The earnings season has begun on a positive note, with 34 S&P members having released their results already. Over 240 companies will be reporting their numbers, including 80 S&P 500 members from various major sectors, by Oct 21.
Per the latest Earnings Preview report, 34 S&P 500 companies have reported their earnings so far, with 79.4% topping bottom-line estimates and 64.7% coming in ahead of top-line expectations. According to the report, earnings for the 34 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far are up 1.3% from the same period last year, while revenues have increased 2.9%.
However, the report projects that earnings of all the S&P 500 companies combined will move south 2.2% from the year-ago period, whereas revenue will rise 1.5%. This will be the sixth-straight quarter of an earnings decline, if the index witnesses a fall in earnings.
Eight out of 16 Zacks sectors are expected to witness a decline in earnings in the third quarter, with Oil/Energy, Autos and Transportation being the biggest drag. However, the Retail/Wholesale sector is seeing improvement in spite of overseas turmoil, fluctuating commodity prices and Fed rate-related controversies.
The Business Services sector is looking reasonably good. For the sector, earnings are expected to grow 7.1%, while sales are touted to rise 8.6% over the last year. The projected improvement is majorly driven by the growing momentum in the economy as a whole and the job market during the quarter.
Let’s have a sneak peek at two major industry players to see how things are gearing up for the upcoming quarterly results.
Packaging Corporation of America (PKG - Free Report) is scheduled to report third-quarter 2016 results after the market closes on Oct 19. Headquartered in Lake Forest, IL, Packaging Corporation is the country’s fourth largest producer of containerboard and packaging products. The company operates 8 mills and 93 manufacturing plants that manufacture several corrugated packaging products, including conventional shipping containers used to protect goods.
Our proven model conclusively shows that Packaging Corporation is likely to beat earnings this quarter as it possesses the key components. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. For the quarter to be reported, Packaging Corporation’s Zacks Rank #2 when combined with an ESP of +0.76, makes earnings beat likely this quarter. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. The company has a pretty decent earnings track record, beating estimates in three of the four trailing quarters, with an average beat of 4.59%.
Read More: Packaging Corporation (PKG - Free Report) Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?
Crown Holdings Inc. (CCK - Free Report) is scheduled to report third-quarter 2016 results after the market closes on Oct 19. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Crown Holdings is a leading global manufacturer of packaging products for consumer goods. Crown makes a wide variety of steel and aluminum cans for food, beverage, household and other consumer products and metal vacuum closures and caps. The company’s business is organized geographically in three divisions, namely, Americas, European and European and Asia-Pacific, which is further categorized per product lines.
For the quarter to be reported, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock has an Earnings ESP of +1.54%, thus making an earnings prediction uncertain. Over the trailing four quarters, the company has beaten estimates on all occasions, with an average positive surprise of 5.36%.
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