U.S. Markets closed

Previewing Earnings for Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, A&F, H-P & Others

the BullMarket.com Staff

Stocks tend to be most volatile around earnings season, when a good or bad report can make or break it. However, a good or even great earnings report doesn't necessarily translate into a huge pop for a stock.

During earnings season, BullMarket.com publishes a comprehensive 25- to 40-page Earnings Preview report for the week ahead each Friday.

Over the past year, BullMarket.com used the data it has collected to correctly predict investor reactions for approximately two-third of the stocks it's previewed.

In its latest earnings preview, BullMarket.com looks at several popular stocks, including The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Wal-Mart (WMT), Nordstrom (JWN), Intuit (INTU), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF).

Here is just a tiny sample of what BullMarket.com wrote about Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart has beaten analyst EPS estimates six of eight quarters over the past two years, missing the consensus two times. During that span, the stock has risen the next session two of eight quarters. Seasonally, the stock has risen once in the past four years. ...

Last quarter, Wal-Mart said it earned $3.63 billion, or $1.08 per share, in the quarter ended October 31st, which was up from $3.33 billion, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales, excluding Sam's Club membership fees, rose 3.4% to $113.2 million. Excluding currency headwinds, net revenue would have been $114.9 million. The consensus estimates were for Wal-Mart to report $1.07 per share on net revenue of $114 billion.

For the entire U.S. business, sales on a same-store basis rose 1.7%, below the 2.1% Wall Street estimate. At Sam's Club, the figure was up 2.7% excluding fuel, below the 3.8% increase Wall Street expected and the 4.2% gain it posted in the second quarter. Wal-Mart brand stores reported a 1.5% increase in sales on a same-store basis. Sam's Club membership and other income grew 2.1% compared to third quarter of last year.

International grew net sales 2.4% to $33.2 billion for the quarter, despite a negative impact from currency and a challenging global economy. On a constant currency basis, net sales would have increased 7.6% over last year. ...

Outside of earnings, Wal-Mart has been performing better operationally recently, helped by adding back SKUs and its compare and save ad campaign. Investors who follow the stock may remember that the company made an earlier misstep by removing products, which upset customers.

While Wal-Mart has seen same-store sales growth rebound, better expense controls, and improved margins, its sale growth is still lagging most of its peers. In addition, we think the payroll tax increase will likely hurt its customers more than many of its peers. ...

The full BullMarket.com earnings analysis includes a look at historical earnings data and EPS trends for the companies above and more; examines past investor reactions to earnings in various contexts; gives options activity analysis; reviews previous-quarter earnings; and gives an opinion on both what earnings will look like and how investors will react based on the aforementioned data points.

Just a few of the correct calls BullMarket.com made for Q4 so far were:

  • to be bullish on Netflix (NFLX) ahead of earnings.
  • to be bullish on Michael Kors (KORS) ahead of earnings.
  • to be bearish on Akamai (AKAM) ahead of earnings.
  • A daily investment service that is committed to creating long-term wealth for its members, BullMarket.com's Recommended List of stocks is up 104.9% from 2009-2012 versus a 57.9% return for the S&P, a 47.0% outperformance, topping the benchmark each year since the start of the Great Recession. Subscribers receive actionable market commentary, access to 40+ stock ideas on the Recommended List, and real-time trade alerts. Plus, sign up for a free trial today to view Bull Market's in-depth Special Reports - including its annual High Yield and MLP reports - and its timely Earnings Previews, which are published every Friday during the heart of earnings season. Get a Risk-Free Trial to Bull Market Today! (Please note returns are unaudited.)