Meta Surges in Premarket; McDonald's, Merck, Qualcomm All Rise

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Meta Surges in Premarket; McDonald's, Merck, Qualcomm All Rise

By Geoffrey Smith -- Stocks in focus in premarket on Thursday, 28th April. Please refresh for updates.

  • Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB ) rose 14.3% after the owner of Facebook indicator reported a surprisingly large gain in users in the quarter, suggesting that Instagram Reels is holding its own in competition with TikTok. Slowing revenue growth and a big loss on developing ‘Metaverse’ themed products were, apparently, fully priced in.
  • Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) stock rose 6.2% after the chipmaker beat forecasts with its quarterly numbers and raised its guidance. Sales were particularly strong in the mobile phone segment. Overnight, Qualcomm’s big customer Samsung (KS: 005930 ) had also reported its strongest March quarter since 2018.
  • Ford Motor (NYSE: F ) stock rose 1.9% after upholding its full-year guidance in the face of worsening problems with global supply chains. Its quarterly results were stamped by a big negative mark-to-market on its stake in Rivian. The same factor will likely be reflected in Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN ) earnings after the bell. Adjusted earnings per share were 38c, 1 cent ahead of forecasts, while revenue from vehicle sales was also a fraction ahead.
  • Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) stock fell 2.2% after the maker of heavy equipment cut its outlook for the full year due to the uncertain economic picture in China. The company, which is widely seen as a rough proxy for global business investment, reported earnings per share some 10% ahead of expectations.
  • Merck (NYSE: MRK ) stock rose 1.8% after the pharma company said it generated $3.2 billion in sales with its COVID-19 antiviral pill in the quarter. It raised its full-year earnings per share forecast to a range around $7.30, from a previous range around $7.15.
  • PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL ) stock rose 2.8% despite the payments company cutting its full-year guidance. Analysts said the worst of its downward revisions was now likely behind it.
  • McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD ) stock rose 1.3% after the burger chain said global comparable sales rose 11.8% in the first quarter, a reflection of easing COVID-19 controls worldwide. U.S. sales rose 3.5%, while adjusted earnings per share came in some 5% ahead of expectations at $2.28.
  • Unilever (LON: ULVR ) (NYSE: UL ) ADRs fell 0.7% after the U.K.-based consumer group warned of rising cost inflation in the second half of this year. Its first quarter sales grew 7.3% as it raised the prices of everything from shampoo to noodles and cleaning fluids. Sales by volume fell 1%.
  • Altria (NYSE: MO ) stock fell 2.5% after missing revenue forecasts for the first quarter.

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