Stocks To Watch: Alibaba, Target And Energy Plays To Center Stage

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Includes: ABBV, ADIL, ALRM, AMAT, AQST, AVGO, BA, BABA, BE, BJRI, BLCN, BLOK, BRY, BV, CANG, CDEV, CF, CI, CLB, CLPS, CMG, COG, CORR, CRDAF, DAVA, DBX, ECA, ECR, EDUC, EL, EOG, ERF, ESES, ESRX, ESTE, FL, FOCS, FTK, FTNT, GNTX, GPS, HIMX, HPQ, HRS, HSY, HUM, IBM, ICD, INTU, JAG, JG, JKS, KEG, KLXI, KOIN, KSS, LB, LBRT, LGCY, LLEX, LONE, LOW, LQDA, LYB, MHH, MLM, MNK, MOS, MPO, MSFT, MTB, MU, NBR, NDLS, NOG, NPTN, NTR, OPRA, PAY, PDD, PHX, QEP, RMBS, ROSE, RRC, SBOW, SBUX, SDPI, SJM, SM, SNDE, SOXX, SPY, SSI, TELL, TENB, TGT, TJX, TOL, UNT, URBN, VIA, VMW, WISA, WLL, WPX, WRD
by: SA Stocks To Watch

Welcome to Seeking Alpha's Stocks to Watch - a preview of key events scheduled for the next week. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox every Saturday morning.

A China delegation will visit the U.S. next week for trade talks in a development that has the potential to set up a deal in front of a summit this fall between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. "The fact that the administration might resolve (trade disputes) sooner rather than later, without a sustained time frame of slower economic activity due to tariffs, that bodes well for the market," notes Wedbush Securities exec Stephen Massocca. The S&P 500 and the Dow head into next week with momentum after posting gains, while the Nasdaq is being held back by some cooling off in sentiment on chip names and FANG stocks. Interest rates and inflation will also get the spotlight, with FOMC minutes due out and the Jackson Hole Annual Economic Symposium kicking off.


Notable earnings reports: Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) on August 20; Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), Kohl's (NYSE:KSS), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), Toll Brothers (TOLL) and TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) on August 21; Target (NYSE:TGT), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) and L Brands (NYSE:LB) on August 22; Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Gap (NYSE:GPS), VMWare (NYSE:VMW) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) on August 23; Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) on August 24. See Seeking Alpha's Earnings Calendar for the complete list of earnings reporters.

Spotlight on Alibaba: Analysts expect Alibaba to report Q2 revenue of $11.7B (+60% Y/Y) and EPS of $1.21 (+3%). Perhaps just as important as the quarterly numbers, Alibaba management will update on the company's "new retail" initiatives. Post-earnings trading on Alibaba could be on the volatile side, with short interest on the tech stock up to 141.5M shares to rep 5.5% of total float.

Spotlight on Target: Talk about a confident stroll. Target (TGT) cruises into earnings near a multi-year high after getting a late week push from Walmart earnings. Consensus estimates on Target are for Q2 revenue of $17.29B and EPS of $1.40 EPS.

IPO lockup expirations: Keep an eye on Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX) on August 24 as 356M shares are released from lockup status. Shares of Dropbox are up 29% from the $21 IPO pricing level. CLPS (NASDAQ:CLPS) also has shares released next week on August 22.

Analyst quiet period expirations: Pinduoduo (NASDAQ:PDD), Aquestive Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AQST), Berry Petroleum (NASDAQ:BRY), Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE), Cango (NYSE:CANG), Liquidia Technologies (NASDAQ:LQDA), Focus Financial (NASDAQ:FOCS), Aurora Mobile (NASDAQ:JG) and Tenable (NASDAQ:TENB) on August 20; Endava (NYSE:DAVA), Opera (NASDAQ:OPRA), Adial Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ADIL) and Summit Semiconductor (WISA) on August 21.

Projected dividend increases: Harris (NYSE:HRS) to $0.61 from $0.57, Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) to $0.45 from $0.39, Martin Marietta (NYSE:MLM) to $0.46 from $0.44, M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) to $1.00 from $0.80.

Upcoming stocks split: FS Bancorp 2-for-1 on August 20, Mastech Digital (NYSEMKT:MHH) 2-for-1 on August 24, Educational Development Corporation (NASDAQ:EDUC) 2-for-1 on August 22, Coronado Resources (OTC:CRDAF) two-for-one on August 23.

Analyst/investor meetings: Gentex (NASDAQ:GNTX) on August 22.

Nvidia chip launch: After a bruising week for chips stocks, Nvidia could launch its RTX 2080 GPU and RTX 2080 Ti as early as Monday. The RTX 2080 Ti will feature 11GB of GDDR6 memory with 4352 CUDA cores, according to VideoCardz. While Nvidida fell 4% after Q2 earnings didn't include the cryptocurrency payday that was expected by some, other semiconductor stocks such as JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), Himax Technologies (NASDAQ:HIMX), Micron (NASDAQ:MU), Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) saw even steeper declines in recent trading. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX) fell 2.75% for the week and is 9.6% off its 52-week high.

Energy talk: While traders have the usual crush of crude oil data (Cushing survey, API oil inventory report, EIA oil inventory report, Baker Hughes rig count) upcoming, there's also a major conference to keep tabs on. Enercom is hosting The Oil and Gas Conference in Denver on August 20-22. A combined enterprise value of more than $275 billion of assets and operations in the U.S. and Canadian shale plays, the Gulf of Mexico, international exploration and plus oilfield service and technology companies will be represented at the event. The list of presenting companies includes Rosehill Resources (NASDAQ:ROSE), CorEnergy (NYSE:CORR), Goodnight Midstream, Centennial Resources (NASDAQ:CDEV), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Enerplus (NYSE:ERF), Northern Oil & Gas (NYSEMKT:NOG), Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL), EOG Resources (EOG), Lonestar Resources (NASDAQ:LONE), SilverBow Resources (NYSE:SBOW), Sundance Energy Australia (NASDAQ:SNDE), WildHorse Resource Development (NYSE:WRD), Centennial Resource Development (CDEV), Encana (NYSE:ECA), Earthstone Energy (NASDAQ:ESTE) Jagged Peak (NYSE:JAG), Legacy Reserves (NASDAQ:LGCY), Lilis Energy (NYSEMKT:LLEX), QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP), Rosehill Resources (ROSE), SM Energy (NYSE:SM), WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX), Midstates Petroleum (NYSE:MPO), Panhandle Oil & Gas (NYSE:PHX), Unit Corp (NYSE:UNT), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Eclipse Resources (NYSE:ECR), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Tellurian (NASDAQ:TELL), Core Laboratories (NYSE:CLB), EcoStim Energy Solutions (NASDAQ:ESES), Flotek Industries (NYSE:FTK), Independence Contract Drilling (NYSE:ICD), Key Energy Services (NYSE:KEG), Liberty Oilfield Services (NYSE:LBRT), Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) and Superior Drilling Products (NYSEMKT:SDPI).

Drug prices: Investors are still waiting on President Trump's announcement on prescription drug prices. Ahead of the drug pricing plan reveeal, Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX), Humana (NYSE:HUM), MedImpact, Optum RX and Prime Therapeutics say they have not received commitments from drug manufacturers to lower drug prices.

M&A watch: The acquisition of Verifone Systems (NYSE:PAY) by an investor group led by Francisco Partners is expected to close on August 20. Boeing (NYSE:BA) is scheduled to close on its acquisition of KLX (NASDAQ:KLXI) on August 24. Shareholders at Express Scripts (ESRX) and Cigna (NYSE:CI) have merger votes on August 24.

Raymond James SMID Cap Growth Conference: Alarm.com (NASDAQ:ALRM), Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) and NeoPhotonics (NYSE:NPTN) are three of the notables making an appearance at the Raymond James affair.

FDA watch: Mallinckrodt (NYSE:MNK) has a PDUFA date on the calendar for its stannsoporfin treatment for babies 35 weeks and older at risk of developing severe jaundice.

Training time: Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) will have field leaders retraining all restaurant employees nationwide beginning next week on food safety and wellness protocols after a series of food contamination issues. Though it's been a public relations battle, the last few health scares for the restaurant chain have seen Chipotle's share price recover quickly. Chipotle is up 77% YTD to rank 3rd out of the 47 publicly-traded restaurants stocks with a market cap of at least $50M. Only Noodles (NASDAQ:NDLS) with a 114% YTD jump and BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) with a 83% spike are ahead of Chipotle in 2018.

Jackson Hole: Fed talking heads gather in Jackson Hole on August 23 to talk over monetary and economic issues. This year's symposium topic will explore dynamics that have contributed to shifts in productivity, growth and inflation, according to the hosting Kansas City Fed's website. While the closely-watched "Economic Policy Symposium" isn't likely to lead to any quick actionable stock plays, the general tone from JH on inflation expectations and wage growth could be vital to many industries.

Box office: Warner Bros.' Crazy Rich Asians is expected to top the U.S. box office, with a projected tally of $25M across 3,384 theaters. WB's The Meg is forecast to bring in $20M to outrun the $16M anticipated for STX Entertainment's Mile 22. Paramount's (NYSE:VIA) Mission Impossible - Fallout is expected to bring in $12M to take its domestic total to over $180M.

Barron's mentions: Blockchain technology is starting to show real promise, according to Avi Salzman's cover story. There's some minimal exposure to blockchain revenue through ETFs Amplify Transformational Data Sharing (NYSEARCA:BLOK), Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy (NASDAQ:BLCN) and Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol (NYSEARCA:KOIN) - but the major revenue players in blockchain are tech oldies IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). State Street (NYSE:STT) could turn a corner soon after a dismal 2018 so far, while BrightView Holdings (NYSE:BV) is said to have carved out a "profitable commercial niche" business that looks attractive. The publication calls out AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB), Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) as underappreciated dividend standouts. In a tip from the farmland, demand is poised to outpace capacity growth in the fertilizer business, which could benefit Nutrien (NYSE:NTR), CF Industries (NYSE:CF) and Mosiac (NYSE:MOS).

Sources: Nasdaq, EDGAR, Bloomberg.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.