Zacks Earnings Preview: Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, Prudential Financial and Express Scripts

CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com releases the list of companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This week's list includes Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) and Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

To see more earnings analysis, visit http://at.zacks.com/?id=3207.

Every day, Zacks.com makes 4 stock picks available, free of charge. To see them, go to http://at.zacks.com/?id=3567.

Last Week of Earnings Season

The overall backdrop for the retail space has not been very favorable lately, as we saw in the Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) results, with the payroll tax changes, delayed tax refunds and higher gasoline prices impacting sales. This isn't a concern with the high end of the retail space, but Wal-Mart's soft outlook for this year is relevant to Target and other discounters. Guidance from Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) andAbercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) was also less than reassuring. It will be interesting to see if those trends will show up in Macy's and Gap's results.

The reality of the Q4 earnings season is that it has turned out to be not as bad as many of us suspected. Leaving aside anemic earnings growth, on most other metrics the fourth quarter reporting season is quite good. Not only are the ratio and magnitude of surprises better than the previous quarter and comparable to the last many, but the tone of management guidance has also been less worrisome than was the case in the third quarter reporting season.

Total earnings for the 445 S&P 500 companies that have come out with Q4 results, as of Friday February 22, are up +2% from the same period last year, with 66.7% beating expectations with a strong median surprise of +3.4%. Stripping out the unusual revenue growth atPrudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) and Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX), total revenues are up +1.2%, with 61.8% of the companies beating revenue expectations, with a median revenue surprise of +0.7%.

Expectations for the coming quarters have started coming down, but they still represent a meaningful improvement from what we saw in 2012. Total earnings are expected to be down -3.7% in the first quarter, up +3.9% in the second quarter, +7.1% in the third quarter and +13.5% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

For the full-years 2013 and 2014, total earnings are expected to be up +6.7% in 2013 and 11.8% in 2014. The bottom-up 'EPS' estimates for the S&P 500 currently stand at $109.38 for 2013 and $122.28 for 2014 (Note: The Zacks bottom-up estimates are lower than other data vendors because we account for employee stock options, while others don't).

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter offers continuous coverage of the industries and the stocks poised to outperform the market. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=4988.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=3568.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch 

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contact: Sheraz Mian
Company: Zacks.com
Phone: 312-265-9211
Email: pr@zacks.com
Visit: www.Zacks.com

 

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



RELATED LINKS
http://www.zacks.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.