Earnings Expectations for the Week of September 17
FedEx (NYSE: FDX), an ostensible bellwether of the global economy, is on tap to share its most recent quarterly results this week, and analysts anticipate slightly lower per-share earnings compared to the same period a year ago. However, the forecasts for tech companies Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) indicate year-over-year earnings growth when they report this week. Retailers Autozone (NYSE: AZO), Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) and Carmax (NYSE: KMX) are expected to post higher earnings per share (EPS) as well. But General Mills' (NYSE: GIS) EPS are expected to be about the same as a year ago, while those for ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) are estimated to be higher.
FedEx, the Memphis-based transportation, e-commerce and business services giant, is expected to report Tuesday morning that its fiscal first quarter 2013 profit shrank 4.1 percent year-over-year to $1.40 per share. Sixty days ago, the consensus EPS estimate was $1.58. But analysts have underestimated FedEx's EPS in the past five quarters; the positive surprise was 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Analysts anticipate an increase of 1.7 percent in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $10.7 billion. That would be less than the 4.3 percent revenue increase the company posted in the previous quarter. So far, analysts expect EPS and revenue to growth sequentially and year-over-year in the current quarter.
Enterprise software company Oracle is expected to post earnings of $0.53 per share, while EPS estimates for software producer Adobe Systems call for $0.58. That is less than 10 percent growth from each of them, compared to their year-ago quarters. Both companies tend to beat consensus EPS estimates, though. But while sales at Oracle are expected to be essentially flat year-over-year, around $10.9 billion, Adobe is predicted to post $1.1 billion in revenue, or 8.9 percent higher. Oracle is scheduled report its fiscal first-quarter earnings Thursday afternoon, and Adobe shares its fiscal third-quarter results Wednesday after the markets close.
Memphis-based Autozone may be one of the biggest earnings winners of the week. The auto parts and accessories retailer is expected to say Wednesday before the markets open that fourth-quarter earnings were 14.6 percent higher than a year ago to $8.41 per share. EPS from domestics superstore operator Bed Bath & Beyond and used vehicle retailer Carmax are forecast to be up more modestly, to $1.02 and $0.51, respectively. Analysts have underestimated Bed Bath & Beyond's earnings in the past 10 quarters, but the car dealer has fallen short of expectations in three of the past four quarters. Sales for all three retailers are expected to be less than 10 percent higher than a year ago, to $2.8 billion for Autozone, to $2.5 billion for Bed Bath & Beyond and $2.7 billion for Carmax. The home furnishings retailer reports on its second-quarter Wednesday, and the car dealer shares its fiscal second-quarter results on Thursday.
Ascena Retail (NASDAQ: ASNA) and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ: CBRL) are also expected to report earnings growth this week, but analysts are looking for a net loss from Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD).
The forecast for ConAgra Foods is for a profit of $0.36 per share on sales of $3.2 billion, which would be up from $0.29 and $3.0 billion in the fiscal first quarter of last year. Analysts predict General Mills will post $0.63 per share earnings and nearly $4.1 billion in revenue. That compares to $0.64 and $3.8 billion in the year-earlier fiscal first quarter. Both processed and packaged food producers have mixed records recently when it comes to meeting analysts' EPS estimates. And analysts, so far, expect both sequential and year-over-year growth of earnings and revenue in the current quarter from both of them.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) is expected to post earnings growth as well on Friday.
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