Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of December 5


With investors and analysts keeping one eye on how the holiday shopping season is progressing and another eye on what's happening in the eurozone, there may be little on the earnings front this week that attracts much attention. Among the week's most high profile quarterly reports are those from Analogic (NYSE: ALOG), Autozone (NYSE: AZO), Dollar General (NYSE: DG) and SAIC (NYSE: SAI).

Dollar General

Dollar General has seen net income rise in three straight quarters and revenue has risen for the past four quarters. When the Tennessee-based discount retailer announces its fiscal third-quarter results on Monday, it is expected to say that earnings rose eight cents per share from a year ago to $0.47. Revenues are forecast to be up 10.8% to $3.6 billion. And analysts so far anticipate sequential and year-over-year EPS and revenue growth in the current quarter. Dollar General's earnings have fallen short of consensus estimates in just one of the past six quarters. The long-term EPS growth forecast is 16.6%. Shares are trading near the 52-week high but the share price has faced resistance at $40 since mid-October. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed larger rival Walmart (NYSE: WMT) as well as the broader markets.


The consensus forecast for defense contractor SAIC, which is a rumored takeover target, calls for $0.34 per share earnings in Tuesday's report. That is down from $0.41 in the fiscal third quarter of last year. And revenues are expected to have declined 4.1% to $2.8 billion for the quarter in which the company announced the retirement of its CEO and completed the acquisition of Vitalize Consulting. Earnings fell short of analysts' estimates in the second quarter after a string of five quarterly earnings beats. Despite a pop of more than 6% in the past week, the share price is down almost 27% from six months ago. The stock has underperformed competitors CACI International (NYSE: CACI) and ManTech International (NASDAQ: MANT) over the past six months.


During the three months that ended in October, this Memphis-based company approved an additional $750 million in share buybacks. On Tuesday, the auto parts and accessories retailer is expected to post $4.44 per share earnings for the fiscal first quarter. That would be up from $3.77 per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues are forecast to be up 5.7% to $1.9 billion. And analysts expect year-over-year EPS and revenue growth in the current quarter. Analysts have underestimated per-share earnings in the past ten quarters. And the long-term EPS growth forecast is 15.4%. Shares are trading near a multiyear high but have faced resistance at $340 since mid-September. Over the past six months, the stock's performance has been in line with competitor Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP) but better than the broader markets.


Analysts are looking for this Massachusetts-based tech company, scheduled to report Thursday, to post per-share earnings that more than doubled year over year to $0.43. And for the fiscal first quarter of 2012 during which the company announced it joined the newly formed Security Manufacturers Coalition, revenues are expected to total $113.4 million. That would be a 9.2% increase from a year ago. Analysts so far predict sequential and year-over-year EPS and revenue growth in the current quarter as well. But note that EPS fell short of consensus estimates in three of the past five quarters. The share price has risen more than 22% in the past quarter and is almost 20% higher than a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitors Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) and Linear Technology (NASDAQ: LLTC) over the past six months.

And Others

Other companies expected to post year-over-year earnings growth this week include Casey's General Stores (NASDAQ: CASY), Cooper Companies (NYSE: COO), John Wiley (NYSE: JW-A), Layne Christensen (NASDAQ: LAYN), Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) and Pall Corp. (NYSE: PLL).

Lower earnings are forecast for Esterline Technologies (NYSE: ESL), G-III Apparel (NASDAQ: GIII), Greif (NYSE: GEF) and Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD). Net losses are expected from Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP), Ocean Power Technologies (NASDAQ: OPTT), Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ: PSUN) and Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN).


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