Investing

5 High-Profile Stocks With Upcoming Catalysts This Week

Although third-quarter earnings reporting is starting to wind down this week, many top companies are still set to post numbers, and some have additional catalysts that could drive share prices higher. A new research note from Jefferies highlights some top stocks in the firm’s coverage universe that will announce earnings and could have additional items for investors to focus on.

We screened the Jefferies list for the stocks that may have the biggest impact. We came up with five leading companies, all are rated Buy at Jefferies.

CommScope Holding Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM) provides connectivity and infrastructure solutions for wireless, business enterprise and residential broadband networks in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, Central and Latin America, and Canada. The company operates in three segments: Wireless, Enterprise and Broadband. The Jefferies analysts feel the company will report solid numbers on Friday, and they also expect it to see additional spending from Sprint and AT&T in 2015.

The Jefferies price target is posted at $31, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target is $31.13. The stock closed Friday at $22.82 a share.

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C&J Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: CJES) will report earnings on Wednesday, and the Jefferies research points out that revenue has impressed for two consecutive quarters, but both increased work volume and sand per well created spiraling costs. They are confident after management meetings that C&J is on top of its supply chain challenges and should show visible margin traction in the quarter report. The company is an independent provider of premium hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing, wireline, pumpdown and other complementary oilfield services, with a focus on complex, technically demanding well completions.

The Jefferies price target is $39 and the consensus is at $31.56. The stock closed Friday at $19.78. Trading to the Jefferies target would be a 100% gain for shareholders.

Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with more than 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity, comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers. The Jefferies team expects strong third-quarter numbers when the company reports on Wednesday, and they are 9% higher than the Wall Street consensus on 2015 earnings. They also feel that with the introduction of a new capacity performance product next year, the company could add $0.40 of earnings in the 2017-18 timeframe.

Exelon investors are paid a solid 3.6% dividend. Jefferies has a $37 price target, while the consensus figure is $35.87. Shares ended trading on Friday at $35.73.

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Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) is a giant in the hard disk drive (HDD) arena, and the Jefferies analysts think that the fact that Hutchinson Technology positively pre-announced bodes well for the company, as Western Digital is 62% of its business. Many on Wall Street think an improving PC environment could place upward bias on total HDD unit sales, with some estimates as high as 147 million units in the third quarter. That could translate to big earnings when the company reports on Tuesday. The company’s drives are deployed by OEMs and integrators in desktop and mobile computers, enterprise computing systems, embedded systems and consumer electronics applications, as well as by the company in providing its own storage products.

Western Digital investors are paid a 1.8% dividend. The Jefferies price target for this top technology stock is $124. The consensus price target is $111.83. Shares closed on Friday at $91.68.

Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB) is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America and it owns controlling interests in both Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners through its ownership of 100% of the general partner of each. Williams also owns approximately 66% and 50% of the limited partner units of Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners. The company remains Jefferies’ top stock pick over the next year, but the analysts think there is a possibility the quarter numbers may miss estimates when it reports on Wednesday.

Williams investors are paid a very respectable 4.2% distribution. The Jefferies price target is $70, and the consensus target is $64.89. Williams closed trading on Friday at $53.24.

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Conservative investors looking to buy these stocks may want to wait until after the companies report. More aggressive accounts may want to buy a partial position in front of the numbers.