1. Caterpillar: – Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) reported a rise in adjusted first-quarter profit on Thursday, as equipment demand picked up after a pandemic-led slump last year.
Caterpillar is expected to benefit from U.S. President Joe Biden’s massive $2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes hundreds of billions of dollars devoted to building and repairing roads, bridges, mass transit, schools and other infrastructure.
“We’re encouraged by improving conditions in our end markets and are proactively managing supply chain risks,” said Caterpillar Chief Executive Jim Umpleby.
Strong momentum in China, Caterpillar’s other key market, is also likely to aid sales this year, as construction and manufacturing activity expands with the pandemic easing in the country.
2. Comcast: – Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA) on Thursday reported quarterly revenue ahead of Wall Street estimates, buoyed by steady demand for its internet and wireless services due to remote work despite pandemic-related weakness in its theme park and film businesses.
Revenue for the fourth-quarter rose 2.2% from a year earlier to $27.21 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $26.70 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The media company gained 461,000 broadband customers in the quarter, topping analysts’ average estimate of 396,000 net additions, according to research firm FactSet. It lost 491,000 video customers in the quarter, more than the 418,000 Wall Street expected, according to FactSet.
3. Merck: – Merck & Co Inc reported a 1.2% fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by a drop in visits to the doctor’s office because of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the year in the United States.
The company said sales took an about $600 million hit due to lower visits to the doctors’ office due to the pandemic.
Net earnings fell to $3.18 billion, or $1.25 per share, in the first-quarter ended March 31, from $3.22 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year ago.
4. Amazon: – Amazon.com Inc. is expected to post a strong start to the year, with results driven by continued demand for the company’s e-commerce services and sales gains at its cloud-computing and advertising businesses.
Amazon’s success in the past year has catapulted the company to new heights, after consumers flocked to online shopping during pandemic lockdowns. The tech giant’s dominant grip over e-commerce and continued expansion into new industries have strengthened its power, although the company continues to face challenges from regulators and some employees.
Seattle-based Amazon is set to report first-quarter earnings after markets close on Thursday. Analysts polled by FactSet on average predict $104.5 billion in quarterly revenue and per-share earnings of $9.54. The company said in February that it expects first-quarter sales between $100 billion and $106 billion—sharply higher than the $75.5 billion it posted a year earlier—and operating income between $3 billion and $6.5 billion.
5. Ford: – Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Co on Wednesday said it expects a global semiconductor shortage could ease this summer but may not be fully resolved until 2022, as the automaker reported a strong first-quarter profit but said the shortage may slash second-quarter production by half.
Ford said the ongoing chip shortage would cost it about $2.5 billion and about 1.1 million units of lost production in 2021.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker handily beat Wall Street’s profit estimate for the quarter, earning 81 cents a share, compared with the consensus 21 cents, according to Refinitiv IBES data. In last year’s first quarter, the company lost 50 cents a share.
Ford shares were down 2.9% in after-hours trade on Wednesday.