Top Earnings Previews For Thursday (BZH, PHM, BX, CME, DOW, GNW, GILD, IP, K, MA, MRK, RCL, HOT, TRMB, VRTX, YRCW)

Earnings season is still upon us.  There are going to be many big earnings reports Thursday and we would consider Thursday as the climax for the companies reporting their normal fourth quarter results of 2011 which have fiscal year-end dates of December 31.

We have two homebuilder earnings due from Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) and PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM).  Other key earnings to watch will be from the following: Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX); Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX); CME Group Inc. (NYSE: CME); Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW); Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE: GNW); Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD); International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP); Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K); MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA); Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK); Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL); Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT); Trimble Navigation Ltd. (NASDAQ: TRMB); Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX); YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW).

We have included Thomson Reuters consensus estimates on each company.  On most we have included pricing data and/or other bits of color for traders to consider.

We have two different homebuilders on deck to report.  Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) is expected to post -$0.36 EPS on $211.4 million in sales and we would watch cancellation rates on contracts as well as the quality of the earnings.  Second is PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) with an expected positive earnings of $0.07 EPS on $1.14 billion in sales.  Pulte’s cancellation rates and quality of earnings will also have to be monitored.

Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX) will show private equity wealth and earnings in the morning.  The firm is expected to report earnings of $0.38 EPS on revenues of $986.75 million.

Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) has been down and out for longer than any current and past holder would like to consider.  Thomson Reuters has estimates of $0.08 EPS on $1.91 billion in sales.

CME Group Inc. (NYSE: CME) is expected to report earnings of $3.71 EPS and $754 million in sales before the market opens.  With a possibility of a state-relocation and the ongoing pressure of exchange mergers we would be watching this one.  At roughly $244.50, the 52-week trading range is $224.69 to $317.27.

Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) is expected to turn in earnings of $0.30 EPS on $14.19 billion in sales.  The report is due in the morning.

Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is expected to report earnings of $0.19 EPS on $2.58 billion in sales.  The shares are now up over 60% from the lows of the last year and the stock still remains pressured due to the mortgage insurance overhang that has been in place for quite some time.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) has shocked the market by outperforming despite what appears to be a bad use of effort and capital in the large acquisition.  Still, shares hit a new 52-week high on Wednesday.  Thomson Reuters has estimates of $1.05 EPS and $2.18 billion in sales. 

International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP) is close to being within striking range of a 52-week high and it pays well above a 3% yield today.  Thomson Reuters has estimates of $0.61 EPS and $6.5 billion in sales.

Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) is lagging and actually close to a 52-week low with shares around the $49.50 mark. The estimates are $0.63 on $2.99 billion in sales.  The bar is set very low here.

MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) will show just what the interchange fee problems look like, but that is not fully reflected at all in current numbers.  The consensus estimates are $3.92 EPS and $1.73 billion in sales. With shares around $357 some are concerned over valuations here.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is reporting early Thursday morning and the company’s higher dividend hike has shares trading very close to 52-week highs with a price of close to $38.70 andf a 52-week range of $29.47 to $39.43.  Estimates are $0.95 EPS and $12.53 billion in sales. To show just how low growth is the estimates of $3.76 EPS and $48.23 billion in sales for all of 2011 are only expected to be $3.83 EPS on $47.62 billion in sales for all of 2012.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) may or may not release.  With its rival’s disaster, we are not doing much legwork here.  Thomson Reuters has a projection of $0.15 EPS and $1.78 billion in sales.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT) is key for hotel investors and this one is expected to post $0.57 EPS on $1.42 billion in sales. Starwood has over $1 billion in cash but is still trading at a high 3.7-times book value.

Trimble Navigation Ltd. (NASDAQ: TRMB) is not so widely watched on its own, but it is used as a barometer reading for Garmin.  Trimble estimates are $0.48 EPS and $419.10.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) has been in the news with new FDA approvals.  We have Thursday as the tentative date and estimates are $0.73 EPS and $523.66 million in sales.

YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) is set to report and it is a puzzlement as to how this stock is still alive.  On a reverse split basis the $12.83 price compares to a 52-week range of $7.94 to somewhere over $1,000.  The consensus is listed as -$6.97 EPS but we have no idea how these targets are composed on this company.


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