April 27, 2015 / 7:04 PM / 3 years ago

What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Tuesday, April 28

(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)

The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on interest rate policy. The Fed has already ruled out an April rate hike, so not much is expected from this meeting. Investors will watch for signs that the Fed is getting more comfortable with inflation data.

Lower first-quarter earnings are in store for Dow component Merck & Co Inc as weak growth of its Januvia diabetes drug, a strong dollar and generic competition for other drugs weigh on the drugmaker’s results. Foremost on the investor’s mind, however, will be additional hints of how the company’s array of potentially lucrative immuno-oncology drugs are shaping up in clinical trials.

Pfizer Inc, a Dow 30 company, is expected to report lower first-quarter earnings, hurt by generic competition for its Celebrex painkiller and conclusion of a longtime co-promotion agreement that had allowed it to sell Amgen Inc’s blockbuster Enbrel arthritis drug in the United States. Investors, however, will pay greater attention to updates from clinical trials of newer drugs, especially its potential blockbuster Ibrance treatment for breast cancer.

The U.S. Conference Board is expected to report that its consumer confidence index rose to 102.5 in April from 101.3 in March. (1000/1400) Separately, the S&P Case Shiller survey is expected to show house prices increased in 20 metropolitan areas in February. (0900/1300)

Ford Motor Co will report first-quarter results before the market opens. Analysts expect the automaker to report a profit of 27 cents per share, up slightly from a year earlier. Focus will be on Ford’s U.S. truck business and its effort to narrow losses in Europe.

Twitter Inc is expected to report an 80 percent surge in first-quarter revenue as the ubiquitous online microblogging service manages to make more money from advertisers keen to reach its nearly 300 million users.

Kraft Foods Group Inc is expected to report its first-quarter results, a month after the company announced a tieup with H.J. Heinz Co. Investors expect Brazilian private equity firm 3G, the backer of Heinz, to use its cost-cutting playbook on the combined entity.

Satellite radio service Sirius XM Holdings Inc is expected to report a rise in first-quarter profit and revenue as strong U.S. auto sales in the first three months of the year are expected to have benefited the company. Investors will be looking for the company’s 2015 outlook.

T-Mobile US Inc, the No.4 U.S. wireless operator, reports first-quarter results before the bell. The company’s fourth-quarter profit and revenue handily beat analysts’ estimates as aggressive discounts helped the company add more than 2 million subscribers.

Medical equipment maker Boston Scientific Corp is expected to report a slight rise in first-quarter profit, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, helped by increased sales of its implantable heart devices.

Wall Street is counting on Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to report a higher first-quarter profit, with sales of its recently approved Opdivo treatment for advanced melanoma helping to offset the negative impact of the stronger dollar. Investors will look for details on ongoing and planned trials of Opdivo and the company’s other immuno-oncology drugs against a variety of cancers.

Health insurer Aetna Inc is expected to report first-quarter earnings that are flat or slightly higher than a year earlier as it successfully manages rising medical costs.

Textron Inc, the maker of Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, is expected to benefit from rising demand for its new jets as it realizes the benefits from its Beechcraft acquisition last year. When the company reports first-quarter results, investors will be looking for comments on its Bell helicopters, the sales of which depend heavily on defense contracts and have been hit as spending remains weak.

Oshkosh Corp, which makes trucks for the military and construction industry, is expected to report a lower second-quarter profit, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, hurt by lower defense spending for tactical wheeled vehicles. The company’s revenue is also expected to be hurt by a stronger dollar. Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc is also expected to report lower sales due to a strong dollar.

Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s biggest gold producer, holds its annual meeting in Toronto. Market attention will be focused on a non-binding shareholder vote on Barrick’s executive pay as well as the election of directors. A number of big institutions have already said they would vote against the miner’s compensation plan and withhold votes for directors to express their unhappiness. Toronto-based gold producer Yamana Gold Inc is expected to report weaker first-quarter earnings on the back of lower gold prices. Investors will be looking for more details on Yamana’s plans to spin out its Brio unit in a separate listing.

French oil major Total SA reports first-quarter results. The company is expected to report falling earnings from exploration and production as the oil price drop bites.

Consol Energy Inc is expected to report a smaller first-quarter profit, hurt by higher costs and lower coal prices. Investors will look for details on the company’s cost-cutting efforts.

National-Oilwell Varco Inc, the largest U.S. oilfield equipment maker, is expected to report a lower first-quarter profit as demand dwindles due to a slump in drilling activity. The company warned in February of a ‘severe downturn’ in its business after reporting a nearly 90 percent plunge in orders. Investors will look for any comments on cost-cutting initiatives and the company’s demand outlook.

Miner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, which has sought creditor protection for its Canadian arm, is expected to post a smaller loss for the first quarter, helped by lower production costs. However, the company’s quarterly revenue is expected to almost halve due to the fall in prices of both iron and coal. Debt-laden Cliffs Natural scrapped its dividend in January and announced in March a sale of its chromite assets in northern Ontario. Investors will look for details on further asset sales and the company’s cost-cutting initiatives.

Whirlpool Corp posts first-quarter results. Analysts will be watching for the impact of the strong dollar on the company’s profits. Whirlpool said in January that the strong dollar could knock $1 billion off revenue from sales outside North America. But the company also said that with the U.S. economy growing and the housing sector slowly recovering, sales in its biggest market should grow 4-6 percent this year. The market will watch for comments on the company’s U.S. sales moving forward.

United Parcel Service Inc, the world’s largest package delivery company, will report first-quarter results before the markets open. The company disappointed the market in the fourth quarter by overspending during peak season. UPS recently saw its rival FedEx Corp snap up TNT, the Dutch package delivery company UPS tried and failed to buy two years ago. The market will be watching for comments on preparations for this year’s peak season and how UPS will apply peak surcharges.

McGraw Hill Financial Inc, the parent of Standard & Poor’s ratings agency, is expected to report a first-quarter profit, helped by higher revenue from its bond ratings business. Analysts expect a fall in revenue from Platts, the company’s energy and metals information services business, due to a decline in oil prices.

Auto lender Ally Financial Inc’s first-quarter results are likely to have benefited from a one-time gain of $400 million, related to a stake sale in its Chinese joint venture. Ally’s auto finance business has been under pressure as General Motors replaced the lender with its current in-house financing arm for subsidized leases on its new vehicles in February. To counter the loss, Ally is trying to increase its tieups with dealers not associated with GM and shore up its presence in lending for used cars.

Mortgage insurer Genworth Financial Inc, one of the few remaining players in the long-term care insurance market, is expected to report a first-quarter profit in line with analysts’ estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company’s long-term care unit will be in focus, after it took charges of about $1.5 billion in the prior two quarters.

JetBlue Airways Corp reports first-quarter results. The company had forecast first-quarter unit revenue growth of more than 4 percent, higher than that of peers. Investors will be looking for hints on whether the low-cost carrier can keep up the momentum.

Handbag and accessories maker Coach Inc is expected to report a third-quarter profit above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, boosted by fewer discounts and lesser marketing. Any recovery in sales will indicate the company’s turnaround plans are showing effect. Analysts, however, believe the company has still more work to do. Investors will look out for third-quarter and full-year forecasts and updates on turnaround plans.

Tempur Sealy International Inc, the world’s largest mattress maker, is expected to report first-quarter profit below the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, despite implementing cost-cutting measures to check falling profit. Tempur has also been in open conflict with its largest shareholder, H Partners, after the hedge fund recommended that the company’s shareholders vote against the reelection of three of the board directors. Investors will be also be looking for any changes in the company’s full-year forecast.

Gorilla glass maker Corning Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue in line with analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, due to a soft mobile phone market. The company is also expected to report that its display technologies business volume stayed flat or fell slightly from the prior quarter.

Internet content delivery service provider Akamai Technologies Inc is expected to report first-quarter profit in line with analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Akamai had said that current-quarter results would be hurt by the lack of any major sporting events and the impact of a stronger dollar. Analysts will watch if the generally conservative company will forecast second-quarter revenue and profit below analysts’ expectations.

Media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC/InteractiveCorp, which owns internet brands such as Investopedia and HomeAdvisor, is expected to post a first-quarter profit below Wall Street’s expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company, which also owns mobile dating app Tinder, has been hit by slowing growth in its online matchmaking business, which makes up a third of its revenue. Investors will be looking for the company’s outlook for the remainder of 2015 and details on how much Tinder has earned for IAC after a paid version of the app with more features was announced late last year.

Wearable camera maker GoPro Inc is expected to report first-quarter profit and revenue above analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Analysts expect the company’s sales to grow as GoPro expands overseas and extends the brand to new device categories. Investors will be looking for GoPro’s second-quarter forecast.

Printer maker Lexmark International Inc is expected to report a fall in first-quarter revenue. PC and printer makers have been struggling in the recent past as companies reduce printing to cut costs and consumers shift to mobile devices from PCs. The company has also been making acquisitions, the most recent being Kofax Ltd for a deal value of $1 billion. The acquisition is expected to double the size of Lexmark’s enterprise business. Analysts are looking for the company’s forecast and its strategy going forward.

Senator Richard Shelby, the head of the powerful Senate banking committee, will grill government officials about how they regulate the insurance industry. This is a controversial issue for the industry, which is battling closer scrutiny by the Federal Reserve. Shelby is working on a regulatory relief bill and the hearing may give clues of what goes into the bill.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins will speak before a House of Commons finance committee. Lawmakers are likely to ask the central bank officials about their outlook on the economy and the impact from oil prices.

(Clarification - Charter Communications Inc is reporting its first-quarter results on May 1 and Mylan NV is reporting its first-quarter results on May 5. The “What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, April 27” edition on Friday said the companies were scheduled to report on April 27 and April 30, respectively.)

Compiled by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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