Unsure what, if anything, the third and final Presidential debate might mean for the economy, investors waffled once again. The S&P 500‘s close of 2141.34 was only 0.14% lower than Wednesday’s close, which leaves the index trapped between a technical rock and hard place.
Here’s the deal.
EBay Inc (EBAY)
Online-auction company eBay may have topped last quarter’s earnings estimates, but that wasn’t enough to satiate EBAY shareholders who were more concerned about a lackluster fourth-quarter outlook.
For its third fiscal quarter of 2016, eBay earned an operating profit of 45 cents per share on sales of $2.22 billion. Analysts were only expecting a profit of 44 cents per share of EBAY and revenue of $2.19 billion. That bottom line, however, was only in line with the year-ago profit figure of 45 cents per share, when sales rolled in at $2.1 billion.
Looking ahead, eBay anticipates earning between 52 cents and 54 cents per share on sales of between $2.36 billion and $2.41 billion. Analysts had been calling for an average of 54 cents per share of EBAY and a top line of $2.4 billion.
EBAY stock ended the day down 10.7%.
Union Pacific Corporation (UNP)
EBay wasn’t the only name to get hit hard by an earnings report today — railroad company Union Pacific also misfired in its third quarter, sending UNP 6.7% lower on Thursday on a sizeable decline in the total amount of goods shipped.
Last quarter, Union Pacific earned $1.36 per share on $5.17 billion worth of revenue. The bottom line rolled in 13% less than the year-ago profit of $1.50 per share a year earlier, while the top line was down 7% from the Q3-2015 revenue tally of $5.56 billion. Freight volume was off 6% on a year-over-year basis.
Of particular concern to UNP shareholders is the fact that the company increased its freight rates, even as demand for shipping fell. Investors are worried the company won’t be able to maintain its prices, exacerbating its brewing headwind.
Tractor Supply Company (TSCO)
Last but not least, farm and garden supply outfit Tractor Supply Company was yet-another name up-ended by earnings, with TSCO falling 3.5% as a result.
The stock initially moved higher following Wednesday’s post-close report. Having had a night to sleep on it though, investors decided the glass was half-empty rather than half-full. Those results? Income of 67 cents per share topped estimates of 66 cents per share, while sales of $1.54 billion — though up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis — also merely met estimates. Same-store sales fell 0.6%, and the average ticket size slumped 1.1%.
Nothing was horrifyingly wrong with last quarter’s numbers or this quarter’s outlook, but the lack of a clear, bullish victory was an unexpected setback.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.