Rev up your Harley, take out McDonald's, check out your bank account and log into Snap: Here is a list of the stocks I'm watching that report earnings this week:
TD Ameritrade (July 22)
Rapidly becoming the king of discount brokers, TD Ameritrade (AMTD) continues to impress. The brokerage shows consistent annual growth, and with the purchase a couple years ago of Scottrade assets, TD has opened up many possibilities moving forward. There were some recent concerns about what cuts to interest rates could mean for these types of companies, but overall I think the long-term potential seems pretty solid. It'll be interesting to see if AMTD can show some strong growth this quarter now that the excitement over the increase in assets has settled down.
First Commonwealth Financial (July 22)
First Commonwealth (FCF) is a small bank I started watching many years ago in college. They grow slowly and consistently. The bank tends to make small acquisitions, typically in the Ohio market, and this has been a good way to push assets without expending large amounts of capital. The rhetoric on interest-rate cuts might threaten bank stocks, as yields on interest income could face pressure. Nevertheless, I like First Commonwealth as a long-term holding. The 3% dividend is a nice piece for any portfolio.
Harley-Davidson (July 23)
Harley-Davidson (HOG) is a company without a place. Sales declines are a constant worry, as the maker of time-honored American motorcycles tries to figure out how to thrive in a changing market. Consumer sentiment continues to shift away from the heavy loud bikes of Americana, and more toward maneuverable, sportier machines. Harley's prices have also caused it to lag, as the used bike market actually makes it disadvantageous to buy a new Harley. While some of the blame has been put on tariffs, Harley-Davidson has been losing sales long before that began. One wonders whether it can stop the bleeding this year.
Snap Inc (July 23)
Snap (SNAP) stock has had quite the run this year. I have been, and remain, rather skeptical on the long-term prospects of Snap. The social media company created a lot of buzz in the first quarter when it returned its user growth to a positive trend. That certainly is positive, but the company still lags far behind names like Twitter (TWTR) or Facebook (FB) when it comes to users and earnings. I feel that the Snap app itself limits the company's engagement with the scale that Twitter or Facebook can create. Furthermore, Facebook's Instagram has essentially copycatted Snap's model through its "Insta stories." When it comes to investments, I consider that the wiser choice. Nonetheless, the market will be watching Snap's earnings release intently.
Facebook (July 24)
Facebook (FB) has put together quite a rally since the beginning of the year. Much of the anxiety seems to have been relieved after news broke that the record Federal Trade Commission fine would still only represent less than 25% of the company's annual profits. The social media giant remains a conundrum. To expand and diversify, Facebook seems intent on progressing in ever more controversial areas. The announcement of Libra, a planned digital currency, will no doubt draw the ire and investigations of many federal committees. Frankly, it should. And while the finances and scale still make Facebook a strong contender, one has to wonder if the company will continue to face more scrutiny and hold-ups moving forward. This creates a balancing act. I think Facebook has to continue a strong trajectory on earnings and user growth for investors to tolerate the seemingly constant scrutiny now facing the social media giant.
Live Oak Bank (July 24)
Live Oak Bank (LOB) took a hard nosedive in December and January. Now around 45% off of the highs achieved last fall, Live Oak Bank needs a good quarter. The lender of small business loans made a choice to increase its loan portfolio and subsequent interest income, rather than selling the amount of loans that it had been previously. This in turn caused a big call-out in income. I still like this bank, and I believe that if LOB can demonstrate the earnings potential of a rising loan portfolio, the stock can rebound with it.
McDonald's (July 26)
As McDonald's (MCD) has enjoyed the lower costs associated with the number of stores it has refranchised, the fast food king has also lost revenues and operating income. I have voiced my concerns before that at a certain point, the trade off between earnings and overall revenue potential may finally come to an inflection point, where it is no longer advantageous. I'm very curious to see what happens with the combination of same-store sales, earnings growth, and revenue streams. If earnings growth is related more to lower costs, rather than sales increases, it's an unsustainable trend.F acebook is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club .