Here we go! Earnings season is underway

By CNN Business

Updated 6:33 a.m. ET, May 6, 2021
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10:38 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

America's addiction to Funyuns is helping Pepsi rake in a massive profit

From CNN Business' Danielle Wiener-Bronner


America's appetite for Funyuns helped boost PepsiCo's sales in the first quarter.

The snacks and beverage giant reported net revenue growth of 6.8% in the 12 weeks that ended on March 20 compared to the same period last year. That's a pretty good showing, given the pantry loading frenzy that took hold of Americans around this time last year.

What's behind the sales boost? PepsiCo's strategic acquisitions and people's love for snacks, among other things.

Lay's had low-single digit growth, the company said Thursday. Tostitos and Doritos grew in the mid-single digits, while Ruffles delivered high-single digits sales growth during the quarter.

But the small and mighty Funyuns brand posted double-digit growth, as did Off The Eaten Path, which has veggie puffs and hummus crisps.

PepsiCo also called out its Doritos 3D Crunch and Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix as growth drivers. Some of its beverages, like Bubly and ready-to-drink coffee beverages it sells in partnership with Starbucks, also delivered high growth during the quarter.

10:14 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

BlackRock now manages more than $9 trillion in assets

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The stock market boom is sweet music to the ears of BlackRock investors and executives: The world's largest money manager reported strong earnings and revenue that topped forecasts on Thursday.

BlackRock now manages more than $9 trillion for clients around the globe, with more than $2.8 trillion of that total invested in exchange-traded funds. BlackRock runs the popular iShares family of ETFs.

Shares of BlackRock (BLK) rose more than 2% on the news, hitting a new record high in the process.

CEO Larry Fink, who wrote about stepping up the company's diversity and ESG efforts in his most recent annual shareholder letter, said in the BlackRock earnings release that the company's “deep sense of responsibility to help more and more people experience financial well-being has guided significant investments in our business over time."

Fink added that BlackRock plans "to stay ahead of clients’ needs," and will continue to focus on "sustainable investing" strategies.

Fink isn't just talking a good game, either. Investors clearly want what BlackRock is selling. Fink noted that BlackRock brought in $172 billion in new client money during the first quarter — a record for BlackRock that also marked the fourth consecutive quarter in which inflows exceeded $100 billion.

10:05 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

Why Citi’s consumer bank is quitting China and a dozen other markets

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Citigroup’s consumer banking business is exiting Australia, China, India, Russia and nine other markets around the world to focus its resources elsewhere.

The decision, the first major strategic move by new CEO Jane Fraser, marks a significant shift for Citi (C) , which historically has had the largest global footprint among big US banks.

Fraser, who is under pressure to boost Citi’s returns, said Citi’s consumer banking franchise in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will operate solely in four wealth centers: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates.

“While the other 13 markets have excellent businesses, we don’t have the scale we need to compete,” Fraser said in a statement Thursday. “We believe our capital, investment dollars and other resources are better deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia.”

The decision means Citi’s consumer business is exiting Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Poland, Korea, Taiwan, Bahrain, Malaysia and Thailand. In total, the 13 markets Citi is leaving brought in $4.2 billion in revenue last year.

Fraser took over for Michael Corbat in a February, making her the first woman to lead a major US bank.

9:46 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

Delta stopped burning through cash in March

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Since the pandemic hit America last March, US airlines have been burning through millions of dollars a day. But for Delta Air Lines, at least, that cash burn finally ended in March.

By last month, Delta was generating positive cash of about $4 million a day, the company said in its quarterly earnings report on Thursday. (The company still logged an average cash burn of $11 million a day throughout Q1.)

Delta also still lost $2.3 billion in the first three months of the year, excluding special items.

Cash generation and cash burn aren't the same thing as profit and loss. There are many expenses — including depreciation on equipment like planes — that don't factor into the cash burn rate.

But being cash flow positive is a critical milestone for a US airline to hit, as they have been burned through so much cash during the last year — forcing them to raise huge amounts of money from Wall Street and slash expenses to ride out the crisis. 

8:47 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

Bed Bath and Beyond earnings disappoint as company looks to a more digital future

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) have fallen some 10% following the company's earnings earlier Wednesday.

The retailer said it will close 200 stores by the end of fiscal 2021 as the company "moves into a digital era," according to its CEO Mark Tritton.

"I think [the pandemic] has both accelerated and complicated our ability to transform," he said on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now.

Bed Bath & Beyond's online sales jumped during the pandemic, but brick and mortar retail looked very different. The pandemic allowed the company to address the number of stores it had.

"We'll continue to look at the profitability of our stores" to create a business for the future, said Tritton, who joined the company in 2019 after stints at Target and Nordstrom.

7:26 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

Goldman Sachs benefits from the market boom

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Happy days are here again on Wall Street — and that's great news for investment banking powerhouse Goldman Sachs.

Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) were up about 4% in early trading Wednesday after the company reported results for the first quarter that easily topped Wall Street forecasts. Goldman Sachs said revenue more than doubled compared to Q1 of last year, to $17.7 billion. The company posted a profit of $6.8 billion.

Goldman Sachs is benefiting from the boom in the stock market and resulting surge in dealmaking activity on Wall Street. The company said it posted a record quarter for revenue in its asset management business as well as for its equity underwriting unit, the division that helps companies go public through initial public offerings (IPOs) and trendy special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transactions.

CEO David Solomon said in the earnings release that the company is helping clients “in preparation for a world beyond the pandemic and a more stable economic environment."

Goldman Sachs shares are now up nearly 30% this year, making it one of the best performers in the Dow. Rival JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which is also in the Dow, and Wells Fargo (WFC) also reported strong earnings Wednesday. But their stocks dipped on concerns about consumer loan growth.

7:26 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

Wells Fargo's profit spikes, but...

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Wells Fargo’s bottom line grew sharply in the first quarter as the resurgent economy eased worries about bad loans. But the bank struggled with subdued interest rates and weak demand for new loans.

Net income surged to $4.7 billion during the first three months of 2021, skyrocketing from just $653 million a year ago. Per-share profit of $1.05 easily beat estimates.

Why the big jump? Much of the credit goes to a $1.6 billion decrease in Wells Fargo’s allowance for credit losses because of “continued improvements in the economic environment.” In other words, the bank was able to cut sharply its cushion for bad loans.

Wells Fargo (WFC) also benefited from the absence of losses linked to its fake-accounts scandal and other legal troubles. In 2020 alone, Wells Fargo reported $2.2 billion in customer “remediation" costs.

It wasn't all great news, however. Wells Fargo’s net interest income, a key driver of profitability, tumbled 22% in the first quarter on low interest rates and “soft demand” for loans. Commercial loans slumped 19%, while consumer lending was down 8%.

Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said the results reflected an “improving US economy,” but acknowledged “low interest rates and tepid loan demand continued to be a headwind for us."

7:25 a.m. ET, April 15, 2021

JPMorgan earnings soar

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Earnings season is underway, and the first signs are positive.

JPMorgan (JPM), America's biggest bank measured by assets, reported $14.3 billion in net income in the first three months of the year, or $4.50 per share. That was up from the fourth quarter net income of $12.1 billion, and nearly five times higher than the net income reported in the same period last year.

The bank's profit was boosted primarily by $5.2 billion of credit reserves it stopped hanging onto as the economy improved and JPMorgan stopped worrying so much about customers defaulting on their loans.

The strong performance was "partially driven by a rapidly improving economy," CEO Jamie Dimon said in the earnings statement.

Despite the better-than-expected performance, the low-interest-rate environment is still leaving its mark on the bank: Net interest income dropped 11% to $13 billion between January and March.

"Home Lending originations were very strong, up 40%, [...] but we expect this to slow with the recent rise in interest rates," Dimon said.

JPMorgan stocks was down 0.7% in premarket trading.

The bank will hold a conference call to discuss its performance later this morning.