What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, April 30

Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:42pm EDT
 
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(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day's major stories and events, analyses and other features. To receive The Day Ahead, Eikon users can register at . Thomson One users can register at RT/DAY/US. All times in ET/GMT)

Dow component Visa Inc's second-quarter profit may be weighed down by lower gas prices as customers get more gas for the buck. Gas bills account for about 7-8 percent of the world's largest credit card company's U.S. transaction volume. However, the company will benefit from an increase in cross-border transaction fees. Investors will be looking out for the first commentary from Visa's new Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu. Visa's plans to operate in China, which said foreign firms would be able to set up their own clearing networks in the country, will also be in focus.

Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips, two of the largest U.S. oil companies, are expected to report lower first-quarter earnings that reflect the collapse in crude oil prices. The companies are expected to detail ongoing plans to improve efficiencies and cut operating costs or spending to preserve cash.

U.S. consumer incomes are expected to have risen in March as consumers welcome the warmer weather and as lower gasoline prices afford them more money to spend. The Commerce Department is expected to report a 0.2 percent rise in personal income and a 0.5 percent rise in consumption. (0830/1230) Also releasing in the day is the Labor Department's weekly data on unemployment insurance claims (0830/1230) and first-quarter Employment Cost Index. (0830/1230) Claims for jobless benefits are seen hovering around 290,000, a level that would suggest the labor market is still on firm ground.

Cable provider Time Warner Cable Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue slightly below analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, as the company continues to lose residential video customers. The company and Comcast terminated their pending deal on April 24.

Viacom Inc, the owner of cable networks MTV and Comedy Central and movie studio Paramount Pictures Corp, is expected to report second-quarter revenue and profit broadly in line with analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Viacom is struggling to adjust to the shift in viewing habits as people ditch pricey cable subscriptions for video streaming products offered by companies such as Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Hulu.

LinkedIn Corp, which operates a social network for professionals, is expected to report first-quarter revenue and profit above analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Analysts expect LinkedIn's hiring business, which has been growing by nearly 50 percent in the past three quarters, to remain the primary engine of growth as it acquires new customers. Investors will be looking for second-quarter profit and revenue forecasts.

Things are looking rosy for Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk as the company launched a new 'blockbuster' drug to treat obesity and its shares jumped to record highs after it resubmitted data for U.S. approval for another treatment. The world's largest insulin maker reports first-quarter results. The company has been insisting that, unlike its global competitors, it is handling U.S. price pressures well. In its results, investors will try to gauge how true that is.

French pharmaceuticals group Sanofi SA reports first-quarter results, its first set under new Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt. The company seems to be at crossroads, with a patent cliff in the background. But it is too early to say how well new drugs are doing and how steep the fall in revenue will be from its main drug Lantus, which goes off patent soon. The negative effect of Lantus price cuts and higher operating costs due to new product launches is expected to be partly offset by a weak euro.   Continued...