A hearty welcome to one and all to summer earnings season! Results from influential companies will dominate the headlines in the coming days and weeks, with the numbers coming thick and fast.
Not surprisingly, tonight's after-hours scene is being steered by trading in stocks that have just delivered their latest numbers. Let's jump right into it.
United Q2 beats despite earnings slide
Shares of major airline United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) are climbing slightly higher in the slipstream of the company's Q2 results, released after the closing bell.
For the quarter, United's revenue came in at $11.4 billion, nearly 6% higher on a year-over-year basis. Conversely, non-GAAP (adjusted) net profit fell to $1.1 billion ($4.21) from the Q2 2018 result of $1.4 billion ($5.32).
Despite the bottom-line drop, both headline figures beat analyst estimates. On average, prognosticators were expecting revenue of $11.36 billion and a per-share net profit of $4.09.
Although it's still too early to tell, it seems as if United's plans for assertive growth are proceeding well. A round of fare increases last month certainly helped in that regard, as did still-robust consumer demand.
Indicating confidence in its strategy, United lifted the low end of its adjusted net profit guidance for the entirety of this fiscal year. It now expects to net $10.50 to $12 per share; formerly the bottom end of that range was $10.
United's management will hold a conference call with analysts tomorrow morning to discuss the results in finer detail.
Cintas Q4 trumps analyst estimates
The second major company to put the hurt on analyst earnings projections tonight is corporate uniform and equipment supplier Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS).
The company's Q4 results, unveiled after market close, show that revenue was just under $1.8 billion -- 7% higher than in the same quarter last year. Net income amounted to $226 million for an improvement of almost 20%. Adjusted for one-time items, including the integration of peer company G&K acquired in 2017, per-share net profit was $2.07.
Those numbers exceeded the average analyst estimates, which modeled $1.78 billion on the top line and $1.93 in per-share net profit.
Cintas is effectively riding a wave of high confidence in corporate America, and high confidence usually means greater spending on the types of products Cintas delivers. With a still-humming economy, we can expect that dynamic to continue.
Speaking of confidence, Cintas' stock price is being pushed up nearly 6% by after-hours traders tonight.
DOJ wants to hit pause on Qualcomm suit
In an unusual move, the government is attempting to hit the pause button on a federal court's move on a notable company, in this case chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). That's according to a report published early this evening by CNN.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) formally requested that a federal appeals court issue a temporary halt in a critical decision against Qualcomm.
In May, Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California court ruled that competition law was violated when Qualcomm charged "unreasonably high" licensing fees to use the company's wireless components.
The suit was brought by another branch of the government, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In its filing, the DOJ said that "[i]n the view of the Executive Branch, diminishment of Qualcomm's competitiveness in 5G innovation and standard-setting would significantly impact US national security."
Other departments within the government professed their support for the DOJ's position, specifically the Departments of Defense and Energy.
The DOJ has not commented further on its request. Qualcomm has not commented on this latest development.