Earnings season is hitting its peak as hundreds of companies will issue their quarterly reports this week. Among the members of the Dow Jones Industrials , just one short of a dozen companies will be among those issuing fourth-quarter results beginning tomorrow. Let's take a quick look at expectations for all 11 of these Dow components and then drill down on four particularly interesting companies whose earnings could move the markets this week.
Dow earnings Here's a quick summary of the Dow companies slated to report over the next four days:
|Stock||Expected to Report||Expected Earnings Per Share||Year-Ago Earnings Per Share|
|Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)||Tuesday||$0.52||$0.52|
|E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD)||Tuesday||$0.07||$0.35|
|The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV)||Tuesday||$0.14||$1.48|
|International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)||Tuesday||$5.25||$4.71|
|Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)||Tuesday||$1.17||$1.13|
|McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD)||Wednesday||$1.33||$1.33|
|United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX)||Wednesday||$1.03||$1.42|
|3M Co (NYSE:MMM)||Thursday||$1.41||$1.35|
|AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)||Thursday||$0.46||$0.42|
|Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)||Thursday||$0.75||$0.78|
|The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)||Friday||$1.11||$1.10|
This cross-section shows the tug of war going on in the economy recently, with five companies expected to see earnings grow, four seen with lower earnings, and two staying flat. That's consistent with the overall trend toward weaker earnings growth in recent quarters, as the nearly four-year-old bull market starts to look tired and as extremely high corporate profit margins appear to have less room for further expansion.
The 4 reports to read closely this week It's smart to pay attention whenever any Dow component reports earnings, as the latest news from the leaders of the U.S. economy always contains insight you can apply not just to those stocks but to their competitors as well. But I see four companies in particular as being worth taking a closer look at in the coming week.
E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD) is struggling to recover from an unexpectedly weak third quarter in which revenue fell 9%, sharply lower than what analysts had expected. Specifically, the company's electronics and communications segment saw the biggest drop of 28%, as its sales of photovoltaic materials suffered from a weak solar market. Performance chemicals saw a contraction in revenue of nearly 20%. However, optimism about the solar energy industry and a continuing emphasis toward the more successful agricultural segment could lead to a turnaround for DuPont. Whether the company can beat reduced earnings guidance depends on its ability to quickly maneuver to take advantage of those changing conditions.