What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Feb. 19

Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:47pm EST
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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)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, will report fourth-quarter results. The
company in November warned it was preparing for a bruising holiday season as it moved to match
prices with online outlets. Wal-Mart also lowered the top end of its full-year profit forecast
to $5.02 per share from $5.15, partly citing expectations of a highly competitive holiday
Satellite TV provider DirectTV is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue below analysts'
estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, as the company continues to lose U.S.
subscribers. The company, which is being acquired by AT&T, is losing customers as rivals such as
Time Warner Cable attract subscribers by bundling their offerings with Internet and phone
TurboTax software maker Intuit Inc's second-quarter profit is expected to beat estimates,
according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The self-prepared e-file category, which correlates
with Intuit's tax-preparation software, rose 7.1 percent till Feb. 6, compared with last year's
full season growth of 6 percent, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Intuit temporarily
stopped transmitting state returns earlier this month after noticing attempts to use fraudulent
identification information. The company gets most of its profit in its second and third quarters
when Americans are more likely to buy its software in the lead-up to the tax season.
Labor Department releases data for the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000
for the week ended Feb. 7. (0830/1330) Separately, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia issues
Business Outlook Survey for February. (1000/1500) Meanwhile, Conference Board issues Leading
Indicators for January. (1000/1500)
Goldcorp Inc, the world's biggest gold producer by market value, is expected to report stronger
fourth-quarter results, but the miner has warned that it will write down the value of its new
Cerro Negro mine in Argentina by up to $2.7 billion. The company also said last month that it
expects to boost 2015 output and cut production costs, helped by two new low-cost mines.
Investors will be looking for any further updates on the company's five-year plan, plans to
acquire assets, and updates on studies of new processes at its Penasquito in Mexico that could
improve economics and extend the mine's life.
Newmont Mining Corp is expected to report lower earnings on the back of a weaker gold price in
the fourth quarter. Investors will want construction updates on the company's latest development
project, Merian in Suriname. They will also have questions on how talks are going with
Indonesian authorities on renewing an export permit linked to smelting its copper output in the
Investors may focus on any updates from Eldorado Gold Corp on the Skouries mine in Greece when
the company reports fourth-quarter results. The new left-wing government in Greece recently said
it was firmly opposed to the project, and the country's energy minister said "we will examine
our next moves on it." Eldorado said in January that it would spend about $200 million in 2015
to develop the mine, and expected to complete construction in late 2016.
Nordstrom Inc, the upscale department store operator, is likely to report fourth-quarter profit
above analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company will be the
first among department store operators to report results for the holiday quarter, though rivals
Macy's and Kohl's estimated strong same-store sales for the holiday quarter. The holiday quarter
is estimated to have been good for department stores with few unplanned promotions. As a result,
lesser inventory left for clearance sales in January is likely to have helped margins but
resulted in lower sales. Investors will be looking out for comments on the West Coast port
disruptions and likely implication for the company, which has 43 percent of its distribution
centers on the West Coast.
Discovery Communications Inc, the owner of channels such as Animal Planet and Discovery Channel,
is expected to report fourth-quarter profit and revenue below Wall Street expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company, which gets more than half its revenue
from outside the United States, has been hurt by a strong dollar. Weaker U.S. cable viewership
and lower-than-expected ratings are also expected to weigh on results.
Chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue below
estimates after its biggest customer, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, posted a plunge in quarterly
mobile earnings this quarter. Marvell has been investing heavily in fourth-generation LTE chips
(4G) to keep pace with the expansion of high-speed networks in China and the United States.
LPL Financial Holdings Inc, with some 12,000 brokers that buy its regulatory services and
products, reports fourth-quarter results that should show revenue gains from a frothy market.
But investors will be looking at whether its expenses are coming under control as the firm
enters the final stages of a risk management system overhaul mandated by regulators and as it
continues to pay bonuses to capture new broker-clients.
Toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc last month estimated fourth-quarter revenue higher-than
analysts' expectations, citing product launches, marketing programs and higher sales of gift
cards. Comparable-store sales is set to rise 9.8 percent in the holiday quarter, including an
8.5 percent increase in North America and a 14 percent rise in Europe, Build-A-Bear said.
Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Agathe Cote will give a speech on "Inflation Expectations and
Monetary Policy" and may give more hints as to the bank's reasons for unexpectedly cutting rates
last month.

 (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bengaluru)