HP Shares Rise After Earnings Beat, Sales Show Momentum

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Hewlett Packard Inc. shares jumped after hours on Wednesday after the company reported higher-than-expected sales and earnings for its fiscal second quarter and showed accelerating sales momentum in the second quarter, delivering growth in both personal computers and printers for the first time in more than a half-decade.

The Palo Alto, California-based giant reported second quarter earnings of 40 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates by a penny, 39 cents. Revenue also went up 7% to $12.4 billion in the period that ended in April, beating Wall Street’s $11.93 billion expectations for the quarter and analysts’ estimates for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Moreover, the company gave a forecast for third quarter profit that were unevenly in line with the market’s guidance for the period. The forecast may also top projections and raised its outlook for the fiscal year, and that followed an upbeat quarterly report in February.

Chief Executive Dion Weisler noted that it is the first quarter in which both PC and printing revenue increased year-over-year since 2010, with PC sales growing 10% and printing revenue increasing 2%. He has also been looking for the right lineup of products to grab share in markets that have been under pressure since his company’s split from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

Consumer demand helped drive stronger growth in the recent period, and laptop unit shipments jumped 12%, reflecting a PC industry that finally showed a spark of growth for the first time since 2012. The company has also been putting money up for new printer products, while paying out marketing dollars to create new business.

Shannon Cross, an analyst, said in an email that a consistent performance is basically what the investors look for, that there is “continuing benefit from investments made over the past few years in notebook innovation.”

HP shares have climbed 28% this year through Wednesday’s close and the stock jumped as much as 9.2 percent in extended trading, having outperformed Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The company also improved its forecast for the current fiscal year, which ends in October. Full-year adjusted profit from continuing operations should be $1.59 to $1.66 a share, up from previous guidance of $1.55 to $1.65. Analysts on average, estimate $1.62 in annual profit.

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Unilever Reports Higher First Quarter Sales

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Unilever reported strong sales on Thursday. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company reported higher sales in the first quarter due to excellent sales in rising markets and price increases, regardless of the shortcomings in North America and Europe.

The company also publicized its quarterly dividend which rose 12 percent to €0.3585 per share and said that it is on track for primary sales growth in 2017.

Unilever’s results could heighten investor interest for the firm since its shares have remained higher since February which was also the time when a rival company Kraft Foods Inc. proposed a $143 billion takeover on Unilever but was rejected right away.

Turnover for the first quarter climbed 6.1 percent to €13.3 billion including a positive currency impact of 2.4 percent.

Underlying sales rose 2.9 percent with price up 3 percent and volume down 0.1 percent, USG was 3.4 percent excluding spreads.Underlying sales growth in emerging markets boosted 6.1 percent with price increase of 5.3 percent and volume up 0.8 percent.

Unilever said that the quarterly growth supports its long-term strategy.

Along with the consumer giant’s sales increase, its PLC stock also climbed 1.5 percent to 3,998 on Thursday.

The company also gave its forecast earlier this month, stating sales will grow 3 to 5 percent this year, with margin of at least 80 and a dividend increase of 12 percent.

Nestlé’s first quarter revenue for organic products also grew 2.3 percent compared to the 2 percent median estimate.

Nestlé’s SA (NESN) went up 0.2 percent to 75.38 on Thursday 13:14 GMT.

Both companies improved pricing strength presented early hints of recovery for the food and beverage market after a long time of decreasing demand in Europe, slowing sales in China and economic crises in Brazil and Russia.

Contributing factors to the growing tension were the increase in the prices of goods, inflation in Brazil and the decline of the pound since the UK European Union membership referendum last June 2016.

The impressive performance in Unilever’s savory was led by cooking products in developing markets supported by the leading brand Knorr acting in response to primary needs such as nutrition deficiency and growing demand for time-saving meal makers.

Hellmanns’ innovations focusing on the pureness of the ingredients brought about continuous gains in the dressings’ market share.

Dairy products are also doing well thanks to effective innovations behind premium brands such as the new Magnum Pints including the coconut and raspberry selections.

Ben & Jerry’sWich sandwich and the new pint range Topped propped up its sales by two digits.

Unilever has also extended the Solero ice cream offer of less than 50 calories and launched vegan and gluten-free variants under Cornetto.

However, markets in North America and Europe weakened in the first quarter while Latin America has seen sales growth in health and wellness section. As the population of overweight people rises, the company should also work on its success and raise buyer awareness of healthier product choices in order to support its weight management brands.

Unilever has not provided any immediate update on plans to divest its spreads unit, which consist of the Flora brand. Following the company’s refusal to Kraft’s offer in February, Unilever will deliver on its word to increase investor profits through buybacks and boost productivity goals.

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Fails to Meet Earnings Forecasts

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK), the second largest producer of natural gas posted downbeat earnings results today as oil and natural gas markets struggle to report continuous improvement.

For the second quarter of the current fiscal year, the natural gas producer reported an adjusted loss of 14 cents per share, failing to meet the consensus estimate by 3 cents. Before the adjustments, the natural gas corporation lost approximately $1.8 billion or $2.48 per share during the given period. This loss is primarily due to a $1.045 billion impairment charge against Chesapeake’s oil and natural gas assets.

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In the given period, the company managed to generate revenues of $1.6 billion, missing forecasts of $330 million. The natural gas producer’s revenues have been cut in half on a year-over-year basis.The reason behind this is that the average realized prices on crude oil and natural gas slumped during the quarter.

Due to the ongoing decline in the energy markets, Chesapeake has shed over 90 percent of its market value. Aside from the low oil price environment, the company’s biggest concern at the moment is its high debt load. So far this 2016, the natural gas company employed a number of measures, such as a major debt reduction through swaps.

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Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler stated, “In 2016, we have made substantial progress on many fronts, including the reduction of more than $1 billion of debt, the reduction of complexity in our portfolio through the purchase of oil and natural gas interests previously conveyed in certain volumetric production payment transactions (VPPs), the continued improvement in our cash cost structure and the optimization of our current portfolio through non-core asset sales.”

After the earnings report, the company’s stock is changing hands at $5.15 during pre-market hours, down by 2.65 percent. As of 10:32 AM GMT -4, the CHK stock is trading at $5.08, down by 3.88 percent or 0.20 points.

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