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Q2 Earnings Season Preview

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We have to wait another few weeks before the Q2 earnings season really takes the spotlight, but the reporting cycle has gotten underway, with results from 11 S&P 500 members already out. All of these early reporters, which includes major operators like FedEx (FDX - Free Report) , Oracle (ORCL - Free Report) and Adobe (ADBE - Free Report) and others, have fiscal quarters ending in May, but get counted as part of the June quarter tally. We have another 12 index members with fiscal quarters ending in May on deck to report results this week.

All in all, we will have seen Q2 results from almost two dozen S&P 500 members by the time JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) , Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) and Citigroup (C - Free Report) (unofficially) kick-off this earnings season on July 14th.

The notable earnings reports coming out this week include:

Darden Restaurants (DRI - Free Report) reports on Tuesday (6/27) before the market’s open, with the company expected to earn $1.15 per share in earnings on $1.9 billion in revenues, which compares to $1.1 per share on $1.79 billion in revenues in the year-earlier period. The stock was up big following the last earnings report on March 27th and has been a strong performer since the August quarter release in October 2016. The stock is up +22.4% in the year-to-date period vs. +11.7% gain for the Zacks Restaurant industry and +9.2% gain for the S&P 500 index.

General Mills (GIS - Free Report) reports on Wednesday (6/28) morning, with the company expected to earn 71 cents per share on $3.75 billion in revenues, which compares to 66 cents in earnings on $3.93 billion in revenues in the year-earlier period. Estimates have come down a bit in recent days and the stock has lost ground following each of the last two earnings reports. The stock is currently down -9.5% in the year-to-date period vs. -3.7% decline for the peer group.

Nike (NKE - Free Report) reports after the market’s close on Thursday (6/29), with the company expected to earn 49 cents in EPS on $8.6 billion in revenues, which compares to unchanged EPS on $8.24 billion in revenues in the year-earlier period. This will be the fiscal fourth quarter for the company, with estimates for fiscal year 2018 steadily coming down over the last three months. The apparel and footwear space has been struggling lately as a result of headwinds in the broader retail space. The stock is up +4% in the year-to-date period vs. +3.1% gain for the Zacks Apparel & Footwear industry.  

Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) will also report after the market’s close on Thursday (6/29), with the company expected to earn $1.37 per share in earnings on +5.4 billion in revenues. The year-over-year comparisons are very easy – the company had lost 8 cents in earnings on $2.9 billion in revenues in the year-earlier period. As is the case with most other semiconductors stocks, Micron shares have been standout performers lately, up +45% in the year-to-date period vs. +45.4% gain for the Zacks Semiconductor industry.

The chart below shows the weekly calendar of earnings releases for the entire Q2 earnings cycle. As you can see, we are about three weeks away from the reporting cycle really ramping up.

Expectations for Q2

Total Q2 earnings are expected to be up +5.8% from the same period last year on +4.6% higher revenues. This would follow +13.4% earnings growth in 2017 Q1 on +7.0%, the highest growth pace in all most two years.

Estimates for Q2 came down as the quarter unfolded, with the current +5.8% growth down from +7.9% at the end of March. The chart below shows how Q2 earnings growth expectations have evolved over the last three months.

Please note that while Q2 estimates have followed well traversed path that we have been seeing consistently over the last few years, the magnitude of negative revisions compared favorably to other periods. In other words, Q2 estimates have come down, but they haven’t come down by as much.

The table below shows the summary picture for Q2, contrasted with what was actually achieved in Q1.

The chart below shoes Q2 earnings growth expectations contrasted with what is expected in the following three quarters and actual results in the preceding 5 quarters. As you can see in the chart below, this growth pace is expected to continue through the rest of the year.

Scorecard for Early Q2 Results

As mentioned earlier, we have May quarter results from 11 S&P 500 members already. It is hard to draw any firm conclusions from the results thus far, but total earnings for these 11 index members are up +11.6% from the same period last year on +9.5% higher revenues, with 81.8% beating EPS estimates and an equivalent proportion beating revenue estimates.

The table below provides a summary view of the results that have come out already.

And here is our traditional scorecard table.

Note: Sheraz Mian manages the Zacks equity research department. He is an acknowledged earnings expert whose commentaries and analyses appear on and in the print and electronic media. His weekly earnings related articles include Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview. He manages the Zacks Top 10 and Focus List portfolios and writes the Weekly Market Analysis article for Zacks Premium subscribers.

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Company Ticker Current Qtr Year-Ago Qtr Last EPS Surprise % Report Day Time
FACTSET RESHFDS1.841.640.56%TuesdayBTO
KB HOMEKBH0.260.177.14%TuesdayAMC
CALAMP CORPCAMP0.220.27-4.35%TuesdayAMC
MONSANTO CO-NEWMON1.742.1715.58%WednesdayBTO
PAYCHEX INCPAYX0.530.491.85%WednesdayBTO
GENL MILLSGIS0.710.661.41%WednesdayBTO
UNIFIRST CORPUNF1.341.498.91%WednesdayBTO
OMNOVA SOLUTIONOMN0.160.180.00%WednesdayBTO
SHAW COMMS-CL BSJR0.250.370.00%WednesdayBTO
WORTHINGTON INDWOR0.830.87-17.91%WednesdayAMC
PIER 1 IMPORTSPIR-0.05-0.073.03%WednesdayAMC
PROGRESS SOFTWAPRGS0.320.2555.00%WednesdayAMC
SCHULMAN(A) INCSHLM0.650.793.33%WednesdayAMC
INVESTORS RL ESIRET0.10.14-7.69%WednesdayAMC
CONSTELLATN BRDSTZ1.981.548.03%ThursdayBTO
MCCORMICK & COMKC0.770.752.70%ThursdayBTO
WALGREENS BAIWBA1.311.180.00%ThursdayBTO
ACUITY BRANDSAYI1.921.96-2.94%ThursdayBTO
CONAGRA BRANDSCAG0.380.526.67%ThursdayBTO
MICRON TECHMU1.37-0.080.00%ThursdayAMC
NIKE INC-BNKE0.490.4930.77%ThursdayAMC
GREENBRIER COSGBX0.831.1229.76%ThursdayBTO
GMS INCGMS0.460.530.00%ThursdayBTO
LINDSAY CORPLNN0.920.923.68%ThursdayBTO
RITE AID CORPRAD-0.020.01100.00%ThursdayBTO
US PHYSICAL THRUSPH0.470.43-6.12%ThursdayBTO
8POINT3 ENERGYCAFD0.180.5116.67%ThursdayAMC
FRANKLIN COVEYFC-0.1-0.0722.73%ThursdayAMC
EXFO INCEXFO0.030.020.00%ThursdayAMC
AM OUTDOOR BRNDAOBC0.380.6622.22%ThursdayAMC

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