Grocers and brokers will lead the way in the week of earnings that lies ahead. Let's take a closer look.
This day may bring back some good memories for Comverse Technology
Back in December, the company posted healthy third-quarter results, with sales rising by a sharp 27%. Sporting a balance sheet stocked with $2.2 billion in cash -- or nearly half of the company's market cap -- Comverse has been on a roll. The shares have tripled since bottoming out in the fall of 2002, and a continued recovery (possibly sparked by Monday's financials) can give the stock even more room to run in the near term.
If it's Tuesday, it must be supermarket checkout time. Last week, it was the country's largest operator, Kroger
While the grocery outfits have been expressing their woes as they struggle to compete against warehouse clubs, discount department superstores, and even the aftermath of labor struggles, Albertson's is actually starting to come around. Three months ago, it saw its quarterly earnings march 19% higher. That doesn't mean that it's getting a whole lot of love on Wall Street, though, as its stock is trading near its 52-week lows. How will the fourth-quarter numbers stack up for the country's second-largest supermarket chain? We will soon find out if the company is able to nail analyst estimates of $0.54 a share.
Though it may simply feel like a bad sign to have the word "bear" in the name of an investment banker that would prefer to see bullish times, Bear Stearns
Small names with big brands like Nike
He left the company in great shape, with improving margins and a healthy dose of future orders lined up. After suffering a hiccup late in Knight's tenure, it quickly recovered in 2003 and will now start a new chapter with someone else at the helm.
If you spend your life putting money into malls, shouldn't you start getting a little bit back? Mills
That fat payout may prove tempting to our Income Investor readers, but the company does have valuation concerns. As a REIT, or real estate investment trust, it pays out most of its funds from operations in the form of quarterly dividends. And with lots of higher-yielding REITs out there, Mills is commanding a lofty earnings multiple compared with its peers. The company, however, is also growing its bottom line nicely, so you, like the typical Mills shopper, may want to wait until the price gets closer to the bargain bin.
Want to learn more about the companies waiting to report earnings this week? Check out:
Until next week, I remain,
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks he'll do Mills investors a favor or two by heading out for a thrifty shopping spree at Sawgrass Mills over the weekend. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.