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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Each quarter, existing as almost a blip on the earnings radar screen, there is a week of earnings activity from a number of companies that report fiscal quarters. This is that week, in what we call (for convenience sake) early Q1. The reason this is significant, in fact, is less for the amount of companies bringing forth quarterly earnings data than for the importance these particular companies hold in their respective industries.

Consumer Staples giant General Mills (GIS - Free Report) , solar module maker Canadian Solar (CSIQ - Free Report) and domestic homebuilder Lennar (LEN - Free Report) have reported earnings results before the bell today, with global logistics major FedEx (FDX - Free Report) and specialty retailer Nike (NKE - Free Report) putting out numbers after the bell today. Director of Research Sheraz Mian puts these companies into a basket of Q1 earnings reports, whereby these are considered the forward indicators for Q1 earnings season yet to come.

General Mills posted mixed results this morning, beating EPS estimates by a penny, but missing modestly on the top-line. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company (prior to the earnings release) has a Zacks Style Score (Value, Growth, Momentum) of C.

Lennar, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company with a Zacks Style Score of A, beat earnings estimates by 3 cents to 59 cents per share. The company also saw sales top expectations for the quarter, on an increase of 12% in new order units.

Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) firm Canadian Solar missed expectations on top and bottom lines, swinging to a Q4 loss. This was the first earnings miss for the company in the last 5 quarters, at least.

After today’s close, FedEx is expected to report $2.63 per share on revenues slightly under $15 billion for its fiscal Q3 2017 report. This Zacks Rank #3 company has beaten earnings estimates in 3 of the last 4 quarters, though that miss was from the last go-around.

Nike, also a Zacks Rank #3, looks to bring in 52 cents per share in its fiscal Q3 2017 earnings, on sales of $8.45 billion in the quarter. Though the Zacks ESP for the coming report is 0%, Nike has beaten estimates in each of the last 4 quarters, by an average of nearly 16%.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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