Banking & Finance

Top Earnings Previews For The Week Ahead (AAPL, IBM, GS, WFC, UNH, UNP, GOOG, APD, ARG, BAC, GE, SLB)

Earnings season is upon us and this week will mark the beginning of the flood of earnings reports.  The most important earnings we are tracking will be from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD), Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), and Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB).

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reports after the close on Tuesday and unfortunately the entire scenario has changed now that Steve Jobs is on a medical leave of absence again.  Analysts have defended the stock this morning and estimates are $5.38 EPS and $24.38 billion in revenues.  Estimates for the next quarter are $4.43 EPS and $20.62 billion in revenues.  Before the Jobs news took a bite out of the Apple, shares hit a high on Friday of $348.48 versus $322.56 at the end of December.  The 2010 gain was more than 50% but the stock had effectively been stuck in a range of $310 to $325 for most of the last quarter before the 2011 run came back.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is due after the close on Tuesday.  Big Blue’s expectations are $4.08 EPS and $28.26 billion in revenues.  For the Q1-2011 the estimates are $2.23 EPS and $23.66 billion in revenues.  In case Apple offer’s long-term guidance, the consensus estimates for all of 2011 are $12.58 EPS and $103.14 billion in revenues.  Shares hit yet another all-time high of $150.95 today versus under $140 per share back in October.  We always track the services backlog to judge future revenues and that figure stood at $134 billion at the end of its third quarter.  We’ll also be paying attention to what IBM says about currency adjustments and how much is being allocated for shares buybacks.