While the stock markets were in a bit of a funk for a couple days, exacerbated by Apple’s quarterly earnings miss earlier in the week, the markets apparently were in a buying mood Thursday after some prominent companies posted decent to very good earnings reports in the last couple of days.
3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) has moved up 2 percent in early trading Thursday after announcing its quarterly earnings at $1.66 per share in the most recent quarter, up from $1.60 per share in the same quarter of 2011 – the number surpassing estimates by 1 cent. The credit goes to improved efficiency at the company overriding foreign-exchange rates that negatively affected the revenue numbers.
Visa (NYSE:V) is up nearly 3 percent Thursday after the credit-card company announced earnings of $1.56 per share in the most recent quarter, which shattered the estimate of $1.45 per share and was 30 cents higher than the equivalent quarter in 2011. The company bases much of its growth on increased use of debit and credit cards and less reliance on cash by consumers.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) saw its stock rise nearly 16 percent after its earnings report, though it had suggested a quarterly loss. This article goes into some reasons for the spike – namely, the most of the loss is atrributed to write-offs of the Nextel side of the company, which is being discontinued. Overall, customer subscriptions have dwindled for a while now, but the Sprint side has been gaining customers and overall revenue was up.
MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE:PCS) is one of the biggest gainers on the day, with its stock rising nearly 36 percent after its earnings report that beat estimates thanks to an uptick in service revenue (data and calling plans) as well as plans to have its 4G LTE network rolled out almost completely by the end of this current quarter, which the company expects will generate much more potential customer interest. The stock had suffered since a planned acquisition by Sprint Nextel fell through in February.
Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) has its stock up more than 20 percent due to profit and revenue numbers that surpassed expectations. The company helps businesses send data faster via the Internet, and attributed much of its estimates win on increases in cloud computing and the demand for efficient tools to do so.
CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), which owns the most-watched over-the-air network, is up about 3 percent after announcing it was increasing its dividend by 20 percent and expanding a stock repurchase program to nearly $5 billion. These may be positive signs for the earnings report, which is due out next Thursday.
One company that is taking a bath after its earnings report is Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), the maker of many social-media games (seen on Facebook), which is down nearly 40 percent after a poor earnings report that the company blames on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which has made changes to its site that make online games harder to find and access, but the company is also dealing with competition in the marketplace from other companies that have jumped into the fray.