Weekly Earnings Outlook

Update 14 August

In the realm of entertainment, the Walt Disney Co. has once again demonstrated its financial prowess and adaptability with a substantial uptick in revenues and a visionary transformation journey. While Nedbank Group Ltd. has showcased financial strength in the face of fluctuating interest rates.

Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)

Revenues experienced a substantial uptick, surging by 3.8% to reach an impressive $22.33 billion. Earnings per share also outperformed expectations, with diluted earnings totaling $1.03 a share—outshining the projected 96 cents. Analyzing specific segments, the Media and Entertainment Distribution arm, comprising a substantial 62.7% of the company’s revenues, experienced a slight dip of 0.8% in revenues, amounting to $14 billion. On the brighter side, Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division witnessed an impressive surge in revenue—a remarkable 13% increase, to be precise—reaching a significant milestone of $8.3 billion during the quarter. Bob Iger, the visionary CEO of Disney, shared his insights on these remarkable achievements, emphasizing how the quarter’s results resonate with the ongoing transformation that Disney is undergoing. He highlighted the company’s dedication to restructuring for greater efficiency while ensuring creativity remains at the heart of its operations.

Iger’s words echo the sentiment that innovation and adaptability are integral to Disney’s continued success, emphasizing their unyielding commitment to staying at the forefront of the entertainment industry.

Nedbank Group Ltd (JSE: NED)

Nedbank, a notable player in the financial landscape, has showcased a remarkable interim report that speaks volumes about its economic prowess. With a commendable 9% year-on-year increase in profit, the institution owes this success to the prevailing higher interest rates, which have acted as a catalyst for its financial growth. In a significant turn of events, the Reserve Bank took a decisive step in July, halting its interest rate hiking cycle after a continuous streak of 10 rate hikes. This strategic pause is not only a reflection of macroeconomic considerations but also an indication of the delicate balance that monetary policy seeks to achieve.

Amidst these market dynamics, Nedbank finds itself in a strategically advantageous position. The correlation between higher interest rates and increased loan repayments has notably bolstered net interest margins for the bank. This fortuitous alignment has contributed substantially to the institution’s overall profitability.

Nedbank has declared an interim dividend of 871c per share, marking an impressive 11% increment from the previous comparable period. The headline earnings have surged by an impressive 10%, reaching a significant R7.7 billion over six months, culminating at the end of June.

July’s US Inflation Insights

In July, the annual inflation rate in the US experienced a modest acceleration, rising to 3.2% from the previous month’s 3%. A more nuanced perspective emerges when examining core Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation. This metric, which excludes the volatile components of food and energy prices, saw a slight decrease, edging lower to 4.7% from the previous 4.8%. Core CPI still registered a 0.2% increase for the month. This aligns with the estimated growth and signifies a 12-month rate of 4.7%, marking the lowest level since October 2021. Food prices experienced a 0.2% climb during the month, while energy prices, despite crude oil price surges and notable increases at the pump, saw a modest uptick of just 0.1%. President Joe Biden weighed in on the inflation report amid these data intricacies. He acknowledged the US economy’s prevailing strength, citing the annual inflation reduction by approximately two-thirds since the previous summer. Furthermore, he emphasized the diminishing inflation outside of the food and energy sectors, which has reached its lowest level in any three months since September 2021. This perspective underscores the administration’s outlook on the broader economic landscape and the steps taken to maintain stability.

Sources: CNBC, Financial Times, News24, Bloomberg

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