E Tuesday Market Report

Numbers on Monitor

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There is one reporting company today but we own it two ways:

*Swiss ABB gained 0.8% more today after it reported on its Q1 today, confirming the pre-announced data from earlier in April. Its operational Ebita (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization) hit $959 mn in Q1 vs $636 mn in Q4 '20, with income from operations hitting a high margin of 13.8%, up 3% sequentially, according to Vontobel analysts. Demand for electric material is up sharply mostly from China and so far there has been no slippage from shortages of chips or plastics—yet. The stock gained 2% in Swiss trading, hitting CHF 30.51/sh today. Apart from our direct stake we also own ABB in our Investor AB IVSBF fund from Sweden, run by the clan Wallenberg which was given high marks yesterday in the Financial Times for its EQT industrial holding company partnership. (I was too busy making fun of fund manager Aberdeen renaming itself “Abrdn”. We sold SLFPY with impeccable timing, AKA luck, earlier this month and the new name idiocy has been roundly mocked.)

*Naspers (NPSNY) gained 0.25% at the opening on its successful sale of 2% of Chinese Tencent last week using its Prosus position in Euroland. Note that another stock with the ticker symbol NPSN, Inspire MD, doing a reverse split today, is being confused with the one we own which lost 0.14% by noon. PROSY is up 0.4%. Yesterday Chinese antitrust watchdogs hit Meituan, which does carry-out and chat in China, a mere week after it did a secondary issue that was well subscribed. Beijing may want to limit foreign ownership of its tech stocks.

*BP plc lost about a half percent Tuesday after beating Q1 estimates thanks to higher oil prices. It will again buy back shares for about $500 mn. Replacement cost profit, its preferred metric, came in at $2.6 bn vs analyst forecasts averaging $1.4 bn. It also beat Q4 2020 RCP of $115 mn in Q4 and $791 mn in the prior Q1. It also met its target of reducing net debt to under $35 bn, hitting a level of $33.3 bn, down 5.6%. It is taking the lead in “transition to a lower carbon future” while also giving shareholders “competitive cash returns”, said CEO Bernard Looney. BP stock denominated in US$s despite being British is up 16% YTD according to Barron's.

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