The U.S. stock market was broadly lower again Wednesday, with energy stocks taking a bit hit thanks to oil’s biggest single-day dip in six weeks. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite grew 0.2%.
Here’s what you should know heading into Thursday’s trade:
American Express Company (AXP)
AXP shares are on the rise this morning after the company posted a solid first-quarter result.
Higher spending by cardholders helped American Express achieve a Street-beating profit in Q1. AmEx earned $1.21 billion ($1.34) per share for the quarter, and while that was down from $1.45 per share in the year-ago quarter, that was enough to beat expectations for $1.28. Revenues of $7.75 billion were better than the $7.72 billion analysts had been calling for as well.
“Card Member spending grew 8 percent, adjusted for changes in foreign exchange rates and Costco-related business that was included in the prior year,” CEO Kenneth Chenault said.
American Express improved its marketing and promotion efforts by adding more premium rewards to customers.
AXP shares are up 2% in early Thursday trading, trying to rebound from the broader malaise hitting financial stocks since the beginning of March. Heading into the report, shares had shed most of their 2017 gains for a slight 2% improvement year-to-date.
Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI)
Wall Street is trying to digest Kinder Morgan’s Q1 earnings report, which included a profit miss, but wasn’t a complete disaster.
The energy infrastructure firm earned $401 million (17 cents per share) for its first quarter, up 45% year-over-year. That came on revenues of $3.4 billion, which were 7% higher. While the top line beat expectations by $70 million, the bottom line missed by a penny per share.
The company’s results were helped largely by an increase in natural gas sales, which improved 10% to 2.6 trillion Btus.
However, crude oil and condensate gathering volumes fell by 60,000 barrels per day (18%) to 272,000. Moreover, the earnings miss was driven by a 3% increase in costs, and a 5% increase in interest expenses.
KMI also maintained its dividend at 12.5 cents per share, where it has been stalled since 2016 following a massive cut to the payout.
KMI shares were sitting near breakeven in early Thursday action.
Blackstone Group, LP (BX)
BX shares are surging this morning after the company reported a 165% improvement to its first-quarter bottom line.
BlackStone reported “economic net income” — which includes unrealized gains — of 82 cents per share for Q1, easily beating expectations for 68 cents and trumping the year-ago period’s 31 cents. Revenues of $1.94 billion easily cleared a bar for $1.59 billion. Assets under management were up 7% year-over-year to $368.2 billion.
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman said Q1 was the company’s “best quarter for realizations on record.” The company unloaded $6.7 billion in real estate assets, including a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT).
BX shares were up more than 2% in Thursday’s morning trade.