If you are going to make a stand, you want a day like Thursday to have it happen. Other than Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) , you had strength across the board in Wednesday night's earnings reports -- including, of all things, both Ford (F) and Tesla (TSLA) , which were totally unexpected.
Let's start off with two incredible Dow companies, Microsoft (MSFT) and Visa (V) , the latter of which is on Mad Money tonight. At Visa, revenue growth was up 33%. Payments were up 11% -- the same as last quarter, but still very robust. Processed transaction growth was up 11%. Best of all, adjusted earnings growth of 34% with $1.6 billion shares bought back.
The company's total volume was a record -- $11 trillion. It's doing 500 million transactions a day. Or as Donald Fandetti, an analyst from Wells Fargo, put it: "So it is pretty interesting to see double-digit revenue growth coming again this year for a company with a $300 billion market cap." That is the understatement of the year.
I say it is interesting -- until you look at Microsoft, a $785 billion market-cap company with 19% revenue growth. What a quarter. I can't think about all the great call-outs: accelerating in gaming, including cloud gaming, amazing acceptance of Windows 10, the Surface is loved, LinkedIn had 34% session growths. Azure continues to blow away the numbers.
Ford beat on revenue and on earnings -- yes it made money and it has a huge cash hoard. The overseas markets were miserable, but the F-150 saved the day. If this company were simply to shutter the unprofitable divisions and take the charges, it could be incredibly profitable.
ServiceNow (NOW) delivered above expectations.The cloud-based service company has 39% subscription growth. The IT service management company continues to hit on all cylinders and was a reminder a la Microsoft that the cloud is very strong.
Finally, Tesla (TSLA) delivered a surprise profit, as we forget that the demand is great for its cars. I think the story here is free cash flow, which was $881 million versus $280 million. The company average 4300 cars per week, a little light, but it just makes so much more money per car than anyone else. They have amazing margins -- no unions, make their own parts, better supply chain. You may hate Elon Musk, but he should have taken it private.
Against all of these, there's AMD -- and I am going to defend it by saying that there was an inventory glut in the computer graphics business that I have been signaling for the last 14 points. I don't know how it could be such a surprise, given that we have been hearing that there were too many GPUs in the channel and it will take a couple of quarters to get through it.
I think that it is taking share from Intel (INTC) and still has robust personal computer and cloud businesses. I don't know how much of its miss was related to a new, perhaps superior, Nvidia (NVDA) product. But I do know it was priced for perfection and they didn't give us any.
Maybe none of this matters. We had the same selloffs in the good and the bad yesterday, with an insane rush to the recession proofers and the high dividends. There are enough of them this quarter to matter.
But at least we know we have benchmarks that were hit and exceeded. Don't blame the companies that reported last night for the cataclysmic selling. With the exception of AMD, it's not their fault.