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Markets Flat as Q3 Earnings Continue: VZ, ABT, TSLA & More

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Markets are flat in this morning’s pre-market Hump Day, following a nice string of daily outperformance across indexes going back to the unofficial start of Q3 earnings season last week. A 5-day win streak for the S&P 500 is at stake: the wide-ranging index is up just a point or two this hour. The Dow is -20 points and the Nasdaq is +15; there is movement afoot, however — the likelihood that markets will stay flat today is not great.

We don’t have any important economic metrics to report ahead of today’s opening bell, although this afternoon we will get a look at the latest Beige Book from the U.S. Federal Reserve — an anecdotal report on economic conditions in sectors from Boston to San Francisco (which includes Alaska and Hawaii). This report will reflect on inflation and employment strides made thus far in 2021; it is the second to last such report for the year, and the first since September 8th.

Top U.S. telecom provider Verizon VZ, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock going into Q3 earnings this morning, was mixed: a 5-cent beat to $1.41 per share, +9% year over year. But revenues in the quarter actually came down to $32.9 billion from $33.41 billion expected. Sales growth came to +4.3% from the year-ago quarter, on +3.9% growth in its all-important Wireless sector. Current year EPS guidance was upped a tad to $5.30-5.40 per share; the Zacks consensus had been for $5.30.

Abbott Labs ABT, on the other hand, put up big improvements over expectations: $1.17 per share easily surpassed the 92 cents in the Zacks consensus, on revenues of $10.9 billion which outpaced the $9.48 billion. Led by Diagnostics at $1.95 billion and Medical Devices at $1.5 billion, Abbott also raised guidance for current-year earnings to $5.00-5.10 per share. The prior Zacks consensus had been $4.42 per share. Shares are up +4.25% in today’s pre-market on the news.

NextEra Energy NEE shares are down on its Q3 report released ahead of today’s open, beating on the bottom line by 3 cents to 75 cents per share on a weak top-line figure: $4.37 billion was -26% off the Zacks consensus $6.00 billion expected. The parent company for Florida Power & Light carried a Zacks Rank #3 into this mornings earnings report, down -0.7% on the news and just +10% year to date, underperforming the S&P 500.

This afternoon brings us long-awaited Tesla TSLA numbers. The EV leader already reported a record number of auto deliveries, and today the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company is expected to bring forth +78% earnings growth to $1.35 per share, on $13.16 billion in revenues, +50% year over year. Noting the earnings miss in Q4 2020, Tesla only has one negative bottom-line surprise in the past eight quarters. Prior to that, seven of 11 quarters missed estimates.

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NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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