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Stocks in focus: GE falls on earnings, IBM outperforms, American Express jumps, Verizon wavers

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Yahoo Finance Live's Emily McCormick and Adam Shapiro break down several of the trending stocks attempting to correct themselves during this volatile trading week.

Video transcript

EMILY MCCORMICK: Well, let's zoom in now and focus on two stocks that I'm watching and two stocks Adam was watching during today's session in our "2&2." And I'm watching shares of General Elect-- Electric. Now, this company reported earnings results this morning, and they were disappointing on the top line. And that stock is getting punished as a result. Now, sales were down 3 and 1/2% over last year to reach $20.3 billion for the December quarter. And that sales did-- that sales miss, rather, did eclipse better-than-expected adjusted earnings and industrial free cash flow, which is also a closely watched measure for GE. Now, GE also said that industrial free cash flow could rise to as much as $6 and 1/2 billion in 2022.

Now, taking a look by business here, aviation unit sales were up by 4% to reach just over $6 billion. That was still slightly below consensus estimates, as the company continues to navigate pandemic-related disruptions to travel. And then on the flip side, GE's Renewable Energy business saw revenue down by 5.6%, and supply-chain issues and inflation were really headwinds to that business during the quarter, which that unit, of course, does mostly make wind turbines.

Now, let's pivot for a moment and take a look at shares of IBM. And I do want to highlight this stock because it is one that is very acutely outperforming the broader market right now after posting better-than-expected quarterly results yesterday afternoon. IBM posting its biggest sales jump in a decade for the December quarter, with revenue up 6 and 1/2% to reach $16.7 billion. And the big driver of this was from IBM's software unit, and more specifically its hybrid cloud offerings, which the company has been really heavily focusing on to try and revamp under its CEO, Arvind Krishna. Now, IBM's software unit sales were up by 8.2% to reach $7.3 billion, and hybrid cloud revenue specifically grew 16% to reach $6.2 billion. And that stock is up about 5 and 1/2% this afternoon as a result, Adam.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Emily, it was Karl Malden, I believe, who used to do the old American Express ad, "Don't Leave Home Without It." And apparently, a lot of Americans did just that. They took their credit cards and spent a lot of money because American Express reported earnings today, and the Street likes what it's seeing. Those shares right now are trading higher. They've been up, oh, about 8% all day. They saw revenue, net of the interest expense, increase to $12.15 billion from $9.35 billion.

Spending on Amex cards hit record levels in the fourth quarter. A lot of consumers, and the company pointed out millennials and Gen Z, are splurging once again on those pre-pandemic things like going out to a restaurant and going overseas for a holiday. But it was CEO Stephen Squeri who said, quote, "Travel bookings are up 19% in the first two weeks of January, which is continuing from 24% growth in the fourth quarter." In other words, Amex-- don't leave home without it.

All right, then there's Verizon, the former owners of what was Verizon Media Group. And that's important because Yahoo Finance is part of that. The shares are trading down not a tremendous amount today, but they're off about-- about a full-- well, it's now off about not even 3/10 of a percent. Fourth-quarter earnings topped estimates, and revenue came in right in line with what Wall Street was expecting. So their earnings were $1.31. Adjusted revenue fell about 1.8%.

But here's where I bring in Verizon Media. So it fell to $34.1 billion, but that included the divestiture of Verizon Media, which was the parent company of Yahoo Finance. For the full year, you should know that Verizon expects organic service and other revenue growth of about 3%, as they have now turned on, as Hans Vestberg would say, "5gee"-- 5G, Emily.

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