There will also be fallout from a disappointing outlook from Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO) to deal with. Shares of the networking giant fell almost 10% in after-hours action after the company guided lower, forecasting 6% year over year growth for the fiscal third quarter, under the 8% called for by analysts.
Verizon has already said it's sold more iPhones in pre-orders than it has any other phone. If this is the blowout launch it looks to be, it's bound to boost the company's numbers. AT&T (T) has to be worried it will lose customers, while Apple is laughing all the way to the bank.
Sprint (S) is slated to report its quarterly results before the market opens and analysts will be looking hard at subscriber adds and ARPU [average revenue per user] growth.Sprint is also expected to give more color regarding its 2011 Network Vision and possibly comment on its desire to ditch its legacy Nextel network. The stock's enterprise value is below Verizon and AT&T. So can Sprint remain relevant in this fiercely competitive sector? As usual, the market will be zeroed in on the weekly jobless claims at 8:30 am EST followed by wholesale inventories at 10:00 am EST. The weekly number is volatile and no doubt snow will be blamed for whatever the number turns out to be. In addition, there are several food companies reporting on Thursday. The sector's continuing theme is inflation and rising food costs. Dow component Kraft Foods (KFT), Pepsi (PEP) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) will open their books and Wall Street will be anxious to see how they're being affected. Chipotle has been as hot as a chili pepper, but the stock is priced for perfection. Pepsi is facing issues stemming from a corn shortage, while Kraft is still going through a nasty divorce with Starbucks (SBUX). Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow believes the loss of Starbucks will reduce Kraft's earnings by 4 cents. Kraft is also dealing with coffee prices that have jumped 20% in just two months as well as a 17% rise in the cost of flour. It seems inevitable the company will have to pass this on to customers at some point. Will the customers bear it?
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