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It's Back: Alcoa Kicks Off The Unofficial Start To Earnings Season

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It's Back: Alcoa Kicks Off The Unofficial Start To Earnings Season

The first-quarter earnings season gets underway as Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA) steps into the spotlight Wednesday. It may not be quite the bellwether it was as part of the Dow, but if Wall Street's expectations for Alcoa earnings are still any sign of things to come, the first quarter may be off to a strong start.

Results of a handful of retailers also will highlight the week on the earnings front. Analysts are looking for earnings growth from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY), Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA), but shrinking profits at Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) and Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR).

Below is a quick look at what analysts are looking for from these results, as well as a peek at the following week's most anticipated earnings reports.

Alcoa

This leading global aluminum producer will post $0.29 EPS for its first quarter, if the consensus of 30 Estimize estimates is accurate. That would be up from $0.09 per share in the same period of last year. Note that earnings easily exceeded Wall Street's expectations in the past four quarters.

Revenue for the three months that ended in March is predicted to have climbed from $5.45 billion in the year-ago quarter to $6.09 billion, says Estimize. Wall Street expects sequential and year-on-year growth on both the top and bottom lines in the current period. Watch for Alcoa's report after Wednesday's closing bell.

See also: Analyst: Why I'm Bullish On Alcoa's Aerospace Plan

Bed Bath & Beyond

The fiscal fourth-quarter forecast for this domestics retailer calls for EPS that climbed from $1.60 in the year-ago period to $1.78. Revenues for the three months that ended in February are expected to have gained less than 5 percent to $3.35 billion, according to 17 estimates.

Wall Street is looking for $5.05 EPS for the full year, which would be an improvement from the $4.79 per share in the previous year. The anticipated revenue of $11.90 billion would be less than 4 percent higher. Look for Bed Bath & Beyond to release its results Wednesday after the regular trading session ends.

Family Dollar Stores

The consensus of seven estimates for this variety store operator call for a profit of $0.73 per share and for revenue to total $2.79 billion for its fiscal second quarter, when it reports Wednesday morning. That would compare to $0.80 EPS and revenue of $2.72 billion in the same period of last year.

Note that Family Dollar earnings fell short of analysts' expectations by 29 percent in the previous period. Wall Street has overestimated EPS in all the past four quarters. Looking ahead, another year-over-year slip in earnings, but on some growth on the top line, is expected so far in the current quarter.

Pier 1 Imports

When it shares its results late Wednesday, five estimates have this Texas-based company posting earnings of $0.39 a share for the most recent quarter. That would be down from $0.41 per share in the year-ago quarter. Note that Wall Street analysts were looking for $0.56 EPS just 60 days ago.

The Estimize consensus also calls for revenue to be more than 5 percent lower than a year ago to $544 million for the fiscal fourth quarter. The full-year forecast from Wall Street is $0.82 EPS, down more than 17 percent, on revenue that totals $1.87 billion, which would be up less than 6 percent from a year ago.

Rite Aid

Some 16 estimates suggest the third-largest U.S. drug store chain will post $0.09 per share earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter, which would be a 50 percent gain over the year-ago period. Wall Street anticipates just $0.07 per share, but the analysts way underestimated EPS in the past two quarters.

Revenue for the three months that ended in February will be almost 3 percent higher than a year ago to $6.78 billion, if the Estimize consensus is on target. Wall Street sees growth of more than 3 percent for the full year and for the current quarter as well. Look for Rite Aid's results before Thursday's opening bell.

See also: Morgan Stanley Offers Thoughts On Walgreen Boots Alliance Ahead Of Analyst Day

Walgreens

In its report early Thursday, the largest U.S. drug store operator is expected to say that its EPS increased $0.04 to $0.95 for the three months that ended in February. In the previous period, the final report before the Boots Alliance merger, the company exceeded analyst estimates by 8 percent.

The consensus of 11 estimates has revenues up around 40 percent to $27.77 billion for the fiscal second quarter. For the current quarter, a more than 53 percent gain in revenue is anticipated by Wall Street, as well as EPS that are the same as in the most recent quarter, also up four cents from a year ago.

Coming Up

The first-quarter reports really start to roll in when Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo share results the following week. Wall Street forecasts call for earnings growth from most of these big banks. Delta Air Lines, General Electric, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix and many more are on deck as well.

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