Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of September 12

This will be another quiet week on the earnings front. The most prominent quarterly report will come from consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY). Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ: CBRL) is also scheduled to report earnings.

Best Buy

The company is widely seen as a barometer of the state of the consumer and the economy, and as such tends to have an impact on the broader market. Unfortunately, expectations are low as the company and its stock have struggled of late as it loses market share to online competitors and consumers remain reluctant to spend. Investors will be looking for any update regarding the company's progress in transforming its brand.

Richfield, Minn.-based Best Buy is forecast to post fiscal second-quarter 2012 earnings of $0.53 per share on revenues of $11.5 billion. That is down from $0.60 per share a year ago, but up from $11.3 billion in revenues. So far analysts anticipate full-year earnings to be up 1.4% and revenues to rise 3.8% year over year. But note that Best Buy has a mixed record when it comes to earnings surprises, falling short of consensus estimates in two of the past five quarters.

Best Buy's long-term earnings per share growth forecast is 9.5% and the dividend yield is 2.6%. That dividend was increased 7% back in June, and Best Buy also announced a $5 billion share buyback program. Its P/E ratio is less than the industry average, the PEG ratio is 0.7, and the return of equity is 19.8%. Analysts have a mean price target of $33.95 per share, which would give the stock plenty of room to run from $24.50 per share at Friday's close. But shares have trended downward over the past year, reaching a 52-week low of $23.00 last week. Year to date, the stock has underperformed the broader markets and competitors such as Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), GameStop (NYSE: GME) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT).

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Veteran restaurant investor Sardar Biglari took a 9% stake in this purveyor of comfort food and nostalgia earlier this summer, and Cracker Barrel also appointed a new CEO in early August. The company is expected to post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $0.96 per share on $623.5 million in revenues. A year ago, earnings were $1.14 per share and revenues totaled $612.5 million. Earnings fell short of consensus estimates by a penny or two per share in the previous two quarters.

The full-year forecast calls for per-share earnings to be 4.9% higher to $0.96 and revenues up marginally to $2.5 billion. The long-term earnings per share growth forecast is 10.6% and the dividend yield is 2.3%. The P/E and PEG ratios are lower than the industry average and the return of equity is 39.3%. But its share price has also been drifting lower for most of the past year and is now trading near its 52-week low. While the stock has underperformed competitor Denny's (NASDAQ: DENN) in the past six months, it has outperformed DineEquity (NYSE: DIN), which operates the IHOP chain, in that time.

And Others

Analysts anticipate year-over-year earnings growth from the following companies reporting this week.

Small-cap aerospace and defense contractor AAR (NYSE: AIR) is forecast to report that earnings per share increased 23.9% while revenues grew 11.0%.

Milwaukee-based Brady (NYSE: BRC), which offers signs, tags, and ID cards and other services, is expected to report that earnings per share rose 18.3% and revenues grew 6.7%.

Filtration systems maker CLARCOR (NYSE: CLC), which last week announced expansion plans, is expected to post earnings per share that are 16.7% higher and revenues that increased 12.7%.

Diamond Foods (NASDAQ: DMND), the San Francisco-based producer of nuts and other snacks, is forecast to report that its earnings per share are 22.7% higher and that revenues jumped 22.5%.

Milwaukee-based Marcus (NYSE: MCS), which operates movie theaters and hotels in the Midwest, is expected to post earnings per share that were up 15.0% while revenues were up just 2.0%.

Things will pick up again the following week, when ConAgra (NYSE: CAG), Discover (NYSE: DFS), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), General Mills (NYSE: GIS), Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) are scheduled to share their quarterly results.

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