What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, April 20

Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:03pm 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)

Week Ahead

A slew of Dow 30 companies report results in the week: Chemicals conglomerate DuPont, industrial conglomerate United Technologies Corp and property and casualty insurer Travelers Companies Inc on Tuesday; planemaker Boeing Co, beverage maker Coca-Cola Co and McDonald's Corp on Wednesday; and diversified manufacturer 3M Co, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft Corp on Thursday. While DuPont is expected to report lower first-quarter results, Travelers Companies Inc's first-quarter results are expected to be in line with estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Boeing faces fears of an aircraft downturn after it booked record orders in 2014, while Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's new CEO, is charged with reviving the company's falling sales and managing negative PR around the healthiness of its food. Investors will be watching the impact of the strong dollar on 3M's first-quarter results and Microsoft is expected to report sharply lower profit for its third quarter as sales of personal computers remain soggy.

Search engine giant Google Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue slightly below analysts' estimate on Thursday, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Google, which has been officially charged of cheating consumers and competitors by the European Union, is also being investigated for its Android mobile operating system. Analysts say the latter could prove a bigger threat to Google's future profitability. Analysts expect foreign exchange to negatively impact revenues in the first quarter even as paid click growth is poised to decelerate again.

Facebook Inc is expected to post a first-quarter profit above Wall Street's expectations on Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The world's largest social network's business has been booming thanks to its mobile ads on smartphones and tablets. Many investors also expect that video ads will provide the company's next leg of growth. Facebook has also been stepping up efforts to expand products like messaging service WhatsApp and photo-sharing service Instagram. Investors will be looking out for the company's outlook for the remainder of 2015.

On Thursday, the e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue largely in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. However, analysts are expecting margins to improve as the company gets a grip on a slew of investments on everything from Hollywood-style television productions to cloud computing and consumer devices.

On Tuesday, Yahoo Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue in line with analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, as its overall share of U.S. desktop searches declines. Analysts and investors will be looking out for any details on the tax-free sale of its Alibaba shares.

General Motors Co reports first-quarter results before the market opens on Thursday. Analysts are expecting 96 cents per share, up sharply from a year before.

On Wednesday, chipmaker Qualcomm Inc is likely to report second-quarter revenue and profit broadly in line with analysts' average estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Qualcomm lowered its outlook for fiscal 2015 in January, saying it did not expect its newest Snapdragon mobile chip to be used in a major customer's flagship smartphone. Samsung opted for its own mobile processor and modem chip in the Galaxy S6 instead of equivalents from Qualcomm. The chipmaker had also warned that "challenges" with another of its chips had hurt its competitiveness in China. Qualcomm recently came under pressure from hedge fund Jana Partners to spin off its chip business from its patent-licensing business.   Continued...