US EQUITIES WEEK AHEAD: Disney, Cisco Earnings; Busy IPO Week

Date : 02/03/2012 @ 3:43PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Altria Grp., Inc. (MO)
Quote : 61.64  -0.59 (-0.95%) @ 2:01PM

US EQUITIES WEEK AHEAD: Disney, Cisco Earnings; Busy IPO Week

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)
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The earnings parade continues next week, with the latest results due from a handful of companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and from media giants and tobacco companies.

In addition, seven companies across a range of industries are expected to go public next week, coming off a week that has seen more IPO flops than hits.

This weekend, the Republican presidential race moves on Saturday to Nevada, the first of several states to hold caucuses in early February.

   Disney, Cisco and Coca-Cola To Post Results 

Dow 30 companies Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Coca-Cola Co. (KO) are among the companies scheduled to report quarterly results. They are expected to report stronger top- and bottom-line results from a year earlier, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Disney has seen better-than-expected revenue from its theme parks while sports heavyweight ESPN has continued to power Disney's cable business, though the company's namesake studio faces an uphill battle trying to beat its year-earlier results.

Cisco restructured last year to simplify its business and respond to competition in key product areas, such as routing and switching gear that shuttle data between computers.

Coke has continued to gobble up market share in North America from rival PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), while still grappling with rising commodity expenses.

Other companies due to report next week include media firms News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) and Time Warner Inc. (TWX); restaurant companies Yum Brands Inc. (YUM), Panera Bread Co. (PNRA), Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. (DNKN) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S).

   Seven IPOs Expected 

Seven companies are slated to go public, including information-technology outsourcing company EPAM Systems Inc., Midwest grocery chain Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. and agricultural biotech company Ceres Inc.

Broader market strength usually provides a welcoming environment for IPOs, but that wasn't the case this week, with two of the most popular deals ending up as flops.

Major stock indexes have been trending higher since the beginning of the year, and volatility has improved greatly since the summer--two factors that ordinarily make it easier for initial public offerings to price and trade well. Those conditions didn't help U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (SLCA) and AVG Technologies N.V. (AVG), which surprised analysts and bankers alike by sinking on their debuts. Shares of drug developer Cempra Inc. (CEMP) and software maker Greenway Medical Technologies Inc. (GWAY) rose on their debuts this week, though shares priced below its expected range.

   Tobacco Firms Expected To Record Higher Profits 

Tobacco firms Lorillard Inc. (LO), Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) are due next week, and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect all three to report double-digit increases in profit. Their results will arrive after Altria Group Inc. (MO) late last month reported fourth-quarter revenue had jumped on strong volume growth for smokeless products and a modest increase in volume for cigarettes.

Dividend yields and strong cash flows drew investors to tobacco stocks last year, but analysts say the sector's valuations are at the upper end of the historical range. Shares of all four major publicly traded tobacco firms have underperformed the market so far this year.

   Nevada's GOP Caucuses 

This weekend, the Republican presidential race moves on Saturday to Nevada, the first of several states to hold caucuses in early February.

Former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were the top two finishers in Nevada in the party's 2008 presidential caucuses and both candidates have been organizing for months in the state, which traditionally has had a low caucus turnout. Romney has won two of the first four nominating contests in 2012, with victories in Florida and New Hampshire.

Maine's caucuses will run over several days from Saturday until Feb. 11, while Colorado and Minnesota will hold caucuses Tuesday.

   A&P's Bankruptcy-Exit Plan 

After more than a year in Chapter 11, next week could see the opening of the door out of bankruptcy for Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (GAPTQ).

Starting Monday, the operator of A&P, SuperFresh, Pathmark and other grocery stores will present its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization for the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y.

The plan, which describes how A&P will pay its various creditors, rests on $490 million in new debt and equity financing from a group led by Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. A&P is also counting on the $750 million in bankruptcy-exit financing it recently secured from a lender syndicate led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Credit Suisse AG (CS, CSGN.VX).

   US Wholesale Inventories, Trade Balance 

The Commerce Department will release data on December U.S. wholesale inventories and the trade deficit on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

U.S. wholesale inventories increased only slightly in November, while the U.S. trade deficit widened for the first time in five months in November, as rising oil prices lifted imports and exports to the euro area slumped.

   IMF TO Visit Japan Next Week To Discuss Its Near-Term Risks 

The International Monetary Fund's Asia and Pacific Department said it is sending a mission to Japan next week to discuss near-term risks for the country, which has been burdened by its huge public debt and a strong yen.

In a statement, Anoop Singh, director of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department, said his organization planned to discuss ways to reduce Japan's public debt in the medium term through reforms of both the tax system and entitlement and other spending programs.

   France, Germany To Talk Fiscal Policy 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Paris Monday for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that will focus on fiscal policy but also touch on other matters.

The leaders of the two largest euro-zone economies will be accompanied by many of their ministers, who will meet separately with each other.

The main topic will be fiscal convergence, the French presidency said, adding that "European questions and international subjects will also be discussed."

The announcement follows confirmation that euro-zone finance ministers will not meet in Brussels Monday as expected. Officials now say that meeting will take place later in the week.

   Patriots, Giants In Super Bowl 

Super Bowl XLVI is to kick off 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, a game that will feature AFC champion New England Patriots against the NFC champion New York Giants. The event will feature a halftime performance by Madonna, while Kelly Clarkson will sing the national anthem.

Advertisers have agreed to spend about $3.5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl spot because the exposure offers a mass audience.


Among the significant conferences next week are the Cowen Group Aerospace/Defense Conference in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday; the Goldman Sachs Consumer/Retail Leveraged Finance Conference on Tuesday in New York; the Stifel Nicolaus Technology & Telecom Conference Tuesday through Thursday in Dana Point, Calif.; the Credit Suisse Energy Summit Monday through Friday in Vail, Colo.; the Credit Suisse Group Financial Services Forum Tuesday through Friday in Miami and the Dahlman Rose & Co. Global Transportation Conference Thursday in Boston.

-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287;

--Jacqueline Palank, Lynn Cowan, John Kell, William Horobin, Matina Stevis and Dow Jones Newswires staff contributed to this report.

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