This is the last full week of January, and we will have plenty of economic news and a Federal Reserve meeting. But we're also heavily into earnings season, in particular for the industrials sector. Already big names to begin with, several key heavyweights will give their quarterly results this week. In my earnings preview article on the sector, I'll focus on one big name the most, then give forecasts for four other names reporting within the sector.
3M (NYSE:MMM) - Thursday, before the bell: The industrial conglomerate will report fourth quarter and yearly results later this week. One of the largest companies in the sector and highly priced Dow component, this name will surely have an impact on trading the day it reports.
When the company announces its fourth quarter numbers, we are expecting to see revenues grow by 5.7% to $7.09 billion. However, earnings per share are not expected to see that kind of increase, rising just three cents to $1.31. 3M posted a rare earnings miss in the previous quarter, so investors are hoping to see better results this time around.
For the full year, the company is expected to grow revenues by 11%. This increase should get the company up to around $29.6 billion, and if 3M has a big fourth quarter, may even hit the $30 billion mark. It's not probable, but it is possible. Like the quarterly numbers, earnings per share are not expected to grow as much as revenues. Current estimates call for a rise from $5.75 to $5.91.
The company currently is trading in the middle of its 52-week range, and offers a dividend of more than 2%. The company is dependent on a strong global economy, and it will be interesting to see how it describes conditions in Europe. For 2012 analysts are currently expecting revenue growth to slow down to just 3.2%, which will get the company over $30 billion if it didn't reach that level in 2011. Earnings per share are expected to rise at a faster rate, to $6.30 a share from the currently expected $5.91 number for 2011.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) - Thursday, before market open: The industrial equipment giant will also report Thursday morning. Fourth quarter revenues are expected to rise by more than 25% to over $16 billion. Earnings per share are expected to rise at a slower pace, but still show improvement from $1.47 to $1.73. For the full year, analysts expect the company to post revenue growth of 37.5%, coming in with over $58.5 billion in revenues. Earnings per share growth is expected to be higher, as current forecasts call for them to rise from $4.15 to $6.81. Currently, 2012 forecasts call for revenues to rise by an additional 15%, and earnings per share to increase to over $9.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) - Wednesday, before the bell: The airplane manufacturer will report earnings in the middle of this week. For the company's fiscal fourth quarter, revenues are projected to rise by more than 17% to $19.4 billion. Earnings per share are expected to drop sharply, from $1.56 in the year ago period to just one dollar in the most recent quarter. For the full year, revenues are expected to increase by almost 7% to $68.6 billion. However, earnings per share are only expected to be up about 1%, by four cents, to $4.49. Both revenues and earnings in 2012 are currently forecasted to grow in the low- to mid-teens, percentage wise.
Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) - Thursday, prior to opening bell: The aerospace and defense giant will join the industrial earnings parade on Thursday morning. For Raytheon's fiscal fourth quarter, revenues are expected to decline slightly, by about 2%, to $6.75 billion. Earnings per share are expected to decline by a similar amount, three cents, to $1.34. For the full year, revenues are forecast to be flat to slightly down. However, earnings per share are estimated to grow for the year, from $4.79 to $5.05. Revenues are also expected to be flat to slightly down in 2012, with earnings rising a few percentage points.
Honeywell (NYSE:HON) - Friday, before market open: The diversified manufacturing giant will report its fourth quarter and full year results near the end of the week. Revenues for the quarter are projected to rise by 5.7% to over $9.5 billion. Earnings per share are estimated to grow at three times that rate, from $0.87 in the prior year's period to $1.04 in the most recent quarter. For the full year, revenues are expected to climb by 10% to $36.67 billion. Earnings per share are expected to rise by more than a third, from $3 in 2010 to $4.04 in 2011. Looking forward into 2012, revenues are currently forecast to rise by about 5%, with earnings growing at twice that pace.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.