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Nike jumped as much as 12% on Wednesday after the sportswear giant trounced expectations for fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales. Revenue of $10.59 billion beat the $9.11 billion estimate. Earnings per share reached 95 cents, more than twice the 46 cent expectation. Much of the gains were fueled by 82% growth in online sales. The surge accelerates Nike's plans to boost its online retail operations. The company also issued fiscal 2021 guidance of high single-digit to low double-digit revenue growth from the year-ago period. The forecast comes as many retail giants refrain from projecting performance due to pandemic uncertainties. Watch Nike trade live here.
Nike soared as much as 12% on Wednesday after beating expectations for fiscal first-quarter earnings and issuing optimistic guidance for the rest of the year. The sportswear company continued to pivot toward online retail throughout the period. Digital sales rocketed 82% higher with double-digit gains in North America, China, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific region. The increase offset slowed sales at Nike's physical retail locations, though the quarter did see nearly all stores reopen after months-long lockdowns. Here are the key numbers: Revenue: $10.59 billion, versus the $9.11 billion estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg Earnings per share: 95 cents, versus the 46 cents estimate Inventory: $6.71 billion, versus the $6 billion estimate Gross margin: 44.8%, versus the 42.9% estimate Read more: Morgan Stanley's US equities chief nailed his call for a short-term market meltdown. He now lays out the evidence that it may not end soon — and shares 15 stocks to buy ahead of the rebound. "We're getting stronger in the places that matter most. And even in the midst of disruption, we are on the offense," CEO John Donahoe said in a Tuesday earnings call, according to a transcript provided by Sentieo. Addressing the company's plan to source more sales from online operations, Donahoe deemed digital retail "the new normal." "The consumer today is digitally grounded and simply will not revert back," he added. Matthew Friend, Nike's chief financial officer, issued new fiscal 2021 guidance on the call. The company expects revenue to land in the high single-digits to low double-digits compared to fiscal 2020. The forecast arrives as most firms refrain from issuing such projections. Though Nike's supply chain is still healing, "stronger-than-anticipated demand" will lift sales and drive "significantly" greater growth in the second half, Friend said. The fiscal first-quarter metrics mark a sharp rebound from Nike's previous earnings report. The company reported an unexpected quarterly loss of $790 million after the pandemic roiled in-store sales and prompted an inventory glut from shuttered outlets. Nike closed at $116.87 per share on Tuesday, up 16% year-to-date. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: S&P 500 snaps 4-day losing streak as investors rush back to tech giants Bearish stock bets surge the most since March as volatility emboldens short-sellers Wondering whether to go long on growth or value stocks? JP Morgan's take on EPS estimates could help answer the question. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
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US stocks were mixed on Wednesday as positive retail earnings faced off against renewed trade concerns....US stocks were mixed on Wednesday as positive retail earnings faced off against renewed trade concerns. The S&P 500 edged higher to a new intraday record a day after closing at an all-time high on Tuesday. Better-than-expected earnings from Target and Lowe's propped up the benchmark index. Investors also weighed signs of mild stimulus progress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Tuesday that Democrats may nix some facets of their proposal to expedite a relief package and reconsider passing those elements after November's elections. Oil slightly declined as new virus outbreaks abroad stoked demand worries. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped as much as 1.1%, to $42.37 per barrel. Watch major indexes update live here. US equities traded mixed on Wednesday as optimism toward strong earnings butted heads with renewed trade tensions. The S&P 500 edged higher to a new intraday record a day after closing at an all-time high on Tuesday. In a reversal from recent trends, the Nasdaq composite lagged its peers as tech shares underperformed cyclical plays. Retail stocks were boosted by strong earnings from Target and Lowe's. The former leaped after beating Wall Street estimates and reporting record same-store sales growth. Lowe's similarly gained after growing interest in do-it-yourself projects drove 30% revenue growth. Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Wednesday: S&P 500: 3,395.25, up 0.2% Dow Jones industrial average: 27,823.58, up 0.2% (46 points) Nasdaq composite: 11,226.35, up 0.1% Read more: Jefferies says buy these 7 back-to-school stocks for big returns with much of the US going remote Investors also mulled new signs of progress in reaching a second stimulus deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Tuesday that Democrats may cut down its fiscal relief proposal to speed up negotiations. Additional measures removed from the smaller bill would be reassessed after November's elections, she added Republican leaders also hinted at a resumption of talks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Pelosi's decision to strike $25 billion in post office funding was enough to restart negotiations. The Senate remains in recess until September but could reconvene should lawmakers reach a compromise. Hopes for an expedited deal were somewhat offset by fears of schools and colleges starting new terms as virus cases remain elevated. Multiple universities have already pivoted to fully online classes after on-campus coronavirus outbreaks. Experts worry some schools' lax enforcement of social distancing measures could fuel a new wave of virus hotspots throughout the US. Read more: A $5 billion chief market strategist shares 5 post-pandemic stocks to buy now for gains as COVID-19 cases level off — and 2 big-tech winners to start cashing out of Wednesday's session comes after the S&P 500 closed just above its last all-time high on Tuesday. The new record follows the index's multiple attempts in recent weeks to retrace its virus-driven losses. In deal news, Momenta Pharmaceuticals soared higher after the biotech company agreed to a $6.5 billion acquisition from Johnson & Johnson. The deal values Momenta shares at a 70% premium and is expected to close in the second half of 2020, according to a press release. Oil declined as global virus cases increased and stoked concerns of lasting demand weakness. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.1%, to $42.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, slid 1.3% to $44.88, at intraday lows. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: Inside Eagle Investors, the 20,000-member online community run by 2 Indiana University students that's helping spearhead the Gen Z day-trading revolution Monopolies drive income inequality, financial instability, and debt growth, Fed economists say A disputed US presidential election would fuel wild stock market volatility and possibly boost gold, UBS saysJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
Walmart reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday that crushed Wall Street's estimates, boosted by a huge surge...Walmart reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday that crushed Wall Street's estimates, boosted by a huge surge in ecommerce. Shares of Walmart climbed as much as 6% in premarket trading Tuesday before paring those gains to trade lower. Walmart's ecommerce sales soared 97% in the second quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic boosted online shopping. Watch Walmart trade live on Markets Insider. Read more on Business Insider. Shares of Walmart surged as much as 6% in premarket trading Tuesday before paring those gains to trade lower. The whipsaw in trading comes after the company reported quarterly earnings that crushed Wall Street's estimates. Here are the key numbers: Adjusted earnings per share: $1.56 reported, versus $1.25 (expected) Revenue: $137.74 billion reported, versus $135.5 billion (expected) In addition to the revenue beat, Walmart's ecommerce sales soared 97% in the second quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic boosted online shopping. US same-store sales also grew by 9.3% in the quarter, driven by general merchandise and food purchases. Sam's Club had a solid quarter, with same-store sales up 13%, even though reduced tobacco sales weighed on the figure, the company said in a press release. Ecommerce at Sam's jumped 39%, and growth in membership was the highest quarterly increase in more than five years. Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales increased, largely due to spending the company has done to address COVID-19. Walmart has hired hundreds of thousands of workers amid the pandemic to stock shelves, clean its stores, and fulfill online orders. The big-box retailer did not provide guidance for the rest of the year, given the uncertainty of the pandemic. It first withdrew its guidance in the first quarter. Walmart has gained 14% year-to-date through Monday's close. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
Microsoft's Azure cloud business just showed accelerated growth for the first time in years as it takes on Amazon Web Services
Microsoft's Azure cloud computing business grew faster this quarter than last quarter. It's the first time...Microsoft's Azure cloud computing business grew faster this quarter than last quarter. It's the first time Azure's quarterly revenue growth rate has increased in years. The increase was a very modest three percentage points, but any increase is significant as industry watchers looks for indications Microsoft is gaining traction in the cloud market over dominant Amazon Web Services. However, Microsoft still does not break out specific revenue figures for Azure. Click here to read more BI Prime stories. For the first time in years, Microsoft's cloud computing business grew faster during the company's most recent quarter than in the quarter before. The company released fiscal second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, reported a 62 percent increase in Azure revenue growth compared to the same quarter last year. The growth rate is up from Azure's 59 percent growth rate last quarter. While a three-percentage-point increase is very modest, it's the first increase in Azure's growth rate in many quarters and significant as the cloud computing industry watches for signs of Microsoft's growing traction. Azure revenue has been falling consistently since after October 2017 earnings release when the company reported a 98% Azure growth rate (subsequent growth rates were 93%, 76%, 76%, 73% and finally 59% last quarter before jumping to 62% this quarter). Even as growth slowed, Wall Street seemed unfazed. Analysts told Business Insider they chalk it up to the "law of large numbers." Basically, the bigger these platforms get, the harder it is to post the triple-digit growth figures that they did when the platforms were younger. Amazon Web Services has seen its revenue growth slow too, for largely the same reasons. Microsoft's cloud business is closely watched, particularly after the company scored a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract over AWS. The contract didn't begin within the quarter, but the most bullish analysts on Microsoft expected it to lead to business elsewhere and even said Microsoft could erode AWS market share as a result. AWS disagrees, to say the least. The company is challenging the Pentagon's contract decision based on the premise AWS technology is so superior to Microsoft that the decision much has included political interference. Microsoft has repeatedly said it believes it won on its own merits. Microsoft handily beat Wall Street expectations when the company released fiscal second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, reporting a $11.6 billion profit on earnings of $36.9 billion revenue. Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at email@example.com, message her on Twitter @ashannstew, or send her a secure message through Signal at 425-344-8242.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Behind the scenes with Shepard Smith — the Fox News star who just announced his resignation from the network