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Barclays Surges with Cost Reductions and Billion-Dollar Shareholder Returns, Capital One Eyes Discover Acquisition, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
February 20 2024 12:35AM

Barclays Plc (NYSE:BCS) – Barclays’ shares jumped after announcing a major cost-cutting campaign and returning £10 billion to shareholders. The bank will reorganize operations and review management positions. Plans include expansion and cost reduction to increase profitability and return on equity. Shares are up 7% in Tuesday’s pre-market.

Capital One (NYSE:COF) – Warren Buffett-backed Capital One plans to acquire Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) in a $35.3 billion stock transaction, aiming to create a global payments giant. The deal will face antitrust scrutiny, promising $2.7 billion in synergies by 2027.

Santander (NYSE:SAN) – Santander announced a $1.57 billion share buyback program and a 50% increase in dividend per share for 2023. The bank will commence the buyback after obtaining regulatory approval, with the average purchase price of shares not exceeding €4.76. The final dividend will be €0.095 per share, totaling €0.176 per share for 2023. After a record profit in 2023, CEO Ana Botín expects a return on tangible equity of 16% in 2024. Botín saw her remuneration for 2023 increase by 4.3% to €12.2 million, reflecting the highest profit ever recorded.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, and hedge funds are positioning to profit from the booming uranium sector. While many banks avoid it, Goldman and Macquarie (ASX:MQG) are boosting physical uranium and options trading, attracting interest due to rising prices and the nuclear energy resurgence.

HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HSBC) – Russian President Vladimir Putin greenlit HSBC’s sale of its Russian unit to Expobank, after months of negotiations. The deal marks HSBC’s exit from the Russian market, following Moscow’s increasing restrictions on foreign asset sales, requiring presidential approval.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) – Vestas Wind Systems A/S sold its 12.5% stake in Africa’s largest wind farm, Lake Turkana Wind Power, to a fund managed by BlackRock Inc. The deal’s value was not disclosed, part of BlackRock’s larger plan to acquire 31.25% of the 310-megawatt facility.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to expand its artificial intelligence and cloud infrastructure in Spain with a $2.1 billion investment over two years. This initiative follows a similar €3.2 billion investment in Germany, demonstrating a long-term commitment to the country.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the European Union plans to fine Apple approximately €500 million for alleged competition law violations. The European Commission has accused Apple of distorting competition in the music streaming market through the App Store rules.

Embraer (NYSE:ERJ) – Embraer downplays the impacts of Pratt & Whitney engine issues, highlighting a close relationship. Commercial Director Martyn Holmes praised Pratt & Whitney’s efforts to resolve issues, expressing confidence in problem resolution.

JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) – JetBlue Airways’ shares rose 2.5% in Tuesday’s pre-market after activist investor Carl Icahn secured two seats on the airline’s board. Last week, Icahn revealed he had acquired a nearly 10% stake in JetBlue.

Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – Stellantis plans to manufacture up to 150,000 low-cost electric vehicles in Italy, in partnership with Chinese Leapmotor, in Mirafiori, Turin. Production could start in 2026 or 2027, helping to meet the one million vehicle target by 2030.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) – Japan’s Ministry of Transport is preparing to act against Toyota Motor Corp, its affiliate, for manipulation in engine emission tests. Toyota Industries may also face sanctions, including possible certification loss for certain engines.

Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) – Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Xpeng plans to hire 4,000 employees this year and invest millions in artificial intelligence to compete in the Chinese automotive market. While many rivals cut costs, Xpeng aims to launch 30 new products and expand its workforce by 25%.

InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG) – IHG, the parent company of Holiday Inn, exceeded room revenue expectations and plans to return over $1 billion to shareholders in 2024. CEO Elie Maalouf outlined a strategy for revenue growth and global hotel portfolio expansion, prioritizing key markets like the USA and China.

Sony (NYSE:SONY) – India’s Zee Entertainment attempts to restart negotiations with Japan’s Sony Group to revive the $10 billion merger deal, canceled in January. Although efforts to relaunch the merger continue, significant differences remain. Zee must confirm acceptance of terms within 24-48 hours, otherwise, Sony may withdraw the merger request this week.

BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) – BHP Group exceeded analyst expectations with a first-half underlying profit, driven by iron ore prices, and expressed cautious optimism for global demand. In the first half, BHP Group’s underlying profit reached $6.60 billion, surpassing analyst expectations. The interim dividend of $0.72 per share also exceeded forecasts. The depreciation expense for the nickel business was $2.5 billion, with rebalancing plans by the end of the decade.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) – Walmart has recorded impressive profits for the past six quarters, exceeding Wall Street expectations. Analysts anticipate solid fourth-quarter fiscal results, driven by holiday performance and value-seeking amid inflation. Investors are keen on the company’s guidance for 2024 and inflation management. Following the report, buying opportunities may arise, considering the stock’s history of rebounding after temporary dips. Analysts expect Walmart to report adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.64 per share, with sales projected to increase by 4%, to $170.9 billion.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) – Wall Street analysts expect the home improvement retailer to experience a 3% revenue decline in the fourth quarter, totaling $34.6 billion. Similarly, the fiscal year’s annual revenue is expected to fall proportionally, representing Home Depot’s first annual sales drop since 2009.

JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) – JD.com and Elliott Advisors seek to acquire retailer Currys. Elliott’s initial $880 million offer was rejected by Currys. JD.com considers a cash offer to acquire the entire share capital of the British company. Facing Chinese regulation and demand slowdown, JD.com seeks diversification with Currys offer in the UK. Despite UK’s economic challenges, the low stock valuation may be attractive to JD.com.