Chemicals Pessimism Contrasts With Retail Beats: Earnings Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — The picture emerging at the height of earnings season is patchy at best, with German chemicals maker BASF SE –- a bellwether of global industrial demand –- reporting a loss and forecasting no significant improvement in earnings in the third quarter, while some retail companies beat low expectations.

European companies’ second-quarter reports so far have been good enough to justify the stock market’s rally from the lows in March, though it’s not clear they’re providing fuel for further gains.

“Global stock markets appear to be starting to get a little wobbly as the latest earnings numbers start to paint a picture of a global economy that could start to face a challenging time in the weeks and months ahead,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets U.K. A resurgence of virus cases globally “is prompting the realization that hopes of a V-shaped recovery are starting to look like pie in the sky.”

Elsewhere Wednesday on one of the busiest days of second-quarter earnings, Kering SA, the owner of the Gucci luxury brand, showed how those with plenty of money are still ready to spend, as long as they don’t have to visit a shop. And U.K. high street bellwether Next Plc topped expectations thanks to strong online sales and an outperformance from its reopened stores.

Deutsche Bank AG reported that its fixed-income results soared in a boost to its turnaround efforts, while its other units are struggling with negative interest rates. And consumer-focused rival Banco Santander SA reported a 12.6 billion-euro impairment charge due to the pandemic.

Key Developments:

European stocks opened marginally lower with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 0.1%, as gains for retail and real estate shares were offset by declines in oil and chemicals stocksSanofi’s Outlook Improves as Key Drugs Offset Covid DisruptionGucci Owner Sees Online Leading Recovery After Sales PlungeSanofi, Glaxo to Supply U.K.; China Cases Up: Virus Update

Here’s the top virus-related earnings news for today by sector.

Banks

Deutsche Bank reported its biggest gain in fixed-income trading in nearly eight years, bolstering its turnaround efforts. You can follow the live blog for Deutsche Bank’s earnings here. DWS Group, the bank’s asset management arm, reported second-quarter net inflows ahead of estimates and said it remains committed to cutting costs.Barclays Plc booked more provisions than expected for the second quarter as it, like Deutsche Bank, reported a surge in investment bank revenue. The stock fell 4.3%. You can follow the live blog for Barclays’s earnings here. Banco Santander’s impairment charge related to the virus pushed the Spanish lender to a huge loss for the second quarter. The impairment was related to lower anticipated cash flow in its U.K., U.S. and Polish arms and its consumer finance division. The bank fell 1.9% at the open in Madrid.

Luxury

Kering said it is seeing signs of a recovery, led by sales online, after revenue for the Gucci owner plunged in the second quarter, albeit by less than estimated. E-commerce sales surged 72% in the period. Bernstein said its earnings topped estimates and it opened 5.3% higher.Salvatore Ferragamo SpA said it has seen an improvement in sales trends in July after reporting a 47% decline in first-half revenue. Analysts said the sales look disappointing and consensus is likely to be downgraded. The stock opened 1.6% lower.

Retail

French grocer Carrefour SA’s first-half results beat expectations thanks to better-than-expected performances in Spain, Belgium and Brazil, as strict lockdown measures eased in the aftermath of the pandemic. Citi said the Latin American operations were the star. Carrefour rose 1.8%.U.K. fashion retailer Next’s sales fell by 72% in the second-quarter, not as bad as the 78% decline estimated and with online sales growing. Sales in the quarter were “significantly ahead” of its internal expectations, the company said. Berenberg said the sales beat was driven by online transaction and reopened stores outperforming. Next shares surged at the open, rising 9.7%.German sportswear group Puma AG’s second-quarter loss was narrower than analyst estimates, with sales and gross margins slightly ahead of expectations. Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Gulden called it the “most difficult quarter” of his career and said the threat of more major lockdowns in coming months is “very high,” making it impossible still to provide a 2020 outlook. Morgan Stanley said the update looks in line but Puma shares opened 2.7% lower.French pens and shavers maker Societe BIC SA reported a 22% slump in comparable sales growth for the second quarter, citing weak underlying trends worsened by an uneven Covid-19 pandemic impact. BIC bounced 6.8% at the open in Paris.

Health Care

Sanofi raised its 2020 earnings forecast as sales of key drugs like eczema and asthma medicine Dupixent surged, helping to offset any disruption from the pandemic. The French drugmaker also entered into a pact with GlaxoSmithKline Plc to supply Covid-19 vaccine doses to the U.K. Goldman Sachs said the results got a boost from better cost controls. Sanofi rose 0.1% in Paris.Medical device maker Smith & Nephew Plc said first-half business was affected by lockdowns to control Covid-19, though it noted an improvement in the second quarter as elective surgeries restarted in the U.S. and most European countries, and said China returned to growth in the period. The stock opened 5.7% lower.

Chemicals

BASF said it doesn’t expect a significant improvement in third-quarter earnings and said it is still not providing guidance for 2020 owing to the pandemic. Second-quarter sales fell by 12% and the chemicals giant swung to a loss. Baader said the outlook may be taken poorly and the stock opened 3.8% lower.Polymers and plastics maker Solvay SA’s second-quarter earnings topped expectations despite a hit to sales from weakness in aerospace, autos, oil and gas and construction end markets. It anticipates a challenging third quarter before an improvement thereafter. Solvay shares opened 1.8% higher.

Industrials

Electrical power products manufacturer Schneider Electric SE reinstated its 2020 targets and resumed its share buyback program as its organic revenue forecast for the year matched estimates. Engineering software firm Aveva Group Plc, in which Schneider holds a 60% stake, said organic revenue fell but its order pipeline remains solid. Schneider shares rose 3.7% while Aveva rose 0.4%.Irish packaging firm Smurfit Kappa Group Plc reinstated its dividend and said it remains confident in its outlook after reporting a fall in first-half revenue and profit. Its shares jumped 5% in Dublin.Dutch oil storage firm Royal Vopak NV’s second-quarter revenue missed estimates and the firm said it cut its cost base in the first half in response to the pandemic disruption. Vopak opened 1.8% lower in Amsterdam.

Autos

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc reported a wider first-half loss and free-cash outflows of 371 million pounds as the British carmaker invested in the launch of its all-important DBX sport-utility vehicle. Early signs from China, a key market for sales, are positive. Covid-19 has meanwhile slowed its efforts to reduce dealer stockpiles of its sports cars. The stock rose 1.9%.

Travel & Leisure

Wizz Air Holdings Plc’s first-quarter revenue beat the average analyst estimate as Europe’s third-biggest discount airline also maintained strong market and liquidity positions after a period that marked “one of the most challenging times in the history of aviation,” according to Chief Executive Officer Jozsef Varadi. Wizz shares jumped at the open, up 4.5%.Spanish airport operator Aena SMA SA said it remains difficult to forecast any trends in traffic given the complexity of the virus crisis as it reported a 65% decline in first-half passenger numbers and swung to a loss. The stock opened 1% lower.

Construction

U.K. homebuilder Taylor Wimpey Plc recorded its first half-year loss since 2009 as the coronavirus lockdown shuttered constructions sites and stalled activity in the property market. The loss includes 39 million pounds in additional costs that were directly a result of the pandemic and total home completions plunged by 58% in the period. The stock slumped at the open, falling 5.6%.

Tech

Chip-maker AMS AG’s second-quarter earnings beat estimates and it anticipates sales will grow in the third quarter. Osram Licht AG, the lighting company AMS is acquiring, said profit fell by less than expected due to cost cuts. AMS shares fell 1.2% at the open, while Osram rose 2.6%.Chip-equipment maker ASM International NV’s third-quarter revenue forecast beat estimates and the firm said it expects its fourth-quarter revenue to hit at least the same level. The stock slipped by 2.4%.IT services firm Capgemini SA said its first-half revenue rose and said it continues to anticipate a gradual recovery for trading in the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Goldman Sachs said the results showed Capgemini’s resilience and the stock opened 2.4% higher in Paris.

Telecoms

Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG’s second-quarter earnings came in marginally below estimates but it confirmed its 2020 outlook and said its network expansion plans remain on track. The stock fell by 2.3%.

Media

French broadcaster Television Francaise 1 SA said its second-quarter advertising revenue fell by 41%, though it said some advertisers have started to return since lockdown restrictions were eased. Peer Metropole Television SA’s advertising sales in the quarter fell by 26%. TF1 shares fell by 1% while M6 rose by 2.6%.

Financials

Jupiter Fund Management Plc said investors were starting to return to the asset manager despite a challenging first half. While clients pulled 2 billion pounds in the six-month period, the second quarter saw a return to moderate inflows driven by its fixed-income strategy and the reversal in markets. The stock edged 0.2% higher at the open.

Business Services

French testing and inspection firm Bureau Veritas SA’s first-half revenue beat expectations, though it swung to a loss for the period. It said around a fifth of its revenue, in certification and consumer products, was severely hit by virus lockdowns. The share fell by 2% at the open in Paris.

Oil & Gas

Austrian oil firm OMV AG’s second-quarter income dropped year-on-year due to lower oil prices and weaker demand and the group narrowed its full-year production forecast. The stock was little changed at the open.

Metals & Mining

Rio Tinto Plc raised its dividend despite a decline in first-half earnings as strong iron ore prices helped to offset the pandemic’s impact on copper and aluminum. The group said demand for iron ore in China has remained strong. The stock was little changed at the open.

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