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Thursday February 20, 2020



Netflix Releases Earnings Report

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) released its latest earnings report on Tuesday, April 16. The media giant reported increased revenue and profits as the company added 9.6 million users during the quarter.

The company posted revenue of $4.5 billion in the first quarter. This was up from $3.7 billion in revenue at this time last year.

"Revenue surpassed $4.5 billion in Q1 and we recorded the highest quarterly paid net adds in our history (9.6m, up 16% year over year)," said Netflix executives in a letter to shareholders. "For 20 years, we've had the same strategy: when we please our members, they watch more and we grow more."

Netflix reported net income of $344 million. This is up from $290 million during the same time last year.

Despite the company's increasing subscription numbers, shares of Netflix stock fell 4% after the earnings release. This was due in part to disappointing guidance. Netflix expects to add 300,000 domestic subscribers in the second quarter, falling short of the 600,000 subscribers analysts expected. Internationally, Netflix expects 4.7 million new users, bringing the total quarterly expectation to 5 million new subscribers.

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) shares ended the week at $360.35, up 2.7% for the week.

Citi Reports Earnings

Citigroup Inc. (C) reported its latest quarterly earnings on Monday, April 15. The financial institution posted a boost in earnings, despite slightly lower revenue.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $18.6 billion. This was down from $18.9 billion in revenue during the same quarter last year.

"Our earnings reflect the progress we are making to improve our return on and return of capital," said Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi. "Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we saw good momentum in those areas where we have been investing, such as U.S. Branded Cards, Treasury and Trade Solutions and Investment Banking. Importantly, our strategy in North America consumer banking is showing good early results as we introduce new products and engage with a broader range of customers, through digital channels."

Citi reported net income of $4.7 billion for the quarter. This was up from $4.6 billion at this time last year.

The company announced that it repurchased 66 million shares of common stock during the quarter, which amounted to $4.06 billion. Citigroup also paid out $1.08 billion in dividends. In its earnings release, Citigroup highlighted that this combined to a total of $5.1 billion returned to shareholders during the first quarter.

Citigroup Inc. (C) shares closed at $69.67, up 3.4% for the week.

Johnson & Johnson Releases Earnings Report

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) posted its latest quarterly earnings on Tuesday, April 16. The company reported increased sales but lower profits for the quarter.

The company reported revenue of $20.02 billion for the quarter. This was up slightly from revenue of $20.01 billion during the first quarter of last year.

"Our strong first-quarter results reflect continued underlying operational sales and adjusted EPS growth," said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. "At the same time, we remain focused on investing in innovative technologies and platforms that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world."

Johnson & Johnson reported net earnings of $3.75 billion for the quarter, or $1.39 per share. This was down from $4.37 billion in net earnings, or $1.60 per share, during the same quarter last year.

During the first quarter, the company reported litigation expenses of $423 million. In the first quarter, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer reached a $775 million settlement with consumers over the blood thinner Xarelto. In addition, the company continues to face legal issues over its talc baby powder product.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) shares ended the week at $136.00, up 1.1% for the week.

The Dow started the week at 26,408 and closed at 26,560 on 4/18. The S&P 500 started the week at 2,908 and closed at 2,905. The NASDAQ started the week at 7,987 and closed at 7,998.

Yields Reach Highs on Strong Retail Sales

Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds hit four-week highs due to strong corporate earnings, leading to a heightened risk appetite. On Thursday, Treasury yields rebounded from early morning lows due to strong U.S. retail sales data.

On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department released data showing strong retail sales growth for March. U.S. retail sales increased 1.6%, surpassing the 0.9% increase economists expected. In February, U.S. retail sales declined by 0.2%.

On Thursday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged higher to 2.575% compared to 2.563% during early morning trading. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond jumped from 2.970% to 2.980%.

"A bounce in consumption is consistent with the pendulum of economic sentiment swinging back from the extreme negatives seen last month," said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates at BMO. "It also implies the Fed's explicit bet on the return of the consumer in Q2 might yet pay off."

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which contains anecdotal information assessing the U.S. economy. The book stated that labor markets continue to be tight with moderate wage growth. The book indicated that the U.S. economy expanded at a slight-to-moderate pace.

The 10-year Treasury note yield closed at 2.56% on 4/18, while the 30-year Treasury bond yield was 2.96%.

Mortgage Rates Continue Rising

Freddie Mac released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) on Thursday, April 18. The report revealed that mortgage rates continued to push higher this week.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.17% this week, up from 4.12% last week. During this time last year, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.47%.

This week, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.62%, an increase from last week when it averaged 3.60%. Last year at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.94%.

"After dropping dramatically in late March, mortgage rates have modestly increased since then," said Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. "While this week marks the third consecutive week of rises, purchase activity reached a nine-year high – indicative of a strong spring homebuying season."

Based on published national averages, the money market account closed at 1.32% on 4/18. The one-year CD finished at 2.70%.

Published April 19, 2019
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