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Roche Confirms 2020 Outlook Despite Decrease in Sales
Topic of the day
Roche Holding AG said Thursday morning that sales in the period from January to September fell on year, but it backed its outlook for 2020. Sales at the Swiss pharmaceutical major were 43.98 billion Swiss francs ($48.15 billion) for the period, down from CHF46.07 billion in the same period last year, the company said. The diagnostics division boosted company sales, particularly in the third quarter, driven by PCR tests for Covid-19. The company expects sales to grow in the low-to-mid-single digit range in 2020, it said, confirming its previous outlook. Roche also said that it plans to further increase its dividend in 2020.
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The SMI closed down 0.4 percent on 10,293 points Wednesday. Surging coronavirus infection numbers in many countries, including Switzerland, and news that Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson paused final stage studies of a coronavirus vaccine or drug on safety concerns, dampened sentiment. Heavyweight Nestle fell 0.9 percent, Roche and Novartis slid by 0.3 percent each. Alcon bucked the trend to gain 0.9 percent. Analysts said Johnson & Johnson’s financial report let them draw positive conclusions for Alcon. Credit Suisse (CS) has hired Christian Meissner to run a new unit to dovetail investment banking and wealth management. Meissner resigned from Julius Baer’s Board of Directors. CS slid 1 percent, Julius Baer 0.9 percent, but traders ascribed this more to the Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo financials released Wednesday. Second-tier stock Polyphor climbed 7.6 percent on getting additional subsidies. SHL rose 11.3 percent on news of a collaboration with the US Mayo Clinic.
European stocks trade mixed as worries about coronavirus lockdowns dampen positive sentiment surrounding US bank earnings, with the Dow falling 0.5%. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropping 0.09%, the FTSE 100 down 0.6% and the CAC-40 retreats 0.1%. Still, the DAX edges slightly higher and markets in the Nordics, Spain and Italy also rise. L'Oreal SA said Wednesday that Nicolas Hieronimus would succeed Jean-Paul Agon as chief executive effective May 1, 2021. "As the company's articles of association do not provide for any exception to the legal retirement age of 65 years, Jean-Paul Agon must hand over his duties as chief executive officer before July 2021," it said. The French cosmetics and consumer-products company said the board plans to renew Mr. Agon's mandate as chairman, a position he's held since 2011. Electricite de France SA on Wednesday upgraded its estimated nuclear output in France for the year to around 325-335 terawatt hours. The upgrade for 2020 comes in light of current progress in its maintenance schedule, the French energy company said. Previously in July, as part of its first-half results, EDF said its estimated nuclear output in France would be 315 tWh-325 tWh for 2020. Airbus SE said Wednesday that it has received an order for four A320neo aircraft from SKY express airline. The European plane maker didn't disclose financial details of the contract with the Greek airline.
U.S. stocks fell again Wednesday, giving up earlier gains, as investors parsed earnings reports and the latest developments on lawmakers haggling on coronavirus aid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 165 points, or 0.5%, as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York, while the S&P 500 declined 0.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.8%.Goldman Sachs' 3Q profit nearly doubled, the latest confirmation that, even in a pandemic and a recession, Wall Street is doing fine. Profits of $3.62B, or $9.68 a share, on revenue of $10.78B, beat both 2019's figures and the expectations of stock analysts. Trading and underwriting revenue soared, and Goldman's own portfolio of equity stakes rose alongside the stock market. Four of the six biggest US banks have reported earnings so far, and all of them remain profitable in the biggest economic downturn since the 2008 crisis that crippled them. Shares of Bank of America Corp. dropped Wednesday, after the bank reported a better-than-expected profit but revenue that fell more than forecast, while providing an upbeat outlook for net interest income next year.
Japanese stocks were down today, weighed on by falls in electronics and bank stocks as the yen strengthened amid continuing global economic uncertainty. South Korea's Kospi was lower as well, dragged by technology and internet stocks. A delay in new U.S. stimulus and resurgence in coronavirus cases in South Korea were weighing on sentiment. Big Hit Entertainment, the manager of K-pop boy band BTS, was 12% higher, paring earlier gains which reached the daily limit of 30% upon its South Korean market debut. Hong Kong shares were lower in morning trade as the market continued to pull back from recent gains. Chinese stocks closed lower , tracking regional markets as overnight weakness in the U.S. market weighed. The ChiNext Price Index, which measures the performance of emerging industries and startups, was down 0.4% at 2754.64.
Investors turned to bonds Wednesday, sending the 10-year Treasury yield down for the second day in a row, to 0.721%, the lowest level since October 2. Quarterly corporate earnings and negotiations around new fiscal stimulus that have dragged on in Washington, have kept the benchmark yield in the center of a 0.91%-0.51% range since April.
UBS rises the Intel target to 67 (64) USD – Buy
CS rises the Gerresheimer target to 104 (103) EUR – Outperf.
IR rises the ASML target to 285 (270) EUR – Sell
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