The Week Ahead: Earnings Downpour

 | Oct 21, 2012 | 9:00 PM EDT  | Comments
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Last week was a frenetic one: Reams of companies reported their quarterly earnings, we saw a fresh set of economic data for both the U.S. and abroad -- and, of course, there was the second presidential debate. While we witnessed some positives, the overall picture continues to be mixed. The manufacturing economy is slowing, and concerns are rising about the technology sector following weak results from  Intel (INTC), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG), to name a few.

Other concerns were raised by Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and McDonald's (MCD), as well as missed revenues at both General Electric (GE) and Honeywell (HON). One positive surprise from last week was that September housing-starts data were stronger than expected. While the stock market started the week out favorably, the last two days of the trading week saw the S&P 500 give back most of those gains. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted, falling 1.3% for the week. 

As we head into the coming week, the pace of corporate earnings reports will only increase, with more than 1,200 companies slated to share their quarterly results in the next five trading days. That's up significantly from the 430 or so companies that reported results last week.

Among these will be a number of restaurant companies, including Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Panera Bread (PNRA) and Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), to name a few. I'll be listening for commentary similar to confirm the food inflation forecast shared by Chipotle last week. Following weaker-than-expected revenue from both GE and Honeywell, not to mention Caterpillar's (CAT) recent long-term forecast reduction, many investor ears will be listening in on Caterpillar's near-term forecast when it reports its scheduled results this week. 

Among other high-flying companies that will garner traders' attention this week will be Apple (AAPL), which is scheduled to report its September quarter results -- at which point we'll know if the iPhone 5 has been a blockbuster or a stand-up double. In addition, Apple is holding an event this Tuesday, which is speculated to include introduction of several products, the most hotly anticipated of which is the iPad Mini. 

Other closely watched companies reporting this week -- even if their shares are highly shorted -- include Facebook (FB), Angie's List (ANGI) and Netflix (NFLX). All three face a number of challenges, including Facebook's prospects of developing a mobile business strategy and Netflix's growing number of competitors.

Aside from that, all three of these stocks have high short-interest levels. Per data from Nasdaq, on Sept. 28 Facebook had 78 million shares short, compared with 15.5 million for Netflix and 7 million for Angie's List. Putting some context into those figures, Netflix's short interest as a percentage of its share float is more than 28%, compared with 15% for Angie's List and 6% for Facebook. To me this says that, whatever the results, Netflix and Angie's List are likely to be in for a wild ride this week.

Separately, commentary from Hasbro (HAS), Coach (COH), Skechers (SKX) and Amazon (AMZN) should offer some glimpse into consumer spending for the upcoming holiday season. 

Economic data are set to come in rather light this week, and what is on tap will be closely watched. Several data points on housing will be scrutinized to see if last week's strong September housing starts have legs. Given the Federal Reserve's new round of stimulus, announced in August, odds are that this week's interest-rate decision from the Federal Open Market Committee will be a non-event. On the other hand, durable orders and the third-quarter reading on gross domestic product will be examined closely. They are also likely to affect the pending 2012 presidential election. 

While the week is likely to be a bumpy one, given the sheer volume of data that will be thrown at us, the savvy investor will be using those data to look for long-term buying opportunities

Here's a more granular look at what investors should be watching and listening to over the next five trading days.

 

Economic Events This Week

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Mortgage Index (Weekly) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • New Home Sales (September) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • FHFA Housing Price Index (August) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • FOMC Rate Decision (Oct.) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24 
  • Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims (Weekly) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Durable Orders (September) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Pending Home Sales (September) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • GDP (3Q 2012) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Michigan Sentiment Index -- Final (Oct.) -- Friday, Oct. 26

 

Corporate Earnings This Week

  • Peabody Energy (BTU) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • Caterpillar -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • Hasbro -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • Nielsen (NLSN) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • PetMed Express (PETS) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • SunTrust Banks (STI) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • Veeco Instruments (VECO) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • VF Corp. (VFC) -- Monday, Oct. 22
  • Yahoo! (YHOO) -- Monday, Oct. 22

  • AK Steel (AKS) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Amgen (AMGN) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • ARM Holdings (ARMH) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • B/E Aerospace (BEAV) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Broadcom (BRCM) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Buffalo Wild Wings -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Coach (COH) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Crane (CR) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • DuPont (DD) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Facebook -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Hanesbrands (HBI) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Harley Davidson (HOG) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Idex (IEX) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Illinois Tool Works (ITW) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • 3M (MMM) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Netflix (NFLX) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • Norfolk Southern (NSC) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23
  • United Parcel Service (UPS) -- Tuesday, Oct. 23

  • Akamai (AKAM) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Angie's List -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Boeing (BA) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Cheesecake Factory -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Citrix (CTXS) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Delta Airlines (DAL) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • F5 Networks (FFIV) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Fusion-io (FIO) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Corning (GLW) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Kimberly-Clark (KMB) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Eli Lilly (LLY) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Lockheed Martin (LMT) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Northrop Grumman (NOC) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Panera Bread -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Skechers  -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Symantec (SYMC) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • AT&T (T) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Tractor Supply (TSCO) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Tupperware (TUP) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • Zynga (ZNGA) -- Wednesday, Oct. 24

  • Apple -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Amazon -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • AutoNation (AN) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • ASM (ASMI) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Bunge (BG) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Ball (BLL) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Columbia Sportswear (COLM) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Coinstar (CSTR) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Deckers Outdoor (DECK) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Dow Chemical (DOW) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • DeVry (DV) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Callaway Golf (ELY) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Expedia (EXPE) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Hershey (HSY) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Libbey (LBY) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • MICROS Systems (MCRS) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • M/I Homes (MHO) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Altria (MO) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Meritage Homes (MTH) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Paccar (PCAR) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Proctor & Gamble (PG) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Pulte Homes (PHM) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Potash (POT) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Revlon (REV) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Regis (RGS) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Sprint-Nextel (S) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Sherwin Williams (SHW) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Timkin (TKR) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Trinity (TRN) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • Under Armour (UA) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • VistaPrint (VPRT) -- Thursday, Oct. 25
  • VeriSign (VRSN) -- Thursday, Oct. 25

  • Arch Coal (ARCH) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Comcast (CMCSA) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Digital Realty Trust (DLR) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Goodyear (GT) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Lear (LEA) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Merck (MRK) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Quality Systems (QSII) -- Friday, Oct. 26
  • Weyerhaeuser (WY) -- Friday, Oct. 26

 

Upcoming Company Events

  • Apple Event -- Oct. 23
  • Samsung Electronics Event -- Oct. 24
  • Microsoft (MSFT) Surface tablet and Windows 8 release date -- Oct. 26
  • Mattel (MAT) 2012 Fall Analyst Meeting -- Oct. 30

 

Upcoming Company and Investor Conferences

  • Brean Murray, Carret & Co. 2012 Life Sciences Summit -- Nov. 7
  • J. P. Morgan Asia Pacific TMT Conference -- Nov. 12-13
  • Credit Suisse 2012 Healthcare Conference -- Nov. 14
  • Roth Capital Partners Enterprise Software Corporate Access Day  -- Nov. 14
  • Jefferies 2012 Global Healthcare Conference -- Nov. 14-15
  • UBS Global Technology Conference -- Nov. 14-15
  • William Blair Second Annual Financial Services & Technology Summit -- Nov. 15
  • William Blair Real Estate Services and Technology Summit -- Nov. 16
  • UBS Global Real Estate Conference -- Nov. 27-28
  • Credit Suisse 2012 Aerospace & Defense Conference -- Nov. 28-29
  • Jefferies 2012 Global Energy Conference -- Nov. 28-29
  • J.P. Morgan SMid Cap Conference -- Nov. 28-29
  • UBS 40th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference -- Dec. 3-5

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