Investing

Earnings Previews: Box, Costco, Dell, Gap, Salesforce

The Memorial Day holiday will effectively shut down the trickle of earnings reports beginning Friday and extending through Monday. Next week includes reports from more retailers and some tech firms, among others.

Here’s a look at the results of reports from Abercrombie, Li Auto, Nordstrom and Zscaler, all posted after markets closed Tuesday or before they opened Wednesday. After markets close Wednesday and before they open Thursday, we expect reports from Best Buy, Medtronic, Nvidia and Pure Storage.

This preview looks at five companies reporting quarterly results Thursday afternoon.

Box

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) posted a share price gain of around 7.5% last year, but the shares have taken off in 2021, adding around 27% as of Tuesday’s close. Shares traded up about 30% last week before the company announced a strategic investment of $500 million from private equity firm KKR that Box plans to use to repurchase shares.

Starboard Value, another private equity giant and owner of around 8% of Box, had on May 10 nominated its own slate of candidates for election to Box’s board. In connection with the KKR investment, Box’s board gave KKR voting rights amounting to around 10% of outstanding shares. As this dispute plays out, shareholder value is not being enhanced.

Disregarding the current kerfuffle, analysts remain solidly bullish on Box stock, with 10 of 12 rating the stock a Buy or Strong Buy. At a recent price of almost $23 a share, the upside potential based on a consensus price target of $26.80 is 16.5%. At the high target of $28, the implied gain is nearly 22%.

For the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2022, analysts expect earnings per share (EPS) of $0.17 on revenue of $200.48 million. Forecasts call for fiscal year EPS of $0.80 and revenue of $844.71 million.

At the current price, shares trade at a multiple of around 28.6 times expected 2022 earnings and 22.7 times estimated 2023 earnings. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $15.07 to $26.47, and the average daily trading volume is around 3.6 million shares. Box does not pay a dividend.

Costco

Membership warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) posted a share price gain of nearly 33% last year, well below the gain of almost 46% registered in 2019 but well above the 9.3% increase in 2018. For the year to date, Costco stock has added a modest 2.9%. Analysts and pundits are going to be looking at Costco as a bellwether for how big retailers transition to a post-COVID-19 world. Walmart and Target already have posted solid beats, and expectations are high for Costco too.

Of 29 brokerages covering the company, 18 have placed Buy or Strong Buy ratings on the stock, while the other 11 rate the shares at Hold. At a share price of around $386, upside potential based on a consensus price target of $395.26 is about 2.4%. At the high target of $445, upside potential is more than 15%.

Analysts expect Costco to post EPS of $2.34 for its fiscal third quarter on sales of $43.64 billion. For fiscal 2021, analysts are looking for EPS of $10.10 on sales of $189.04 billion.

Costco stock trades at about 38.4 times expected 2021 EPS, 34.8 times estimated 2022 earnings and 31.4 times estimated 2023 earnings. The stock’s 52-week range is $293.84 to $393.15, and the average daily trading volume is around 2.7 million shares. Costco pays an annual dividend of $3.16 (yield of 9.82%).