Investors have been in wait-and-see mode lately, looking anxiously to Washington to see not only what the immediate future will bring but also what the country's prospects for the next four years will look like. Without any significant progress on those fronts, market participants largely concentrated on earnings reports in driving individual stocks in both directions. Shortly before 11:30 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 28 points to 28,238, and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) rose 3 points to 3,439. However, the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) went the other direction, falling 27 points to 11,457.
Among the highest-profile stocks giving their latest results, a couple of companies stood out. Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) saw its shares move upward as the global casino giant released its most recent financial results for the third quarter. However, Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) wasn't as fortunate, and its share price sank even as the burrito maker reported a solid performance for its business over the past few months.
Pay the winner
Shares of Las Vegas Sands rose more than 7% Thursday morning. Despite some extremely painful numbers in its third-quarter financial report, the casino resort company nevertheless encouraged its shareholders with more favorable views of the future.
The results at Sands were nothing short of ugly. Revenue plunged 82% year over year during the third quarter, with its key operations in Macao, Singapore, and Las Vegas all struggling due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sands lost $731 million, reversing a year-ago profit of $669 million.
However, that hasn't stopped Las Vegas Sands from doubling down on some key projects. CEO Sheldon Adelson reported on the progress of its Londoner Macao, as well as the completion of the Grand Suites at Four Seasons in the former Portuguese colony. With those properties, Sands remains convinced that it will capitalize on renewed interest in meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition traffic once conditions get back to normal.
Investors are surprisingly comfortable with the losses that Sands is suffering. That optimism spread throughout the casino industry Thursday, and that could bode well for companies' ability to raise capital as necessary if the pandemic continues longer than expected.
Losing its spice
Elsewhere, Chipotle Mexican Grill saw its stock sink 5%. The burrito maker continued to produce impressive sales growth, but it wasn't enough to make shareholders entirely happy.
Chipotle saw revenue rise 14% in the third quarter of 2020 compared with year-earlier levels, on a comparable restaurant sales gain of 8.3%. Digital sales more than tripled year over year and accounted for nearly half of Chipotle's total revenue for the period.
However, adjusted earnings eased lower by 2% from where they were in the year-ago period. Part of the blame for that drop came from the delivery and other service fees that Chipotle pays to its delivery partner. Chipotle doesn't pass through all of its costs to its customers, and that's been a challenge as more people take advantage of the service during the pandemic.
Chipotle continues to open new stores even in a tough environment for restaurants. When the coronavirus crisis ends, Chipotle is optimistic that it'll be in a better position than ever to restore its growth rates to former levels and become a stock market darling once again.