As for Thursday's scheduled news, Dow component Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) is slated to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the closing bell. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of 68 cents a share in the September-ended period on revenue of $10.92 billion.
Shares of Disney have soared this year, rising 33% through Wednesday's close at $50.08. The company's recent agreement to purchase Lucas Films and the "Star Wars" franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock has mostly gotten positive reviews with many analysts likening the deal to Disney's acquisition of Marvel back in the summer of 2009.
"The deal will see Disney breathe new air into the "Star Wars" franchise with plans for three more films," wrote Canaccord Genuity after the announcement. "The seventh installment in the franchise is expected to be released in 2015, ten years after "Revenge of the Sith" was released."
As for the coming financials, Goldman Sachs reiterated its buy rating on the stock this week and lifted earnings estimates for fiscal 2013 and 2014 by 1% ahead of the fourth-quarter report. The firm said it expects Disney to "show improved growth from new theme park assets, new ESPN affiliate fee deals, and higher consumer products from 'Avengers'" in coming quarters.The majority of the sell side is positive ahead of the print with 18 of the 30 analysts covering Disney at either strong buy (6) or buy (12) and the median 12-month price target sitting at $56, implying potential upside of 12% from current levels. Check out TheStreet's quote page for Disney for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more. Another stock to watch after Thursday's close will be Groupon (GRPN). Wall Street is looking for a profit of 3 cents a share from the online deals company in its third quarter with revenue projected at $590.1 million. Companies slated to report early Thursday include Advance Auto Parts (AAP), Apollo Investment Group (AINV), Dean Foods (DF), FirstEnergy (FE), Flowers Foods (FLO), Kohl's Corp. (KSS), Lifetime Brands (LCUT), Monster Worldwide (MWW), Petrohawk Energy (HK), Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), Tim Hortons (THI), and Wendy's International (WEN). The late roster features Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX), American Apparel (APP), Career Education Corp. (CECO), Caribou Coffee (CBOU), Kayak Software (KYAK), Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF), Microchip Technology (MCHP), Nordstrom (JWN), NVIDIA (NVDA), and Zipcar (ZIP). Thursday's economic calendar includes weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET; and the trade balance data for September, also at 8:30 a.m. ET.