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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Amazon, Macy's, J. C. Penney and Nordstrom

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 16, 2018 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Walmart (WMT - Free Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Macy’s (M - Free Report) , J. C. Penney (JCP - Free Report) and Nordstrom (JWN - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Is Walmart (WMT - Free Report) Set to Beat Q1 Earnings Estimates This Week?

Shares of Walmart opened higher on Monday as investors assess how the retail powerhouse might perform in the first quarter. With that said, let’s take a look at some of Walmart’s latest Q1 estimates to see what investors should really expect from Walmart’s Q1 financial results during a big week for retailers.

Walmart stock is up 9% over the last year, but its shares have fallen 19% during the last 12 weeks. The recent downturn comes after the company reported relatively solid fourth quarter results. Much of the concern likely comes from Walmart’s e-commerce sales, which slowed in Q4 after a sustained stretch of massive growth.

Walmart’s e-commerce sales still surged over 20% from the year-ago period, but as Amazon and other online sellers continue to expand, investors have become increasingly worried about the long-term growth prospects of big-box powers. This means that Walmart will likely have to report strong top and bottom line numbers on Thursday in order to impress investors.

Walmart Q1 Outlook

Our current Zacks Consensus Estimate is calling for Walmart’s quarterly revenues to climb by 2.2% to reach $120.13 billion. On the other end of the income statement, the retailer’s Q1 earnings are projected to surge 13% to reach $1.13 per share.

Moving on, investors will also want to understand what chance Walmart has to top our earnings estimate as this can often lead to positive stock price movement in the near-term. Luckily, Zacks Premium customers can utilize the Earnings ESP Screener in order to search for stocks that are expected to surprise, either way.

This is done because, generally speaking, when an analyst posts an estimate right before an earnings release, it means that they have fresh information which could potentially be more accurate than what analysts thought about a company two or three months ago.

A positive Earnings ESP paired with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better ranking helps us feel confident about the potential for an earnings beat. In fact, our 10-year backtest has revealed that this methodology has accurately produced a positive surprise 70% of the time.

In contrast, a stock with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or worse, coupled with a negative Earnings ESP, is one that we typically want to avoid during earnings season.

Walmart’s Most Accurate Estimate—the representation of the most recent analyst sentiment—calls for earnings of $1.14 per share, which comes in 1 cent above our current consensus estimate. The company is also currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and sports an Earnings ESP of 0.77%.

Therefore, investors should consider Walmart a stock that could top quarterly earnings estimates when it reports its Q1 financial results before the market opens on Thursday.

Other retail giants, including Macy’s, J. C. Penney and Nordstrom also report their quarterly earnings result this week. So make sure to come back here for complete breakdowns!

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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