Nokia shares slump after revenue drops 20%. Nokia (NOK) shares cratered 12.6% premarket after the company reported that Q1 sales plunged 20% to €5.85B and missed consensus of €6.55B. The company's adjusted loss per share narrowed €0.02 from €0.08 and beat forecasts of €0.04, while the firm also swung to a non-IFRS operating profit €181M from a loss of €258M. Lumia sales climbed 27% on quarter to 5.6M units, and Nokia predicted even faster growth for Q2.
eBay's net profit rises 19%. eBay's (EBAY) net profit jumped 19% to $677M in Q1, boosted by "accelerating user growth across both Marketplaces and PayPal." EPS of $0.63 topped forecasts, and while revenue climbed 14% to $3.75B, the figure missed expectations. eBay's EPS and revenue guidance for Q2 was also below analyst expectations. "They’ve turned it around in the last couple of years," says analyst Benjamin Schachter. "But the question is, can they keep that momentum going?" Shares were -3.2% premarket.
Speculation grows that FAA plans to lift 787 ban. The FAA has notified Japanese officials that it could lift its ban on commercial Boeing (BA) 787 flights as early as this month, Nikkei reports. Authorities in the far-eastern country would then follow suit. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the FAA is close to authorizing a key document called a Project Statement of Compliance, which would be a major step in the process of allowing Dreamliner flights to resume.
Top Stock News
Google, IBM, Microsoft all seen growing. It's set to be a big late afternoon for the tech sector, with Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT) due to release quarterly earnings results. Google's Q1 EPS is expected to rise to $10.69 from $10.08 while revenue is seen surging 72.5% to $14.04B. IBM's Q1 EPS is estimated to have increased to $3.05 from $2.78 as revenue edged up 0.1% to $24.69B. Microsoft's FQ3 EPS is seen growing to $0.68 from $0.60 and its revenue 18.1% to $20.56B.
Support increases for Dish's Sprint offer. Paulson and Omega Advisors have joined a growing list of Sprint (S) investors that believe that Dish's (DISH) $25.5B bid for the company is superior to SoftBank's (SFTBF.PK) offer, further pressuring the Japanese carrier to increase its proposal. Meanwhile, as Sprint and T-Mobile get ready to merge with third parties, speculation is growing that the #3 and #4 U.S. carriers may themselves tie the knot to better compete against AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD).
Senate blocks gun-control bill. Gun-control legislation that would have required background checks for online and gun-show transactions failed in the Senate yesterday. While the chamber voted 54-46 in favor, that was short of the 60 required for the bill to pass. In post-market trading, Smith & Wesson (SWHC) rose 2.5%.
JPMorgan caught up in Monte dei Paschi probe. Italian police have visited JPMorgan (JPM) offices in Milan as part of an investigation into the acquisition by troubled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena of rival Antonveneta in 2007. The police were "carrying out a (court) order to provide documents," a source said.
Top Economic & Other News
Cypriot parliament to vote on bailout. Cyprus' €10B bailout is once again in doubt after it emerged that the country's 58-seat parliament will vote on the deal. With the chamber having already overwhelmingly rejected an initial set of measures, it's far from certain that the new rescue package will be authorized. Notwithstanding, Germany's lower house of parliament has approved the deal.
Japan's trade deficit continues. Japan racked up its ninth-straight monthly trade deficit in March, although the figure fell to ¥362.4B ($3.70B) from February's ¥779.5B. Exports grew 1.1% on year after shrinking 2.9% the previous month and were roughly in line with estimates. Imports rose 5.5%, largely due to a weaker yen and higher fuel-imports. Shipments to China declined 2.5%, easing off from a 15% plunge the previous month. Exports to the EU dropped 4.7%, but those to the U.S. rose 7%.
Central bankers acknowledge they're flying blind. Without necessarily saying so explicitly, central bankers have acknowledged that they're flying blind as they try to spark growth with exceptionally loose monetary policy. "We don't fully understand what is happening in advanced economies," Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, formerly of the ECB, told the IMF's Spring meeting. The major question is whether the banks' policies are storing up serious trouble for the future.
G-20 to again let Japan off the hook over yen plunge. G-20 finance ministers and central bankers are due to meet in Washington today and tomorrow, when they will reportedly reiterate their commitment to avoiding weakening their currencies in order to gain trading advantages. Japan will again escape criticism despite the yen's rapid fall as a result of the country's aggressive monetary easing policies and rhetoric.