Tuesday was a mixed day for U.S. equities that saw energy and industrials struggle amid light volume. The S&P 500 Index lost 0.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a fraction and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1%.
Wednesday is looking like a potentially volatile day, with much of the country reeling over new comments from President Donald Trump concerning the violence in Charlottesville … and then this morning decrying Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). But for this morning, the spotlight belongs on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the midst of a big development, as well as Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) and Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) on the back of corporate earnings.
Here’s what you need to know.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
AAPL stock is continuing to crawl to new all-time highs this morning amid reports that the iPhone maker has set aside a massive pile of cash to jump into the original content game.
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that people familiar with the matter say Apple plans to spend up to $1 billion to “procure and produce original content” within the next year. That money would be enough to “acquire and produce as many as 10 television shows,” which roughly matches what Amazon is estimated to have spent in its initial content push in 2013, and half of HBO’s spend in 2016.
The WSJ says former Sony Corp. (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) minds Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg will be in charge of acquisition and strategy.
As of now, Apple has not announced what format such content would be released in. While it has existing channels such as Apple Music, it could also create its own streaming service.
AAPL shares are up fractionally in Wednesday morning trade. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) — who now apparently faces yet another challenger in the space — is down by about 1%.
Agilent Technologies Inc (A)
Agilent Technologies is making a nice move higher this morning after the company’s third-quarter results were released last night.
The company reported earnings of of $191 million, or 59 cents per share, higher than the $161 million, or 49 cents per share from the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for earnings of 52 cents per share.
Revenue came in at $1.11 billion, a 6.7% year-over-year increase from the $1.04 billion previously posted. Wall Street expected revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter.
“Our team is executing very well. We had another great quarter delivering above-market revenue growth, expanding operating margins and growing our adjusted EPS,” said Mike McMullen, Agilent President and CEO. “We saw strength across all our business groups.”
For the current quarter, Agilent Technologies’ outlook is of revenue in the range of $1.15 billion-$1.17 billion, while earnings will be in the range of 60 cents-62 cents per share. Both midpoints beat analysts’ guidance for revenues of $1.15 billion and profits of 60 cents per share.
A stock is surging ahead 4% in early Wednesday trade.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN)
URBN stock is rocketing higher this morning despite a lousy quarter for comparable-store sales.
The troubled retailer, whose shares had declined 40% since Jan. 1, announced a 4.9% decline in comps for its second quarter. However, that was far better than the 6.9% decline expected by Wall Street’s pros — and joined a couple of other important metric beats.
Urban Outfitters also reported net income of $50 million, a whopping 35% decline year-over-year. Again, though, per-share profits of 44 cents were enough to beat estimates for 37 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenues dropped 2% to $873 million, but that was more than enough to beat the consensus expectation of $11 million.
The actual Urban Outfitters brand saw a 7.9% decline in sales, and its Anthropologie Group shed by 4%. The company was lifted by a 2.9% top-line improvement in its Free People brand.
BMO Capital Markets analyst John Morris even offered up sobering commentary, saying, “We await further evidence that both core divisions have significantly improved operations, rather than relying on one quarter of green-shoots, to become more positive on the shares.”
Nonetheless, URBN stock was headed more than 20% higher in Wednesday’s premarket trade.