U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday morning following a bevy of better-than-expected earnings reports. As of 10:40 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 35 points to 26,420, the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) gained 6 points to 2,911, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) jumped 32 points to 7,661.
As for individual stocks, shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) rose after the consumer goods giant announced solid quarterly results, and A&T (NYSE: T) is trading mixed after selling its substantial stake in Hulu.
Johnson & Johnson posts strong Q1 results
Shares of Johnson & Johnson were up 2% after the company revealed its first-quarter 2019 revenue climbed 0.1% year over year (or 5.5% on a non-GAAP operational basis, which excludes currency headwinds and divestments) to $20.02 billion. That translated into a 1.9% increase in adjusted earnings to $2.10 per share.
Analysts, on average, were only expecting earnings of $2.04 per share on revenue of $19.61 billion.
Johnson & Johnson's core pharmaceuticals segment led the way with 7.9% adjusted operational growth (or 4.1% as reported), for revenue of $10.24 billion. Medical devices delivered 4.3% adjusted operational growth (or down 4.6% as reported), to $6.46 billion, and the consumer products business trailed the pack with 0.7% adjusted operational growth (down 2.4% as reported) to $3.32 billion.
Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky called the quarter "strong," adding, "[W]e remain focused on investing in innovative technologies and platforms that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world."
Despite intensified foreign-currency headwinds, Johnson & Johnson also maintained the midpoints of its previous 2019 outlook. More specifically, the company reiterated its guidance for 2019 reported sales of $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion, and narrowed its target for adjusted earnings per share to a range of $8.53 to $8.63 (compared to $8.50 to $8.65 before).
AT&T bows out of Hulu
Meanwhile, AT&T has waffled between positive and negative territory throughout the morning after the telecom juggernaut sold its minority 9.5% stake in Hulu back to the streaming-video joint venture for $1.43 billion -- a deal that values Hulu at roughly $15 billion.
The move effectively bolsters the ownership of Hulu's remaining investors, who will together determine how to allocate the stake. Just prior to AT&T's divestment, Comcast's NBCUniversal owned a 30% stake in Hulu, while Disney boasted a controlling 60% stake following the completion of its acquisition of most the assets of Fox last month.
The move didn't require government or third-party approvals, so has already been signed and closed. AT&T, for its part, will use the proceeds of the transaction to reduce debt.
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