U.S. equities were surging on Thursday as global tensions eased a bit, despite President Trump saying that the missile strike on Syria “could be very soon or not soon at all.” The S&P 500 Index gained 0.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1%.
Here’s what’s going on:
Fastenal Company (FAST)
Fastenal shares were trading flat late Thursday, but the company surpassed analysts’ revenue expectations in its latest quarterly report.
The company reported adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share for its first quarter of fiscal 2018, which was in line with the Zacks Investment Research projection. Earnings were up by 30.6% compared to the year-ago period.
Fastenal’s revenue was up to $1.19 billion, marking a 13.2% gain compared to the year-ago period thanks to higher underlying market demand, growth in its industrial vending business and existing Onsite locations. The figure topped the Zacks consensus estimate of $1.18 billion.
The company acquired a manufacturers supply company called Mansco that contributed to 1.3% of sales. Fastenal’s daily sales were up by 13.2% compared to the year-ago quarter, lower than the year-ago increase of 14.8%.
On a monthly basis, daily sales were up by 13.1% in March, 14.8% in February and 12% in January, handily topping the year-ago quarter’s increases of 8.4%, 6.1% and 3.8% respectively.
FAST shares were trading flat after the bell.
General Electric Company (GE)
General Electric is reportedly considering spinning off one of its subsidiary businesses.
The company said on Thursday that it is pondering the possibility of spinning off or issuing a public offering of its GE Transportation business, according to the Wall Street Journal and sources familiar with the matter.
The move comes as General Electric has been seeking for new ways to offload the division over the last six months. The business is valued at roughly $7 billion and it could help the parent company reduce its management load without directly selling its assets.
Company CEO John Flanney told shareholders in October that GE was planning on selling $20 billion in assets as part of its planned restructuring. The company recently announced plans for private equity firm Veritas Capital to acquire its health-care unit for $1.05 billion in cash.
“Let’s narrow the scope down to our aviation business, our health-care business, our power business,” Flannery said. The move could help GE shareholders regain value with the turnaround of a subsidiary.
GE stock was up a fraction of a percentage after Thursday’s market close.
Intel Corporation (INTC)
Intel had a day to remember as the stock hit an 18-year high.
The tech company’s stock rose by as much as 3.2% on Thursday, settling in at a 3.17% gain, which marked its best close since the tech bubble burst in late 2000. The stock closed at $52.72 per share, above its closing price of $52.48 from 18 years ago.
At one point, Intel shares were up as much as $75.81 in August 2000 before falling down to $12.41 during the worst parts of the financial crisis. The sudden rise came as tech analyst Richard Swinburne suggested on Twitter that Intel chips could help power the next generation of Xbox video game consoles as Intel gains more traction in the graphics processor business.
“It is clear to us that Apple has been working towards a goal of ‘moving up the stack’ if only to keep Intel ‘honest’,” Credit Suisse said in a note to clients earlier this month. “But we see the sell-off as an over-reaction, especially ahead of what we expect to be strong earnings on 04/26.”
INTC stock fell by a fraction of a percentage after hours Thursday.
As of this writing, Karl Utermohlen did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.