Our top earnings coverage today focusses on the following counters: Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP). Cisco and Netapp are due to announce their earnings after market close today while Target Corporation has announced its earnings before the market open.
Can Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) Q4 2017 earnings breath new life into the CSCO stock?
Shares of Cisco Systems have essentially gone nowhere in the last 3 months trading within a tight range of $31 to $32. Investors would like to see the stock break the shackles when the technology conglomerate reports its fourth quarter fiscal 2017 earnings today after the closing bell. Cisco stock needs fresh impetus to break free and this could come from its earnings release. However, analyst estimates are not that optimistic. Wall Street expects the company to report an EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $12.07 billion. These estimates imply an earnings decline of more than 3% and a 4.5% YoY revenue decline. During its last earnings announcement, the management had given a guidance of 60 cents to 62 cents per share in non-GAAP earnings on $11.88 billion to $12.13 billion in sales.
The earnings whisper number, the Street's unofficial view, is an EPS of 63 cents per share. This number suggests a narrow beat is on the cards. However, for the stock to break free from its narrow trading range, the company needs to deliver a bigger earnings surprise and issue a strong outlook for the fiscal year 2018. Coming to earnings history, Cisco has done well to beat the analyst estimates in all of the last 8 quarters, but most of them have been a by a very small margin. The networking giant has been plagued by declining/stagnating revenues over the last few years. Cisco stock needs a big boost and that could come from a fresh update on how revenue growth could be revived. In essence, the stock needs much more than an earnings beat for a new lease of life.
What to expect from Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) Q2 2017 earnings?
Edit: [Target reported its second quarter earnings before the market open today. The company reported earnings, revenue and same-stores sales which beat analyst expectations. Non-GAAP EPS came in at 1.23 a share and revenue for the quarter was $16.43 billion. Same-store sales rose 1.3 %, topping the estimates of 0.7 % growth driven by traffic growth of 2.1%. Further, the comparable digital channel sales increased by 32% against 16% growth in second quarter 2016. For third quarter 2017, the company gave a guidance of Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $0.75 to $0.95. ]
The discount store retailer Target Corporation is set to report its second quarter fiscal 2017 earnings shortly today before the markets open. It is believed to be another tough earnings season for the retail industry and all eyes are on the Target's latest earnings release with the stock faring poorly in 2017, down nearly 25% in the Year-to-Date. Analysts expect Target to report earnings per share of $1.19, which is less than the adjusted EPS of $1.23, which the company had reported in the same quarter last year. On the top line front, analysts expect the company to report a minuscule 0.8 % growth in revenue from $16.17 billion a year ago, to $16.3 billion. Following Target's recently revised guidance, investors are hopeful for a strong performance in the second quarter on account positive same store sales. This is of great significance since the retailer had four consecutive quarters of declining same store sales.
The earnings whisper number for Target's Q2 earnings is $1.22 per share, hinting an earnings beat is very much on the cards. Moving on to Target's earnings history, it has a decent record when its comes to earnings surprises. The company has delivered an earnings surprise in 5 of its last 8 quarters. The other focus areas during the retailer's earnings would be the performance of the company's grocery business which nearly contributes one fifth of the total revenue. Apart from this, investors would be keen for an update on the progress made on the same day delivery facility after its recent acquisition of tech firm Grand Junction, which helps retailers provide same-day delivery.
NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) Q1 2018 Earnings Preview
Storage and data management company, NetApp, is another notable company reporting its earnings today, after the market close. Ahead of earnings, NTAP stock is getting bullish calls, with one stating a 35% upside from the last close. Moving our focus to earnings, the company is expected to report an adjusted earnings per share of 55 cents, implying 19.5% YoY growth. On the revenue front, the company is expected to see a modest 2% YoY growth with sales coming in at $1.32 billion. In addition to revenue growth, its gross margin (non-GAAP) is expected to come in slightly higher than the year ago quarter, at 62.5%.
The earnings whisper number for NetApp is $0.58 and the company has only failed to deliver an earnings surprise once in the last 8 quarters. The latest earnings are expected to be driven by better Storage product sales. Further, there are reports that the company's hybrid cloud capabilities are also gaining good traction, which analysts feel could be a key differentiating factor for the company in the long run. Maxim Group has recently hiked its price target ahead of earnings, from $46 to $56 and upgraded their rating from hold to buy.
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