profits came in markedly higher than the year before in the first quarter and said it is ‘highly confident’ it can deliver its full-year goals despite the global shortage in semiconductor chips.

The company said revenue remained broadly flat year-on-year at $32.5 billion but revealed diluted EPS jumped to $2.05 per share from just $0.17 the year before. Adjusted EPS of $2.25 rose from $0.62 the year before was more than double the $1.04 expected by analysts.

GM said it is confident it can deliver diluted EPS of $4.28 to $5.03 over 2021 as a whole.

Boeing

US regulators have asked Boeing to supply additional information about its 737 MAX jets to assure they are not affected by the recent electrical faults flagged in April, casting fresh doubt about when its jets can start flying again.

About one-quarter of Boeing 737 MAX jets have been grounded after the airplane maker warned of an electrical fault and regulators now want further documentation to prove that other jets aren’t suffering the same problem, according to Reuters.

Boeing is working on providing advice to customers on how to fix the issue, but the request for further documentation is expected to delay regulator’s decision on when the planes can return to the skies.

Hilton

Hilton Worldwide reported a slump in revenue and swung to a loss in the first quarter of 2021 as travel remains limited during the pandemic.

The hotel operator’s revenue fell to $874 million from $1.92 billion a year earlier and turned to a net loss of $108 million from an $18 million profit. Average revenue per room came in at $46.23, down 38% year-on-year but up from the $40.68 reported in the final three months of 2020.

Hotels are banking on a strong recovery later this year as restrictions are eased and travel increases, but there are concerns about how quickly the sector can rebound. As at April 28, 97% of Hilton’s estate was open and it continues to open thousands of new rooms in anticipation of a strong recovery.

Office Depot

The owner of Office Depot, ODP Corp, has said it will spin-off its distribution platform used by a range of companies and schools to buy supplies into a separate business.

The new company will include ODP’s business solutions division and its Canadian office supplies retailer Grand & Toy, as well as its regional supply and distribution businesses. Shares in the new company will be distributed to existing ODP shareholders as a form of dividend and the spin-off should be completed before the end of June.

The news came as the company reported a 13% drop in sales during the first quarter.

New York Times

The New York Times beat expectations in the first quarter as it continues to successfully offset a slump in advertising income with growth in subscriptions and other ventures such as podcasts and games.

Revenue rose 6.6% in the quarter to $473 million and beat the $463.3 million expected by analysts. Net income rose to $41.1 million from $32.9 million the year before. Advertising revenue was down 8.5% while subscription revenue jumped over 15%.

The company ended the quarter with over 7.8 million paid subscribers for its digital and print products and over 100 million registered users. An average of 76 million people read its publications each week.

Match Group

Match Group reported strong growth in revenue and earnings during the first quarter and said it expects to keep up the momentum in the second.

The company, which owns dating apps including Tinder and Hinge, said revenue was up 23% year-on-year in the first quarter to $668 million while adjusted Ebitda jumped 32% to $230 million. Average subscribers jumped 12% to 11.1 million and the average revenue from each user inched up 6%.

Match Group said it expects to generate revenue of between $680 million and $690 million in the second quarter, ahead of the $678.8 million forecast by analysts. Adjusted Ebitda will be between $255 million and $260 million.

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard on Tuesday raised its outlook for the rest of the year after beating expectations in the first quarter as demand for popular games from Candy Crush to Call of Duty continues to grow during the pandemic.

Net revenue rose to $2.28 billion from $1.79 billion the year before, driven mainly by digital sales. That was ahead of the $1.78 billion expected by analysts.

The company said it now expects to deliver annual adjusted sales of $8.60 billion from its previous target of $8.45 billion, which was slightly ahead of the $8.55 billion expected by analysts.

Corteva

Corteva on Tuesday delivered better-than-expected revenue and profit during the first quarter of 2021 as demand for herbicides and insecticides continues to grow, prompting it to raise its expectations for the rest of the year.

The company said net sales grew 6% year-on-year to $4.18 billion and that operating EPS increased 34% to $0.79, ahead of the $0.65 expected by analysts. Reported EPS more than doubled to $0.81. Corteva said growth was seen in most regions but mostly driven by Latin America.

Corteva is now targeting annual net sales of $14.6 billion to $14.8 billion compared to its previous range of $14.4 billion to $14.6 billion. It reaffirmed its goal to deliver $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion of operating Ebitda.

Lucid Motors

Lucid Motors has appointed Sherry House as its new chief financial officer.

House is a former executive of Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo and the appointment bolsters the board ahead of its plans to go public by merging with a SPAC that could value the electric vehicle maker at anywhere up to $56 billion.

Honest Co

The Honest Co, the consumer goods firm founded by actress Jessica Alba, is due to complete its initial public offering and list on the Nasdaq under the ticker ‘HNST’ today.

The company priced its IPO at $16 and sold 25.8 million shares to raise $412.8 million. That was within the $14 to $17 range targeted by the company leading up to the listing. The IPO price values the Honest Co at $1.44 billion.

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