Just because the height of earnings season is over doesn't mean there aren't plenty of companies reporting figures this week. So far, earnings have come in ahead of estimates for more than 70% of S&P 500 companies that have reported, so the figures are definitely favoring the bulls.
However, being a noted skeptic of this gangbuster rally, I'm having a harder time seeing the potential for earnings beats this week. For me, it actually seems easier to pick companies that could have a hard time hitting consensus estimates rather than likely winners. Therefore, let's take a look at three companies that could miss the mark this week.
Knock knock, anyone home?
Following the worst year on record for home sales, earnings prospects for Toll Brothers
Although housing data in December suggests that new home sales could be bouncing off their lows, these quarterly comparisons for Toll will be going up against figures last year that were aided by the now-expired homebuyer tax credit. Call me a skeptic, but this looks like a miss waiting to happen.
I'm watching you
A slowdown in growth could be in store for cyber-security company SourceFire
It's also disturbing that competitors Symantec
Aisle pass, thank you
Grocery chain Safeway
It's no secret that food costs are rising, and Safeway is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It has to decide between keeping prices low to retain loyal customers at the expense of its margins, or simply raise its prices and risk a drop in revenue. Personally, it seems like a risky bet to own a company with razor-thin margins amid a rising food cost environment, and I'd advise keeping your distance from Safeway shares this week.
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Agree or disagree with my assessments of these companies? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Fool contributor Sean Williams does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong. Check Point Software Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation and a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on SUPERVALU. The Fool owns shares of SUPERVALU. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that never misses the mark.