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Option expiration Fridays are always tricky and with earnings being reported on some major companies. As we go into earnings season it becomes especially important to know where you are. If you are short any options looking to get that last couple of pennies from an out-of-the-money option you wrote on a company that reports Friday, you may be well advised to pay up a few cents to avoid a big surprise. For those who would normally roll over on Friday, Thursday may prove to be a better day from a risk verses reward point of view.

It is important to know that 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. You may want to use this article as a starting point for your own research with your financial planner. I use Seeking Alpha, Edgar Online, Goggle Finance, MSN Money, cnbc.com, Zacks and Yahoo Finance for most of my data and do not always double check it with the SEC filings. I use earnings.com for my list of symbols.

Following are the "confirmed" symbols that I believe to be of the most interest. I also include some that are not "confirmed" but are "Proposed" for the same day. The numbers are only as good as the sources. Many of the ADRs that are relatively new provide a special challenge and it can be very time consuming to figure out the "best" number. Chinese ADRs that are new seem to be especially prone to conflicts with Reuters, EDGAR Online, and other sources.

Here is a look at a few that I will be watching and may be of interest to you.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is a $116.21 billion market cap company. The big "C" has had a very strange ride during the last year. From a "penny stock" to a dividend paying (ok 1 cent) "$40ish" price one would think that investors have been doing well. The truth is far from what the chart may lead one to believe. With the reverse split of 1 for 10, the price is almost like buying under $4 a share again. C has major technical price support at $38 and that is a level that should be watched if it continues to fall.

(Click chart to enlarge)

The company reported $0.1 per share in earnings for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.96 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.76 and $1.15 per share.

The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 12.603 and the forward P/E ratio is 7.48. The stock has a price-to-book ratio (ttm) of 0.86 and a price-to-sales ratio of 2.55. In the last month the stock has moved in price 1.58%, with a one year change of -1.51%. Comparing to the S&P500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) price change, C's performance is -2.09% vs. the S&P 500 from a month ago, and the one year difference is -19.54% vs. S&P 500 price change.

The annual growth rate of revenue is 55.05%. The last fiscal year had accounts receivable to sales percentage of 0.5669% compared with the same period a year earlier of 0.9471%. For the trailing twelve months investors received $0 in dividends for a yield of 0.1%.

C has rising revenue year-over-year of $55.06 million for 2010 vs. $35.51 million for 2009. C bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $10.60 million for 2010 vs. $-1.61 million for 2009, and falling EBIT year-over-year of $0.00 million for 2010 vs. $0.00 million for 2009. Rising revenue along with rising earnings is a very good sign and what we want to see with our companies. Be sure to check the margins to make sure that the bottom line is keeping up with the top line.

Fiscal Quarter Ending Month-YR Estimate Actual Difference Difference %
Mar-11 0.92 1 0.08 8.53%
Dec-10 0.77 0.4 0.37 47.86%
Sep-10 0.56 0.7 0.14 24.44%
Jun-10 0.5 0.9 0.4 80.87%
Mar-10 -0.03 1.5 1.53 -5100%

Genuine Parts Co (NYSE:GPC) is an $8.73 billion market cap company. Genuine Parts Company is a service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products and electrical/electronic materials. The daily chart looks strong with a recent pullback that appears to be a buying opportunity. Next area of support for this week is $53.20, but absent a continual sell off by the market, the odds don't favor it moving that low before earnings. If the selling lately is not in sympathy of the overall market, but driven by insider information the earnings may be coming in weak.

The company reported $0.8 per share in earnings for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The Quick Ratio is 1.11 (generally the higher the better). The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.89 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.85 and $0.91 per share.

The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 17.467 and the forward P/E ratio is 14.77. The stock has a price-to-book ratio (ttm) of 2.91 and a price-to-sales ratio of 0.73. In the last month the stock has moved in price 10.93%, with a one year change of 35%. Comparing with the S&P500 price change, GPC's performance is 6.92% vs. the S&P 500 from a month ago, and the one year difference is 10.29% vs. S&P 500 price change.

The annual growth rate of revenue is 11.44%. The last fiscal year had accounts receivable to sales percentage of 0.1217% compared with the same period a year earlier of 0.118%. For the trailing twelve months investors received $1.63 in dividends for a yield of 3.24%.

GPC has rising revenue year-over-year of $11.21 million for 2010 vs. $10.06 million for 2009. GPC bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $475.51 million for 2010 vs. $399.58 million for 2009, and rising EBIT year-over-year of $786.35 million for 2010 vs. $670.95 million for 2009. Rising revenue along with rising earnings is a very good sign and what we want to see with our companies. Be sure to check the margins to make sure that the bottom line is keeping up with the top line.

Fiscal Quarter Ending Month-YR Estimate Actual Difference Difference %
Mar-11 0.75 0.8 0.05 6.52%
Dec-10 0.7 0.75 0.05 7.42%
Sep-10 0.76 0.83 0.07 9.34%
Jun-10 0.71 0.78 0.07 10.2%
Mar-10 0.62 0.63 0.01 2.34%

First Horizon National Corp (NYSE:FHN) is a $2.45 billion market cap company. The daily chart looks weak even through the stock did manage to push through the top trend line intraday. On the weekly chart the price appears to have halted the sell off and is trading just above support. If the earnings release becomes a catalyst for the stock price to trade near or under $9 per share I would start to worry about another leg down. On the other side of the coin there is a lot of upside if the company can deliver Friday. It is hard to know what to expect with estimates all over the map.

The company reported $0.15 per share in earnings for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.11 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.05 and $0.16 per share.

The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 476 and the forward P/E ratio is 12.69. The stock has a price-to-book ratio (ttm) of 1.17 and a price-to-sales ratio of 1.96. In the last month the stock has moved in price -5.76%, with a one year change of -19.95%. Comparing to the S&P500 price change, FHN's performance is -9.17% vs. the S&P 500 from a month ago, and the one year difference is -34.61% vs. S&P 500 price change.

The annual growth rate of revenue is 23.04%. For the trailing twelve months investors received $0.25 in dividends for a yield of 0.43%.

FHN has rising revenue year-over-year of $1.42 million for 2010 vs. $1.15 million for 2009. FHN bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $-57.77 million for 2010 vs. $-329.42 million for 2009. Rising revenue along with rising earnings is a very good sign and what we want to see with our companies. Be sure to check the margins to make sure that the bottom line is keeping up with the top line.

Fiscal Quarter Ending Month-YR Estimate Actual Difference Difference %
Mar-11 0.04 0.09 0.05 132.56%
Dec-10 -0.01 -0.2 0.19 -1701.8%
Sep-10 -0.01 0.07 0.08 -598.55%
Jun-10 -0.08 0.01 0.09 -111.52%
Mar-10 -0.15 -0.11 0.04 -24.87%

Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) is a $9.43 billion market cap company. Mattel designs, manufactures, and markets a broad variety of toy products worldwide through sales to its customers and directly to consumers. With my three sons alone I would expect this company to be doing very well. Last week the price breached the support trend line on the daily chart and this week followed through downward. This is not the best of signs going into earnings. Next area of support is in the $26.60 area.

(Click chart to enlarge)

The company reported $0.05 per share in earnings for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The Quick Ratio is 2.05 (generally the higher the better). The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.16 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.09 and $0.25 per share.

The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 14.826 and the forward P/E ratio is 11.86. The stock has a price-to-book ratio (ttm) of 3.53 and a price-to-sales ratio of 1.58. In the last month the stock has moved in price 11.55%, with a one year change of 16.17%. Comparing with the S&P500 price change, MAT's performance is 8.38% vs. the S&P 500 from a month ago, and the one year difference is 11.47% vs. S&P 500 price change.

The annual growth rate of revenue is 7.83%. The last fiscal year had accounts receivable to sales percentage of 0.1957% compared with the same period a year earlier of 0.138%. For the trailing twelve months investors received $0.83 in dividends for a yield of 3.39%.

MAT has rising revenue year-over-year of $5.86 million for 2010 vs. $5.43 million for 2009. MAT bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $684.86 million for 2010 vs. $528.70 million for 2009, and rising EBIT year-over-year of $901.90 million for 2010 vs. $731.17 million for 2009. Rising revenue along with rising earnings is a very good sign and what we want to see with our companies. Be sure to check the margins to make sure that the bottom line is keeping up with the top line.

Fiscal Quarter Ending Month-YR Estimate Actual Difference Difference %
Mar-11 0.04 0.05 0.01 11.86%
Dec-10 0.86 0.89 0.03 3.27%
Sep-10 0.75 0.77 0.02 2.03%
Jun-10 0.15 0.14 0.01 7.22%
Mar-10 -0.02 0.07 0.09 -386.89%

Valmont Industries Inc (NYSE:VMI) is a $2.69 billion market cap company. Valmont Industries, Inc. is a global producer of fabricated metal products.

The company reported $0.98 per share in earnings for the quarter ending March 26, 2011. The Quick Ratio is 2.35 (generally the higher the better). The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $1.46 per share. Analyst estimates range between $1.36 and $1.69 per share.

The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 26.12 and the forward P/E ratio is 15.3. The stock has a price-to-book ratio (ttm) of 2.5 and a price-to-sales ratio of 1.16. In the last month the stock has moved in price 9.35%, with a one year change of 27.83%. Comparing with the S&P500 price change, VMI's performance is 5.4% vs. the S&P 500 from a month ago, and the one year difference is 4.43% vs. S&P 500 price change.

The annual growth rate of revenue is 10.57%. The last fiscal year had accounts receivable to sales percentage of 0.2244% compared to the same period a year earlier of 0.169%. For the trailing twelve months investors received $0.65 in dividends for a yield of 0.71%.

VMI has rising revenue year-over-year of $1.98 million for 2010 vs. $1.79 million for 2009. VMI bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $94.38 million for 2010 vs. $150.56 million for 2009, and falling EBIT year-over-year of $178.41 million for 2010 vs. $237.99 million for 2009. When profits are not moving in the same direction as revenue, I normally let revenue be my guide. The bottom line is easier to 'Adjust' than the top line. Be sure to keep an eye on margins.

Fiscal Quarter Ending Month-YR Estimate Actual Difference Difference %
Mar-11 0.95 0.97 0.02 2.34%
Dec-10 1.13 1.35 0.22 19.26%
Sep-10 1.09 0.99 0.1 9.32%
Jun-10 1.21 1.1 0.11 9.09%
Mar-10 0.78 0.62 0.16 20.34%

Webster Financial Corp (NYSE:WBS) is a $1.8 billion market cap company. Webster is a bank holding and financial holding company.

The company reported $0.38 per share in earnings for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The next reporting quarter estimated mean earnings are $0.35 per share. Analyst estimates range between $0.32 and $0.38 per share.

The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 20.225 and the forward P/E ratio is 13.75. The stock has a price-to-book ratio (ttm) of 1.38 and a price-to-sales ratio of 3.89. In the last month the stock has moved in price 5.33%, with a one year change of 7.19%. Comparing with the S&P500 price change, WBS's performance is 1.52% vs. the S&P 500 from a month ago, and the one year difference is -12.43% vs. S&P 500 price change.

The annual growth rate of revenue is 65.46%. For the trailing twelve months investors received $0.2 in dividends for a yield of 0.97%.

WBS has rising revenue year-over-year of $626.67 million for 2010 vs. $378.75 million for 2009. WBS has rising earnings year-over-year of $49.40 million for 2010 vs. $-85.25 million for 2009. Rising revenue along with rising earnings is a very good sign and what we want to see with our companies. Be sure to check the margins to make sure that the bottom line is keeping up with the top line.

Fiscal Quarter Ending Month-YR Estimate Actual Difference Difference %
Mar-11 0.29 0.36 0.07 24.4%
Dec-10 0.2 0.3 0.1 50%
Sep-10 0.17 0.22 0.05 27.91%
Jun-10 0.07 0.15 0.08 123.55%
Mar-10 -0.11 -0.08 0.03 -27.99%
Source: 6 Companies Reporting Earnings Friday Are Worth Watching