• Boeing Co. (BA) reported a wider than expected first-quarter loss on Wednesday and took another charge on its program to build two new Air Force One presidential planes after firing a contractor it hired to help perform the work. The company did not provide a timetable for fixing the latest problem with its 737 Max jet, an electrical issue that has forced airlines to park about 100 of the planes. The combination of self-inflicted damage and a coronavirus pandemic that has depressed demand for new planes pushed Boeing to its sixth straight quarterly loss. Boeing lost $561 million — $537 million attributable to shareholders. Revenue was roughly in line with Wall Street forecasts as the company generated cash by delivering more new airliners than it did a year ago. Excluding one-time items, Boeing’s loss was $1.53 per share. Analysts expected a loss of 97 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey. The loss was smaller than the $628 million loss Boeing reported a year earlier. In the first quarter of pre-pandemic 2019, the company earned $2.15 billion on revenue of $22.92 billion.
• Google’s (GOOG) digital advertising network has shifted back into high gear, with its corporate parent reporting profit that more than doubled after an unprecedented setback during the early stages of the pandemic. The robust first-quarter advertising growth announced on Tuesday provides the latest sign that advertisers are expecting the economy to roar back to life. That is particularly true in the travel industry, a key part of the ad market that drastically curtailed its spending last year after governments around the world imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Google’s sales surged 32% from the same time last year to nearly $45 billion during the January-March period. It’s the third consecutive quarter of accelerating ad growth for Google following an 8% decline during last year’s April-June period. That marked the first time Google’s quarterly ad revenue had fallen from the previous year since the company went public in 2004. The resurgence enabled Alphabet to easily surpass the analyst estimates that help set investor expectations. The Mountain View, California, company earned $17.9 billion, or $26.29 per share, more than double what it reported the same time last year. Total revenue, which also includes Google’s cloud-hosting service and device sales, climbed 34% from last year. Google’s YouTube video site remains one of the company’s fastest rising stars, with ad revenue increasing 49% from last year to $6 billion.
• Microsoft’s (MSFT) profits soared during the first three months of 2021, thanks to ongoing demand for its software and cloud computing services during the pandemic. The company on Tuesday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $14.8 billion, up 38% from the same period last year. Net income of $1.95 per share beat Wall Street expectations. Analysts were expecting Microsoft to earn $1.78 per share on revenue of $41 billion for the fiscal quarter ending in March, according to FactSet. The software maker based in Redmond, Washington, posted revenue of $41.7 billion in the January-March period, up 19% from last year. Its cloud computing business segment grew 23% to $15.1 billion. Microsoft’s personal computing business segment grew by 19% to $13 billion.
• Shopify Inc. (SHOP) on Wednesday reported first-quarter net income of $1.26 billion, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the Ottawa, Ontario-based company said it had net income of $9.94. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $2.01 per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate for earnings of 78 cents per share. Shopify shares have increased 2% since the beginning of the year.
• Sony’s (SONY) January-March profit zoomed eight-fold to 107 billion yen ($982 million) from a year earlier as people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic turned to the Japanese electronics and entertainment company’s video games and other visual content. Sony Corp. reported a record profit of 1.17 trillion yen ($11 billion) for the fiscal year that ended March 31, roughly doubling from 582 billion yen the previous fiscal year. Tokyo-based Sony’s quarterly sales rose 27% from 1.7 trillion yen to 2.2 trillion yen ($20 billion). Sony had reported a January-March profit of 12.6 billion yen last year.
• Deutsche Bank (DB) saw its strongest quarterly profits in seven years as the bank’s long-running restructuring achieved lower costs and as the bank suffered fewer loan losses in an economy that is rebounding from the worst of the pandemic recession. Profit attributable to Deutsche Bank shareholders was 908 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the first three months of the year. That compared with a loss of 43 million euros in the year-earlier period. The bank said it had reduced its cost base for 13 straight quarters and cut its internal workforce to 84,400, down by 2,300 from a year ago.
The Associated Press