Progressive Q1 Earnings Rise, Above Estimates

US records 5,800 Covid cases and 74 deaths in fully vaccinated Americans

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A New ‘Denim Cycle’? After a Decade, Jeans Move From Skinny to Loose

American shoppers are flocking to high-waisted, loosefitting jeans in droves and companies believe they may become a hallmark of the post-pandemic world.

By Sapna Maheshwari

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Stock Alert: UnitedHealth Shares Reach New 52-Week High

Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) reached an all-time high of $389.34 Thursday morning, and are currently trading at $388.18, up $12.55 or 3.34%, with trading volume of over 550K versus an average volume of 3.36 million shares.

The company, today, announced that it has increased its full year net earnings outlook to $17.15 – $17.65 per share and adjusted earnings to $18.10 – $18.60 per share. The company noted that its outlook continues to include about $1.80 per share in potential net unfavorable impact to accommodate continuing COVID-19 effects.

First quarter earnings from operations grew 34.9% year-over-year to $6.7 billion. Earnings per share was $5.08 compared to $3.52. Adjusted earnings per share increased to $5.31 from $3.72 last year. On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings per share of $4.38, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude certain special items.

First quarter revenues were $70.2 billion, up 9.0% year-over-year, reflecting broad-based growth across Optum and UnitedHealthcare. Analysts expected revenue of $69.22 billion, for the quarter.

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Autodesk To Buy Upchain – Quick Facts

Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Upchain, a provider of instant-on, cloud-based product lifecycle management and product data management solutions. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the company’s second quarter of fiscal 2022.

Andrew Anagnost, President and CEO of Autodesk, said: “By integrating Upchain with our existing offerings, Autodesk customers will be able to easily move data without barriers and will be empowered to unlock and harness valuable insights that can translate to fresh ideas and business success.”

Micheaux Film Festival Set To Be First Back In LA Theaters; Fest To Honor Robert Townsend

EXCLUSIVE: The third annual Micheaux Film Festival, which spotlights BIPOC creators and diversity, is set to be the first film festival back in LA theaters since the start of the pandemic.

The hybrid event, supported by The Oprah Winfrey Network, Sony Pictures Entertainment and IMDb, will run virtually between April 26-29 and then as a physical festival between April 30 – May 2 at the AMC 15 Century City.

More than 180 films are slated to play at the event (around 70, physically), which this year will honor veteran actor and filmmaker Robert Townsend, known for features Hollywood Shuffle and Meteor Man as well as series The Parent ‘Hood, with The Oscar Micheaux Trailblazer of Excellence Award, which will be presented by descendants of the pioneering Black filmmaker Micheaux. 

There will be a physical red carpet and the awards ceremony will take place in-person. Panavision will be awarding $75K in grant funds to winners of certain categories.

Among panelists for the festival will be Jill Marie Jones, Maahra Hill, Bridgid Coulter Cheadle, Steve Pink, Deborah Riley Draper and casting directors Christian Bustamante and Jamie Castro.

Movies set to screen include Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance, Maternally Yours, The Bay, Red Pill, Content Is King and All Boys Aren’t Blue.

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Progressive Q1 Earnings Rise, Above Estimates

Auto insurance company The Progressive Corp. (PGR) on Thursday reported higher earnings and revenues in the first-quarter, helped by an increase in net premiums earned. The company’s results came in above the Street estimates.

The company posted first-quarter net income of $1.48 billion or $2.51 per share, up from $692.7 million or $1.17 per share in the same period last year.

On average, 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.72 per share in the quarter. Analysts’ estimates usually exclude one-time items.

Quarterly revenues rose 23 percent to $11.4 billion from $9.3 billion in the year-ago period. On average, 7 analysts expected the company to report revenues of $11.2 billion in the quarter.

During the quarter, net premiums earned was up 10 percent to $10.4 billion from $9.4 billion in the prior-year period. Net written premiums rose 19 percent to $11.7 billion from $9.8 billion a year ago.

The company’s investment income declined 9 percent to $220.2 million from $241.2 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

Combined ratio was up 2.4 points during the quarter to 89.3 from 86.9 in the previous-year period.