It was a day of modest gains for U.S. markets as energy stocks improved by 1.4%, fueled by a 2.6% rise in crude oil prices. The S&P 500 Index edged 0.2% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.
Here’s why they’re in the spotlight today:
American Express Company (AXP)
American Express is getting one heck of a pop this morning after third-quarter figures topped analysts’ guidance.
The credit card services company earned $1.20 per share on an adjusted basis, while Wall Street had called for earnings of 97 cents per share. Revenue came in at $7.77 billion, which narrowly beat the consensus estimate of $7.7 billion in net sales.
For its fiscal full year, AXP now sees earnings between $5.90 and $5 per share on an adjusted basis. Previous estimates called for profits between $5.40 and $5.70 per share.
Not all is well at American Express, as CFO Jeffrey Campbell noted that increased competition from rivals and lighter corporate spending has dented the company potential.
Still, the news was enough to send AXP stock soaring by about 7% in Thursday’s premarket trade.
eBay Inc (EBAY)
EBAY shares are not faring as well.
Ebay crashed and burned after the company released its third-quarter report. Adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share were better than analysts expected, but still well below the 45 cents per share earned in the year-ago period. Revenues did improve, from $2.1 billion to $2.22 billion, but came up shy of expectations for $2.4 billion.
The company has struggled to resonate with younger audiences in recent months.
Wall Street was further discouraged by EBAY’s outlook. Ebay sees fourth-quarter earnings of 52 to 54 cents per share on $2.36 billion to $2.41 billion in revenues, versus 54 cents per share on revenues of $2.4 billion.
A small bright spot for eBay has been its selection of products, which is wider and more varied than before.
Still, EBAY is plummeting 8% in this morning’s trade.
Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI)
Lastly, KMI shares are up a bit this morning after Kinder Morgan released its quarterly results yesterday evening.
The energy juggernaut posted a loss of 10 cents per share in its third quarter, compared to analysts’ earnings outlook of a 15-cent profit. Revenue for the three-month period came in at $3.33 billion, marking a 10% year-over-year decline. Kinder Morgan was slated to rake in $3.45 billion in revenue, according to Wall Street.
The company’s struggles can be partially attributed to a slumping CO2 pipeline, as well as lower oil prices. However, Co-founder and Executive Chairman Rich Kinder said the energy company managed to reduce its debt over the course of the quarter.
Despite all the bad news, Kinder Morgan affirmed its dividend outlook, and KMI shares were up 2% in response Thursday morning.