By Paul Vigna
This article is being republished as part of our daily
reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S.
print edition of The Wall Street Journal (October 15, 2019).
Fastenal Co. shareholders got a pleasant surprise on Friday,
leaving investors to wonder what other companies can buck the
The Winona, Minn.,-based company, which makes and sells
industrial equipment, reported surprisingly strong earnings. The
stock responded by logging its best one-day performance since 1987,
Sales climbed about 8%, and earnings topped forecasts. While the
company said economic activity was still generally slow, the
results showed that companies can still perform well in the current
malaise. After the rally, Fastenal shares are up 35% year to
With that in mind, here are four other companies set to report
earnings in the next few weeks that could also provide some
ground-level insights into the strength or weakness of the
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. If you don't regularly track
freight reports, you might not be aware that the amount of goods
being hauled across the U.S. is down from a year ago. One report,
the Cass Freight Index, has been down every month this year.
J.B. Hunt is one of the largest truckload carriers in the U.S.,
with rigs in every state in the Lower 48, making the company a good
place to examine why freight is light.
The company is reporting third-quarter earnings Tuesday morning,
with a conference call at 5 p.m. EDT.
J.B. Hunt is expected to report earnings of $155 million, or
$1.45 a share, on sales of $2.3 billion, according to FactSet. A
year ago, it earned $162 million on sales of $2.2 billion. Notice
there isn't much growth expected there -- a running theme with all
Shares are up 18% this year, trading at $109.58.
Caterpillar Inc. This one is a no-brainer. Caterpillar, which
sells heavy equipment to virtually every industry in every
geographic region, is one of the recognized corporate bellwethers.
More tractors and diggers sold by Caterpillar is a good sign.
Caterpillar reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 23, at 6:30
a.m. EDT, with a conference call at 8:30 a.m.
The company is expected to earn $1.6 billion, or $2.92 a share,
on sales of $13.4 billion. A year ago, it earned $1.7 billion on
sales of $13.5 billion.
Caterpillar shares are up just 1% this year, at $128.38.
Waste Management Inc. If energy consumption is at one end of
economic activity, waste is at the other, and somebody has to pick
it up. If you live almost anywhere in the U.S., you've likely seen
a Waste Management truck in town.
The company reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 23 before the
market opens, with a conference call at 10 a.m.
The company is expected to earn $485 million, or $1.14, on sales
of $4 billion. A year ago the company earned $499 million on sales
of $3.8 billion.
Shares, at $116.15, are up 31% this year.
Duke Energy Corp. Utility companies don't get a lot of
attention, but nothing gets done in the modern world without them.
Electricity output is a good proxy for economic activity.
Duke Energy, based in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest
utility companies in the U.S. It has generating capacity of 51,000
megawatts, another 3,000 megawatts of renewables and serves
customers across the Southeast and Midwest.
The company reports third-quarter earnings on Nov. 8, at 7 a.m.
EST. It will hold a conference call at 10 a.m.
The company is expected to report net income of $1.2 billion, or
$1.70 a share, on sales of $7.1 billion. A year ago, it earned $1
billion on sales of $6.6 billion.
Shares are up 10% this year, at $95.13.
Write to Paul Vigna at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 15, 2019 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)
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