Airline stocks are flying high on Thursday, following upbeat earnings reports from American Airlines Group Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp. and Southwest Airlines Co.
was the biggest gainer of the pack at the open, with shares up more than 8%. The company topped expectations with its earnings and passenger revenue and discussed plans to expand at the Dallas airport, one of its most profitable hubs. Southwest
beat on the top and bottom lines as well, though the company missed expectations for its load factor. JetBlue
rounded out the trio with another set of beats, though the company warned that the timing of Easter and Passover this year will likely impact revenue comparisons for the first quarter.
Of key interest to investors will be any commentary about the government shutdown and how that will impact results, something Delta Air Lines Inc.
warned about in conjunction with its earnings report last week. On a conference call with investors, American Airlines President Robert Isom cited the “early stages” of the shutdown as one of its key “challenges” in 2018, along with the trade war, rising fuel prices, and poor weather. JetBlue and Southwest hold their earnings calls later in the day.
• In other earnings news, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
shares are trading lower Thursday after the company beat on the top line but delivered a disappointing earnings outlook for 2019 and said it has been encountering more problems with a new lung-cancer treatment.
• Spice maker McCormick & Co.
missed on revenue and earnings as numerous key customers trimmed their inventory levels.
• More good news on the chip front came from STMicroelectronics NV
which said it expected an acceleration in revenue growth during the second half of 2019. The report came after a trio of companies in the semiconductor space beat expectations Wednesday afternoon, providing reassurance to investors amid a rocky stretch for chip makers.
• Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s
stock is down more than 7% after the mining company reported weaker-than-expected results and said 2019 was shaping up to be a “transition year.”
The biggest report of the afternoon comes from Intel Corp.
as well as updates on the company’s progress with its 10-nanometer chipset. The company has officially been without a permanent chief executive officer for more than six months, and analysts may press management on the progress of that CEO search.
More indications about the state of the chip market will come from Western Digital Corp.
RBC’s Amit Daryanani wrote that he will be looking for commentary about inventory levels, capital expenditures and the timing of a bottom in the industry.
Also on deck later today is Starbucks Corp.
which will likely share how economic issues and trade tensions in China are affecting the business in its fiscal first-quarter report. And William Blair analyst Robert Napoli will be watching Discover Financial Services
for signs of progress with newer initiatives, such as home loans and business-to-business products.