Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of November 19

Perhaps it is apropos to hear from some processed food giants this week, leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Last Friday J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) posted in line second-quarter results. Tyson Foods is scheduled to share its fiscal fourth-quarter results first thing Monday morning. Analysts expect the Arkansas-based meat producer to say that earnings rose about 41 percent, relative to last year, to $0.44 per share, but that revenues were up only marginally to $8.49 billion. The full-year forecast calls for earnings per share (EPS) of $1.78 (down almost six percent) on revenue of $33.35 billion (up more than three percent).

Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB), H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) and Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL) step onto the earnings stage on Tuesday. Consensus estimates indicate year-over-year growth in EPS and sales for all three. Campbell is expected to post $0.85 per share on $2.37 billion, up from $0.82 per share on $2.16 billion. The forecast for Heinz calls for EPS of $0.88 and revenues of $2.85 billion, up from $0.81 per share on $2.83 billion. And analysts expect Hormel to report per-share earnings of $0.50 per share on $2.23 billion, which compares with $0.43 per share on $2.10 billion in sales in the same period of last year. None of these three companies have fallen short of consensus estimates in the past four quarters.

While most of the big retailers already have shared their most recent quarterly results, this week we will see what Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Lowe's Companies (NYSE: LOW) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) have to offer for their fiscal third quarters. The consumer electronics retailer is expected to say that its EPS fell more than 74 percent year-over-year to $0.12. That is down from a consensus estimate of $0.36 per share some 60 days ago. The consensus revenue estimate of $10.73 billion is more than 11 percent lower than the year-ago sales. Analysts expect the big-box home improvement store chain to post EPS of $0.35, or the same as a year ago. That consensus estimate has not changed in the past 60 days. Revenue is expected to be up marginally to $11.91 billion, relative to last year. And the forecast for the hip apparel retailer calls for EPS of $0.41 and revenues of $692.38 million, up from $0.33 per share on $609.95 million. The positive earnings surprise was more than 27 percent in the previous quarter.

Retailers Chico' FAS (NYSE: CHS), DSW (NYSE: DSW) and Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG) also are expected to report earnings growth this week. Analysts are looking for a net loss from Kirkland's (NYSE: KIRK) and Zale (NYSE: ZLC).

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) highlights this week's tech earnings reports. Analysts on average expect the Palo Alto, California-based company to say Tuesday morning that its per-share earnings slipped from $1.17 a year ago to $1.14 in the fourth quarter, and from $4.88 to $4.04 for the full fiscal year. Quarterly revenue is expected to have fallen more than five percent to $30.45 billion, and for the full year about five percent to $120.92 billion. Analysts have underestimate HP's EPS in the past eight quarters, but rival Dell (NYSE: DELL) missed consensus earnings and sales estimates when it reported last week.

Scientific equipment maker Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) and software company Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) are expected to say that quarterly earnings declined more than four percent, though revenue grew. But analysts predict medical device maker Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) will say that its EPS grew more than four percent while its revenue declined about two percent.

And Deere (NYSE: DE) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and fiscal year results Wednesday morning. The consensus forecast for the quarter calls for EPS growth of more than 13 percent year-over-year to $1.88 and sales up more than 11 percent to $8.82 billion. Note that the consensus EPS estimate has slipped in the past 60 days from $1.89 per share, and Deere fell short of earnings expectations by about 14 percent in the previous quarter.

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