Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of March 19 (FDX, ORCL, NKE, TIF)

This week's prominent quarterly reports include those from FedEx, Oracle and Nike, which analysts expect to post year-over-year earnings growth. Discover Financial and Gamestop are expected to report earnings growth as well, but Tiffany's per-share earnings for the most recent quarter are forecast to have declined from a year ago.

On Thursday, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is expected to announce that its fiscal second-quarter 2012 earnings came to $0.85 per share on revenues of $6.6 billion. That would be up from $0.75 per share and $6.1 billion in the same period of last year. And so far analysts anticipate sequential and year-over-year growth of EPS and revenue in the current quarter. Note that analysts underestimated this Irish company's per-share earnings in the past six quarters.

See also: Accenture, Coviden, Seagate and Other St. Patrick's Stock Picks

In its Wednesday report, earnings from Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) are estimated to be $0.91 per share for the fiscal first quarter and $3.49 per share for the full year. That would be a rise of 7.7% for the quarter but a drop of 14.0% for the year. Quarterly revenues are expected to total $1.8 billion, up 3.1%, as well as $7.3 billion for the year, or 3.1% higher. Analysts underestimated EPS from Discover in the past six quarters.

See also: Discover Financial Services and National Payment Corporation of India Announce a Strategic Alliance

Fiscal third-quarter earnings from economic bellwether FedEx (NYSE: FDX) are estimated to total $1.35 per share on revenues of $10.6 billion in Thursday's report. In the same quarter of last year, the Memphis-based shipping giant posted $0.81 per share and $9.7 billion. Analysts also anticipate sequential and year-over-year growth of both EPS and revenue in the current quarter. FedEx topped consensus earnings per share estimates in the previous three quarters.

Grapevine, Tex.-based retailer GameStop's (NYSE: GME) fourth-quarter earnings are forecast to be 9.3% higher than a year ago to $1.72 per share. For the full-year, the forecast calls for $2.87 per share, which would be a 6.9% increase from the previous year. Both EPS estimates are the same as 60 days ago. Also, revenues are expected to be have risen marginally to $3.7 billion for the quarter and to be 2.3% higher to $9.7 billion for the full year.

Analysts expect third-quarter fiscal 2012 earnings from General Mills (NASDAQ: GIS) will be the same as a year ago, or $0.56 per share. But that is down four cents from the consensus forecast 60 days ago. And note that the Minneapolis-based maker of Cheerios fell short of the consensus EPS estimate in the previous quarter. But the revenue forecast for the third quarter calls for $4.1 billion, which would be 12.2% higher than in the same period of last year.

See also: General Mills Acquires Sherbrooke Capital Portfolio Company

Leading footwear, sportswear and accessory producer Nike (NYSE: NKE) is expected to say Thursday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings were 6.9% higher than a year ago to $1.16 per share. And revenues for the quarter are expected to have increased 14.3% to $5.8 billion. Analysts underestimated Nike's EPS in all but one of the past ten quarters, and so far they expect sequential and year-over-year growth of EPS and sales in the fourth quarter.

See also: Ten Stocks for March Madness

The consensus forecast for leading enterprise software company Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) calls for $0.56 per share earnings and revenues of $9.0 billion. That would be up from $0.54 and $8.8 billion in the fiscal third quarter of last year. That EPS estimate is the same as it was 60 days ago. But Oracle fell short of consensus expectations in the previous quarter by three cents per share, ending a streak of six quarterly earnings beats.

See also: Goldman Sachs Suggest Buying Strangles on Oracle

Fine jewelry and luxury goods purveyor Tiffany's (NYSE: TIF) fourth-quarter earnings are forecast to have fallen two cents per share from a year ago to $1.42. But revenues are anticipated to be up 7.6% year over year to $1.2 billion. For the full-year, $3.64 EPS are expected, a 19.5% increase from the previous year. And sales are predicted to be 18.0% higher, or $3.6 billion. Note that both EPS estimates are about the same as they were 60 days ago.

Here is a peek at what analysts expect from some other companies reporting this week:

  • Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE): Q1 EPS down 1.7% to $0.57 but sales up 2.5% to $1.0 billion
  • Cintas (NASDAQ: CTAS): Q3 EPS up 21.2% to $0.52 and sales up 7.3% to $1.0 billion
  • ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG): Q3 EPS down 2.0% to $0.49 but sales up 6.5% to $3.4 billion
  • Cost Plus (NASDAQ: CPWM): Q4 EPS up 17.3% to $1.50 and sales up 5.9% to $361.8 million
  • Dollar General (NYSE: DG): Q4 EPS up 20.7% to $0.82 and sales up 17.9% to $4.1 billion
  • Focus Media Holding (NYSE: FMCN): Q4 EPS up 32.8% to $0.61 and sales up 41.0% to $225.1 million
  • IHS (NYSE: IHS): Q1 EPS up 7.4% to $0.81 and sales up 20.9% to $356.7 million
  • Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL): Q2 EPS up 6.9% to $0.58 and sales up 4.1% to $4.1 billion
  • KB Home (NYSE: KBH): Q1 net loss of $0.24 per share but sales up 71.5% to $337.7 million
  • SAIC (NYSE: SAI): Q4 EPS down 5.6% to $0.34 and sales down 2.5% to $2.7 billion
  • Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG): Q4 EPS up 12.5% to $1.77 and sales up 7.0% to $1.4 billion

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