Top US stocks to watch before the bell: Pfizer, DuPont and CVS Health

Pfizer expects to sell more coronavirus jabs than previously thought, DuPont, CVS Health and Bunge raise their full-year expectations, Under Armour sees a strong recovery as stores reopen, Verizon agrees to sell its media business, and Nutrien swings to a profit.

USA (1)

Pfizer

Pfizer has revealed it now expects to generate a staggering $26 billion in sales of its coronavirus vaccine in 2021, up from its previous estimate of around $15 billion, as it raised its guidance after a strong start to the year.

The guidance assumes it can produce around 1.6 billion doses of the vaccine, which is owned 50:50 with German partner BioNTech, this year. Notably, Pfizer expects to book a profit from selling its jab, unlike some of its peers like Johnson & Johnson that have pledged to sell them for non-profit until the end of the pandemic.

It came as Pfizer reported a 45% jump in overall revenue in the first quarter to $14.58 billion with adjusted income up 48% to $5.26 billion. Pfizer also upped its guidance for the full year and expects revenue of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion compared to a previous target of $59.4 billion to $61.4 billion. Adjusted diluted EPS should be between $3.55 to $3.65 compared to a previous target of $3.10 to $3.20.

DuPont

Industrial materials maker DuPont has increased its guidance for the full year after comfortably beating expectations in the first quarter as demand from chipmakers and automakers improved.

The company said revenue rose 8% to $4 billion in the period while adjusted EPS jumped 90% to $0.91. That was much better than the $3.85 billion in revenue and $0.76 in EPS expected by analysts.

DuPont said it now expects annual sales to be between $15.70 billion and $15.90 billion this year with EPS of $3.60 to $3.75. That compares to its previous target to deliver revenue $15.40 billion to $15.60 billion and EPS of $3.30 to $3.45.

CVS Health

CVS Health beat expectations in the first quarter and raised its outlook for the full year as it benefits from higher footfall thanks to its part in giving people coronavirus jabs and tests in its stores.

The company said sales were up 3.5% in the quarter to $69.1 billion and adjusted EPS grew 6.8% to $2.04. Earnings were ahead of the $1.72 expected by analysts. CVS Health said annual adjusted earnings will be between $7.56 and $7.68 this year, up from its previous range of $7.39 to $7.55.

Bunge

Bunge revealed that profits more than trebled during the first quarter of 2021 thanks to a recovery in demand which it expects to continue throughout the rest of the year, prompting it to raise its guidance.

The agricultural commodities trader said it made adjusted net income of $3.13 per share compared to just $0.91 the year before. It said it now expects annual earnings to be around $7.50 per share rather than its previous target of $6.00.

The results were thanks to strong demand for crop exports out of North America and better margins from its oilseed crushing business, which helped offset slower sales and weather issues in Brazil.

Verizon

Verizon is selling its media business that homes brands such as Yahoo and AOL for just under $5 billion to private equity firm Apollo Global.

Verizon will get $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and a 10% stake in the business, which will be renamed Yahoo from Verizon Media once the deal is completed. That is around half the price paid by Verizon and it has booked billions in write-downs against the business in the past.

The deal comes as Verizon focuses on expanding its 5G network and cutting its losses in a space that has been dominated by the likes of Google and Facebook.

Under Armour

Clothing retailer Under Armour said it has seen a strong recovery in sales after reopening its stores and now expects to deliver a better performance in 2021 than previously thought.

The company said revenue in North America was up 32% in the period while sales from its smaller international segment jumped 58%. Overall net revenue rose to $1.26 billion from $930.2 million the year before, beating the $1.13 billion forecast by analysts. Net income of $0.17 compared to a loss of $1.30 the year before.

Under Armour now expects revenue to rise by a high-teen percentage in 2021 compared to its original goal of high-single digits, while its diluted loss per share will be between $0.02 and $0.04, much better than the $0.18 to $0.20 loss previously expected.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters grew at a faster rate than expected during the first quarter and is hoping this will continue for the rest of the year.

The company said total sales grew 4% in the period to $1.58 billion, beating expectations. It is aiming to deliver 3.5% to 4% growth over the full year, at the top end of expectations. Adjusted EPS, which strips out the profit from the sale of Refinitiv, jumped to $0.58 from $0.48 the year before and was comfortably ahead of the $0.42 expected by analysts.

Nutrien

Nutrien, the world’s largest fertiliser producer, on Monday reported strong growth in sales and said it swung to a profit during the first quarter of the year as it raised its expectations for 2021.

The company said sales were up 11% in the quarter to $4.65 billion and reported adjusted net income of $0.29 compared to a $0.12 loss the year before. Earnings beat the $0.12 profit expected by analysts. That was thanks to higher crop prices and better margins.

Nutrien said it now expects to deliver adjusted net income of between $2.55 and $3.25 per share in 2021 compared to its previous target range of $2.05 to $2.75.

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