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 podcast of Stocks to Watch is also available on Sundays on Seeking Alpha, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify (click the highlighted links).
The week ahead will see another steady stream of earnings reports before the April employment report blazes in from the Labor Department on May 8. Economists expect the unemployment rate to be about 15% after 20M jobs were lost during the month. Average weekly hours are seen plunging to a new record low of 33.5. On the brighter side, the conference calendar picks up next week for investors with virtual events covering industrials, financials and infectious diseases. Economic activity will pick up again as more states open back up to varying degrees, although there are plenty of indications that consumer spending will be slow to return. Will investors sell in May and go away after the Dow rose 28% from its March 23 low and the S&P 500 shot up roughly 27%? Don't ask Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk.
Earnings spotlight: Tyson Foods (TSN), Shake Shack (SHAK), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Freshpet (FRPT) and Chegg (CHGG) on May 4; Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), Sysco (SYY), Beyond Meat (BYND), US Foods (USFD), DuPont (DD), Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Disney (DIS), Prudential (PRU), Allstate (ALL) and Dominion Energy (D) on May 5; CVS Health (CVS), General Motors (GM), Bunge (BG), Barrick (GOLD), MetLife (MET), T-Mobile US (TMUS), Etsy (ETSY), Shopify (SHOP), Peloton Interactive (PTON) and PayPal (PYPL) on May 6; AmerisourceBergen (ABC), JetBlue (JBLU), Booking Holdings (BKNG), Raytheon Technologies (RTX), Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), ViacomCBS (VIAC), Baidu (BIDU), Uber (UBER), News Corp (NWSA) and Post Holdings (POST) on May 7; and SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS), Cronos (CRON) and PBF Energy (PBF) on May 8.
IPO watch: Share lockup periods expire on Q&K International Group (QK) and Atif Holdings (ATIF) on May 4, Galera Therapeutics (GRTX), Centogene (CNTG) and Silvergate Capital (SI) on May 5, as well as Tela Bio (TELA), Ecmoho (MOHO), 36Kr Holdings (KRKR) and CNS Pharma (CNSP) on May 6. Of those names, Centogene has the largest IPO gains with a 36% break higher.
Go deeper: Catch up on all the latest IPO news.
M&A tidbits: The Stars Group (TSG)-Flutter Entertainment (OTCPK:PDYPF) merger is expected to close on May 5. Also within the casino/gaming sector, keep an eye on Caesars Entertainment (CZR) and Eldorado Resorts (ERI) with the New Jersey Control Commission due to meet to discuss the combination of the two casino operators. Shareholder votes are upcoming on the Macquarie takeover of Cincinnati Bell (CBB) and the Opus Bank (OPB)-Pacific Premier Bancorp (PPBI) merger.
Business updates: Floor & Decor (FND) has an investor conference call scheduled for May 5. Costco (COST) will issue its April sales report on May 6. In March, the retailer saw comparable sales jump 12% in the U.S. after stripping the impact of gas and foreign exchange. Costco will also look to continue its online momentum after e-commerce sales soared 48% in March. Also on tap next week, Mondelez International (MDLZ) CEO Dirk Van de Put will discuss the company's sustainability strategy and well-being at an investor event on May 8. Shares of Mondelez have traded flat over the last six weeks.
Projected dividend changes (quarterly): Baxter International (BAX) to $0.25 from $0.22, Curtiss-Wright (CW) to $0.19 from $0.17, CNO Financial (CNO) to $0.12 from $0.11, PepsiCo (PEP) to $1.025 from $0.9550, Expeditors (EXPD) $0.53 semi-annually from $0.50, RLI Corp. (RLI) to $0.24 from $0.23, Southside Bancshares (SBSI) to $0.32 from $0.21, Cogent Communications (CCOI) to $0.67 from $0.66, Microchip (MCHP) to $0.3675 from $0.3670, Algonquin Power (AQN) to $0.155 from $0.141, Boralex (OTCPK:BRLXF) to $0.175 from $0.165, Enerflex (ENRFF) to $0.02 from $0.115, Brookfield Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to $0.4850 from $0.5375.
Diseases talk: The Maxim Infectious Disease Virtual Conference is set for May 5 with the spotlight on vaccines and treatments never brighter. Companies in various stages of development, from early stage to near commercialization, will be at the event. The keynote speaker is ContraFect (CFRX) CEO Dr. Roger Pomerantz. A panel of COVID-19 vaccines and monitoring includes AIM ImmunoTech (AIM), Applied DNA Sciences (APDN), Daxor Corporation (DXR), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), Vaxart (VXRT), while a panel of COVID-19 therapeutics will feature Aridis Pharmaceuticals (OTC:ARDS), Bellerophon Therapeutics (BLPH), Cidara Therapeutics (CDTX), INmune Bio (INMB), Moleculin Biotech (MBRX) and Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI). Also presenting on non-antibiotic, anti-infectives or antifungals are Aptorum Group (APM), Aridis Pharmaceuticals (OTC:ARDS), Armata Pharmaceuticals (ARMP), ContraFect, Daré Bioscience (DARE), privately-held Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Appili Therapeutics [CVE:APLI], Cidara Therapeutics (CDTX), Matinas BioPharma (MTNB) and SCYNEXIS (SCYX).
E3: Microsoft (OTCPK:MFST) is running a demonstration on May 7 for games running on the next-gen Xbox Series X. The event and more like it will replace the highly-watched E3 digital conference in June, which has been canceled due to the pandemic. The Xbox Series X is promised to deliver 12 Teraflops of power through a split motherboard and has more storage by utilizing an expansion card.
Wells Fargo Industrials Conference: The virtual conference on May 5-6 will consist of 30-minute one-on-one and group meetings with execs from up and down the industrials sector. Participating companies include Acuity Brands (AYI), Air Products and Chemicals (APD), Allegion (ALLE), Atkore International (ATKR), Berry Global (BERY), Brady (BRC), Cummins (CMI), Eastman (EMN), FedEx (FDX), GATX Corporation (GATX), Greif (GEF), H.B. Fuller Company (FUL), Hexcel Corporation (HXL), Huntsman (HUN), IDEX Corporation (IEX), Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Innospec (IOSP), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Masco Corporation (MAS), Olin Corporation (OLN), PACCAR (PCAR), Rockwell Automation (ROK), Sonoco Products (SON), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW), Trinity Industries (TRN), Union Pacific (UNP), Wabtec Corporation (WAB) and Westlake Chemical (WLK).
Chick-fil-A: Fast-food favorite Chick-fil-A is rolling out meal kits next week as more people eat at home because of the pandemic. The company expects at least half of its locations to participate in the program. The Chick-fil-A meal kits will be available for delivery or pickup. More pressure on Blue Apron (APRN)? Shares of Blue Apron cooled off last week after being bid up as a favorite stay-at-home stock pick. Several restaurant chains reported accelerating to-go sales over the last month on top of the Chick-fil-A reveal.
Spotlight on IBM: IBM's (IBM) Think Digital Event is planned for May 5-6. Aimed at accelerating recovery and transformation, the conference will include talks from IBM Chairman Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, musician Imogen Heap and Grammy Award winner will.i.am. IBM is coming off a quarter during which revenue fell 3%, but the cloud & cognitive software business saw a 5% jump.
Notable annual meeting: Annual reports of the virtual kind are scheduled for Gilead Sciences (GILD), Eli Lilly (LLY), Perrigo (PRGO), Baxter International (BAX), MGM Resorts (MGM), AMD (AMD), PepsiCo (PEP) and Marriott International (MAR) next week.
Data check: Airline traffic reports will start arriving next week and will show an absolute collapse of revenue miles. Investors will have their eyes on just how bad load factors are for JetBlue (JBLU), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), American Airlines Group (AAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Hawaiian Holdings (HA), Alaska Air Group (ALK), Allegiant Travel (ALGT), Spirit Airlines (SAVE), Mesa Air Group (MESA) and SkyWest (SKYW) - as well as any color on costs. The monthly tally of firearm background checks is also due in. It's not uncommon for American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), Vista Outdoor (VSTO), Sturm Ruger (RGR) and Olin Corporation (OLN) to swing wildly after the National Instant Criminal Background Check System report is released.
Short report: The meat and packaged food sector is seeing more short positions being taken by investors. B&G Foods (BGS), Beyond Meat (BYND), Hormel (HRL), Hostess Brands (TWNK), Tootsie Roll (TR) and Calavo Growers (CVGW) all have elevated levels of short interest, while short interest has turned a little higher on Campbell Soup (CPB), J.M. Smucker (SJM) and Kellogg (K) with the stockpiling trend starting to slow down. Keep an eye on those names for volatility next week.
Financials on display The 22nd Annual D.A. Davidson Financial Institutions Conference takes place next week. A partial list of the companies making presentations online or through 1X1 virtual meetings include Alerus Financial Corporation (ALRS), Bank of Hawaii Corporation (BOH), Bank of Idaho Holding (OTCQX:BOID), California BanCorp (CALB), Carter Bank & Trust (CARE), ChoiceOne Financial Services (COFS), Enterprise Financial Services Corp (EFSC), Equity Bancshares, Inc. (EQBK), FB Financial (FBK), First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB), Great Western Bancorp (GWB) Hanmi Financial Corporation (HAFC), Hawthorn Bancshares (HWBK), HBT Financial (HBT), Heartland BancCorp (OTCQX:HLAN), Heritage Commerce Corp (HTBK), Home Bancorp, Inc. (HBCP), HomeStreet (HMST), Independent Bank Corporation (INDB), Luther Burbank Corporation (LBC), Meridian Bank (MRBK), MidWestOne Financial Group, Inc. (MOFG), National Bank Holdings Corporation (NBHC), Northrim BanCorp (NRIM), Northwest Bancshares (NWBI), OceanFirst Bank (OCFC), Pacific Mercantile Bank (PMBC), Pacific West Bank (PWBO), Peoples Bancorp (PEBO), Riverview Bancorp (RVSB), S&T Bancorp (STBA), Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. (SASR), Savi Financial Corporation (OTCPK:SVVB), Sierra Bancorp (BSRR), State Bank Corporation (OTCPK:SBAZ), Summit Bank (OTCPK:SBKO), TCF Financial Corporation (TCF), Timberland Bancorp (TSBK), Umpqua Holdings Corporation (UMPQ), United Bankshares (UBSI), U.S. Bancorp (USB), Washington Federal (WAFD), WesBanco (WSBC) and Wintrust Financial Corporation (WTFC).
Barron's mentions: A breakdown on the retail sector yields Estée Lauder (EL), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and Levi Strauss (LEVI) as top picks. Sales are seen bouncing back for Estée Lauder and the athleisure business is expected to propel Lululemon. Ulta Beauty is called a leading retailer with a strong balance sheet and Levi's is recommended as an iconic and well-run company. A better week in the oil patch has the publication's roundtable looking hard at Valero Energy (VLO), Phillips 66 (PSX), Chevron (CVX), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ), Williams Companies (WMB), Cheniere Energy (LNG), Enterprise Products Partners (EPD), Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) and ConocoPhillips (COP). The cover story digs in on how the economic recovery will play out with spending. Consumer staples stocks and essential retailers with open stores are seen outperforming in the new environment as well as discretionary companies that have good liquidity and can grow their online sales. That list of pandemic survivors includes Walmart (WMT), Nike (NKE), Costco Wholesale (COST), Lowe's (LOW), Target (TGT), Urban Outfitters (URBN), and Dollar General (DG).
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Verge, EDGAR
This article was written by