NEW YORK (
Turns out there was a worse result than no result in the presidential election on Tuesday: More of the same! Another four years for Barack Obama, along with a Republican-controlled House and the Senate remaining in the hands of the Democrats brought out the sellers on Wednesday, and it suddenly looks like the rest of 2012 may be a wild ride.
"We believe that this kicks off a period of uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff and U.S. deficits," wrote Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at UBS, on Wednesday. "We believe that this debate will be messy and drawn out (likely pushed out beyond the 12/31 deadline), resulting in increased investor angst."
Golub sees a potential positive lurking in this scenario if legislators decide to think big and do more than just pursue a stop-gap solution.
"While initially the debate will focus on 'cliff avoidance,' we believe it will highlight the need for a 'grand bargain' to address ongoing trillion dollar deficits," he added. "Should such an agreement be reached, we could see stocks meaningfully higher on both earnings and valuations upside."
In the near term, Golub listed a number of industries he expects to benefit from Obama's victory, including cell towers, derivatives exchanges, infrastructure, building products, discount retailers, drug retailers, hospitals, and clean/alternative energy.
Specific stocks he mentioned were
Crown Castle International
Golub's other advice was for investors to keep a focus on the United States.
"Stay domestically oriented," he said. "While we face a challenging cliff debate, we continue to see greater strength in the U.S. than in most parts of the world. Further, domesically oriented businesses tend to be less cyclical and have been delivering more attractive results."
As for Thursday's scheduled news, Dow component
is slated to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the closing bell. The average estimate of analysts polled by
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
. 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
Apollo Investment Group
The late roster features
Career Education Corp.
Lions Gate Entertainment
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.
And finally, it was a busy after-hours session on Wednesday with
Whole Foods Market
among the names making headlines.
Shares of Activision were rising more than 2% after the gaming company topped Wall Street's profit view on the strength of its latest "World of Warcraft" release, "The Mists of Pandaria" and its "Skylanders" franchise. Excluding items, Activision earned 11 cents a share on revenue of $751 million, ahead of the consensus estimate of 8 cents a share on revenue of $709.8 million.
Whole Foods Markets, meantime, reported an in-line profit for its fiscal fourth quarter but also announced a 40%-boost to its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share. The stock slipped 2% to $94.07 in late trades.
Shares of Monster Beverage were losing more than 12% on heavy volume after the embattled energy drink maker missed on both the top and bottom lines in its latest quarter. The company earned 47 cents a share in the September-ended period on revenue of $541.9 million, below analyst expectations for a profit of 55 cents a share on revenue of $578.5 million.
Qualcomm's stock was up nearly 8% after the San Diego-based chip maker beat Wall Street's consensus profit view handily and forecast non-GAAP earnings of $1.08 to $1.16 a share on revenue ranging from $5.6 billion to $6.1 billion for its fiscal first quarter.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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