Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of November 14

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Much of the focus this week will be on retailers. The wave started with last week's strong results from Dillard's (NYSE: DDS), Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) and Macy's (NYSE: M). Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) posted solid results as well. On the schedule for this week are Abercrombie & Fitch, (NYSE: ANF), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and many others. Also, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) leads off a handful of tech company results.

The world's largest retailer, Walmart, is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter results on Tuesday. Analysts are looking for the company to post per-share earnings that are 8% higher year over year, or $0.98. And for the three months during which the retailer announced a $13 billion global capital expenditure plan for next year, revenues are expected to total $107.9 billion. That would be an increase of 5.9% from a year ago. Analysts so far predict that full-year EPS will be up more than 9% and sales more than 5% higher. Note that EPS have been better than expected in the past three quarters. The share price is more than 18% higher than three months ago and the stock is trading near the 52-week high. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitors Costco (NASDAQ: COST) and Target (NYSE: TGT).

Home Depot was one of Jim Cramer's picks last week. When the big-box home improvement store operator posts its third-quarter results on Tuesday, it is expected to offer up $0.58 per share earnings on $17.1 billion in revenues. A year ago, earnings were $0.51 per share and revenues totaled $16.6 billion. In the past five quarters, Home Depot earnings have topped consensus estimates by a penny or three per share. EPS are forecast to grow more than 13% over the next five years. The share price is almost 22% higher than three months ago and approaching the 52-week high. Over the past six months, the stock also has outperformed competitor Lowe's (NYSE: LOW), as well as the broader markets.

The consensus forecast for Abercrombie & Fitch, which recently saw shares sink on news of sluggish overseas sales, calls for $0.71 per share earnings in Wednesday's report. That would be 21.1% higher than in the third quarter a year ago. Revenues are expected to have jumped 21.1% to $1.1 billion for the period. Note that analysts have underestimated Abercrombie's per-share earnings in the past five quarters. The long-range EPS growth forecast is 20.4%. The share price is more than 17% lower than a month ago but still more than 25% higher than a year ago. Because of the recent pullback, the stock has underperformed competitors such as Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) and the Gap (NYSE: GPS) over the past six months.

Other retailers expected to post earnings growth this week include America's Car-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT), Ann (NYSE: ANN), Children's Place (NASDAQ: PLCE), Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR), Foot Locker (NYSE: FL), GameStop (NYSE: GME), Lowe's (NYSE: LOW), PetSmart (NASDAQ: PETM), Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST), Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ: SCVL), Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), Target (NYSE: TGT), TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM).

Analysts expect earnings to be lower for the Gap (NYSE: GPS) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN). And Bon-Ton Stores (NASDAQ: BONT), JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) and Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) are expected to post a net loss.

Fiscal third-quarter results from Dell will highlight this coming week's tech results. During the three months that ended in October, the computer maker's board authorized an additional $5 billion in share buybacks, and the company completed its acquisition of Fource10 Networks. On Tuesday, the Texas-based company is expected to post $0.47 per share earnings for the quarter, on revenues of $15.6 billion. That compares to earnings of $0.45 per share and $15.4 billion in revenues a year ago. EPS have topped consensus estimates in recent quarters, but only by a penny per share in the second quarter. The full-year forecast calls for EPS up 20.9% and revenues up only 1.7%. The share price has pulled back about 6% in the past month but is still more than 14% higher than a year ago. Over the past six months, the stock's performance had been in line with the Nasdaq, but it has underperformed IBM (NYSE: IBM).

This week, analysts are also looking for earnings growth from Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A), Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and NetEast.com (NASDAQ: NTES).

Earnings from Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Marvell Technology (NASDAQ: MRVL) and Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) are expected to have slipped year over year, while Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) is expected to post a net loss.

Other companies scheduled to report this week include J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) and H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ), both of which are anticipated to report marginal growth in EPS from a year ago.

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