Top US stocks to watch: GameStop, UPS and Merck

GameStop holds its AGM and releases results today, UPS expects strong growth over the coming years, Merck secures a $1.2 billion order for its potential coronavirus treatment, Fastly shares remain in focus after yesterday’s outage, Campbell Soup disappoints, and DoorDash enters Japan.

USA (1)

GameStop

GameStop is holding its AGM today and due to release first-quarter results after the markets close, with investors on Reddit hoping voting results will reveal evidence of naked shorting and act as a catalyst for the stock.

Investors will be voting whether to re-elect the new board that joined in January, including proposed chairman Ryan Cohen, which will ultimately reflect the support for its new strategy aimed at turning the company around and making it fit for the digital age.

Analysts are expecting revenue to rise 13.7% year-on-year to $1.16 billion and for its net loss to narrow to $50.8 million from the $165.1 million loss booked the year before. However, with shares up over 1500% since the start of the year, it is clear that the stock is dislocated from its performance and that numbers may not be the driver of any movement today.

Read our in-depth preview of GameStop’s AGM and results here.

United Parcel Service

UPS said revenue could jump by over 20% in 2023 compared to 2020.

The logistics giant said revenue in 2023 is expected to come in between $98 billion and $102 billion. Analysts forecast UPS would report $100.1 billion in revenue that year. For perspective, that compares to the $84.6 billion in annual revenue reported in 2020.

It has not provided guidance for the current financial year due to the uncertainty spawning from the pandemic, but reported a 27% rise in revenue during the first quarter with triple-digit growth in profits.

Merck

The US government has agreed to buy around $1.2 billion worth of Merck’s experimental coronavirus treatment named molnupiravir.

The drug is currently undergoing Phase 3 trials on non-hospitalised patients suffering from the virus, but is yet to be authorised for use. The US government has agreed to buy up to 1.7 million courses of the drug and Merck intends to have up to 10 million available by the end of this year.

Merck has also started applying for approval in other countries outside of the US and is talking to generic manufacturers to help boost manufacturing capacity. Notably, Merck is also helping to manufacture J&J’s coronavirus vaccine.

Fastly

Fastly shares remain in focus today after they surged over 10% yesterday despite the company causing a major internet outage yesterday that hit a wide range of websites ranging from news sites like the New York Times to major commercial ones like Amazon.

Fastly confirmed that the outage was caused by a bug in its software that was triggered by one of its customers changing their settings. The company said the outage was ‘broad and severe’ but said it largely fixed the issue within 49 minutes of the event happening.

The outage has highlighted how dependent the internet is on a small number of providers and the impact a problem at one business can have on the web.

Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup, known for brands like Kettle Chips and Prego pasta sauce, missed expectations as it reported third-quarter results today as it starts to come up against stronger comparative periods following the surge in demand seen last year.

Net sales fell 11% year-on-year to $1.98 billion and came in just shy of the $1.99 billion expected by analysts. Adjusted EPS fell 31% to $0.57 from $0.83 the year before and missed the $0.66 forecast by Wall Street.

Campbell Soup said it now expects annual net sales to fall by 3% to 3.5% in the current financial year compared to its previous expectation for a 2.5% to 3.5% drop. Adjusted EPS is now expected to be lower and within a range of $2.90 to $2.93 compared to the previous range of $3.03 to $3.11.

DoorDash

Door-to-door delivery platform DoorDash has officially launched in Japan, marking its first foray into Asia.

DoorDash has only just started to expand out of its core US market and Japan is only the fourth international market is has entered, following Canada and Australia. The dense population of Japan and the high adoption of tech is thought to have driven the move. It will only initially be available in the city of Sendai.

Sea

Shopee, the leading ecommerce platform in southeast Asia owned by Sea, is planning to launch its website and localised apps in Colombia and Chile, according to reports from Reuters.

New social media pages for Shopee Colombia and Shopee Chile were created today that said free shipping would be offered in both countries, but Sea has not yet confirmed the move. It would build on its launch into Mexico earlier this year and Brazil back in 2019.

Sea also owns online games development and publishing platform Garena and digital payments and financial services firm SeaMoney.

Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods has outlined plans to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, building on a previous ambition to cut emissions by 30% before 2030.

‘As the first US-based protein company in the food and beverage sector to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, we hope to continue to push the industry as a leader and remain committed to making a positive impact on our planet, with our team members, consumers and customers, and in the communities we serve,’ said chief sustainability officer John Tyson.

To achieve its goal, Tyson Foods will pursue a number of targets, including for its US operations to be 50%-powered by renewable energy before the end of the decade and improving the sustainability of its cattle operations.

Marqeta

Marqeta, the payments startup backed by big-names including Uber and Stripe, raised $1.2 billion through its IPO yesterday after achieving a better price than expected.

The company sold just under 45.5 million shares at $27 each, well above the $20 to $24 per share target range, giving it an initial valuation of over $15.2 billion. That is a significant jump from the $4.5 billion valuation achieved during a fundraising round last year.

Wallbox

WallBox, a Spanish firm that makes chargers for electric vehicles, has unveiled plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange by merging with SPAC Kensington Capital Acquisition.

Wallbox will raise around $330 million through the transaction and gives it an enterprise value of around $1.5 billion. Notably, Spanish firm Iberdrola is not only its biggest shareholder but also a major customer after agreeing to buy the first 1,000 Supernova fast chargers from Wallbox.

With Iberdrola aiming to deploy 150,000 chargers over the next five years, Wallbox could end up being one of the biggest beneficiaries.

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