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Late Trading Dominated by Q1 Earnings: META, F, CMG & More

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Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

Markets finished essentially flat on the day. It was a bit of a topsy-turvy trading session, at least for three of the four major indices today, with the Dow just closing into the red at -0.11%, the S&P 500 squeaked by to the positive, +0.02%, and the Nasdaq was basically a mirror-image of the Dow: +0.10%. The small-cap Russell 2000 fell furthest during morning trading and never found its way above zero again; it closed -0.43% by the bell.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated Meta Platforms (META - Free Report) beat estimates in Q1 in the late session. Earnings of $4.71 outpaced the Zacks consensus $4.32 on quarterly revenues of $36.46 billion versus expectations of $36.28 billion, representing +27% year-over-year gains. Yet soft revenue guidance has helped sell the news, and the stock is down -12% in the late session. This is even with a slight raise to capex levels, though without daily and monthly active users reported, progress at the social media staple has gotten somewhat opaque.

Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) posted mixed results in its Q1 report today. Earnings of 49 cents per share outpaced expectations by 7 cents, while revenues of $39.89 billion was light the $40.55 billion. Its Ford Blue (traditional auto business) segment dropped off -66%, and its EV division is expected to lose $5-5.5 billion this year. Yet shares are up more than +2% on the news, as work truck sales continue to sell well.

Chipotle (CMG - Free Report) crushed earnings after today’s close. Earnings of $13.37 per share easily surpassed the $11.63 in the Zacks consensus, as $2.7 billion in quarterly sales outperformed expectations by +14% in the quarter. Comps year over year were up +7%, while operating margins gained +16.3% (+15.5% previously). Shares have gained +3% on this report’s release, adding to the +30% tally year to date.

Enterprise software provider ServiceNow (NOW - Free Report) is also out with Q1 results today. Revenues narrowly outpaced the Zacks consensus to $2.60 billion in the quarter, a gain of +24% year over year. The company also raised its midpoint of subscriber revenue guidance going forward, though shares are down -5.5% on the news, giving back a large portion of the +8.5% gains it had made year to date.

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