Top US stocks to watch before the bell: Tyson Foods, Marriott and Coty

Tyson Foods and Marriott see signs of recovery, Coty improves profitability as sales fall, Eli Lilly partners with three Indian drugmakers, Ford recalls SUVs over safety fears, Roblox is due to release earnings later, and Procore Technologies, Plus and Benson Hill all outline plans to go public.

USA (1)

Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods posted better-than-expected sales in the second quarter of its financial year as the reopening of restaurants and hotels led to increased demand for its beef, chicken and prepared foods.  

Sales were up 3.8% in the first three months of the year to $11.30 billion, beating the $11.19 billion expected by analysts. Net income rose to $476 million from $376 million.

Tyson warned it was seeing some inflation in its supply chain that could weigh on margins later this year. It is targeting annual revenue of $44 billion to $46 billion in the current financial year.

Marriott International

Marriott International said there was a significant improvement in demand toward the latter end of the first-quarter, driven by a strong recovery in China and a better performance in North America.

The hotel operator said revenue per available room was down 46.3% in the first quarter compared to the year before. Adjusted diluted EPS dropped to 10 cents from 49 cents, while reported EPS fell to 3 cents from 9 cents.

Marriott said occupancy levels in China reached 66% in March, nearly level with the same period the year before, while demand in the US and Canada, particularly for beach and ski locations, improved as vaccination programmes progressed and it hopes this trend will continue in the coming months.

Coty

Coty said revenue fell during the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on sales in Europe and other regions, but said it has continued to improve its profitability.

The cosmetics maker said revenue was down 3% year-on-year at $1.03 billion, in line with analyst expectations. It reported an operating loss of $1.4 million compared to a $300 million loss the year before.

Coty said like-for-like sales in Asia jumped 20% and that ecommerce sales soared 30% higher, whilst the Americas also performed well. However, lockdowns in Europe weighed on sales in the region. Coty is aiming to deliver annual revenue of $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion and improved profitability this year.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals

Inovio Pharmaceuticals said its coronavirus vaccine candidate was safe and effective during a recent trial involving around 400 participants.

The mid-stage clinical trial results will be filed with the Food & Drug Administration, but the trial will progress to phase III in the meantime. The US government pulled funding for late stage testing of the candidate last month, prompting Inovio to continue trials largely outside the US.

The news comes ahead of Inovio publishing its first-quarter results later today.

Ford

Ford Motor is recalling 661,000 Explorer SUVs in North America over concerns that the roof rail could come loose from the vehicles.

The recall has been made upon the request of regulators that fear the rail could come loose because of faults with the retention pins. It applies to cars made between 2016 and 2019 and the recall will see dealers replace the pins and rectify any damage caused by the fault.

Eli Lilly

Pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly has signed licensing agreements with three Indian generic drugmakers to expand the production of its arthritis drug baricitinib to help treat coronavirus patients in the country.

The drug has been given emergency approval to be combined with another drug name remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients. The three companies - Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharma - will work with Eli Lilly to produce and sell baricitinib and the US company said it expects to sign-up more Indian companies in the near future.

Pfizer

The European Union has ordered another 1.8 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday that a new order for at least 900 million doses had been finalised for delivery between this year and 2023. That is on top of the 600 million doses it has already ordered. It is thought to be part of a shift away from AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

Roblox

Roblox is due to release its first trading update since its direct listing on the NYSE in March later today.

The company, which operates a platform allowing users to develop their own games that prove particularly popular with kids, was one of the most hotly-anticipated listings of 2021 but has failed to take-off, with shares only trading marginally higher than where they started upon admission

Roblox has said it is aiming to have between 37.6 million and 39.6 million daily active users by the end of the first quarter and expecting quarterly revenue to more than double year-on-year to between $320 million and $335 million.

Procore Technologies

Procore Technologies has said it will price its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange at between $60 to $65 per share, giving it a valuation at the mid-range of around $8.3 billion.

The company makes construction management software and will sell up to 9.5 million shares as part of the IPO to raise up to $615 million. It will list under the ticker ‘PCOR’.

Revenue jumped to $328.6 million in 2020 from $236.0 million in 2019, although its losses widened. However, revenue was up 23% in the first quarter of 2021 and its net loss narrowed to $14 million from $19 million.

Plus

Plus, the manufacturer of an automated driving system for heavy trucks, has announced it will go public by merging with SPAC Hennessy Capital Investment in a deal that will value the company at $3.3 billion.

It will generate $500 million worth of proceeds for Plus, including $345 million from the blank-cheque company’s investors. The listing on the New York Stock Exchange is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2021.

Its automated driving system named PlusDrive can be included in trucks when they are being produced or retrofitted to existing vehicles. It claims to be the ‘first autonomous trucking developer to start mass production’ after starting deliveries to customers in the US and China earlier this year.

Benson Hill

Benson Hill, which uses artificial intelligence to help plants and crops grow, has announced it is merging with SPAC Star Peak Corp to go public and earn an enterprise value of around $1.35 billion.

The company is hoping to raise up to $625 million in proceeds, including the $403 million raised from Star Peak investors. The company reported annual revenue of $102 million in 2020 and it is aiming to deliver topline growth of between 50% to 100% in the near-term.

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