Sunday, January 27, 2008

Earnings Preview Monday-Tuesday

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Aside from the State of the Union Monday, we have the Fed Meeting Tue-Wed. I believe at least 25 basis points is already baked in; no cut could cause the whining babies in the stock market to sell off (again), and then Friday's job report (yawn).

Earnings of note **Monday** - no fund holdings reporting but an excellent day to see a snapshot of American economic health.

American Express (AXP) - they already prewarned; the consumer crunch is moving even to the 'rich folks' (but remember "subprime is contained" <-- Bernanke Spring 2007)

Halliburton (HAL) - big daddy of oil/energy services

McDonalds (MCD) - I expect continued good things, especially abroad even if analysts think the story is over ... in fact I believe more Americans are going to be stuck eating there whether they like it or not. (beggars can't be choosers)

Tyson Foods (TSN) - I've been looking at these names the past 6 months simply to see the early signs of food inflation

VMWare (VMW) - a very brief fund holding suffering under the "perception is reality" mantra - Microsoft (MFST) wants in on virtualization hence people have fears of VMW. All things considered the stock has actually held up relatively well the past month but the valuation is rich.

YRC Worldwide (YRCW) - I don't follow it closely but I believe the largest trucker in the USA. As a leading indicator of the economy the stock has tanked the past half year - but since the Fed cuts, has bounced hard along with other beaten down sectors. Will be interesting to see what the forward guidance is as much like a railroad, these guys have their hands in all parts of the economy. If I am overstating the weakness of the economy, these type of stocks will be the first to blast off and provide us a clue of a coming bounce in the greater economy of the USA.

**Tuesday**

3M (MMM) - another bellweather

Burlington Northern (BNI), CH Robinson (CHRW) - two transport names - one railroad, one logistics - see comments re: YRCW

Consol Energy (CNX) - fund holding and best performing coal stock I've held. Should see continued strength in coal prices as our ravaged dollar makes coal exports cheap from the US.

EMC Corp (EMC) - bellweather in tech

Pilgrims Pride (PPC) - see Tyson Foods - more poultry specific

Robert Half International (RHI) - could be an interesting tell on employment

Smith International (SII) - fund holding in the oil services patch

Dow Chemical (DOW) - bellweather industrial name

Valero (VLO) - the largest independent refiner; a group that has been demolished... still this group is usually worth a trade or two every year as its very cyclical - but the past 4-5 months have just been a big money loser trying to play these from the long side

Yahoo (YHOO) - just marking time until someone buys them

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