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Import/Exports & Lots of Q4 Results

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

With the partial U.S. government shutdown extending its longest period in history (at this time next week, should it remain closed, it will have been for longer than a full month), we do not have updated information on Retail Sales for December, shedding some light on 2018 holiday shopping season. We also will do without Business Inventories for November, which has also been subjected to the government shutdown.

We do see new Import and Export Prices for December this morning, however, with numbers lower than analysts had projected. A headline of -0.1% a tad lighter than expected, with a revision to November’s headline downward from -1.6% to -1.9%. Ex-petrol, we see these numbers more buoyant at +0.3%, and far better than the previous month’s -0.3%. Year over year, ex-petrol Imports are -0.6%, better than the -0.8% estimate.

For Exports, we see a -0.6% month-over-month headline, and +1.1% year over year. This is down substantially from the +1.8% read in the previous month. All in all, we do see some headwinds from the U.S. trade war with China on both Import and Export sides, but nothing looks particularly earth-shattering. In fact, market futures look to be shrugging off this data currently, especially with a plethora of high-profile Q4 earnings results hitting the tape in today’s pre-market.

Q4 Earnings Update

Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) , after seeing a precipitous drop in share price over the past couple months, surprised to the upside in a big way in its Q4 report: $6.04 per share was far ahead of the Zacks consensus $4.88 per share, while revenues of $8.08 billion in the quarter beat estimates by 6.5%. While Goldman is no stranger to quarterly earnings beats (its last miss was in Q1 2017), these boffo results are sending shares up 3.5% in the pre-market, now around +11% year to date. For more on GS’ earnings, click here.

Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) also impressed investors with a 7 cents-per-share beat to 70 cents per share for its Q4, on revenues reaching $22.7 billion (although this ratchets down to $21.4 billion from its impact from the tax act), compared to the Zacks consensus $22.2 billion. Shares are up 5.7% in early morning trading. For more on BAC’s earnings, click here.

Bank of New York - Mellon (BK - Free Report) posted mixed quarterly results ahead of today’s opening bell, topping earnings estimates by 7 cents to 99 cents per share. Revenues, however, were slightly shy of the $4.04 billion estimated for the quarter. For more on BK’s earnings, click here.

BlackRock (BLK - Free Report) came up short on both top and bottom lines for its Q4. The Zacks Rank #4 (Sell)-rated investment bank put up $6.08 per share on $26.93 billion in quarterly revenues, lower than the $6.39 per share and $27.29 billion expected. For more on BLK’s earnings, click here.

PNC Financial (PNC - Free Report) technically missed both top and bottom-line estimates, but the margins were so slim we’re more inclined to call these meets: $2.75 per share compares to the $2.77 Zacks consensus, on $17.13 billion as opposed to analysts’ $17.17 billion. For more on PNC’s earnings, click here.

If there’s a company providing as many fireworks as Goldman to its Q4 numbers this morning, it’s United Air Lines (UAL - Free Report) , which blew the doors off both top and bottom lines, based largely on quarterly fare price increases. Earnings of $2.41 per share and sales of $10.49 billion easily outperformed the $1.86 per share and $10.37 billion expected. Pre-market trading has brought shares more than 6% currently. For more on UAL’s earnings, click here.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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