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Thursday July 25, 2024



BuzzFeed Earnings Report

BuzzFeed, Inc (BZFD) released its fourth quarter and full-year earnings on Monday, March 25. The American digital media company's stock fell almost 4% following the release of the report.

Revenue for the fourth quarter declined to $75.7 million, a decrease of 26% from $101.7 million in the same quarter last year. For the full year, the company reported revenue of $252.7 million, down 26% from $342.6 million in the previous fiscal year.

"Three months into 2024, it is clear BuzzFeed and digital media are at an inflection point," said BuzzFeed CEO, Jonah Peretti. "We have restructured our business to focus on our scalable, high-margin, and tech-led revenue streams. We are leveraging AI tools to optimize our owned and operated platforms, accelerate innovation, and make our sites and apps more engaging, more personalized and more rewarding for all. Despite challenges over the past year, I am optimistic about BuzzFeed's trajectory in 2024. I believe we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to build the defining media company for the AI era."

BuzzFeed reported a quarterly net income of $3.5 million for the quarter, an improvement from a net loss of $60.7 million during the same quarter last year. For the full year, the company reported a full-year net loss of $60.3 million, an improvement from a net loss of $140.5 million in 2022.

BuzzFeed's Advertising segment revenue decreased 25% over the prior year's quarter to $31.9 million. The company also saw a decline in Content revenue, down 34% year-over-year to $27.0 million in the fourth quarter. Commerce and other revenues fell 8% year-over-year to $16.7 million. Time spent, which measures the amount of time audiences spend viewing content owned by Buzzfeed, declined 12% year-over-year to 72 million hours. For the first quarter of 2024, Buzzfeed expects revenue to be between $42 million to $44 million.

Buzzfeed, Inc. (BZFD) shares ended the week at $0.47, up 23.7% for the week.

McCormick Announces Earnings

McCormick & Co. Inc. (MKC) announced its first quarter results on Tuesday, March 26. The company reported increased sales and income that surpassed expectations, causing shares to increase by over 10% following the earnings report's release.

The company reported net sales of $1.60 billion for the first quarter, up almost 2% from $1.57 billion during the same quarter last year. This was well above analysts' estimates of $1.55 billion.

"We are pleased to start the year with strong first quarter performance, which reflects the early success of our prioritized investments to drive impactful results," said McCormick & Co. Inc. CEO, Brendan M. Foley. "We drove sequential improvement in volumes in our Consumer and Flavor Solutions segments. We remain confident in the sustained trajectory of our business, and in our ability to deliver on our 2024 outlook and our long-term financial objectives."

For the quarter, the company reported net income of $166.0 million or $0.62 per diluted share. This is up from net income of $139.1 million or $0.52 per diluted share last year at this time.

The Hunt Valley, Maryland-based spice company reported a 1% increase in sales in its Consumer segment. Consumer segment sales in its Americas region remained relatively unchanged in the quarter and sales in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region increased by 13%. Consumer segment sales in the Asia-Pacific region decreased by 7% which reflected a slower-than-anticipated product demand in China. The company's Flavor Solutions segment saw year-over-year growth with a 4% increase in sales which McCormick attributed to a 2% increase in pricing. For fiscal 2024, the company expects sales to be between a 2% decrease to remaining flat and adjusted earnings per share to be between $2.80 to $2.85.

McCormick & Co. Inc. (MKC) shares ended the week at $76.81, up 9.3% for the week.

Cintas Releases Earnings

Cintas Corporation (CTAS), a uniform rental and cleaning supply company, released its third quarter earnings on Wednesday, March 27. The company reported increased revenue and income, resulting in its stock rising almost 8% following the release of the report.

Revenue for the first quarter reached $2.41 billion, up almost 10% from revenue of $2.19 billion reported during the same quarter last year. This surpassed analysts' expected revenue of $2.39 billion.

"Our third quarter results reflect the outstanding dedication and execution of our employees, whom we call partners," said Cintas' CEO, Todd Schneider. "Each of our operating segments continue to execute at a high level, which led to robust revenue growth of 9.9%, record high gross margin of 49.4%, record high operating margin of 21.6% and diluted EPS growth of 22.3%."

Cintas reported quarterly net income of $397.58 million or $3.84 per diluted share. This was up from $325.83 million or $3.14 per diluted share during the same quarter last year.

The company's Uniform Rental and Facility Services segment grew 9.4% year-over-year, reaching $1.9 billion. Organic revenue growth in First Aid and Safety Services was $262.6 million compared to $231.6 million the prior year. During the quarter, Cintas paid dividends totaling $137.6 million to shareholders, an increase of 17.1%. The company updated its full fiscal year guidance and expects revenue to be between $9.57 to $9.60 billion.

Cintas (CTAS) shares closed at $687.03, up 7.4% for the week.

The Dow started the holiday week of 3/25 at 39,411 and closed at 39,807 on 3/28. The S&P 500 started the week at 5,220 and closed at 5,254. The NASDAQ started the week at 16,335 and closed at 16,379.

Treasury Yields Vary

U.S. Treasury yields fluctuated midweek as investors assessed the latest economic data and the effect it may have on economic policy moving forward into 2024. Yields edged higher at the end of the holiday week as the latest unemployment numbers demonstrated a strong labor market.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a given time period, increased 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023. This was above economists' expectations of 3.2% growth.

"While the strong growth to end 2023 was impressive on its own, it also helps explain the economic resilience that we have seen throughout the first quarter, as the positive momentum from the end of last year has carried over into 2024," wrote director of fixed income at Commonwealth Financial Network, Sam Millette. "While economists still expect to see slowing growth in the first quarter compared to the end of last year, slowing growth is still growth and the economic backdrop is expected to remain supportive for markets."

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield opened the week of March 25 at 4.20% and traded as high as 4.28% on Tuesday. The 30-year Treasury bond opened the week at 4.38% and traded as high as 4.44% on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial claims for unemployment decreased by 2,000 to 210,000 for the week ending March 23. Continuing unemployment claims increased 24,000 to 1.82 million.

"We may see initial claims drift a bit higher as the economy slows this year, but we do not expect a major spike because, while we expect the pace of job growth to slow, we do not anticipate large-scale layoffs," noted the lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics, Nancy Vanden Houten.

The 10-year Treasury note yield finished the week of 3/25 at 4.21%, while the 30-year Treasury note yield finished the week at 4.35%.

Mortgage Rates Marginally Fall

Freddie Mac released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, March 28. The survey showed mortgage rates dipping modestly for both the 30-year and 15-year fixed rates.

This week, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.79%, down from last week's average of 6.87%. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.32%.

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.11% this week, down from 6.21% last week. During the same week last year, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 5.56%.

"Mortgage rates moved slightly lower this week, providing a bit more room in the budgets of some prospective homebuyers," said Freddie Mac's Chief Economist, Sam Khater. "We also are seeing encouraging data on existing home sales, which reflects improving inventory. Regardless, rates remain elevated near 7% as markets watch for signs of cooling inflation, hoping that rates will come down further."

Based on published national averages, the savings rate was 0.47% as of 03/18. The one-year CD averaged 1.81%.

Editor's Note: The publicly available financial information is offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends. This article is not an endorsement of any company, product or service.

Published March 29, 2024
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