Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of March 26 (BBY, FDO, WAG)

While much of the attention will be on the Supreme Court this week, Best Buy is on tap to report its quarterly results. Analysts expect year-over-year earnings growth from the box-box retailer, as well as from Family Dollar and Red Hat. But the consensus forecasts for this week's results from Apollo Group, Lennar, McCormick, Mosaic and Walgreen call for declines in per-share earnings compared to a year ago. Here's a brief look at what analysts expect to see in these reports.

Leading consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is expected to say Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings are 8.3% higher than a year ago to $2.16 per share, but that full-year EPS are a nickel lower to $3.38. And revenues for the quarter are expected to have increased 5.9% to $17.2 billion, while for the fiscal year sales are up 2.6% to $51.6 billion. But note that Best Buy has fallen short of consensus EPS expectations in half of the past six quarters.

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Drug store chain operator Walgreen's (NYSE: WAG) second-quarter fiscal 2012 earnings are forecast to be 3.8% lower than a year ago to $0.77 per share. The forecast has slipped three cents in the past 60 days. Also, revenues are expected to be essentially the same as a year ago, or $18.5 billion. Both EPS and sales for the current quarter are expected to be lower sequentially as well as year over year. Note that Walgreen topped consensus estimates in just two of the past four quarters.

The consensus forecast for discount store operator Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) calls for $1.13 per share earnings and revenues of $2.5 billion. That would be up from $0.98 per share and sales of $2.3 billion in the fiscal second quarter of last year. That EPS estimate is the same as it was 60 days ago. Family Dollar fell short of consensus expectations in two of the previous six quarters and met expectations in the first quarter. The company is scheduled to report results Wednesday morning.

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Fiscal first-quarter 2012 earnings from homebuilder Lennar (NYSE: LEN) are estimated to total $0.04 per share on revenues of $699.4 million in Tuesday's report. In the same quarter of last year, the Miami-based company posted $0.14 per share and $558.0 million. Analysts also anticipate sequential and year-over-year growth of both EPS and revenue in the current quarter. But Lennar missed consensus EPS estimates back in the fourth quarter, ending a streak of beats going back eight quarters.

On Wednesday, software company Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is expected to announce that its fiscal fourth-quarter 2012 earnings came to $0.27 per share on revenues of $291.2 million. That would be up from $0.26 per share and $244.8 million in the same period of last year. For the full-year, the forecast calls for $1.08 per share, which would be a 23.1% increase from the previous year, and sales of $1.1 billion, a 24.0% increase.

Analysts expect that second-quarter fiscal 2012 earnings from Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL) have sunk 55.4% from a year ago to $0.37 per share. But that is down six cents from the consensus forecast 60 days ago. Note that analysts have underestimated the Phoenix-based education provider's per share earnings for more than ten quarters. Revenue is expected to come to $932.8 million, a decline of 11.0% from the same period of last year.

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In its Tuesday report, earnings from McCormick & Company (NYSE: MKC) are estimated to be $0.53 per share for the fiscal first quarter. That would be a drop of 7.0% year over year. And note that 60 days ago the consensus EPS estimate was $0.60. Revenues are expected to total $868.9 million, or 11.1% higher. And both EPS and sales are expected to be sequentially and year over year higher in the current quarter. Analysts underestimated the EPS of this leading spice and seasonings producer in the past eight quarters.

Fertilizer and animal feed producer Mosaic's (NYSE: MOS) third-quarter fiscal 2012 earnings are forecast to have fallen nine cents per share from a year ago to $1.31. During the past three months, the average estimate has declined from $1.39. But analysts anticipate revenues to total $2.5 billion, compared to $2.2 billion a year ago. The company has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of 33.8% over the past four quarters. Mosaic is on tap to post results Wednesday morning.

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

  • Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ: CALM): Q4 EPS down 19.7% to $1.02 but sales up 16.3% to $319.5 million
  • Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL): Q4 EPS up 18.8% to $0.80 and sales up 11.6% to $429.4 million
  • Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ: JOSB): Q4 EPS up 6.9% to $1.58 and sales up 10.8% to $352.8 million
  • Oxford Industries (NYSE: OXM): Q3 EPS up 35.2% to $0.54 and sales up 21.9% to $192.3 million
  • Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX): Q3 EPS up 2.7% to $0.37 and sales up 7.1% to $568.9 million
  • PVH (NYSE: PVH): Q4 EPS up 14.7% to $1.09 per share and sales up 7.0% to $1.5 billion
  • Robbins & Myers (NYSE: RBN): Q2 EPS up 16.2% to $0.74 and sales up 10.9% to $238.3 million
  • Shaw Group (NYSE: SHAW): Q2 EPS up 13.0% to $0.46 and sales up 2.1% to $1.5 billion
  • Synnex (NYSE: SNX): Q1 EPS up 9.9% to $0.91 and sales up 1.7% to $2.5 billion
  • Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI): Q3 net loss of $0.82 per share but sales up 5.5% to $132.7 million
  • UniFirst (NYSE: UNF): Q2 EPS up 7.9% to $0.89 and sales up 9.1% to $303.9 million
  • Xyratex (NASDAQ: XRTX): Q1 EPS up 7.7% to $0.26 but sales down 12.2% to $316.5 million

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