TOP 5 STOCKS TO WATCHOUT:-
1.PUMA : Puma said on Wednesday it expected sales to grow at least 10% in 2022 but the German sportswear maker cautioned that a consumer boycott in China and cost pressures would limit profit growth.
Puma expects 2022 operating earnings of 600 million to 700 million euros ($679-$792 million), up from 557 million in 2021 but short of the 692 million expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Its shares were down 0.9% at 1009 GMT as analysts expressed disappointment about the outlook.
Puma in January had reported stronger-than-expected preliminary sales and core profit, including fourth-quarter sales up a currency-adjusted 14%.
But it said on Wednesday that higher freight costs and raw material prices, as well as COVID-19 constraints, would weigh on profits in 2022.
Factories in Vietnam, a major supplier to the footwear industry, closed for months last year due to COVID-19.
Puma is gradually raising prices to cover higher costs, with the bulk of that to come in the second half of the year, CEO Bjorn Gulden told journalists.
Gulden said he expected sales to fall again in China in the first quarter and that he could not say if they would return to growth again in 2022, noting that Chinese celebrities were still avoiding marketing with Western brands, although athletes were returning.
2.BARCLAYS: ADRs of Barclays traded 3.5% higher in premarket Wednesday after the lender reported its highest ever annual profit, riding the demand for its investment banking and merger advisory services.
Adding to the gains in the stock is its decision to buy back 1 billion pounds ($1.36 billion) of its own shares and pay out a full-year dividend of 4 pence per share, resulting in a total payout for the year of 2.5 billion pounds ($3.4 billion) when added to earlier payouts.
Fourth quarter income from capital markets and merger advisory services rose 27% to 956 million pounds as companies, flush with cash, looked to buy others to fill gaps or expand into new geographies.
Quarterly profit attributable to Barclays shareholders jumped more than five-fold to 1.1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion). Barclays, like rival HSBC and American banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs benefited from an improving economic climate. As asset quality improved, it released more funds it had kept as reserves to fight contingencies. HSBC Tuesday reported a quarterly profit of $2 billion for its recent quarter.
Revenue from fixed income trading plunged by 33%, driven by rising government bond yields. Equities revenue fell 8% in a volatile fourth quarter for the markets.
This was C.S. Venkatakrishnan’s first quarterly result as the CEO of the bank and he said he will continue his predecessor Jes Staley’s focus on expanding the investment banking services, according to Reuters.
3.LENOVO:- Third-quarter profit jumped 62% to an all-time high of $640 million at China’s Lenovo Group , the world’s biggest maker of personal computers said on Wednesday, as the growing popularity of hybrid work arrangements boosts demand for PCs.
Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 17% to $20.1 billion, also a record and ahead of an average estimate of $18.4 billion from 10 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.
Lenovo said worldwide demand for commercial PCs, excluding the Chromebook, in the quarter increased at the third-highest rate of growth since 1998. Customers were buying more premium, portable and high-quality PCs due to the growing prominence of remote working.
“The hybrid work situation will continue even after the pandemic and more and more companies have announced they will have a hybrid working model,” CEO and Chairman Yang Yuanqing told Reuters.
“That will help drive PC demand at least to keep current levels of around 340-350 million (a year),” he added, referring to a forecast consultancy IDC has made for demand through the years 2022-2025.
While a global shortage of semiconductors, which has affected various industries including automakers, remained a business challenge, there were signs of easing, particularly for the second half of the year, he said.
Lenovo also said that it was on track to deliver its medium-term target of doubling its net income margin.
4.TESLA:-Tesla Inc plans to expand parts production at its Shanghai factory to meet growing demand for exports, according to a document it filed with the city government.
The automaker will add production workshops, increase the number of workers and lengthen the time equipment is operational, the document.
Exact figures were redacted from the document, which was filed on Tuesday. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Tesla’s Shanghai factory currently has the capacity to produce a combined 450,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles a year.
Last year, it sold over 470,000 China-made cars.
Xinhua news agency has reported that more than 160,000 Tesla China-made cars were sold overseas in 2021.
5.DANONE :-Danone delivered stronger-than-expected sales growth in the last quarter of 2021 despite a challenging environment marked by mounting inflation, even as the yoghurt maker’s new chief said much remained to be done to turn the company around.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who took over as chief executive of the French group in September, said on Wednesday investors would have to wait until the March 8 Capital Market Day for clues on his strategy and outlook for 2022 and the mid-term.
Consumer goods companies are grappling with surging costs for commodities, energy, transport and labour, prompting rival Unilever earlier this month to warn of a drop in margins as it struggles to lift prices enough to offset the extra expenses.
While Danone “ended the year on a strong note … We still have much more to do, and I look forward to our CME on March 8 when we will be in a position to share more on the next steps in our growth and renewal journey,” Saint-Affrique said in a statement.
By 0801 GMT, shares in the French group were up 2.4% at 55.88 euros after the sales beat, which was driven largely by a continuing recovery in its bottled water business as countries relaxed COVID restrictions.
“Q4 is ahead on the top line with FY 21 margins in line. The question remains one of whether new CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique will take a margin reset, or not,” Jefferies analysts said in a note.