Beware of falling prices? Try beware of falling estimates!
2000 and 2001 earnings estimates after the major retailer said that fourth-quarter
same-store sales would come in below estimates. The company originally wanted sales to rise between 3% and 5%, but cold temperatures and slow sales hit results.
Wal-Mart might miss estimates, saying that earnings will beat last year's 43 cents a share. Unfortunately, the analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
are looking for 46 cents a share. And when you miss estimates, or preannounce, the analysts don't like you.
Today, in reaction, Robertson Stephens cut Wal-Mart's fiscal 2000 earnings per share estimate to 1.40 from $1.42, and 2001 to $1.60 from $1.68.
But not every analyst shop was in agreement.
raised Wal-Mart's 2000 estimate to $1.41 a share from $1.40 and 2001 to $1.62 from $1.61, saying that it had already factored a bad holiday season into estimates.
recent rise in value in the wake of the hiring of new chief executive and former
executive Jim McNerney has given it little room to go any higher. Since his hiring in December, 3M has jumped about 20%. And the folks at
don't really think the company can go any higher -- not judging from its earnings picture, anyway.
Lehman cut 3M's 2001 earnings estimates to $4.80 a share from $5.20, telling investors that it thinks the company is fully valued and that a slowdown in technology spending will affect the bottom line. And that estimate just isn't low, it's 45 cents lower than the average Wall Street estimate -- $5.25 a share.
Supporting the move, Lehman said that 3M's electronics and communications segment, which accounted for 17% of its sales in 2000, would see lower demand for its products as a result of slower spending in technology. So will 3M's optical system branch, which makes things for liquid crystal display screens.
Lehman didn't stop with 3M, however. The brokerage also trimmed
fiscal estimates, cutting its 2000 earnings per share estimate to $1.78 from $1.82, and its 2001 estimate to $2.25 from $2.35. This puts Lehman more in line with the rest of its friends on Wall Street. The analysts' average estimate for 2000 was $1.79 a share, while 2001 is $2.22 a share.
Elsewhere on the blue-chip front,
first-quarter earnings estimate to 41 cents a share from 45 cents, and its full-year 2001 to $1.91 a share from $1.95. The consensus first-quarter estimate, according to First Call, was 43 cents a share, while the full-year was $1.93.
: UP to market outperform from market perform at
Black & Decker
: UP to accumulate from neutral at
: UP to strong buy from buy at UBS Warburg.
: UP to buy from accumulate at Merrill, price target: $71.
Health Management Associates
: UP to buy from hold at UBS Warburg.
: UP to strong buy from buy at USB Warburg.
: UP to accumulate from neutral at Merrill.
Toys R Us
: UP to recommended for purchase from market perform at Goldman Sachs.
: UP to market perform from market underperform at Goldman Sachs.
: DOWN to neutral from buy at
: DOWN to market perform from market outperform at Goldman Sachs.
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at
: DOWN to hold from buy at
Credit Suisse First Boston
: DOWN to attractive from buy at Robertson Stephens.
: DOWN to hold from buy at CSFB.
Next Level Communications
: DOWN to neutral from strong buy at W.R. Hambrecht.
: DOWN to accumulate from buy at Merrill Lynch.
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at W.R. Hambrecht.
: DOWN to hold from buy at UBS Warburg.
: NEW strong buy at CSFB; price target: $60.
: NEW buy at CSFB; price target: $41.
: NEW buy at UBS Warburg; price target: $24.50.
: NEW neutral at Lehman Brothers.
: NEW buy at CSFB; price target: $65.
: NEW neutral at Merrill Lynch.
: NEW neutral at Lehman Brothers.