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Trending tickers: Amazon | Numis | Pearson | Sony

A look at the stocks making headlines this Friday

In this Oct. 18, 2010 photo, an Amazo n.com package awaits delivery from UPS in Palo Alto, Calif. Amazon.com Inc. reports third-quarter financial results Thursday, Oct. 21, after the market close.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Amazon has continued the run of positive US tech profits. Photo: Paul Sakuma/AP

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon said sales climbed by 9% in the first quarter of the year to $127.4bn (£102bn), above the company’s own financial forecasts.

It recorded a profit of $3.2bn, compared to a $3.8bn loss in the same period a year ago. At 31 cents per share, it was the company’s strongest quarterly profit since 2021.

Amazon shares jumped by more than 4% in after-hours trading as the figures beat expectations.

The swing to a profit comes as the e-commerce company ramped up its cost-cutting measures in recent months. The company announced two rounds of layoffs that will affect 27,000 workers, cancelled products and nixed physical store expansions.

Operating income margins rose to 3.7%, up from 3.2% a year ago and above forecasts for 2.7%. For the current quarter, Amazon said it expects revenue between $127bn and $133bn, compared to analysts’ estimates of $130bn.

However, the company reported a slowdown in its powerhouse cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Chief executive Andy Jassy said companies were “spending more cautiously in this macro environment”.

Read more: Stocks that are trending today

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould, said: “The excitement proved as short-lived as that of a typical toddler with a birthday present though, as attention shifted to slowing growth for its Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform.

“The reaction, which wiped out all the early gains and more, showed just how important the cloud division is to Amazon. This is both the most profitable part of the business and the fastest growing — it’s the one which tends to excite institutional investors.”

Numis (NUM.L)

Numis surged 67.40% after Deutsche Bank (DBK.DE) said it would buy one of the City of London's best-known boutique investment banks for about £410m.

The 350 pence-per-share, all-cash offer represents a premium of 72% to Numis stock's Thursday close. Numis said it considered the terms "fair and reasonable."

Deutsche Bank warned some jobs could be lost, while adding that these cuts are “not expected to be material”.

Fabrizio Campelli, Deutsche Bank’s head of corporate bank and investment banking, said the lender had been looking for a way to get closer to the UK’s biggest companies for some time.

“We have been evaluating how to accelerate the growth of our business in the UK and, as a leading UK franchise with a long history of successfully delivering superior client service and growth, Numis represents a compelling strategic fit,” he said.

Read more: FTSE and European markets higher amid run of positive US tech profits

“The combination enables us to realise greater revenue opportunities across our shared client base and to deepen our engagement with UK corporates,” he added.

Pearson

Pearson (PSON.L) rose 3.30% after the education group said it was on track to meet its annual guidance, and also deliver £120m of cost efficiencies this year.

The educational publisher said reported sales had grown by 2% across the business. However, excluding a unit that it has agreed to sell and the hit from running a strategic review, sales were up 6%.

Andy Bird, Pearson's chief executive, said: “Pearson has had a strong start to the year with results ahead of our expectations.”

Assessment & Qualifications sales grew 6%, English Language Learning sales increased 66%, Workforce Skills sales grew 8%, but Virtual Learning sales decreased 14% and Higher Education sales were down 5%.

Read more: FTSE 100: NatWest profits surge on the back of higher interest rates

The business announced plans to launch a £300m share buyback programme in the second half of the year.

HONG KONG, CHINA - 2021/01/21: Japanese video gaming system brand by Sony Computer Entertainment, PlayStation, logo is seen at its official store in Hong Kong. (Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Sony said it sold 19.1 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the financial year. Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty

Sony (6758.T)

Sony posted annual profits thanks to a strong performance in its music and computer chips businesses, even as it predicted that profits would dip in the current year.

The Playstation maker reported record full-year sales of 11.5trn yen (£68bn), attributing the "significant" increase to growth in the gaming, music, film and image-sensor sectors.

The revenue figure was the largest ever for the Japanese conglomerate, beating the last financial year's record of 9.9trn yen.

The Japanese tech company expects operating profit in the year to 31 March to fall 3.2% to 1.17tn yen ($8.65bn).

Sony said it sold 19.1 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the financial year, beating its own forecast of 18 million.

Watch: Amazon's Q1 earnings call: What Wall Street is concerned about

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