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The Clorox Co. (CLX - Analyst Report) is set to report its third-quarter fiscal 2013 results on May 1. The company’s earnings for the last reported quarter jumped 13.9% from the year-ago quarter’s earnings to 90 cents and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 81 cents. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors in the Past Quarter

The company’s earnings per share in second-quarter fiscal 2013 benefited from improvements in revenues as well as gross margins, offset by higher selling and administration expenses as it continues to invest in information technology (IT) systems. We believe Clorox's diversified portfolio of brands, positions it well to generate above-average industry growth amid a challenging environment. The company’s rigorous research & development process, marketing strategies, financial control, and operating leverage further strengthen its brands and facilitate it to generate long-term profitability, which is well evident from its record of beating the quarterly earnings expectations.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively shows that Ross Stores is likely to beat the earnings this quarter. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3 to surpass the earnings estimates. However, this is not the case here, owing to the following factors:

Zacks ESP: ESP for Clorox is 0.00% since the Most Accurate Estimate stands at $1.06, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks #3 Rank (Hold): Clorox’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) lowers the predictive power of ESP because the Zacks Rank #3, when combined with a 0.00% ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks #4 and #5 Ranks (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

There are other companies you may want to consider in the retailing sector. Our model shows that the following have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (CHD - Snapshot Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.39% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Dean Foods Company’s (DF - Analyst Report) Earnings ESP stands at +3.85% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ - Analyst Report) with an Earnings ESP of +9.09% holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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