The Apple juggernaut roars on and on. Despite the jitters about iPhone sales following AT&T's Q1 report yesterday, which caused Apple's (AAPL) shares to close -2%, investors should have kept the faith. FQ2 earnings easily topped forecasts as EPS almost doubled to $12.30 and revenue surged 59% to $39.2B, with iPhone shipments jumping 88% to 35.1M units and iPad sales rocketing over 150% to 11.8M. Asia-Pacific, likely driven by China, played a big role in the earnings beat. Shares were +9.2% premarket. Opinion: Apple over-delivers, again.
Britain sinks into double-dip recession. The U.K. has slid back into recession for the second time since the financial crisis after Q1 GDP unexpectedly fell a preliminary 0.2% on a quarterly basis following a fall of 0.3% in Q4. Markit's Chris Williamson, quoted in the FT, says the "underlying strength of the economy is probably much more robust," but that the data will hit confidence and send the U.K. back into a real recession. Opinion: Is there value in European equity ETFs?
Tucci having too much fun to leave EMC. Following a request from his team, Joseph Tucci will remain as EMC's (EMC) CEO indefinitely despite having planned to retire in December, he tells the WSJ. Tucci, who will turn 65 in August, also reveals that after the RSA security breach, EMC lost less than ten clients. "Our customers felt we handled it right," Tucci says. Earnings call transcript: Joe Tucci discusses the company's outlook.
Top Equities News
Eli Lilly profit falls but beats expectations. Eli Lilly's (LLY) Q1 EPS fell to $0.92 from $1.24 and revenue slipped 4.1% to $5.6B, although earnings exceeded consensus. Revenue from the company's cymbalta depression drug increased 23% on strong U.S. and international growth, while China remained the firm's fastest-growing market overall. Eli Lilly raised its EPS guidance for the full year to $3.15-$3.30. Earnings report: Lilly reports solid start to the year.
Human Genome mulls selling itself. Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) is reviewing its strategic options, including a possible sale, the company said yesterday after having rejected a $2.6B bid from Glaxo last week. Human Genome is probably hoping for a price in the high teens compared with Glaxo's $13-a-share offer, although analysts are skeptical, MarketWatch has reported. Opinion: Analyzing HGSI's path to a sale.
US Airways works to win more creditor support for AMR bid. US Airways (LCC) is trying to win backing from more of AMR's (AAMRQ.PK) unsecured creditors for a merger between the carriers, Bloomberg reports. Having last week received support from AMR's three major unions, which serve on its unsecured creditors committee, US needs two more members for a majority. Opinion: Volatility and weak economy plague airlines.
Wind-power ops hit Siemens earnings. Siemens' (SI) FQ2 net profit slumped 67% to €1.05B and missed forecasts even though revenue grew 9% to €19.3B and beat consensus. The conglomerate was hit by a series of write-downs on a major offshore wind-power project, for which it couldn't rule out further losses, and at its joint venture with Nokia (NOK), for which it took a €640M charge. Siemens therefore lowered its FY profit guidance. Opinion: Offshore wind investment opportunities.
Banks scramble to prevent ratings cuts. With five major banks facing potential downgrades from Moody's - and $22B in extra costs - CEOs are pushing back against the ratings agency with an aggressiveness not seen since before the financial crisis, the WSJ reports. Sources say Brian Moynihan (BAC) and Vikram Pandit (C) have even argued against the downgrades in person. Opinion: Goldman is the strongest and cheapest.
Major debt loss hurts Credit Suisse's profit. Credit Suisse's (CS) Q1 net profit came in at 44M Swiss francs ($48M), much better than the 436M franc loss expected by analysts but a far cry from the 1.13B franc net profit in the year-earlier period. The results were hit by a 1.55B franc accounting loss on the bank's own credit and by 534M francs in bonuses; stripped of one-time items, Credit Suisse's Q1 profit was 1.355B francs. Opinion: Take a prosperous ride on the banking sector.
Nomura profit figures leaked. Nomura (NMR) will disclose that its FQ4 net profit jumped 51% to ¥18B ($221M) when it releases its results on Friday, Bloomberg reports in what appears to be a rather stunning leak. Analysts are expecting a net profit of ¥14.4B. The improved income was due to gains from trading outweighing a fall in investment banking.
AIG accuses former exec of industrial espionage. AIG (AIG) has sued Steven Udvar-Hazy, accusing the co-founder and former CEO of its ILFC aircraft-leasing business of stealing trade secrets and other confidential information for a rival company he now runs. AIG is seeking damages of at least several hundred million dollars. Opinion: AIG - undervalued and misunderstood
InterDigital puts its IP back on the block. InterDigital (IDCC), which soared last summer after putting itself up for sale and then crashed after finding no buyers, is exploring a sale of its 3G/4G patents, according to dealReporter. This time around, InterDigital is said to have split its portfolio into bundles to draw more buyers, and is "less ambitious on valuation." The company is "late into the first round of bidding." Opinion: 6 stocks poised to ride the LTE wave.
FAA concerned about 757 windshields. The FAA has proposed more frequent and detailed inspections of suspect windshields on over 600 Boeing (BA) 757 airliners following years of safety concerns. Regulators in other countries are likely to follow suit, affecting around 300 additional 757s. Opinion: Capture a profit on Boeing's slowdown.
Top Economic & Other News
TARP debt falls but small banks suffering. The amount still owed to TARP has fallen to $119B from $133B in January, the program's special inspector general, Christy Romero, said in her quarterly report. However, 351 small banks that have $15B in loans face a "significant challenge" in raising new funds to repay the government. It's a trend that weakens the Treasury's positive spin on TARP. Opinion: Banks continue to move into the future.
Fall in China's forex reserves may indicate yuan move. China's foreign-currency reserve dropped in March by $4.69B to $3.305T, the first monthly contraction since December. The trend may signal that officials are planning to step up their efforts to suppress the yuan's value, Credit Agricole CIB analyst Dariusz Kowalczyk tells MarketWatch. Opinion: Pimco to launch global TIPS ETF.
In Asia, Japan +1.0%. Hong Kong -0.1%. China +0.8%. India -0.3%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +1.9%. Frankfurt +1.3%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.7%. Nasdaq +2%. Crude +0.45% to $104.02. Gold -0.15% to $1641.30.
Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Durable Goods
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
11:30 Results of $35B, 5-Year Note Auction
12:30 PM FOMC Announcement
2:00 PM FOMC Forecast
2:15 PM Bernanke Press Conference
Notable earnings before today's open: ABB, AN, ATI, BA, CAT, CNH, CS, CVE, DAL, DAN, DPS, ECA, ERIC, GD, GLW, GNC, GSK, HCBK, HES, HOG, HST, JNY, LCC, LLY, LO, MSI, MWV, NDAQ, NEE, NLSN, NOC, NOV, OC, PX, RES, ROK, S, SAP, SO, TEL, TMO, UMC, VMED, WLP, WYN
Notable earnings after today's close: AIZ, AKAM, BDN, CAKE, CCI, CDNS, CLF, CROX, CRUS, CTXS, DRE, EQIX, EQR, FNF, GG, ISIL, KBR, LSI, LVS, OI, PMTC, QGEN, RRC, RYL, SUSQ, TER, TEX, WLL, WMB, XLNX