Trading Day – MTN reports strong quarter
MTN reported strong quarterly growth, with EBITDA increasing 14.7% and revenue growth across all its major business segments.
Data revenue growth was particularly strong, increasing by 33.2%. Subscribers increased by 6.8% to 284.9 million.
In international news, Twitter employees were locked out of their offices while they awaited a layoff email today.
Twitter said its offices will be temporarily closed, and all badge access will be suspended “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data.”
Meanwhile, Mix Telematics chairman Robin Frew resigned from the board after the JSE refused a structured share sale scheme.
US markets continued to decline, with the S&P 500 closing 1.1% lower and the Nasdaq falling 1.7%.
The Nikkei 225 followed the drop in early morning trade, down 1.7%. The Hang Seng continued its strong rebound, as the index rose 6.8% this morning.
In other news, MTN reported strong growth for the quarter, with EBITDA increasing 14.7%.
Here is the biggest news of the day.
- Twitter employees are locked out of offices while they await a layoff email today. The company said that it would inform staff by email at 9 a.m. Pacific time, whether they are affected or what their next steps are if they have been laid off. “In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” said the email sent on Thursday. “If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please return home.” Twitter said its offices will be temporarily closed, and all badge access will be suspended “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data.”
- Mix Telematics chairman, Robin Frew, resigns from the board after the JSE refuses a structured share sale scheme. Frew wants to sell down his stake in order to diversify his wealth and proposed a plan to manage the sale in a structured way to avoid crashing the share price. The process would have been managed by a broker, while Frew would give up any say on the timing of sales. As this could lead to sales during a closed period, the JSE refused to grant a dispensation for this plan to go ahead. Many market commentators consider this unreasonable since 90% of the traded volume on Mix Telematics takes place on the NYSE. Frew expressed his willingness to rejoin the board after the sale is completed, and the company seems open to inviting him to come back.
- MTN reports strong growth for the quarter. Group EBITDA increased 14.7% while revenue across all its major business segments – including voice, services, and fintech – also grew significantly. Data revenue was especially strong, increasing by 33.2%. Subscribers increased by 6.8% to 284.9 million. Active Mobile Money (MoMo) customers increased 23.3% to 63 million, while transaction volumes showed even higher growth, increasing 32.7% to 9.5 billion.
- Paypal drops nearly 10% in after-hours trading despite beating expectations. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.08 compared to analyst expectations of $0.96, while revenue of $6.85 billion also beats analyst expectations of $6.82 billion. The company expects fourth-quarter revenue to come in at $7.38 billion, much lower than forecast by analysts.
- Block (Square) share price jumps more than 12% on a strong earnings beat. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.42 compared to analyst expectations of $0.23, while revenue of $4.52 billion also narrowly beat analyst estimates of $4.49 billion. Gross profit of $1.57 billion is 38% higher than a year ago.
- Amazon announces hiring freeze. The company is pausing hiring for roles in its corporate workforce across all business segments after it had already announced last month that it would freeze hiring in its retail business. CEO Andy Jassy has moved quickly to cut costs by shedding warehouse space, halting experimental projects, and shuttering its telehealth service.
- The Bank of England (BoE) has raised interest rates by 0.75% to 3.00%. The size of the move is unusual for England and marks the biggest rate hike since 1989. The central bank forecasts inflation will hit a 40-year high of around 11% during the current quarter and that Britain has already entered a recession that could potentially last two years.