Earnings Previews: Commercial Metals, Jabil, Kroger, Planet Labs


Grocery store operator Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has added more than 32% to its share price over the past 12 months. Shares posted a 52-week high in early April and have dropped about 18% since then. How well Kroger can stay ahead of inflation is a major question (as it is for all retailers). Its strength, though, is that people have to eat. Their focus on groceries has both Kroger and Albertsons far outperforming competitors Walmart and Target. Kroger reports quarterly results Thursday morning.

Of 26 analysts covering the stock, 13 have a Hold rating. Seven rate the shares at Buy or Strong Buy rating, and six have assigned Sell or Strong Sell ratings. At a share price of around $50.30, the upside potential based on a median price target of $55.50 is 10.3%. At the high price target of $75.00, the upside potential is 49.1%.

Fiscal first-quarter revenue is forecast at $43.08 billion, up about 30.4% sequentially and 4.3% higher year over year. Adjusted EPS are tabbed at $1.27, up 40% sequentially and 6.7% year over year. For full fiscal 2023 ending in January, Kroger is expected to post EPS of $3.81, up 3.5%, on sales of $144 billion, up 4.4%.

The stock trades at 13.2 times expected 2023 EPS, 12.6 times estimated 2024 earnings of $3.99 and 12.1 times estimated 2025 earnings of $4.15 per share. The stock’s 52-week range is $36.77 to $62.78. Kroger pays an annual dividend of $0.81 (yield of 1.67%). Total shareholder return for the past year is 32.4%.

Planet Labs

Since coming public in a SPAC merger last December, shares of Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL) have dropped by nearly 55%. That includes a share price jump of 68% between May 11 and May 27, following the company’s federal contract award for providing unclassified satellite imagery. The company reports quarterly results after markets close on Tuesday.

The “PBC” in the company’s name indicates that it is a for-profit corporation that is intended to produce a public benefit and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. Like virtually every other growth stock, Planet Labs requires patience and that is in short supply among investors these days.

Of eight analysts covering the stock, all have a Buy or Strong Buy rating on the shares. At a share price of around $5.10, the upside potential based on a median price target of $11.25 is 120.6%. At the high price target of $17.00, the upside potential is 233%.

Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 is forecast at $39.5 million, up about 6.3% sequentially. Analysts anticipate an adjusted loss of $0.13 per share, compared to a loss of $0.25 per share in the prior quarter. For the full fiscal year ending in January, Planet Labs is expected to post a loss of $0.48 per share, down from the year-ago loss of $1.70, on sales of $181.26 billion, up 38.1%.

Planet Labs is not expected to post a profit in 2023, 2024 or 2025. The company’s sales to enterprise value multiple for 2023 is 4.9. For 2024, the multiple is 3.4, and for 2025 the multiple is 2.0. The stock’s post-IPO range is $3.70 to $11.65 (prior to the IPO, the SPAC stock reached a high of $12.15 in November, after announcing the deal with Planet Labs).

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