With earnings starting to really snowball last week, and a market that seems to be teetering somewhat due to high valuations and some messy geopolitical issues around the globe, it makes sense to look for companies that are candidates to beat the current expectations. And the only thing better than beating expectations, is beating them and adding some positive forward guidance for the second quarter and/or the full year.
We screened some recent reports from our Wall Street research database and 24/7 Wall St. posts for companies that top analysts on Wall Street think are candidates to beat expectations. These stocks make good sense for growth portfolios that have some risk tolerance.
Here are five top companies that may beat earnings expectations.
This top stock is still down a stunning 15% since January and is an outstanding Buy at current levels. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) operates through three segments. The Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment explores for and produces natural gas, oil, condensate and natural gas liquids (NGLs).
The Midstream segment provides gathering, processing, treating and transportation services to Anadarko and third-party oil, natural gas and NGLs producers, as well as owns and operates gathering, processing, treating and transportation systems in the United States.
The Marketing segment markets oil, natural gas and NGLs in the United States; oil and NGLs internationally; and anticipated liquefied natural gas production from Mozambique.
The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings this coming week. Shareholders are paid a small 0.35% dividend. The RBC price target for the stock is $81, and the Wall Street consensus target is $81.26. The shares closed Friday at $57.02.
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) not only is a huge Internet of Things benefactor, but a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide.
The company offers microcontrollers, such as 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers under the PIC brand name and 16-bit dsPIC digital signal controllers, as well as provides microcontrollers for automotive networking, computing, lighting, power supplies, wireless communication and wireless audio applications.
Microchip Technology also is expected to report quarterly results this week. Investors are paid a very solid 2.85% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $85, and the consensus price objective is $85.12. The stock closed Friday at $75.58.
Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) is an independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids worldwide. Its principal projects are located in DJ Basin, Marcellus Shale, Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin of the United States, as well as in deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean and offshore West Africa. As of December 31, 2015, the company had approximately 1,421 million barrels oil equivalent of total proved reserves.
Noble sanctioned in February the phase 1 development of its giant natural gas discovery in Israel for a gross development cost of $3.75 billion with first sales expected in late 2019. The project will include the development of 9.4 trillion cubic feet gross from four producing wells, each capable of producing in excess of 300 million cubic feet per day.
The company is expected to report earnings on May 1. Shareholders receive a 1.17% dividend. RBC has a $48 price target, and the consensus target is $47.47. The stock closed Friday at $32.33.
This stock has had a strong run since fourth-quarter numbers were reported in February. Solaredge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG) designs, develops and sells direct current (DC) optimized inverter systems for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Israel, Europe, the United States and elsewhere. The company’s DC optimized inverter systems include power optimizers, inverters and cloud-based monitoring software. Its products are used in a range of solar market segments, including residential, commercial and small utility-scale solar installations.
The company sells its products directly to solar installers, as well as engineering, procurement and construction firms. It sells indirectly to solar installers through distributors and electrical equipment wholesalers, as well as PV module manufacturers.
Despite the nice run in the shares, the analysts feel that there is room for multiple expansion and also see positive estimate revisions as a catalyst to move the stock higher. The report said this:
Higher margin HD wave products (3%-5%) mix can grow from 20-25% to over 60% by the end of 2017.Meanwhile, cost reduction across all products could exceed expectations and drive margin expansion (even if average selling prices were to decline by ~20% this year) towards company’s long term gross margin target of 32-37%.
The $20 Deutsche Bank price target compares with the posted consensus estimate of $16.42. The shares closed Friday at $16.15. The company will report earnings the week of May 8.
This stock has also had a big run, but the analysts at Deutsche Bank still feel there is more upside potential. Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) provides process equipment for the data storage, semiconductor, HB-LED/wireless and scientific research markets.
Veeco’s products enable advancements in the fields of nano-technology and other areas of scientific and industrial research. In the process equipment segment, it markets PVD, ALD, MOCVD and MBE deposition tools.
The analysts noted this in the report:
We view the Ultratech deal as incrementally positive, especially post the company’s latest earnings beat where the company reported net sales of $57 million and adjusted earnings-per-share growth of 250%. The first quarter announcement about commitments from two leading North American semi manufacturers further demonstrate company’s strong growth capability.
The Deutsche Bank price objective is $32. The consensus is higher at $32.80. Shares closed near those levels on Friday at $33.00. The company is expected to report on May 4.
These five top companies could very well come in above analysts’ estimates. Given that this is a binary event, investors may want to buy partial positions just in case there is an earnings hiccup.