On Monday, AdvTech ended marginally lower, down 0.06% at R16.70 per share, despite the group announcing it had acquired 51% of University of Africa for an undisclosed amount. The University of Africa, which is a Zambian distance-learning institution, was founded in 2006 and currently has more than 2,000 students and 145 staff. The group owns more than 10 brands, situated across 26 sites in sub-Saharan Africa, in its tertiary education division alone. AdvTech is currently trading on a PE ratio of 26.49 and a dividend yield of 1.83%.
On Friday, Chevron shed 2.37% after releasing worse-than-expected results for the 4th quarter. During the period, Chevron saw revenues come in at $31.5bn, sharply lower than expectations of $33.3bn. However, the group saw its 4th quarter earnings increase to $415mn, up from a loss of $588mn a year ago. Despite the increase, Chevron reported adjusted earnings of 22 cents per share, much lower than estimates of an increase to 64 cents per share. The worse-than-expected results were mainly attributed to lower refining margins as well as tax charges. On Wednesday, the group declared a quarterly dividend of $1.08 per share, unchanged from the previous quarter.
On Thursday, Alphabet shed 0.42% after the group released mixed quarterly results. Google’s parent company saw 4th quarter revenues come in at $26.06bn, slightly higher than expectations of $25.26bn. This topping of expectations was mainly due to its progressive monetising of YouTube and a strong performance from mobile search. However, the group did record a 16% decline in Google’s cost-per-click, which is the amount that it receives from advertisers, worse than expectations of an 11% drop. Alphabet posted adjusted earnings of $9.36 per share, worse than estimates of $9.64 per share, negatively affected by a tax charge.
AT&T ended marginally higher on Wednesday, up 0.07%, following the release of the group’s latest quarterly results. In the 4th quarter, the group recorded a slight decline in revenue to $41.8bn, down from $42.1bn a year ago and slightly lower than expectations of a drop to $42.04bn. Despite the slight miss in revenues, AT&T saw its adjusted earnings for the quarter meet estimates of 66 cents per share, a slight increase over the 63 cents a share reported in the previous corresponding period. The group highlighted 2016 as a transformational year, mainly due to its decision to acquire Time Warner for more than $85bn.
On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson shed 1.89%, weighed down by the release of mixed quarterly results which saw revenues miss estimates, but earnings surpassed expectations. During the fourth quarter, revenues increased by 1.7% to $18.11bn, slightly lower than estimates of $18.26bn. This lower-than-expected revenue figure can be mainly attributed to slowing demand for its medical devices and a stronger dollar. Despite the miss, the group saw its net earnings increase to $3.81bn, or $1.38 per share, up from $3.22bn, or $1.15 per share, a year ago. Excluding items, the group saw earnings come in at $1.58 per share, higher than expectations of $1.56 per share.
During yesterday’s session, McDonald’s released quarterly results which saw both earnings and revenue beat estimates. For the quarter, the group recorded a 5% decline in revenue to $6.03bn, down from $6.34bn a year ago, but slightly better than expectations of $5.99bn. Despite the drop, the group recorded a 2.7% increase in same-store sales, boosted by stronger sales in the UK, China and Japan. The group saw earnings, excluding some items, surge to $1.44 per share, better than expectations of an increase to $1.41 per share and sharply higher than the $1.31 per share recorded a year ago.
General Electric shed 2.18% after releasing results which saw earnings in-line with expectations, while revenues disappointed. During the 4th quarter, General Electric recorded revenues of $33.08bn, slightly lower than estimates of $33.68bn. However, despite the miss, earnings were in-line with expectations of 46 cents per share, boosted by a strong performance in its power and renewable energy businesses. Lastly, for the year, the group reported earnings of $1.49 per share, $32.6bn of free cash flow and returned $30.5bn to shareholders through dividends and buybacks.
On Thursday, IBM reported its latest quarterly results, with the group easily surpassing expectations for both earnings and revenue. In its fiscal 4th quarter, IBM saw revenues come in at $21.77bn, slightly higher than expectations of $21.64bn. However, despite the higher-than-expected revenue recorded during the quarter, revenues declined by 1% over the past year. This drop can be mainly attributed to the group’s transition away from operating systems and equipment towards business services, artificial intelligence and cloud services. Despite IBM’s decline in revenue, the group managed to post earnings, excluding certain items, of $5.01 per share, well above consensus expectations of $4.88 per share.
On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs traded lower, down 0.62%, despite the group releasing quarterly results which blew away analyst expectations on strong fixed income trading.. During the period, Goldman saw its revenues come in at $8.17bn, sharply higher than estimates of $7.742bn. This better-than-expected increase was mainly due to a jump in trading revenue, with revenue from bond-related trading increasing by 78.3% over the last year to $2bn. The group reported earnings of $5.08 per share, compared to expectations of $4.82 per share, with $2.15bn in net income representing a near-quadrupling in profit.
Morgan Stanley dropped 3.79% to close at $42.15 per share, despite the group beating expectations in its most recent quarterly results. During the period, revenues came in at $9.02bn, sharply higher than estimates of $8.47bn. This better-than-expected performance was mainly attributable to a 39% increase in total sales and trading revenue. The group posted earnings of 81 cents per share, much higher than an expected figure of 65 cents per share. Lastly, the bank’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share.