Thursday’s Pre-Market: Here’s What You Need To Know Before The Market Opens


After snapping a losing streak on Wednesday, futures tied to the S&P 500 are currently down 0.2%, with Dow futures falling 0.3%. However Nasdaq futures are trading up 0.4%. Investors are keeping an eye out for the weekly US jobless claims report (expected at 846,000 down from 881,000 last week), as well as producer prices for August.

Verint shares are rising about 9.7% in Thursday’s pre-market trading as the software company announced better-than-expected results for the second quarter of fiscal 2021, which ended July 31. “Our cloud-first strategy is working well. In Q2, we delivered strong cloud revenue growth, strong SaaS bookings growth, and an increase in the percentage of our software revenue that is recurring” cheered CEO Dan Bodner.

And RH is surging after the luxury furnishings retailer topped 2Q estimates. RH reported adjusted earnings of $4.90 per share, higher than analysts’ expectations of $3.41 per share. Revenues of $709.3 million came ahead of Street estimates of $707.14 million. “RH’s Q2 update impressed across the board with sharp demand improvement, a 29% EBIT beat and a surprisingly bullish 2H outlook comprised of ~18% sales growth and ~22% EBIT margins” exclaimed Wells Fargo’s Zachary Fadem.

Also in the green is Quest Diagnostics which has just boosted its FY20 Adjusted EPS guidance to $7.50-$9.00 from its previous range of $6.60-$8.60 vs. $8.03. Net revenue is now forecast at $8.4B-$8.8B (vs prior $8.0B-$8.6B vs. $8.55B). Organic testing volumes in its base business (excluding COVID-19 molecular and antibody testing), continued to recover faster than anticipated through the end of August, explains Quest.

Tesla is up 2.5% on reports that it is eyeing an extra 30 acres of land for ‘logistics’ purposes near its planned new German factory, says WirtschaftsWoche. Plus Electrek reports that Tesla is hoping for a “first completion” of Gigafactory Texas in May of next year. Tesla is planning to produce several vehicles at Gigafactory Texas- with the Cybertruck taking center stage.

However shares in GameStop are tumbling 15% this morning after the video gaming rental chain missed 2Q estimates due to lower store base and operating days amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Same-store sales plunged 12.7% year-over-year, with revenue down 27%- but global e-commerce sales spiked by an incredible 800%.

Meanwhile Zscaler delivered stronger-than-expected 4Q results, thanks to the robust demand for cloud-based cybersecurity solutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic-led remote working trend. However shares are trading down 2% in Thursday’s pre-market trading.

Post-print FuelCell is also currently trading 2.3% lower as EPS missed by $0.01, although it delivered a $2.65M revenue beat.

In healthcare news, AstraZeneca has announced that its Fasenra asthma therapy used in the treatment for a chronic inflammatory disease of the nasal passage linings, or sinuses met both co-primary endpoints in a late-stage trial.

Deal or no deal: India’s Reliance Industries is offering to sell a $20 billion stake in its retail arm Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd to Amazon, according to a Bloomberg report. Amazon has shown interest in investing in Reliance Retail but is yet to make a decision.

BP PLC and Equinor have also announced a strategic partnership to develop offshore wind projects in the US. As part of the deal, the UK oil and gas giant will buy a 50% interest in two of Equinor’s US wind assets – the Empire Wind and Beacon – for $1.1 billion.

Finally, the Street is coming out in support of a Tiffany/ LVMH deal, after Tiffany filed a US lawsuit against LVMH to enforce their $16 billion merger agreement. “Considering the deal was initially negotiated in November 2019 (pre-pandemic), the deal could still be finalized, albeit at a lower price,” Guggenheim’s Robert Drbul told investors. “We continue to believe LVMH is the optimal buyer for TIF, and TIF is a logical fit within LVMH’s portfolio of brands.

Similarly, Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel also noted that the latest developments are likely part of an ongoing negotiation. “Our best estimate is that there now exists an 80-85% chance (down from 90%-plus) for a deal to occur at or above an acquisition price of $108/share (vs. a current offer of $135/share)” he wrote.

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