Weekly Earnings Outlook

Canal+ Eyes African Growth with MultiChoice Acquisition to Challenge US Media Giants

A French media giant, Canal+, is looking to acquire a South African broadcaster, MultiChoice, to create a media powerhouse. This new company, listed on both European and South African stock exchanges, would rival US entertainment giants. By combining forces, Canal+ aims to gain the scale and resources needed to compete for content and invest in African productions for a global audience.

The deal faces hurdles due to South Africa’s foreign ownership restrictions. However, Canal+ is confident they can navigate these regulations, citing their experience in other countries with similar rules. This acquisition aligns with Vivendi’s plan to split into separate businesses, and Canal+ sees MultiChoice’s 50 million subscribers as a valuable asset. The proposed merger has already boosted MultiChoice’s share price, and could ultimately lead to a combined entity with a strong presence in Africa.

CarMax Inc (NYSE: KMX)

CarMax, the leading retailer of used vehicles in the US, hit a speed bump as its fourth-quarter earnings report disappointed investors. The stock price dropped after the company revealed a slight 1.7% decline in revenue to $5.63 billion, falling short of analyst estimates of $5.79 billion. Earnings per share also took a hit, slipping from $0.44 to $0.32, which was well below expectations of $0.49.

Rising interest rates have put a damper on the used car market, making monthly payments significantly more expensive for buyers. This follows a period of surging prices fueled by pandemic-related chip shortages and high demand. CarMax wasn’t immune to these trends. While retail unit sales saw a modest increase of 1.3%, and comparable store unit sales ticked up 0.1%, the company fell short of its ambitious goal. Wholesale units, which make up a smaller portion of the business, were down 4%.

Despite CEO Bill Nash’s attempt to highlight positive aspects like a 1.3% growth in total sales, the company’s guidance suggests tougher times ahead. Investors reacted negatively to the delay in CarMax’s goal of reaching 2 million units sold annually. This target has been pushed back to sometime between fiscal 2026 and 2030, a significant setback. The weak results coupled with the delayed sales target of 2 million units by fiscal 2026-2030 create a gloomy outlook, justifying the stock’s decline.

JP Morgan & Chase Co (NYSE: JPM)

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank, missed analyst expectations for a key revenue metric but surprised investors with a strong performance in its trading division. Net interest income, a measure of the difference between what the bank charges for loans and pays on deposits, came in at $23.1 billion for the first quarter, falling slightly short of analysts’ predictions. Despite this, the bank maintained its overall earnings forecast for the year, aiming to earn about $90 billion from net interest income. However, they adjusted their guidance excluding the markets business down to $89 billion, a $1 billion revision.

A more significant concern for investors was the bank’s raised expense guidance. JPMorgan now expects adjusted expenses to hit $91 billion, exceeding earlier estimates by $2 billion. This news, coupled with ongoing economic uncertainty including inflation and geopolitical tensions, sent the bank’s stock price down about 4% in early trading.

CEO Jamie Dimon acknowledged the mixed bag of results while emphasizing the bank’s preparation for a wide range of scenarios. The recent inflation reading above expectations and potential future interest rate hikes are factors the bank is closely monitoring, with Dimon having previously warned that rates could reach anywhere from 2% to 8% “or even more.”

JPMorgan’s performance contrasted with analyst predictions in some areas. The bank surprised them with a net reserve release of $72 million, indicating an improvement in loan conditions, whereas analysts had predicted a build of $556 million. Additionally, investment-banking revenue came in at $2 billion, exceeding analyst expectations. Markets revenue fell 5%, less than expected, with both equity and fixed-income trading beating estimates.

This positive news couldn’t completely offset the concerns surrounding missed estimates and rising expenses. With other major banks like Wells Fargo and Citigroup reporting their results on the same day, investors are closely watching the industry’s performance in this uncertain economic climate.

Sources: Bloomberg; YahooFinance; CNBC

Piece written by Trive Sales Trader, Kealeboga Molefe

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