What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Tuesday, April 21

Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:33pm 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) Chemicals conglomerate and Dow component DuPont, locked in a proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz, is expected to report a lower first-quarter profit, hurt by a fall in agriculture earnings and a stronger dollar. The company, which generates 60 percent of its sales outside the United States, warned earlier this year of a strong dollar cutting its 2015 profit by 60 cents per share. However, the focus this quarter will be on an upcoming shareholder meeting at which it will be decided if Peltz will get the four board seats he has been campaigning for. The meeting has been scheduled for May 13. Investors will also look for any update on the company's cost-reduction target, currently pegged at $1.3 billion and expected to be achieved by 2017.

Industrial conglomerate United Technologies Corp reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens. Investors will be looking at the trends for the Dow component's Otis elevators and Carrier climate control systems businesses, given concerns about economic growth in Europe and China, as well as the extent to which the strong dollar is weighing on the company.

Wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc will report first-quarter earnings amidst intense competition from rivals such as Sprint Corp and T-Mobile U.S. Inc who continue to step up efforts to lure subscribers. Investors will keep an eye out for details on the Dow component's upcoming mobile video service and capital expenditure range.

Property and casualty insurer Travelers Cos Inc's first-quarter results are expected to be in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, helped by the lack of any major catastrophe losses in the quarter. Travelers, a Dow 30 component, has aggressively raised insurance prices in the past several quarters to offset low interest rates. As pricing continues to decelerate in the commercial insurance sector, investors will be keen to get a view of the company's average renewal price rate increase, a key metric.

Yahoo Inc is expected to report flat first-quarter revenue as it struggles to rev up its online advertising business, despite two years of efforts by CEO Marissa Mayer to jump start the fading internet pioneer with product revamps and acquisitions. Analysts and investors will be looking out for any details on the tax-free sale of its Alibaba shares.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG reports earnings for the first three months of the year. CEO Brady Dougan and CFO David Mathers host a conference call later in the day.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley co-presides over a ceremony held by the Economic Club of New York. (1130/1530).

Baker Hughes Inc, which agreed to be bought by bigger rival Halliburton Co for $35 billion in November, is expected to report a lower first-quarter profit, hurt by weak drilling activity. The company generates about half its revenue from North America and analysts expect U.S. oil production to further decline in 2015 and 2016 as producers scale back spending amid weak oil prices. Baker Hughes had forecast 7,000 job cuts and investors will seek details about any further cost cuts. They will also seek details about the close of the Halliburton deal and the companies' plans to address antitrust concerns.

Lockheed Martin Corp, Pentagon's No. 1 arms supplier, reports first-quarter results. Lockheed has been focusing on increasing sales to commercial customers in the United States as well as international governments to make up for pressures from tight U.S. defense spending. Lockheed gets 17 percent of its revenue from international markets and 1 percent from U.S. commercial customers. Investors will be looking to see if Lockheed still expects U.S. military spending to meaningfully pick up this year.   Continued...