The Unusual Suspects for the Week Ahead (ABT, ADBE, AAPL, ALTH, BBY, LNG, CQP, CSCO, SOLR, INTU, KV-A, NBG, NFLX, ORCL, RIMM, SKX, VMW, XRX, ID, CASY)

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) is expected to report earnings on Thursday. We’ll be giving a full earnings preview as it gets closer, but investors will want to hear more than just about hiring Mark Hurd…. Oracle is after much of the same spending enterprise dollars as Cisco and other enterprise players.  Analysts have not really adjusted the $0.36 EPS figure any lower nor the $0.45 EPS expected at the next report.  It had a big week on the Hurd hire and closed out at $25.05, and its 52-week range is $20.10 to $26.63.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM) is set to announce earnings this coming Thursday and Thomson Reuters estimates are $1.35 EPS and $4.48 billion in revenues.  Based upon how poorly the shares have done, $44.12 at the week’s end versus a 52-week range of $42.53 to $88.08, let us boldly say that only an idiot would not expect an earnings miss or at least another unit sale warning ahead.  Android and iOS phones are taking the lion’s share of the business.  What could act as a catalyst though is a fresh report from Gartner, which showed that RIM could actually have a slower bleed of its mobile operating system market share than what the loudest skeptics are saying.

Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX) may have been overly punished on an analyst downgrade this last week showing discounting fears.  Shares went from above $26 to under $23 before Friday’s close could stop the bleeding.  At $22.84, its 52-week range is $16.39 to $44.90 and this stock trades at less than 6-times a normalized 2010-2011 earnings estimate blend.  Unless it is having to give shoes away, value investors could save this one.

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) is likely to get hit pretty hard on Monday morning.  Barron’s said the company is overpriced at 61-times expected earnings and that it has  already achieved market dominance that is now under threat by by competition and by cloud computing.  Of course, VMware would say that this is its opportunity rather than its challenge.  You could see more than a 35 or 4% drop on the news in a market-neutral scenario Monday morning.

Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) is going to see a nice pop on Monday morning after it was given the Barron’s front-page cover story called “Just Try to Copy That” where the article said it could go to $14 or $15 in the next year.  Barron’s outlined the transformation from copiers to data services for business and government ahead.  At $9.11, its 52-week trading range is $7.19 to $11.72.  In a market-neutral scenario, Xerox could easily be up more than 3% at Monday’s open.

We have two updates for mergers and acquisitions.  L-1 Identity Solutions Inc. (NYSE: ID) rose more than 6% Friday on word that Safran is in the lead to acquire it as it is up for sale.  Casey’s General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY) may still be above the real buyout prices, but Seven-Eleven is now in the buyout mix along with the existing offer from Couche-Tard.  Casey’s is likely to drag on a while longer.

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