October 22, 2014 / 6:58 PM / 4 years ago

What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Oct. 23

(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) Diversified U.S. manufacturer 3M Co, which makes adhesives, abrasives and other products for a variety of industries, reports its third-quarter results. The company is expected to post a rise in revenue and earnings, but analysts are concerned volatility in Europe and Latin America could put pressure on results. Microsoft Corp is expected to report higher revenue but lower profit for its first quarter as the phone operation the world’s largest software company bought from Nokia Corp pushes it deeper into the lower-margin hardware business. New CEO Satya Nadella is refashioning Microsoft as a ‘mobile first, cloud first’ enterprise, but that transformation has not yet boosted its bottomline, which still depends on Windows and Office franchises that are hurting from two years of declining PC sales. Nokia is also set to report third-quarter results during the day.

Caterpillar Inc, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, has suffered quarter after quarter of declining sales to the mining industry. But activity in the building industry - the company’s other big market - has been picking up. When the company reports its third-quarter results, investors will watch for whether demand from that sector as well as sales to the oil and gas sector will offset what is expected to be another tough quarter for mining sales.

Amazon.com Inc is expected to report a third-quarter loss of 74 cents per share and provide an outlook for the upcoming holiday shopping quarter. Like its rival eBay, the largest U.S. online retailer’s results and forecast will likely be hurt by a stronger dollar. Higher investments on new devices and other initiatives as well as recent price cuts to its cloud computing services will also keep operating profits under pressure, analysts said, even as its sales jump.

General Motors Co reports third-quarter results. Investors will watch for progress of European recovery and the Opel brand, whether Latin America will continue to weigh on its earnings and how the recall of ignition switch vehicles will hurt the Detroit-based company’s bottomline. They will also look for comments on sales of GM’s pickup truck and large SUV lineup, which faces increasing pressure as Ford Motor introduces a new version of its main pickup later this year. (What to Watch erroneously reported on Tuesday that GM would release its results on Oct. 22) U.S. airlines are expected to report healthy third-quarter profits. American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Continental Holdings Inc, formed with the 2010 merger of United and Continental, are scheduled to report results before the market opens. Comcast Corp is expected to forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates due to higher revenue from films and theme parks. When the No.1 U.S. cable company reports third-quarter results, investors will be looking out for management commentary on its bid for Time Warner Cable, which is expected to close in 2015. The U.S. Labor Department releases weekly unemployment claims data. New claims for jobless benefits likely rose last week after dropping to a 14-year low. Even so, economists expect they will remain below 300,000 for a sixth straight week in a signal of labor market strength (0830/1230). Financial data firm Markit releases its U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (0945/1345). The Conference Board issues leading indicators data for September (1000/1400). Swiss bank Credit Suisse, expected to report third-quarter results, said in September that revenue at its investment bank rose in the first two months of the quarter but volatility, which typically mars the quarter, was more pronounced. The bank also signaled that following the bank’s guilty plea and more than $2.5 billion penalty in May to a U.S. criminal charge for helping Americans evade taxes, the U.S. government’s examination of financial crisis-era mortgage abuses was now its biggest remaining legal worry. Carlos Slim’s America Movil is in the middle of a regulatory crackdown in its home market of Mexico. In response, it is trying to sell assets to cut its share there, spin off thousands of telecom towers and gain ground in its second-biggest market, Brazil. New rules that force the company to share its infrastructure, stop national roaming charges and slash rates for competitors to use its network are expected to weigh on its third-quarter results. But continued growth in Brazil, where America Movil has said it will look at joining competitor Oi in a bid to buy rival Tim, could help offset that. Indianapolis drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co is expected to report sharply lower third-quarter earnings, hurt by competition its Cymbalta depression treatment is facing from generic drugs. Analysts will be far more focused, however, on updates from the company about studies of its promising experimental treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Celgene Corp is expected to report higher third-quarter profit and revenue due to increased use of its flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid, and solid contributions from newer medicines. Investors will also be looking for a potential increase in the biotech company’s full-year forecast and updated information on a recently acquired and potentially lucrative treatment for Crohn’s disease and related ailments.

Nucor Corp, the largest U.S. steelmaker, is scheduled to report third-quarter results before the bell. Autoliv Inc, the world’s biggest maker of auto safety products, reports its third-quarter results. The main focus will be its guidance for the current quarter and the full year. Investors will also looking for comments on the expected impact from the marked slowdown in the European economy and the auto hub, Germany. Occidental Petroleum Corp, the fourth-largest U.S. oil and gas company, is expected to report a lower third-quarter profit, hurt by a steep fall in oil prices. The company, which has been spinning off its overseas assets to focus on the Texas Permian Basin, is looking to sell its North Dakota and Williston assets, Bloomberg reported this month, citing sources. The company recently said its board had approved a spinoff of its California assets. Investors will be looking for comments on the stake sale and weak oil prices. Rogers Communications Inc announces results for the third quarter. New CEO Guy Laurence has inherited a cable and telecom company dealing with flat revenue growth and slipping profit, but it is also a media company that has spent big to broadcast hugely popular NHL hockey starting this season. Investors generally seem to like the long-term direction Rogers is taking but are wary of near-term regulatory and competitive hurdles. Oil sands developer Cenovus Energy Inc releases third-quarter results. The company is expected to report good earnings from its expanding oil sands operations as production grows, but maintenance on the two U.S. refineries it co-owns with Phillips 66 could cut into profits. Shaw Communications Inc releases its fourth-quarter results. Investors will be eager to hear more about Shaw’s joint venture with Rogers Communications video streaming service, Shomi, which the pair hopes will compete with the likes of Netflix and convince their customers to stick with cable as other viewing options flourish. Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc is expected to post a much lower profit, hurt by weak demand and a flood of new vessels that weighed on day rates. However, third-quarter profit could trump analysts’ expectations mainly due to the company’s cost-cutting efforts. On the same day, onshore driller Patterson-UTI Energy Inc is expected to post a jump in third-quarter profit as oil and gas producers continue to shift their investments to North American shale fields. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc reports its third-quarter results. Potash prices have recovered this year from multi-year lows and profits are expected to be similar to year-earlier levels. CEO Jochen Tilk is still only a few months into the job and any comments from him on how he will lead the company will be of interest. PulteGroup Inc, which this year lost its position as the second-largest U.S. homebuilder to Lennar Corp, has been hurt by a choppy recovery in the U.S. housing market. PulteGroup has so far chosen to raise prices to drive revenue, even at the cost of orders. However, with home prices reaching a peak, investors will be keen to see if PulteGroup tweaks its strategy in the new year, when the company reports third-quarter results. Denver asset manager Janus Capital Group Inc will report third-quarter results before the market opens, its first quarterly report since its surprise hiring of star bond manager Bill Gross from PIMCO. Gross will stay in California but his arrival has boosted hopes that Janus is on its way from also-ran equity shop back to the top ranks of asset managers. Analysts will be looking for more color from the company and Janus CEO Dick Weil about new products that Gross may create, whether flows to his small bond fund have picked up and about how well he can get along with Janus’s incumbent - and successful - bond team led by Gibson Smith. Investment bank and asset manager Lazard Ltd will release results for the third quarter. Lazard has benefited from the big uptick in merger activity as well as inflows of assets into investment funds. Analysts expect Lazard to report earnings of 64 cents per share, up from 46 cents per share a year earlier. Property and casualty insurer Chubb Corp’s third-quarter revenue and profit are expected to beat estimates, according to StarMine data. Chubb is likely to benefit from low catastrophe losses in the quarter. Investors will watch for Chubb’s forecast for the fourth quarter and its plans for any rate hikes. Network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc is expected to report third-quarter earnings below analysts’ estimates, according to StarMine. Juniper cut its revenue estimate for the quarter, citing lower-than-expected demand from service providers, particularly in the United States. Investors will look for guidance on when it expects business from service providers, who account for more than two-thirds of its revenue, to improve. Any plans to increase its exposure to enterprise customers will also be in focus. Network equipment maker Riverbed Technology Inc is expected to report third-quarter results below analysts’ estimates, according to StarMine. Riverbed estimated lower-than-expected revenue for the third quarter due to weakness in its core wide area network optimization business. It also said this month that it would review strategic options and it launched a cost-cutting program after activist investor Elliott Management reaffirmed its offer to buy the company. Touchscreen chip maker Synaptics Inc is likely to report first-quarter revenue slightly below analysts’ estimates, according to StarMine. Synaptics’ results are likely to be impacted by the broad-based slowdown in markets, including autos and network equipment, in regions ranging from Asia to Europe. However, the company could buck the trend as its fingerprint identification technology is being increasingly used in smartphones. Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc is scheduled to report third-quarter results. Its Dunkin Donuts chain is battling intense domestic competition from the likes of McDonald’s as well as higher milk prices in its international Baskin-Robbins icecream business. Dunkin’ Brands cut its 2014 forecast in July. Athletic apparel maker Under Armour Inc is expected to post another quarterly profit as the company gains market share in Europe and demand grows for its running shoes and women and kids’ athletic apparel. When the company reports third-quarter results, analysts expect it to forecast sales growth of 20-25 percent for 2015. Online food-order-and-delivery company GrubHub Inc is expected to report third-quarter revenue in line with analysts’ estimates. GrubHub, which went public in April, has been gaining diner customers with increased spending on advertising. Investors will watch for full-year guidance and whether the bottomline takes a hit due to increased spending. Business analytics software maker Qlik Technologies Inc’s third-quarter profit is likely to top analysts’ expectations, according to StarMine. In July, Qlik forecast third-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates, citing strong demand for its QlikView software, which helps companies organize vast amounts of data in the form of reports, charts and infographics. Brazil’s government releases official unemployment numbers for September just days before a tightly-contested presidential election. The country’s unemployment rate has remained near record lows. However, economists said it might start to climb in the coming months, reflecting the recently-confirmed economic recession (0700/1100). Separately, Mexico’s inflation data for the first half of October will reveal whether price increases remained above the central bank’s 4 percent ceiling after notching a seven-month high of 4.22 percent in September (0900/1300). Also, the Argentine government is due to release August economic activity data (1500/1900). (Compiled by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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