Cosmetics company Estee Lauder saw a 15% surge in stock after exceeding expectations with its second quarter results. The company reported adjusted earnings of 88 cents per share, surpassing the FactSet consensus estimate of 54 cents per share. Revenue also exceeded analyst projections at $4.28 billion. Contract drug manufacturer Catalent also experienced a significant increase in shares, rising more than 12% after agreeing to be acquired by Novo Holdings for $63.50 per share in an all-cash deal, valuing Catalent at $16.5 billion. However, industrial gas supplier Air Products and Chemicals saw a 9% drop in shares following disappointing quarterly results, reporting adjusted earnings of $2.82 per share and revenue of $3.00 billion, both falling short of analyst expectations.
Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar’s shares also rose more than 4% after reporting adjusted earnings per share of $5.23 for the fourth quarter. Sales were particularly strong in North America. Chipmaker Nvidia saw a 3% increase in shares after Goldman Sachs raised its price target to $800, citing sustained strength in demand for accelerated computing. However, toymaker Mattel saw a 2.9% decline in shares following a downgrade to neutral from overweight by JPMorgan, which expressed concerns about weak 2023 holiday sales and rising freight costs impacting the stock’s growth.
In a separate deal, Merck Animal Health announced its plan to acquire Elanco’s aqua business in a $1.3 billion cash acquisition, leading to a 7% increase in Elanco Animal Health shares. Overall, the opening bell reflected a mixed bag of performances from different companies in various sectors.