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North America Stock Markets

North American Stock Markets

Source: Bloomberg
The NASDAQ led gains in US equity markets.

North American Markets

• On April 16 Netflix Inc. released First Quarter 2018 financial results that showed the online streaming company added close to two million US subscribers and 5.5 million international subscribers, almost a million more than expected, in the quarter. Netflix rose 9.2 percent the following day.

• On April 19 Philip Morris International Inc.’s earnings report showed that $4.5 billion spent on four new products had failed to win over new customers. Further, sales growth of iQOS, a device that heats a tobacco plug without setting it on fire, also slowed after initial success in Japan. Phillip Morris lowered the guidance for the company’s full year 2018 earnings and the share price plummeted 15.6 percent on the day.

• On April 25 The Boeing Company reported earnings for First Quarter 2018. Profit not only beat investors’ expectations but was well above those in recent years due to determined cost-cutting measures, swelling order books, and steadily increasing passenger air travel. One notable boost came from growing demand for package-delivery jets from the likes of Amazon and FedEx. Boeing was also more efficient at producing jumbo jets and profit from the commercial airplane division jumped 73 percent from the same quarter last year. Boeing’s share price rose 4.2 percent on the day.

• On April 26 Facebook Inc. announced strong earnings for First Quarter 2018. Revenue jumped 49 percent while net income was up 63 percent from last year beating analysts’ estimates. Further, Facebook generated 70 million new active users bringing the number of monthly active users to 2.2 billion. The strong results showed that the Cambridge Analytica scandal had little impact on earnings. Facebook rose 9.1 percent on the day of the announcement.

• On May 1 Match Group Inc, the online dating service that operates Match.com and Tinder, suffered a big blow after Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared plans to roll out a new dating feature to promote “long-lasting relationships.” Zuckerberg noted that one in three relationships begins online and a staggering 200 million of the platform’s users are currently listed as single. Match fell 22.1 percent on the day of the announcement.

• On June 4 Apple Inc.’s shares hit a new all-time high of $191.83 as developers and third-party programmers flooded into San Jose for the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple announced several new features and upgrades including the new operating system i0s 12, an augmented reality toolkit in partnership with Adobe, as well as tools for combating tech addiction.

• On June 12 US regulators approved AT&T Inc.’s purchase of media giant Time Warner, Inc. for $85 billion almost two years after the deal was first announced. Regulators initially worried that AT&T’s position as a major cell phone service carrier coupled with owning Time Warner’s media library would give the company too much power. However, AT&T assured that the deal would not make the company more powerful in existing markets as the deal is a step into content production where AT&T will compete with content creators such as Netflix. Time Warner rose 1.8 percent while AT&T’s share price fell 6.2 percent on the news.

• On June 20 Starbucks Corporation announced that the coffee chain will be closing 150 underperforming US stores in 2019 amid slowing sales. Further, Starbuck’s CEO Kevin Johnson said he expects comparable sales to rise just one percent globally for Third Quarter 2018 – the worst performance in about nine years and well below analysts’ expectations of 2.9 percent growth. Starbucks fell 9.1 percent in response to the announcement.