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Investing Ahead of Earnings: Lennar, Nike and Tiffany

Stocks in this article: CAG DRI LEN NKE SCVL TIBX TIF

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Today we preview seven companies reporting earnings Thursday and Friday. We crunch the numbers; you decide when to invest. Look at Page 2 for a handy key to the trading and investment terms I use.

ConAgra Foods (CAG) ($29.56, down 12% year to date): Analysts expect the food company to report earnings of 60 cents a share before the opening bell on Thursday. The stock set an all-time intraday high of $37.28 on Aug. 5, 2013. It traded as high as $34.18 on Jan. 15 before declining to as low as $28.09 on Feb. 27. The weekly chart is negative but oversold. The five-week modified moving average is at $30.06, and the 200-week simple moving average is at $27.51. Monthly and weekly value levels are $28.95 and $26.57, respectively, with annual and semiannual risky levels at $32.21 and $33.81, respectively.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) ($49.70, down 8.6% YTD): Analysts expect the parent of restaurant chains Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grill to report earnings of 82 cents a share before the opening bell on Friday. The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $54.89 on Dec. 23, then traded as low as $47.05 on Feb. 5 before rebounding to its 200-day SMA at $50.32. Shares ended Monday's session below that level. The weekly chart is negative with the stock between its 200-week SMA at $48.61 and its five-week MMA at $50.06. Weekly and annual value levels are $48.29 and $44.89, respectively, with a monthly pivot at $50.04 and annual and quarterly risky levels at $52.59 and $56.60, respectively.

Lennar (LEN) ($40.06, up 1.3% YTD): Analysts expect the homebuilder to report earnings of 28 cents a share before the opening bell on Thursday. The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $44.40 on Feb. 27 and then traded as low as $39.79 on Friday. That's lower than its 50-day SMA at $40.26. The weekly chart is negative with the stock's five-week MMA at $40.56. My monthly value level is $39.49 with semiannual risky levels at $41.07 and $43.94, respectively.

Nike (NKE) ($78.32, down 0.4% YTD): Analysts expect this maker of upscale sports-oriented sneakers and Dow component to report earnings of 73 cents a share after the closing bell on Thursday. The stock traded to an all-time intraday high at $80.26 on Dec. 9, then traded as low as $69.85 on Feb. 5, staying above its 200-day SMA, now at $71.17. The stock traded as high as $80.09 on March 7, challenging the prior high. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $77.24. My quarterly value level is $58.15 with a weekly pivot at $78.42 and monthly and semiannual risky levels at $83.29 and $89.41, respectively.

Shoe Carnival (SCVL) ($26.08, down 10% YTD): Analysts expect the retailer of footwear for the whole family to report earnings of 4 cents a share after the closing bell on Thursday. The stock set an all-time intraday high at $29.75 on Jan. 7 then traded as low as $23.59 on Jan. 24 before rebounding to its 200-day SMA at $26.14. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $26.06. My annual value level is $24.20 with a weekly pivot at $26.61 and monthly and semiannual risky levels at $29.19 and $29.22, respectively.

Tibco Software (TIBX) ($21.23, down 5.6% YTD): Analysts expect the software company to report earnings of 11 cents a share after the closing bell Thursday. The stock set an all-time intraday high of $27.15 on Sept. 20, 2013, then traded as low as $20.39 on Feb. 4, with the stock below all five moving averages shown in today's "Crunching the Numbers" table. (See Page 2.) The weekly chart is neutral with rising stochastics, but with the stock below its five-week MMA at $21.72 and its 200-week SMA at $23.73. Weekly and annual value levels are $19.52 and $15.08, respectively, with annual and monthly risky levels at $24.28 and $25.08, respectively.

Tiffany (TIF) ($92.31, down 0.5% YTD): Analysts expect the luxury jewelry retailer to report earnings of $1.52 a share before the opening bell Friday. The stock traded to an all-time intraday high at $94.88 on March 6. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $90.47. Annual and quarterly value levels are $78.01 and $77.26, respectively, with a weekly pivot at $91.46 and semiannual and monthly risky levels at $93.37 and $96.94, respectively.

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