Big Quarterly Beats After the Bell: AAPL, SQ, COIN & More


Thursday, May 2nd, 2024
Market indices put up healthy numbers this Thursday. Following well-behaved Jobless Claims figures (but surprisingly worse Productivity/Unit Labor Costs), off a mostly down day Wednesday and a tough ride since Monday's high, markets forged higher: the Dow gained +322 points, +0.85%, the S&P 500 was +0.91%, the Nasdaq up an impressive +235 points, +1.51%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 +1.57%. Only the Russell is in the green over the past five sessions.
Apple AAPL posted mild outperformance in its fiscal Q2 report this afternoon. Earnings of $1.53 per share beat expectations by 2 cents, on revenues of $90.75 billion which nudged higher than the $89.99 billion analysts were looking for. iPhone sales were slightly down from estimates, and more than -10% lower year over year. But the company has put forth the largest share buyback in history: $110 billion, while Apple's dividend yield has been raised to 25 cents per share. AAPL is now trading +3.5% in the late session. I guess it's official: Apple is now an old-school equity.
Block SQ posted big beats on its top and bottom lines after today's close. Earnings of 85 cents per share easily surpassed the 62 cents in the Zacks consensus (and more than double the 40 cents per share reported in the year-ago quarter), on revenues of $5.96 billion, well ahead of the $5.75 billion expected. The point-of-sale register supplier saw its cash app gross profit blossom +25% year over year to $6.98 billion. Shares are zooming ahead +10% in late trading.
Coinbase COIN also scoffed at top and bottom-line estimates in its Q1 report this afternoon. Earnings more than quadrupled to $4.40 per share from $1.04 anticipated, on $1.64 billion swept beyond the $1.26 billion expected. EBITDA margins rose +62% year over year on strong trading rates and higher crypto prices. The crypto trading platform counted 312 billion in Q1 trading volume. But shares gained +9% ahead of the release, and have sold off -3% on the news.
Both Booking Holdings BKNG and Expedia EXPE put up strong Q1s, as "outbound travel" continues to find buyers. Booking's earnings reached $20.39 per share, way ahead of the $14.03 expected, while revenues of $4.42 billion trounced the $4.25 billion analysts were looking for. Expedia swung to positive earnings to 21 cents per share (versus -37 cents projected) on $2.89 billion in revenues beating the $2.80 billion in the Zacks consensus. But Booking is +5% in late trading while Expedia is -7% — strength in travel to Asia helped the Priceline and Kayak parent, while Expedia lowered expectations for its VRBO unit in the coming quarter.
Tomorrow is the Employment Situation report from the U.S. government. Last month reportedly topped 300K new jobs filled for only the second time in the past year, and well ahead of where labor force projections were in the early part of this year. Expectations are for 240K jobs in April, down a tad but still 100K or so more than we need to account for retiring Baby Boomers.

As such, we're still seeing excellent employment numbers, and that goes for Wednesday's private-sector payroll numbers from Automatic Data Processing ADP as well. But a big negative surprise in the labor market might be enough to start shaking the Fed loose to make a move on interest rate cuts sooner than later.
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