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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly – May 1, 2018 at 5:12PM

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On a mixed day for the major benchmarks, Pfizer reported disappointing sales, and Shopify dropped despite beating expectations.

Stocks were mixed Tuesday, with investors weighing earnings reports and looking forward to the upcoming meeting of the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.00%) lost ground and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -1.72%) managed a gain.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.27%) (64.10)
S&P 500 0.25% 6.75

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Technology was the strongest sector, with Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK -1.31%) up 1.3%. Consumer stocks were the biggest laggards; the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP -1.70%) lost 0.9%.

As for individual stocks, Pfizer (PFE -1.10%) fell on a top-line miss and shares of Shopify (SHOP 0.67%) dropped despite the company reporting a strong quarter.

Dice saying "buy" and "sell" on a display of stock graphs.

Image source: Getty Images.

Pfizer reports slow revenue growth

Shares of drug giant Pfizer fell 3.3% after the company reported disappointing first-quarter sales as growth from its newer drugs failed to make up for declines in the rest of its portfolio. Revenue eked out a 1% gain to $12.9 billion, compared with expectations for $13.2 billion, and adjusted earnings per share grew 11.6% to $0.77, $0.02 above the analyst consensus estimate.

Pfizer's innovative health segment grew sales 6%, but only 3% in constant currency terms. Revenue from essential health fell 5%, or 9% excluding currency gains. The company's newer growth drivers -- cancer fighter Ibrance,  blood thinner Eliquis, and anti-inflammatory Xeljanz -- did well, growing sales 35%, 30%, and 29%, respectively. But drops in sales of older drugs and product supply shortages pulled results down.

Looking forward, Pfizer reaffirmed earlier guidance for full-year revenue growth between 1.9% and 5.7% and EPS between $2.90 and $3. CEO Ian Read pointed to the potential of its drug development pipeline, saying in the press release, "With several potential near-term opportunities in core therapeutic areas, I believe our pipeline presents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a life-changing impact on a growing number of patients while creating enhanced value for all of our stakeholders."

Besides the top-line miss, investors may have hoped for news on the company's efforts to sell its consumer business. There wasn't any, and combined with the sales disappointment, investors were less than impressed with the report.

Shopify tops expectations

Canadian e-commerce company Shopify reported first-quarter results that beat expectations, but investors were apparently hoping for more, and the stock slumped 4.5%. Revenue increased 68% to $214.3 million and the net loss for the quarter was $0.16, a penny more than Q1 last year. Adjusted earnings per share was a profit of $0.04, up from a loss of $0.04 a year ago. Analysts were expecting Shopify to lose $0.05 on an adjusted basis on revenue of $202.2 million.

Subscription solutions revenue grew 61% to $100.2 million, which the company attributed to an increase in the number of merchants joining the Shopify platform, compared to a 60% jump in Q1 last year. Merchant solutions revenue grew 75% to $114.1 million, thanks to a 64% surge in gross merchandise volume (GMV) to $8 billion. Last year, revenue from the segment grew 92% on an 81% increase in GMV. Gross profit dollars grew 71% to $123.8 million.

Shopify's growth is slowing, but that was expected as the company matured, as the revenue beat indicated. The one metric that may have come as a surprise was rapid growth of stock compensation expense, which nearly doubled to $20.1 million, or 9.4% of revenue, versus 8% in Q1 last year. CEO Tobias Lutke said in the conference call that the company is getting "incredible" people to join, and "they cost quite a bit, to say the least."

Jim Crumly owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$44.08 (-1.10%) $0.49
Shopify Inc. Stock Quote
Shopify Inc.
$28.76 (0.67%) $0.19
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$30,076.68 (0.00%) $0.00
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,693.23 (-1.72%) $-64.76
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund
$69.38 (-1.70%) $-1.20
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund
$123.74 (-1.31%) $-1.64

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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