6 Companies to Consider During Earnings Week

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 |  Includes: DE, HPQ, JNPR, NOC, SPLS, TGT
by: Robert Weinstein

Wednesday will certainly be a busy day for many investors. We expect to see earnings on many stocks; the following in particular caught my eye. These are the biggest ones offering the most liquid markets to profit from.

If you are long any of these issues, you may want to protect against downside risk in case your stock misses either results or guidance. Also, after looking at some of the numbers, you may want to position your portfolio to try and make some gains. I am now long Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and looking over the others.

[Click all to enlarge]Click to enlarge Click to enlarge HPQ is a $97.49 billion market cap company that offers various products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. The company'’s Services segment provides consulting, outsourcing, and technology services to infrastructure, applications, and business process domains. Its Enterprise Storage and Servers segment offers storage and server products. This segment provides industry standard servers, business critical systems, and storage works offerings.

Hewlett Packard was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. HPQ reported $1.19 per share in earnings for the quarter ending Jan. 31. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $1.21 per share. Analyst estimates range between $1.19 and $1.25 per share. The current trailing 12 months (ttm) P/E ratio is 10.155 and the forward P/E ratio is 7.01. HPQ has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 2.47 and a price to sales ratio of 0.79. The annual growth rate of the revenue is really exciting at a rate of 0.1002%.

Beyond the aforementioned numbers, which look good, investors should consider other key figures. HPQ has rising revenue year-over-year (yoy) of $126.03 billion for 2010 vs. $114.55 billion for 2009. Additionally, there are a couple of bottom line number trends that give the impression of management executing the business plan very well. The HPQ bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year (yoy) of $8.76 billion for 2010 vs. $7.66 billion for 2009, and rising EBIT year-over-year (yoy) of $11.48 billion for 2010 vs. $10.14 billion for 2009.

I use a proprietary blend of technical analysis, financial crowd behavior, and fundamentals in my short-term trades, and while not totally the same in longer swing trades to investments, the concepts used are similar. While under press the last few trading sessions, HPQ is still a buy for me.

Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE) is a $32.56 billion market cap company that provides products and services primarily for agriculture and forestry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Agriculture and Turf, Construction and Forestry, and Credit. DE reported $1.22 per share in earnings for the quarter ending Jan. 31. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $2.06 per share. Analyst estimates range between $1.9 and $2.45 per share. The current ttm P/E ratio is 17.697 and the forward P/E ratio is 12.1. DE has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 5.23 and a price to sales ratio of 1.27. The annual growth rate of the revenue is fair at a rate of 0.1251%. The current dividend as a percentage of the ttm income is 0.2667%.

I believe DE is still a buy.

Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR) is a $19.29 billion market cap company that designs, develops, and sells products and services that provide network infrastructure used for the deployment of services and applications over a single Internet Protocol-based network worldwide. The company's Infrastructure segment provides routing and switching products that control and direct network traffic.

Juniper was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. JNPR reported $0.24 per share in earnings for the quarter ending Mar. 31. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.27 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.25 and $0.29 per share. The current ttm P/E ratio is 36.222 and the forward P/E ratio is 24.15. JNPR has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 3.01 and a price to sales ratio of 4.86. The annual growth rate of the revenue is really exciting at a rate of 0.2344%.

I would not be shorting this one here.

Target Corp. (TGT) is a $39.33 billion market cap company that operates general merchandise and food discount stores in the United States. The company offers household essentials; hardlines, including electronics, music, computer software, and toys; apparel and accessories, jewelry, and shoes; home furnishings and decor consisting of furniture, lighting, and kitchenware, as well as seasonal merchandise; and food and pet supplies primarily under Target and SuperTarget trademarks.

The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. TGT reported $1.44 per share in earnings for the quarter ending Jan. 29. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.94 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.91 and $1.01 per share. The current ttm P/E ratio is 12.554 and the forward P/E ratio is 10.87. TGT has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 2.56 and a price to sales ratio of 0.59. The annual growth rate of the revenue is at a rate of 0.0311%. The current dividend as a percentage of the ttm income is 0.2087%.

TGT is doing a good job managing accounts receivable as well. The last fiscal year had accounts receivable to sales percentage of 0.0913% compared to the same period a year earlier of 0.1066%. I would not be shorting this one here.

Staples Inc. (SPLS) is a $16 billion market cap company that, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. The company sells various office supplies and services, business machines and related products, computers and related products, and office furniture.

Staples, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. SPLS reported $0.38 per share in earnings for the quarter ending Jan. 29. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.32 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.31 and $0.33 per share. The current ttm P/E ratio is 16.328 and the forward P/E ratio is 11.19. SPLS has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 2.34 and a price to sales ratio of 0.66. The annual growth rate of the revenue is at a rate of 0.0111%. The current dividend as a percentage of the ttm income is 0.2975%.

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Northrop Grumman (NOC) is a $17.55 billion market cap company that provides products, services, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding, and technical service sectors. Its Aerospace Systems segment offers manned and unmanned aircraft, spacecraft, high-energy laser systems, microelectronics, and other systems and subsystems in the areas of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; communications; battle management; strike operations; electronic warfare; missile defense; earth observation; space science; and space exploration.

The company was founded in 1939 and is based in Los Angeles, California. NOC reported $1.82 per share in earnings for the quarter ending Mar. 31. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $1.67 per share. Analyst estimates range between $1.56 and $1.73 per share. The current ttm P/E ratio is 9.163 and the forward P/E ratio is 9.01. NOC has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 1.31 and a price to sales ratio of 0.51. The annual growth rate of the revenue is really exciting at a rate of 0.0297%.

The current dividend as a percentage of the ttm income is 0.2654%. I really like the pattern of increasing margins. With both revenue and income rising, not only only would I not consider this a short, I am looking to get long NOC.

Disclosure: I am long HPQ.

Additional disclosure: I may add and or go long any company listed in this article any time this week.