What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Feb. 19
(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 season. 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 connections. 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 country. 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)
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