What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, Feb. 9

Fri Feb 6, 2015 4:04pm EST
 
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(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day's major stories and
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Week Ahead
    
The last week of earnings will dominate activity for the equity market, which after some
weakness in January now sits a stone's throw from an all-time high. The strong jobs report
figures could continue to boost expectations for higher rates, though long yields could still
find pressure from overseas investors looking for yield. The euro, too, is likely to continue to
weaken against the dollar, as investors maintain worries about the consequence of the Greece-EMU
standoff. 
    
While weak spending by telecom service providers such as Verizon and AT&T is likely to weigh on
Cisco Systems Inc's results, the company is set to benefit from strong growth in the data center
and security businesses. The network equipment maker is expected to report second-quarter
revenue and profit above analysts' average estimate on Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters
Starmine data. Investors will be also be expecting strong growth from the switching segment.
    
Insurance company American International Group will release fourth-quarter results on Thursday
and analysts expect earnings of $1.05 per share. This will be the first full quarter under CEO
Peter Hancock, who took over from Bob Benmosche in September. 
    
On Wednesday, Time Warner Inc is expected to report lower-than-estimated fourth-quarter profit
for the first time in eight quarters. The company had been engaged in a dispute with Dish,
whereby Dish blacked out several of Turner's networks channels, including CNN and the Cartoon
Network, affecting about 14 million of turner's subscribers. However, the recently announced HBO
standalone streaming is expected to drive revenues up for the company in 2015 and 2016.
Separately, CBS Corp is expected to report higher earnings for the fourth quarter on Thursday as
the company continues to diversify its revenue beyond advertising. Analysts expect the owner of
the most-watched U.S. broadcast network to report earnings-per-share of 76 cents, compared with
69 cents a year earlier.
    
A light data calendar next week, with January retail sales and February consumer sentiment the
only major reports due for release. But secondary reports on wholesale and business inventories
could shed more light on the extent of the economic growth slowdown in the fourth quarter and
prospects for the first quarter. The Commerce Department is expected to report on Tuesday that
wholesale inventories edged up 0.1 percent in December after rising 0.9 percent in November. On
Thursday, the Commerce Department is expected to report that retail sales fell 0.5 percent in
January, largely reflecting lower gasoline prices, after dropping 0.9 percent in December.
Commerce Department data on Thursday is likely to show business inventories rose 0.2 percent in
December after a similar gain in November. On Friday, the University of Michigan will likely
report that its consumer sentiment index held steady at a multi-year high of 98.1 in early
February. Labor Department data on Friday is expected to show import prices tumbled 3.2 percent
in January after falling 2.5 percent in December.
    
Planned appearances this week by the policy hawk chiefs of the Dallas and Richmond Feds look
unlikely to deliver much fresh color on U.S. monetary policy, but investors can expect an earful
on politics from Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who is set on Monday to stake out his thinking on
the range of legislative proposals targeted at reining in the Fed's powers, including Rand
Paul's Audit the Fed bill.
    
Billionaire businessman Carlos Slim's flagship company, America Movil will report fourth-quarter
results on Tuesday. The phone company has been struggling to increase revenue as it faces
tougher regulation in its biggest markets, Mexico and Brazil. 
    
UBS Group AG, a Switzerland-based bank engaged in investment management reports fourth-quarter
and full-year results on Tuesday. Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti will address journalists. On
Thursday, Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG reports earnings for the fourth quarter and year,
during which it became the largest bank in decades to plead guilty to a U.S. criminal charge and
agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion in penalties for helping Americans evade taxes. Separately,
Netherlands' largest bank ING Groep reports fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday. After spinning
off its insurance arm, selling U.S. operations and repaying Dutch state aid, ING appears well
capitalized and may boost its dividend or disclose plans to expand within Europe. 
    
Mondelez International Inc, the maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies, will report
fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. The snacks maker has faced sluggish markets in some of its
key categories. The company, which raised its full-year 2014 profit forecast in November, has
reported a string of disappointing quarterly results since it split from Kraft Foods Group in
2012. 

Biggest U.S. life insurer Metlife Inc is currently challenging the Financial Stability Oversight
Council's decision in a federal court to overturn its "systemically important" tag. The company
which reports fourth quarter results on Wednesday mainly invests in bonds and has been hurt by
lower yield from these securities due to historically low interest rates. However, speculation
that the Fed might start winding down its quantitative easing program has helped boost bond
yields in recent months. However, a recovering job market is helping the company's group
insurance business. Meanwhile, life and mortgage insurer Genworth Financial Inc is expected to
announce its review of long term care insurance active life margins along with its
fourth-quarter results on Wednesdsay. The review, to determine loss and cash flow, will show
whether the company would need to raise capital for reserves. Company says premium rate
increases could help offset the need to strengthen reserves. 
    
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc has appeased investors in recent years with flourishing sales of
its eye drug, Eylea. The blockbuster drug's quarterly sales, which were preannounced in January,
have bested expectations, likely driven by a rising demand. Investor will look for commentary on
the progress and commercial potential of three likely blockbuster biotech drugs Regeneron is
developing with Sanofi when it reports fourth-quarter results on Tuesday. 
    
Tesla Motors Inc will report fourth-quarter results and investors will be listening for an
update on the company's battery plant construction, color on weak fourth quarter sales in China
that it previously outlined, and details about the planned summer launch of the Model X SUV. The
company also will update sales of its flagship Model S sedan when it reports results on
Wednesday. Chief Executive Elon Musk may also provide an update on the 2017 rollout of the
lower-priced, higher-volume Model 3 car. 
    
Fourth-quarter profit of Standard & Poor's parent McGraw Hill Financial Inc is expected to miss
estimates when it reports earnings on Thursday, according to StarMine data. Revenue at McGraw
Hill's rating unit, its main business, is expected to decline due to a fall in global debt
activity and legal settlements for the fourth quarter.
    
Thomson Reuters Corp reports fourth-quarter results and investors will be watching to see if the
information and news company can keep up its streak of positive sales for its financial
products. The company will also provide a forecast for the year when it reports results on
Wednesday.

No. 1 U.S. advertising company Omnicom Group Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter profit
well below average analysts' estimates, mainly impacted by a weaker Euro. However, U.S.
advertising market is expected to remain strong with companies such as Walt Disney and Viacom
indicating that advertising spending is expected to return to television. The company has been
looking to make acquisitions in the digital and social media space to deal with competition from
internet advertising companies such as Google and Yahoo. When the company reports earnings on
Tuesday, analysts will be looking for guidance in the context of volatile foreign exchange
rates.
    
Breakfast cereals maker Kellogg Co is likely to report fourth-quarter revenue above analysts'
expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, bucking the trend for the last four
quarters. The revenue beat is likely to come from international growth, as the company struggles
with falling sales in its cereal and snacks business in the United States. Investors will look
for comments on the company's plans to expand outside the United States when it announces
results on Thursday.
    
Whole Foods Market Inc is enjoying strong demand for the natural and organic category it
pioneered, but the competition is forcing it to cut prices to compete with rivals ranging from
specialty grocers like Sprouts and the Fresh Market to mass-market operators such as Kroger and
Wal-Mart. The company is due to release first-quarter results on Wednesday.
    
Fertilizer company Mosaic Co reports fourth-quarter results and forecasts first-quarter
phosphate and potash sales volumes on Wednesday. The company is expected to show higher
quarterly profit than a year earlier, thanks to stronger phosphate sales and prices. 
    
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc has been hurt by political instability in its
international markets and a strengthening dollar. The operator of Sheraton and Westin chain of
hotels, which has nearly halved its properties outside North America, said in October its 2014
profit would also be hit by asset sales. On Tuesday when the company reports fourth-quarter
results, investors will be looking for comments on expected trends in 2015, especially since
Starwood is the first of U.S. hoteliers to report results. 
    
On Tuesday, private equity firm KKR & Co is expected to report a decline in fourth-quarter
earnings, as it fails to beat the cash it generated from assets sales a year ago. Separately,
Carlyle Group LP is also expected to report a decline in fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.
    
Cenovus Energy Inc, which has slashed capital spending twice, deferring some projects and
limiting conventional drilling, may outline more steps to fight weak prices when the oil sands
developer reports fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Separately, Talisman Energy Inc is
expected to report a smaller loss when it reports fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, according
to analysts. The Canadian oil producer, which agreed to be bought by Repsol, has been cutting
jobs and is planning to sell assets. Investors will want to know about the company's dividend,
capital budget and production plans for 2015. 
    
Telus Corp, the last of Canada's three largest wireless carriers reports fourth-quarter earnings
on Thursday. Rogers has been shedding customers that BCE has picked up, but investors expect
Telus to also score well in terms of overall market share gains. The Canadian company is reaping
the rewards of an earlier rollout of its Internet-based television product, Optik, that's
helping the company win landline customers from dominant cable operator Shaw out west. 
    
Molson Coors Brewing is likely to report fourth-quarter profit below analysts' expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The brewer said in November it would increase marketing
spending to boost sales which declined for four of the last five quarters. The company had also
warned of currency hurting results in the quarter, particularly in Canada. The company had also
said it was engaged in discussions for potential acquisitions, so investors will be looking out
for any deal announcements when company reports earnings on Tuesday. MillerCoors LLC, the U.S.
operations of Molson Coors, also reports results the same day. 
    
Maker of Folgers coffee, J M Smucker Co is likely to report third-quarter profit below analysts'
expectations, according to StarMine data. The company in November termed its price increase in
June a "misstep", which led to a sharp drop in sales volumes as customers delayed purchases and
shifted to cheaper private-label brands. Investors will look for how the latest price increase
was received by customers and Smucker's integration plans for its $3.2 billion acquisition of
pet food maker Big Heart Pet Brands when the results come out on Friday.
    
Internet content delivery service provider Akamai has said that a stronger U.S. dollar would
hurt revenue growth in the fourth-quarter. On Tuesday, the company is expected to report revenue
slightly above analysts' estimate according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data. 
    
The Western Union Company is to report fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, in line with
estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. World's largest money-transfer company is
facing price competition from its largest competitor, MoneyGram, as it resorts to price cuts to
recover lost business from Wal-Mart's new in-store offering. Western Union said in January it
would offer consumers the ability to fund money transfers and bill payments using Apple Pay. 
    
On Wednesday, Toronto-based gold producer Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd is expected to report lower
fourth-quarter earnings on weaker metals prices. The market will want to hear about the
exploration potential of its Amuraq deposit in Nunavut and at the properties owned by Cayden
Resources, which Agnico recently purchased. Reporting fourth-quarter results the same day is
gold producer Yamana Gold Inc. The Toronto-based company is expected to report weaker earnings
on the back of lower metals prices. Investors will want to know of any progress on the planned
sale of some of its Brazilian assets. Separately, world's fifth biggest gold producer Kinross
Gold Corp is expected to report an adjusted profit compared to a loss a year ago helped in part
by lower costs in its large Russian operations where the rouble has slumped. The company's net
earnings may include funds from the sale of its stalled gold project in Ecuador late last year
for $240 million. Investors will also want an update on the Russian operations and if Western
sanctions are having any impact when the company reports fourth-quarter and full-year results on
Tuesday. 
    
Cybersecurity company FireEye Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings above analysts'
expectations on Wednesday as governments and businesses ramp up spending to protect their
networks from highly sophisticated database breaches and hacks. The market is estimated to grow
from $95.60 billion in 2014 to $155.74 billion by 2019, according to market research firm
MarketsandMarkets. 
    
Cosmetics maker Avon Products will report fourth-quarter results on Thursday amid controversy in
its key market, China. China unit of Avon pleaded guilty in connection with a bribery scheme in
December. The direct seller of beauty products has been cutting jobs and undergoing
restructuring in an attempt to stem losses and turn itself around. Investors will be looking for
updates on sales in North America, where it faces competition from inexpensive beauty items at
drugstores or from chains such as Sephora. Commentary on the impact of a stronger dollar during
the quarter will be of interest.
    
The advertising company Interpublic Group of Companies Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter
revenue below estimates, according to Starmine data. A slowdown in advertising spending,
alongside foreign exchange currency volatility is expected to affect advertising companies when
it reports results on Friday. 
    
Fourth-quarter results of real estate website operator Zillow Inc are expected to be slightly
below analysts' estimate, according to StarMine data. Analysts said that a decline in display
revenue and a sequential deceleration in average revenue per user will hurt sales. On Tuesday
when the company reports earnings, investors will look forward to the benefits expected after
the completion of Trulia's acquisition.
    
AOL Inc, which owns Huffington Post news website and the TechCrunch blog, has been in the midst
of a turnaround as it moves away from subscription dial-up revenue. Digital media and
entertainment Company is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue and profit on Wednesday,
slightly above analysts' estimate according to Starmine data. While activist investor Starboard
LP reiterated that Yahoo should consider a merger with AOL, the company was rumored to have been
approached by Verizon for an acquisition.
    
Time Inc that publishes Sports Illustrated, Time and People magazines is expected to report
fourth-quarter revenue slightly above analysts' estimate according to Thomson Reuters Starmine
data. The Publisher has cut its full-year 2014 revenue forecast twice in consecutive quarters
citing falling circulation and weak print advertising. Investors will be looking for full-year
2015 outlook and positive circulation numbers when company reports earnings on Friday.
    
The largest U.S. milk processor Dean Foods Co is likely to report fourth-quarter profit above
analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company in November had
forecast its first quarterly adjusted profit in a year citing cost cuts and a steep fall in
butterfat prices. Raw milk prices have declined as production in the United States and Europe
increases, and are expected to come down further in 2015 which will help boost demand. Investors
will be looking out for comments on milk prices this year and the company's forecast when it
reports results on Tuesday.
    
Shares of the healthcare analytics company Inovalon Holdings Inc are expected to start trading
on the Nasdaq on Thursday. The company is expected to raise $533.3 million from its initial
public offering of 22.2 million class A shares. The offering is expected to be priced within the
range $21-$24, valuing the company at about $3.5 billion at the higher end. Bahrain-based
conglomerate Maritas Holdings, which invests in real estate, telecom, finance and healthcare, is
a major shareholder.
    
Innovative retail brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corp, which does not hold quarterly analyst
calls, gives its three-hour semi-annual update on Thursday. Executives will talk about investor
sentiment and product developments but institutional investors will listen for any indications
that short-term rates will rise, allowing Schwab to make big profits investing cash lying fallow
in client accounts. 
    
Nvidia Corp posts first-quarter results on Wednesday as the chipmaker adapts its PC graphics
technology to be used for navigation and entertainment systems in high-end cars. 
    
Groupon Inc, the online commerce company that began life as a purveyor of discount coupons,
updates Wall Street on its turnaround effort on Thursday. The company's fourth-quarter results
come just days after the Wall Street Journal reported that it is in talks to sell most of
TicketMonster Inc, a company now valued at some $1 billion. 
    
Billionaire investor William Ackman hosts a Harbor Investment Conference on Friday with friends
and fellow hedge fund managers Ray Dalio and Larry Robbins, who will have things to say about
the world and how they'll make money for their clients.
    
Canada will get a snapshot of its housing market next week with reports including housing starts
for January. That report will be followed by the new home price index, which is forecast to have
edged up by 0.1 percent in December, matching the previous month's pace. Rounding out the week
will be a report on manufacturing sales, which are expected to have climbed by 0.9 percent in
December, after dropping for two months in a row.
    
Mexico's government agency will show how industrial production fared in December on Wednesday,
after the indicator expanded at its slowest pace in two months in November, as a dip in mining
and utilities dragged on an expansion in the construction and manufacturing sectors. On Thursday
the central bank will release minutes for its January decision to hold interest rates at a
record low of 3 percent, as policymakers eyed the risk that a sharply weaker peso could fan
consumer prices higher while also nothing big risks to growth.
    
Monday, Feb. 9
    
Hotel, energy and financial services conglomerate Loews Corp's fourth-quarter results are
expected to miss estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Its largest holding,
insurer CNA Financial, is facing slowing pace of rate increases. Loews has trimmed CNA's
operations by hiving off its life and automobile insurance, reinsurance and pension deposit
businesses. However, some of that weakness should be offset by stronger results at Diamond
Offshore, Loews' second-biggest subsidiary and one of the world's top five offshore rig
contractors, helped by higher demand and improved rates for its ultra-deepwater rigs. However,
hurt by a decline in rig rates, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc is expected to report a lower
fourth-quarter profit. 50 percent drop in global crude prices has prompted oil producers to shut
down several low-margins projects, hurting rig providers and other oilfield service companies.
Investors will look for details on the offshore rig contractor's spending plans, dividend cuts
and possible early contract terminations. 
    
Hasbro Inc, the second-largest U.S. toymaker, reports fourth-quarter sales. Hasbro has seen
demand for its "My Little Pony" toys, and Marvel and Transformers action figures rise in past
few quarters, helping it grow ahead of larger rival Mattel. Hasbro has also won the license to
make dolls around Walt Disney's Princess and "Frozen" lines starting 2016. 
    
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp releases report on housing starts for January. New construction
is expected to have moderated only slightly to 177,500 units last month. (0815/1315)
    
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi takes part in G20 Finance Ministers and Central
Bank Governors two-day meeting in Istanbul, where officials will grapple with the question of
financial support for neighbouring Greece. 
    
Mexico's national statistics agency will release inflation data for the full month of January,
after inflation through the first half of the month slowed sharply to 3.08 percent, just above
the central bank's 3 percent target. (0900/1400)

 (All analysts' estimates are according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S)

 (Compiled By Astha Rawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)