Corporate earnings season is in full swing, and 24/7 Wall St. has put together a preview of some of the larger reporting companies for the coming week. We have taken a review of the consensus earnings estimates, stock price and trading history, and added some additional color on each.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is set to report its second-quarter earnings Monday afternoon after the close of trading. Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates of $0.71 in earnings per share (EPS) and $26.32 billion in revenue.
With a new CEO making the right strategic moves and the company evolving away from dependence of the Office suite of products, the future for the software giant looks very bright. With potential earnings surprises and a host of product catalysts to boost visibility and earnings in 2015, Microsoft remains one of the top picks for growth and income investors. 24/7 Wall St has included more on the 2015 outlook in our bullish and bearish evaluation of Microsoft.
Shares were trading at $46.88 Friday. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $50.03 and a 52-week trading range of $35.69 to $50.05.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) will report its fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday before the markets open. Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates of $1.55 in EPS and revenue of $14.18 billion.
Caterpillar trades with a low multiple because its core markets are in flux. The global growth engine has slowed in core emerging markets, and the mining industries are suffering from weak pricing around the globe. Analysts expect that Caterpillar’s revenues will have been down by about 1% in 2014 — with growth expected at less than 2% for 2015. Another headwind is the strong U.S. dollar, making exports more expensive for foreign buyers.
Shares were trading at $85.46 Friday. The stock has a consensus price target of $97.10 and a 52-week trading range of $83.05 to $111.46.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will report its first-quarter earnings Tuesday after the market close. The consensus estimates are for $2.59 in EPS and $67.45 billion in revenue.
Apple finally pays a dividend, which produces a yield of 1.8%. Its balance sheet cash position swells by billions of dollars each quarter and its board has decided to put billions more into share buybacks. Apple’s stock has continued it rapid rise. If products like the iPhone 6 continue to dominate the smartphone markets, Apple’s product advantages and sales will only grow. Analysts such as Credit Suisse have called for Apple to rise even higher after posting a solid year.
Shares were trading at $112.36 Friday. The consensus analyst price target is $123.33, and the 52-week trading range is $70.51 to $119.75.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) will report its fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday after the markets close. The consensus estimates are for $0.29 in EPS and revenue of $1.19 billion.
In December, Yahoo achieved its highest U.S. search share for over five years, according to the latest data from StatCounter, the independent website analytics provider. Google fell to the lowest monthly share yet recorded by the company. This is a very favorable way for Yahoo to close out its quarter as it derives a fair amount of its revenue from search. In the previous month, Merrill Lynch upgraded Yahoo to Buy, largely due to its Alibaba exposure. Should Alibaba earnings be favorable later in the week, it would give a solid boost to Yahoo.
Shares were at $48.90 Friday morning. The consensus price target is $51.15, and shares have traded in a 52-week range of $32.15 to $52.62.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday before the markets open. Analysts are looking for $2.12 in EPS and $23.89 billion in revenue.
United Continental is reportedly preparing to place an order for 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, each of which is tagged with a list price of $330 million. United, of course, will not pay anything near the list price. In fact, sources say United will pay just $130 million per plane. The usual discounted price on the plane is around $150 million. While it may sound like Boeing is giving away one of its premier products, it really allows Boeing to keep the production line for the current version of the plane going until the new 777X is ready for delivery to customers. For more on Boeing’s outlook, check out our bullish and bearish evaluation for 2015.
Shares were at $135.36 Friday. The consensus price target is $149.81. The 52-week trading range is $116.32 to $140.47.
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