Investing

Earnings Previews: Jabil, United Natural Foods

The three major U.S. equity indexes closed lower Thursday. The Dow Jones industrials ended the day down 0.35%, the S&P 500 closed lower by 0.84%, and the Nasdaq lost 1.37%. Nine of 11 sectors ended the day with losses, ranging from 2.3% (consumer cyclicals) to 0.1% (consumer staples). Health care was the big gainer, up 0.5% for the day, with communication services up 0.06%.

Worries about interest rates, both policy and market rates, fed fears of a hard landing for the economy. The Bank of England raised its policy rate to 2.25%, while the Bank of Japan held steady at negative 0.1%. Other central banks to raise rates were Indonesia, Norway and Switzerland. Hong Kong’s monetary authority raised its policy rate to 3.5%. Dollar strength and rising yields on U.S. Treasuries did not help. The three major indexes traded lower in Friday’s premarket session.

After markets closed Thursday, Costco beat consensus estimates on both the top and bottom lines. The company did not increase its membership fee but did not discount the possibility in the future. Shares traded down about 2.3% in Friday’s premarket.

FedEx jumped the gun and reported results before markets closed Thursday. The stock closed up about 0.8% for the day but traded lower early Friday. After last week’s warning, investors did not expect much from FedEx, and the company delivered. Shares traded down about 3% Friday morning.

No earnings reports are due out after U.S. markets close Friday or before they open again on Monday. Here is a look at two companies reporting quarterly results first thing Tuesday morning.

Jabil

Shares of manufacturing services provider Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) have dipped by 4.6% over the past 12 months, including a December spike to an all-time high. Since then, however, the shares plunged nearly 30% by late July and are down just over 20% as of Thursday’s closing bell.

The company has been growing its presence in the automotive market, and that growth is expected to continue. Revenue has beat estimates in 10 of 11 previous quarters, and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) have been higher than estimates in 9 of 11 previous quarters.

Of nine brokerages covering the stock, all have a Buy or Strong Buy rating. At a recent trading price of about $57.60, the upside potential based on a median price target of $79.00 is 37.2%. At the high target of $82.00, the potential upside is about 42.4%.

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