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Microsoft’s net income rose 33% to $21.9 billion in the three months

Microsoft’s net income rose 33% to $21.9 billion in the three months through December.The company’s Azure cloud business grew 30%, beating analysts’ estimates of 27%. Microsoft said revenue for its fiscal second quarter was $62 billion, up 18% from a year earlier and above analysts’ estimates for 16% growth.

Netflix’s Subscribers, Revenue Surge as It Cracks Down on Password Sharing

The streaming giant added 13.1 million subscribers in the fourth quarter—its strongest final quarter ever for net additions—after attracting 7.7 million new customers during the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased 12.5% from a year earlier, to $8.8 billion in the final quarter of 2023, beating its expectations. Net profit for the period rose to $938 million, missing the company’s forecast of $956 million. Operating margin rose to 16.9% in the quarter from 7% a year earlier, above the 13.3% it projected.

Deutsche Bank Upgrades Snap to Buy, Raises Price Target to $19

Deutsche Bank analyst Benjamin Black upgrades Snap (NYSE:SNAP) from Hold to Buy and raises the price target from $10 to $19. ey factors contributing to DB’s optimistic outlook include the expected revenue boost from Snapchat+, at platform rebuild, Snap’s partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and the inbound advertising from China. “Recent ad checks give credence to a successful ad platform rebuild at SNAP, evidenced by growing purchase-related conversions, which, we believe supported a second sequential quarter of ad-spend acceleration from 3Q23 to 4Q23, and potentially a continued acceleration into 1Q24,” analysts wrote. The bank sees a promising growth path for SNAP, with easier year-over-year comparisons and a boost from Snapchat+ revenue. However, they caution about competition from TikTok and the potential impacts of SNAP's shift towards more lucrative users, which might slow down user growth. “That said, we increase our 2024/25 revenue and 2024/25 EBITDA estimates by 5%/6% and 38%/20%, respectively,” the note says. Along these lines, the team raised the target price for SNAP from $10 to $19, implying over 17% upside from Thursday’s closing price. Deutsche Bank upgrades Snap to Buy on several strong catalysts.

Revenue at TSMC fell 2% year on year

Revenue at the Taiwanese company fell 2% year on year in dollar terms last quarter, while net profit dropped 19%. That brought about a rare 9% decline in TSMC’s full-year revenue. Chip consumers like smartphone and computer makers have been slowly digesting inventories built up at the tail end of the pandemic-era electronics boom. TSMC expects revenue in 2024 to grow more than 20% from last year. The smartphone market has finally started to expand again: Global shipments in the fourth quarter of 2023 grew 8.5% year on year, according to International Data Corporation—compared with a 3.2% decline for the whole of 2023.

UBS has downgraded AstraZeneca as part of its latest review of the European pharmaceutical sector

UBS has downgraded AstraZeneca as part of its latest review of the European pharmaceutical sector "Our key concern is the exposure of the company to US Medicare Part D reform, which slows our sales growth assumptions from 2025. "We see AstraZeneca's oral oncology portfolio as particularly exposed to the requirement for pharma to fund 20% of catastrophic cover from 2025, up from around 2%. "This forced effective price cut, coupled with likely increased PMB formulary pressures, means we are around 5% below consensus core earnings before interest and tax for 2025/26. "On the positive side, our view of probability-adjusted mid-stage pipeline means we are modestly above consensus by 2028/29." This information is only for educational purposes. These information does not contain investment advice or investment recommendation, or an offer or solicitation for a transaction in any financial instrument.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded easyJet to 'buy' from 'underperform'

Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded easyJet on Thursday to 'buy' from 'underperform' and lifted the price target to 640p from 470p on European capacity constraints. The bank said it sees growth benefiting from capacity constraints in Europe, a bigger contribution from the holidays segment and stable ex-fuel unit costs. BofA lifted its FY24 pre-tax profit estimate by 14% to £549m, which is 3% below consensus, as it models 1 percentage point higher year-on-year load factors in FY24E and for cost per seat to remain flat. The price target change comes as the bank moves its valuation to a target price-to-earnings multiple of 11x, applied to its higher earnings estimates. "We move back to a PE methodology as easyJet's earnings and leverage have improved after the pandemic," it said. "At 9x FY24E P/E, the shares trade below their 12x historical average, which we think is unjustified, given solid earnings growth prospects and a strong balance sheet."

Intel made $15.4 billion of sales in the quarter, up from $14 billion

Intel said sales in the division that handles PC chips rose 33% to $8.8 billion in the fourth quarter, as the company’s overall revenue climbed. Intel made $15.4 billion of sales in the quarter, up from $14 billion a year before and better than analysts forecast. Intel also made $2.7 billion of profit, reversing a loss in the year-ago period. Gelsinger said Intel was positioned to grab a bigger part of the AI computing market as the focus shifts away from creating advanced AI systems and toward deploying them.

Deutsche Bank upgrades JPMorgan Chase from Hold to Buy and raises the price target from $140 to $190.

Matt O'Connor admits that he's late to the party in upgrading JPMorgan, he sees the stock benefiting from an upside to net interest income guidance while its peers face downside risk. He expects management will increase its expectation for a reasonable medium-term net interest income run rate from $80B to potentially $84B. In addition, he points to the bank's leverage to a capital markets recovery and its strong capital and loan loss reserve levels. "And while we wouldn't argue JPM shares are cheap, they also aren't expensive at 11.5x our 2024e or just a slight premium to the broader group multiple of 11.0x," O'Connor wrote in a note to clients.

Tesla’s net income more than doubled to $7.9 billion in the fourth quarter

Tesla cautioned that growth is likely to come in lower in 2024 than it did last year without specifying a target. In 2023, its global vehicle deliveries increased 38% over the prior year; and for several years, Tesla had been aiming for 50% annual growth on average. For the fourth quarter, Tesla’s net income more than doubled to $7.9 billion, largely due to a one-time tax benefit. But the company’s income from operations was down 47% from the prior-year period, and its fourth-quarter revenue came in shy of analysts’ expectations. Adjusted earnings per share of 71 cents for the fourth quarter also missed Wall Street’s estimates. Its operating margin improved slightly quarter-over-quarter to 8.2% for the final three months of the year.

JP Morgan from 'overweight' to 'neutral' at WPP

Advertising and media group WPP's share price was being weighed down with a ratings cut by JP Morgan from 'overweight' to 'neutral'. The bank slashed its target price for the stock from 1,170p to just 850p. As part of its 2024 outlook for the listed media sector, JP Morgan said it was maintaining a "defensive bias" amid a slowing macro environment. "The outlook for 2024 is very similar to that 12 months ago. Economies, consumers and earnings were resilient in 2023 and the forecast economic slowdown has been rolled into 2024," the bank said. "We maintain a defensive bias as we start the year as we expect higher inflation and interest rates to finally catch up with consumers and earnings." JP Morgan said it was downgrading WPP due to slowing US macro conditions and share losses. WPP reported in October that group like-for-like revenues were up 1.2% across the first nine months of 2023, as growth in the UK, Western and Continental Europe, and Rest of World divisions was offset a 2.2% LFL slump in North America.

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