Market Overview

The Week Ahead: Earnings from General Mills, Oracle

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The third week of March will be short on earnings releases and lacking in major economic reports. Nevertheless, investors should keep an eye on key earnings reports from Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and General Mills (NYSE: GIS). On the economics front, housing numbers will dominate the discussion, with crucial data released Tuesday and Thursday.

Earnings

General Mills and Oracle will anchor a week of relatively sparse earnings reports. Both companies will report earnings on Wednesday.

General Mills is expected to report earnings per share of $0.57 on revenue of $4.36 billion. Closing at $46.27 on Friday, General Mills shares have rallied more than 11% in the last three months.

Deutsche Bank has a Buy rating on General Mills and a $49 price target. Analysts believe General Mills to be fundamentally undervalued, arguing that it should trade at a premium to its peer group.

“Based on its leading brands, strong margin management, and increasingly international presence...we reiterate our Buy opinion,” Deutsche Bank states.

Oracle, too, has been a solid performer over the last quarter, rallying nearly 14% -- more than the broader S&P 500, which is up just a bit more than 9% over the same period.

Analysts are looking for Oracle to post earnings per share of $0.66 on revenue of $9.38 billion. Both Canaccord Genuity and Goldman Sachs like Oracle, with both firms giving the company Buy ratings.

Canaccord is particularly bullish on Oracle, writing that the company was “set up well for a 10-20% run.” Analysts at Canaccord have a $42 price target on Oracle and believe that the market misprices it relative to other large cap techs.

Goldman Sachs isn't as positive as Canaccord, with only a $39 price target. Still, Goldman expects a “solid report” and believes that “improvement in hardware could also serve as a catalyst for the shares in the near term.”

In addition to General Mills and Oracle, there will also be reports from Fedex (NYSE: FDX), Wet Seal (NASDAQ: WTSL) and Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW).

Economics

Data released Tuesday and Thursday will provide some insight on the state of the U.S. housing market.

Housing starts and building permits will be released Tuesday. Economists expect the report to show 925,000 building permits and 915,000 housing starts. Then, on Thursday, markets will see the release of existing home sales and the house price index. Economists are looking for a reading of five million existing home sales.

Globally, the U.K.'s producer price index will be released Tuesday, along with Canadian wholesale figures and the New Zealand current account deficit. Wednesday will bring the U.K.'s unemployment rate, South Africa's interest rate decision, New Zealand's GDP report, and HSBC's Chinese manufacturing PMI.

Germany's manufacturing PMI will be released on Thursday, along with Mexican and U.K. retail sales. The biggest release on Friday will likely be the German Ifo business climate index.

Weekly calendar

Monday

  • NAHB Housing Market Index

Tuesday

  • Earnings from: Franco-Nevada (NYSE: FNV), Francesca's (NASDAQ: FRAN), Walter Investment (NYSE: WAC), Rentech (NYSE: RTK), DSW (NYSE: DSW)
  • Indian interest rate decision, U.K. CPI, U.K. PPI, Canadian manufacturing sales, U.S. building permits, U.S. housing starts, U.S. Redbook, New Zealand current account deficit

Wednesday

  • Earnings from: Guess' (NYSE: GES), General Mills, Lennar (NYSE: LEN), FedEx, Oracle
  • Japan closed, U.K. unemployment rate, New Zealand GDP, Chinese HSBC manufacturing PMI

Thursday

  • Earnings from: Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST), Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), Wet Seal, Silver Wheaton
  • French PMI, Hong Kong CPI, U.K. retail sales, Canadian retail sales, Mexican retail sales, U.S. existing home sales, Philly Fed

Friday

  • Earnings from: Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI)
  • German Ifo business climate index

Posted-In: Analyst Color Earnings News Previews Econ #s Economics Markets Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

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