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Sunday June 26, 2016



Adobe Announces Record Revenue

Adobe Systems, Inc. (ADBE) announced its second quarter results on Tuesday, June 21. The software company reported record-breaking revenue, but its third quarter financial guidance was below expectations.

The company reported that revenue increased 20% during the quarter to $1.4 billion. This was a new record for Adobe and in line with pre-release expectations.

"Record revenue with strong profit and cash flow highlight our second quarter results," said Adobe Executive Vice President and CFO Mark Garrett. "Based on our first half performance and momentum, we're on track to meet or exceed all of our annual fiscal year 2016 targets."

Adobe reported that adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.71, higher than the forecasted $0.68 per share. During the same period last year, adjusted earnings per share were $0.48.

While Adobe's latest earnings report gave investors a lot to be happy about, they were disappointed in the company's guidance for the upcoming quarter. Analysts estimated revenue to be $1.47 billion and earnings per share to be $0.71. Instead, Adobe announced a range of $1.42 to $1.47 billion for revenue and $0.69 to $0.75 for earnings per share. Following the earnings release, the software company's shares fell more than 4%.

Adobe Systems, Inc. (ADBE) shares ended the week at $92.20, down 5% for the week.

Sonic's Profit Tops Estimates

Sonic Corp. (SONC) released its third quarter results on Thursday, June 23. The drive-in restaurant chain reported a profit that topped analysts' estimates.

The company reported that revenue was $165.2 million, slightly below expectations of $167.5 million. Same-store sales during the quarter increased 2%.

"Although consumer trends slowed somewhat in April and May, our business performed well during the quarter overall, generating 2.0% same-store sales growth for the system and adjusted earnings per share growth of 19%," said Sonic Corp. CEO Cliff Hudson. "While the consumer environment has weakened, Sonic remains focused on delivering one of the most differentiated customer experiences in the quick service industry."

Sonic reported that net income during the quarter was $15.4 million, or $0.43 per share on an adjusted basis. This beat estimates for adjusted earnings per share of $0.42.

Despite Sonic's strong earnings, investors were underwhelmed by the company's fiscal guidance for the rest of the year. The company previously expected same-store sales to increase close to 6% for the year, but revised that estimate down to 2% to 4% after assessing its third quarter results. In reaction, Sonic's shares fell 9.1%.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) shares ended the week at $27.56, down 9.7% for the week.

Barnes & Noble Announces New Store Concept

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) announced its fourth quarter and year-end results on Wednesday, June 22. While the book retailer's numbers were down compared to the prior year, investors were excited about the company's new restaurant concept stores.

The company reported that quarterly and annual sales fell 3.7% and 3.1% to $877 million and $4.16 billion, respectively. Comparable store sales fell 0.8% during the quarter but were flat for the full year.

"As we look ahead to fiscal 2017 and beyond, we are focusing on executing a number of initiatives to grow bookstore and online sales, reduce Retail and NOOK expenses and grow our Membership base," said Barnes & Noble CEO Ron Boire. "We are also excited about our plans to open four new concept stores opening later this year, beginning with the first store opening this October in Eastchester, NY."

Barnes & Noble reported a quarterly net loss of $30.6 million or $0.42 per share. On a full-year basis, the company's net earnings were $14.7 million or $0.05 per share.

Barnes & Noble's business has been in transition since digital books began to grow in popularity several years ago. During that time, digital book sales grew from $400 million in 2010 to $3 billion in 2013, plateauing since then. In an effort to attract more customers to its stores, Barnes & Noble announced plans to test a new store concept that would include restaurants serving beer and wine. The company also announced that it expects losses from its Nook e-reader business to shrink from $98.6 million last year to $10 million in fiscal 2018. Barnes & Noble's shares are up 29% for the year.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) shares ended the week at $11.28, relatively unchanged for the week.

The Dow started the week of 6/20 at 17,737 and closed at 17,400 on 6/24. The S&P 500 started the week at 2,076 and closed at 2,037. The NASDAQ started the week at 4,857 and closed at 4,708.

Brexit Results in Flight to Treasuries

U.S. Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels of the year on Friday, June 24 following Great Britain's vote—popularly called "Brexit"—to leave the European Union. The vote disturbed global financial markets and produced even greater doubts about the prospects for global economic growth.

Many experts and polls predicted that British citizens would choose to remain part of the European Union leading up to the Thursday, June 23 vote. When the dust settled early Friday morning, the U.K. had chosen to leave the EU by a 4% margin. Some experts believe the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU will have negative economic consequences around the world.

In response to these economic concerns, investors sought the safety of U.S. government debt. As of Thursday, the benchmark 10-year yield was 1.741%. During early Friday trading it fell as low as 1.419%, close to its record low of 1.404% from July 2012.

The U.K.'s unexpected decision to leave the EU has created uncertainty as to what effects it will have going forward. "The big concern now is does this eventually lead to the disintegration of the EU, do other nations look to exit the EU as well and what impact does that have on global growth?" said Larry Milstein, head of government and agency trading at R.W.

One thing is certain: very few experts and investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates any time soon. Interest rate futures—a popular measure of future Fed policy decisions—show zero chance of a rate increase in July and only a 13% chance of a rate increase by December.

The 10-year Treasury note yield finished the week of 6/20 at 1.58%, while the 30-year Treasury note yield was 2.43%.

Mortgage Rates See Little Change

Freddie Mac released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) on Thursday, June 23. The report revealed interest rates hovering near the same rates as the prior week.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.56% this week. This represents an increase from last week when it averaged 3.54%. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.02%.

This week, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.83%. This was up from last week when it averaged 2.81%. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.21% one year ago.

"Mortgage rates have been slow to adjust to the 10-year Treasury yield, which has increased 12 basis points since last week," said Sean Becketti, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. "This week's survey shows the 30-year fixed rate inching up to 3.56%, only 2 basis points above last week's average. The low rates continue to be good news for the housing market, as existing home sales rose 1.8% to a 5.53 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in the month of May—the highest level since February 2007."

Based on published national averages, the money market account finished the week of 6/20 at 0.54%. The 1-year CD finished at 1.10%.

Published June 24, 2016

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