EC A Positive & Reassuring Earnings Picture In Q1

The bulk of the Q1 earnings season is now behind us, with results from only about 18% of the S&P 500 members still awaited. The Retail sector is the only one at this stage that has a sizable number of reports still to come, with a number of traditional retailers Macy’s (M - Free Report), Nordstrom (JWN - Free Report) , and Kohl’s (KSS -Free Report) on deck to report results this week. With another 43 index members reporting results this week, the Q1 earnings season will have come to an end for 91% of S&P 500 members by the end of the week.

As we have been saying all along since the start of this reporting cycle, the Q1 earnings season has turned out to be very good. Not only is growth very strong and the highest in many years, but a bigger proportion of companies have come out with positive surprises, particularly on the revenues front. Importantly, while estimates for the current period (2017 Q2) have come down, they aren’t falling by as much as has been the case in the comparable periods in other recent quarters.

All in all, the picture emerging from the Q1 earnings season has been positive and reassuring.

Key Earnings Reports for the Week of May 8th  

This week brings in results from more than 700 companies, including 43 from the S&P 500 index. There is no shortage of big-name operators coming out with results this week, but we are featuring just a few here

NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) shares have been laggards this year, down -2.7% in the year-to-date period vs. +4.1% gain for the Zacks Semiconductor industry and +12.6% gain for the Zacks Technology industry. The stock had literally been a tear prior to this year and that lead still shows up in its one-year performance of +194% gain (vs. +25.9% for the Tech sector and +45.2% for the industry). Quarterly earnings reports have historically been key catalysts for this maker of high-end graphics processor, with the Q1 earnings report after the market’s close on Tuesday May 9th expected to be no different. The company is expected to report $0.66 per share on $1.91 billion, up +69.5% and +46.4% from the year-earlier period, respectively. Given the stock’s recent underperformance and the modestly negative trend on the revisions front, expectations may be low enough for this earnings report to push the stock higher.

Disney (DIS - Free Report) shares have broadly tracked the S&P 500 index this year (up +6.7% in the year-to-date period vs. +7% gain for the index) after lagging the index all of last year on persistent worries about the fate of its ESPN franchise in the current cord-cutting media environment. Over the past one year, the stock is up +5.4% while the S&P 500 index has gained +16.1%. Disney reports Q1 results after the market’s close on Tuesday May 9th, with the company expected to come out with $1.45 per share in earnings on $13.5 billion in revenues, up +6.5% and +3.9%, respectively. Results will likely be quite strong on the back of continued momentum in the studio business and likely positive traffic at the recently opened Shanghai Disneyland, but focus will remain on the ESPN franchise. The estimates trend has been modestly positive, with current Zacks Consensus EPS estimate for the quarter modestly going up over the past month.

Priceline (PCLN - Free Report) has been a standout performer this year, with the stock up +30.6% in the year-to-date period vs. +24.2% for Expedia and +29.5% gain for the Zacks e-commerce industry. The stock was up big following the last quarterly release (February 27th) when it handily beat estimates and guided higher and market participants will be looking forrepeat performance when it reports Q1 results after the market’s close on Tuesday May 9th. The online travel leader is expected to report $8.80 in EPS on $2.43 billion in revenues, which represents year-over-year changes of -6% and +13.3%, respectively. Trends in estimate revisions has mostly been positive, though read-throughs from last week’s mixed Expedia (EXPE - Free Report) earnings report is modestly on the negative side. TripAdvisor (TRIP - Free Report) will also report after the market’s close on Tuesday.

Macy’s (M - Free Report) shares have done modestly better than the department store space this year, but the stock as well as the group as a whole are some of the weakest in the entire market. The stock is down -18.3% in the year-to-date period (down -22.3% over the past year) vs. -21.3% decline for the Zacks department store industry (down -20.3% over the past year). This compares to +7% gain for the S&P 500 index this year and +16.1% over the past year. Driving this underperformance is the industry’s competitive landscape characterized by the secular shift of sales to the online medium that is showing up in falling traffic and same-store sales. The company has been trying to bring down its store count and we will likely hear more on that front as it reports Q1 results before the market’s open on Thursday May 11th. The company is expected to report $0.35 per share in earnings on $5.47 billion in revenues, down -11.9% and -5.2% from the year-earlier period, respectively. Kohl’s (KSS - Free Report) will also report Thursday morning while Nordstrom (JWN - Free Report) will report after the market’s close.

Q1 Earnings Scorecard

As of Friday, May 5th, we have Q1 results from 412 S&P 500 members that combined account for 85.7% of the index’s total market capitalization. Total earnings for these companies are up +14.2% from the same period last year on +7.3% higher revenues, with 73.3% beating EPS estimates and 67.7% beating revenue estimates. The proportion of companies beating both EPS and revenue estimates is 52.9%.

The table provides the current earnings season scorecard, as of May 5th, 2017.

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Note: Sheraz Mian regularly provides earnings analysis on Zacks.com and appears frequently in the print and electronic media. In addition to this Earnings Preview ...

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