Best Buy Co. (BBY) and Gamestop Corporation (GME) could top expectations

Earnings Preview For Mar 23 - 27
Best Buy Co. (BBY) and Gamestop Corporation (GME) could top expectations. Sonic Corporation (SONC) could disappoint.

This will be a quiet week for earnings, with just 58 companies confirmed to report. There are 10 S&P 500 members in this group, including Best Buy Co. (BBY), Gamestop Corporation (GME), Lennar Corporation (LEN), Tiffany & Co. (TIF) and Walgreen Company (WAG).

Housing data will headline the first half of the week with existing home sales published on Monday and new home sales published on Wednesday.

  • Monday: February existing home sales * Wednesday: February new home sales, February durable goods orders, weekly crude inventories * Thursday: Final fourth-quarter GDP, weekly initial jobless claims * Friday: March University of Michigan consumer confidence (revised), February personal spending and income

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify about American International Group, Inc. (AIG) in front of a House committee on Tuesday.

The markets are coming off of overbought conditions, so a continued pullback seems likely. Just remember that wildcard events (e.g. initiatives from the Obama administration, credit rating downgrades, bank announcements, etc.) still remain the primary drivers of market sentiment. It is also possible that we could get some first-quarter warnings as well.

Companies That Could Issue Positive Earnings Surprises
Fiscal fourth-quarter profit forecasts for Best Buy Co. (BBY) were revised higher by 5 of the 20 covering brokerage analysts during the past 7 days. The revisions pushed the consensus earnings estimate up 2 cents to $1.39 per share. The most accurate estimate is slightly more bullish at $1.40 per share. It is possible that the revisions reflect the market share gained from the demise of Circuit City. BBY has topped expectations during 3 out of the last 4 quarters. Best Buy is scheduled to report on Thursday, Mar 26, before the start of trading.

Last month, Gamestop Corporation (GME) narrowed its fiscal fourth-quarter guidance to between $1.33 and $1.34, the high-end of its previous forecast. In response, 5 brokerage analysts raised their quarterly projections. These changes moved the consensus earnings estimate 1 cent higher to $1.34 per share. The video game retailer has topped expectations for 8 consecutive quarters. GME is scheduled to report on Thursday, Mar 26, before the start of trading.

Companies That Could Issue Negative Earnings Surprises
Sonic Corporation (SONC) has missed expectations for 3 consecutive quarters. Ahead of the fast food chain's fiscal second-quarter report, the majority of the 17 covering brokerage analysts have cut their forecasts. The consensus earnings estimate of 9 cents per share is 2 cents below the average forecast of a month ago. Sonic is scheduled to report on Monday, Mar 23, after the close of trading.