What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Tuesday, August 4

Mon Aug 3, 2015 3:18pm EDT
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(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day's major stories and events, analyses and other features. To receive The Day Ahead, Eikon users can register at . Thomson One users can register at RT/DAY/US. All times in ET/GMT)

Media company and theme park operator Walt Disney Co is expected to report third-quarter profit above analysts' average estimate. Disney's quarterly results will include gains from the release of second film in the Avengers series, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron". The company is also expected to rake in higher revenue in its park and resorts business unit, helped by the onset of summer break in June. However, Walt Disney's reliance on revenue generated by its cable channels, especially ESPN, remains a concern amid a period of uncertainty in the cable industry.

CVS Health Corp, the second-largest U.S. drugstore operator, is likely to report second-quarter sales above analysts' average estimate. The company, which recently made multi-billion acquisitions of healthcare services firm Omnicare Inc and Target Corp's pharmacies and clinics, reduced its full-year profit forecast to reflect a reduced share buyback target. Investors will look for updates on retail sales growth, which have taken a hit since the company stopped selling tobacco products last year, and on the integration of its acquisitions.

Drugmaker Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc is set to report a better-than-expected profit for the first time in six quarters, bolstered by strong demand for blockbuster eye drug Eylea. Regeneron had forecast sales of its flagship drug to be 30-35 percent higher this year. Investors and analysts will also be looking for comments from the drugmaker on how it plans to launch its newly-approved cholesterol drug, which has already faced criticism from the largest pharmacy benefit manager for being too expensive.

The Commerce Department's U.S. factory goods data is expected to show new orders for manufactured goods increased 1.8 percent in June after a drop of 1.0 percent in May. Factory orders have dropped in nine of the last 10 months through May. (1000/1400)

Health insurer Aetna Inc, fresh off announcing plans to buy smaller rival Humana Inc, will announce second-quarter results and discuss its outlook for the business. Investors will listen to see if the company, about to become the nation's largest Medicare Advantage company, has had any feedback from antitrust regulators who will look closely at that business.

Cable company Charter Communications Inc is likely to report second-quarter profit below analysts' average estimate. Investors will look for details on Charter's $78.7 billion deal with Time Warner Cable Inc.

Activision Blizzard Inc is expected to report second-quarter revenue above analysts' average estimate. The video game maker, which raised its full year profit and revenue forecast in May, has been benefiting from its higher-margin digital business. The company, known for its "World of Warcraft" franchise, is expected to benefit from strong sales of its games such as "House of Wolves" and "Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft". Investors will be looking for update on launch of new games.

Cereal maker Kellogg Co's second-quarter profit is likely to narrowly miss analysts' average estimate. The company has had to tackle international sales being hurt by a strong dollar in recent quarters, along with a longer-term shift in U.S. consumer preferences to cheaper private-label foods and cooked meals. Kellogg's U.S. morning foods business, which includes cereal, has reported a rise in sales only once in the past eight quarters. Investors will look for any improvement in the business, progress on the company's cost-cutting plan and for comments on the dollar's impact.   Continued...