Earnings Previews: BlackRock, Delta Air Lines, United Healthcare

Stocks were trading higher in mid-morning action Wednesday, after opening on a positive note.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has issued its weekly report on petroleum inventories, noting an increase of 18.2 million barrels in crude oil stocks and a rise of 4.1 million barrels in gasoline stocks. Spot prices dropped briefly but recovered to trade up by around 2% for the day shortly before noon.

Before markets open on Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report December’s consumer price index (CPI). The consensus estimates call for no increase in CPI but a jump of 0.3% in core CPI.

After U.S. markets close on Wednesday and before they open on Thursday, KB Home and Taiwan Semiconductor are on deck to report quarterly results.

We already have posted our previews of five of the nation’s largest banks, all set to report quarterly results first thing Friday morning: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Here is a preview of three more companies, including a Dow Jones industrial average component, also set to report results before Friday’s opening bell.


The world’s largest investment management firm, BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), is expected to report assets under management totaling around $8.07 trillion at the end of the December quarter. Included in that total is a 2022 net inflow of some $220 billion into the company’s global iShares ETFs. That is despite the pushback BlackRock has gotten from several U.S. states that have withdrawn more than $3 billion in investments due to BlackRock’s position on ESG investing. At the end of 2021, BlackRock’s assets under management totaled around $10 trillion. The shares are down almost 13% over the past 12 months but have added almost 40% since early October.

Analysts remain bullish on the firm, with 11 of 16 having a Buy or Strong Buy rating and the rest rating the stock a Hold. At a recent share price of around $760.00, the upside potential based on a median price target of $775.00 is about 2%. At the high price target of $1,212.00, the upside potential is 59.5%.

Fourth-quarter 2022 revenue is forecast at $4.25 billion, which would be down by 1.3% sequentially and by 16.8% year over year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) are forecast at $8.05, down 15.7% sequentially and 22.7% lower year over year. For the full 2022 fiscal year, analysts forecast EPS of $34.44, down about 12.1%, on sales of $17.77 billion, down 8.3%.

BlackRock stock trades at 22.1 times expected 2022 EPS, 11.6 times estimated 2023 earnings of $35.19 and 19.4 times estimated 2024 earnings of $39.16. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $503.12 to $899.97. Blackrock pays an annual dividend of $19.52 (yield of 2.78%). Total return to shareholders for the past 12 months was negative 11.9%.

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