Investing

Earnings Previews: Abbott Labs, Harley-Davidson, Steel Dynamics, United Airlines

More than 300 publicly traded companies are expected to report March quarter earnings next week as earnings season revs up.

We’ve already previewed results from two companies that report before Monday’s opening bell: Coca-Cola and Prologis.


Here are previews of two companies reporting after markets close Monday and two more scheduled to report before markets open Tuesday morning. Also see our separate preview of four more set to share their results first thing Tuesday.

Steel Dynamics

Steel Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ: STLD) is among the nation’s largest steel producers and metal recyclers, with 13 million tons of steelmaking and coating capacity. Like other steelmakers, Steel Dynamics is getting a push from more sources than just the recently proposed infrastructure bill proposed by President Joe Biden. Over the past 12 months, Steel Dynamics stock has added 140%. The company reports March quarter results after markets close Monday.

Nine of 13 analysts rate the shares a Buy or Strong Buy, and the median price target is $53.50, while shares traded Friday at around $51.10, implying an upside of about 4.7%. At the high target of $60, the potential upside is around 19.4%.

Steel Dynamics is forecast to post quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $1.89 on sales of $3.39 billion. In the year-ago quarter, the company reported EPS of $0.88 on sales of $2.58 billion. For the full year, consensus estimates call for EPS of $6.68 and sales of $13.82 billion.

The stock currently trades at around 8.5 times expected 2021 EPS, 14.4 times estimated 2022 earnings and 14.0 times estimated 2023 earnings. The 52-week trading range is $20.58 to $52.59, and Steel Dynamics pays an annual dividend of $1.04 (yield of 2.04%).

United Airlines

Also after markets close Monday, United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) is expected to report another miserable quarter. Airline stocks have been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a turnaround in air traffic has just begun. On Thursday, nearly 1.4 million passengers flowed through TSA airport checkpoints, compared with just 95,081 on the same day last year. On April 15, 2019, there were nearly 2.6 million passengers.

Over the past 12 months, United’s share price has added about 76%, but since January of 2020, shares are down nearly 38%. At their nadir in May of last year, the stock was down about 78%.

Only six of 18 analysts have Buy or Strong Buy ratings on the stock, while 11 rate the stock as a Hold. The consensus price target of $59.59 implies a potential gain of around 6.2% at a recent price of $56.23. At the high target of $80, the implied upside is 42.3%.

United is forecast to post a loss per share of $6.98 in the quarter on revenue of $3.27 billion. For the full year, analysts estimate a share price loss of $10.98, less than half the $27.57 per-share loss in 2020.

The stock currently trades at around 17.5 times expected 2022 EPS and 7.5 times estimated 2023 EPS. The stock’s 52-week range is $18.18 to $63.70. United has suspended its dividend.