(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day's major stories and events, analyses and other features. To receive The Day Ahead, Eikon users can register at . Thomson One users can register at RT/DAY/US. All times in ET/GMT) Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is expected to report that its profit in the fourth-quarter halved from a year earlier as crude oil prices plunged.
Pfizer Inc, which said in November it would buy Botox maker Allergan in a $160 billion deal to slash its U.S. tax bill, is likely to report higher fourth-quarter sales due to strong demand for its pneumonia vaccine and breast cancer drug, Ibrance. Investors will look for updates on progress on the deal and on potential antitrust issues. Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Reed has said that he expects the deal to close this year.
Automotive research firm Autodata is expected to report that January's U.S. total vehicle sales likely rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.40 million units from prior month's 17.34 million units. (1330/1830) Dow Chemical Co, which is merging with rival DuPont, is expected to report a lower fourth-quarter profit as weak crude prices weigh on selling prices of plastics and related chemicals. Activist investor Daniel Loeb, who had been lobbying to get Dow to break itself up, has called for the removal of Chief Executive Andrew Liveris after the merger. Investors will seek more details on the deal.
Yahoo Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings below the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The online search and advertising company has been struggling to boost revenue from ad sales in the face of stiff competition from Google and Facebook Inc. Yahoo has been developing content for its mobile platform to drive user engagement. The focus will be on updates on the reorganization and the spinoff of its core business.
Gilead Sciences Inc, the maker of blockbuster hepatitis C treatment Harvoni, is expected to report a rise of more than 20 percent in its fourth-quarter earnings. Gilead, which has been criticized for its high-priced treatment, is facing new competition after Merck & Co Inc's rival drug was approved by regulators this week.
United Parcel Service Inc, the world's largest package delivery company, will announce fourth-quarter results. Early indications are that the Atlanta-based company, after two poor holiday seasons in a row, managed to handle Christmas package volumes while keeping its costs down. Investors will be looking for details on what the package giant got right and how it plans to make Christmas 2016 a success amid the unpredictable and chaotic rise of ecommerce.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc is expected to report a decline in fourth-quarter sales at established restaurants, its first ever fall as a listed company. The burrito chain operator has been plagued by a series of food poisoning outbreaks in recent months. Chipotle cut its quarterly sales forecast, mainly due to the latest norovirus incident at a Boston restaurant in December. Investors will look for commentary on food safety measures and sales forecast for the current quarter.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd is likely to report third-quarter sales above analysts average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The handbag maker has been focusing on new designs such as cross-body satchels and large wallets. Once a frontrunner in the handbag market, Kors has lost some of its 'affordable luxury' positioning due to over-distribution, which forced it to offer heavy discounts. Analysts say Kors' investment in its ecommerce business is the right way ahead as the company looks to cater more to millennials.
Emerson Electric Co, whose equipment helps factories automate processes, is expected to report lower first-quarter revenue. The company has been under pressure from falling oil prices as its energy customers cut back on spending. Investors will be looking for an update on the company's full-year forecast and the planned spinoff of its network power business.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc, a satellite radio service provider, is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue and profit above analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. In October, Sirius had raised its full-year forecast for revenue and subscriber additions for the third time, citing strong U.S. auto sales. In December, the company and 'shock jock' Howard Stern renewed their five-year deal for his popular 'Howard Stern Show'. Analysts will look for details on whether the deal is expected to help Sirius attract new subscribers and retain existing ones.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is expected to report fourth-quarter profit and sales in line with analysts' estimates, helped by pricing and good bookings. The cruise operator, however, may have been hurt by the slowdown in China, where Royal Caribbean and rivals have been investing heavily to gain market share in what is considered as the next big market for cruises. Investors will look for Royal Caribbean's 2016 forecast as well as comments on China and the impact of the Zika virus outbreak.
Baxter International Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue in line with estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Sales in its hospital business are getting hit by medical device recalls and the company faces generic competition for its cancer treatment. The hospital products maker, spun off Baxalta in July last year, appointed a new chief executive, and investors will look for comments from the CEO on the company's growth strategies going forward.
Lazard Ltd, a financial advisory and asset management firm, is expected to report a rise in fourth-quarter profit, boosted by advisory fees for several billion-dollar deals in another busy quarter for M&A, particularly in Europe. Last year's low U.S. interest rates helped push merger activity to levels last seen before the 2008 financial crisis. Lazard advised on deals including AB InBev's $100 billion-plus takeover of rival brewer SABMiller, oil major Royal Dutch Shell's $50 billion takeover of BG Group, and the $103 billion merger of chemical titans DuPont and Dow Chemical. Some analysts think Lazard may announce a share buyback as it had upwards of $1 billion in cash and investments at the end of September, and the company's shares have lost about a quarter of their value in the past year.
Edwards Lifesciences, a maker of replacement heart valves and other medical devices, is expected to report higher fourth-quarter earnings according to analysts' estimates.
LIVECHAT-EMERGING MARKETS with LPL Financial strategist Anthony Valeri Investment strategist Anthony Valeri takes questions on emerging markets, which some investors believe contains debt and equity bargains after the slide in global commodities prices and gains by the dollar. (1000 ET/1500 GMT) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here http://bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled by Astha Rawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)