8 Earnings Stocks to Watch

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), Nucor ( NUE) and McDonald's ( MCD) are among the eight stocks reporting quarterly earnings during the next week.

According to analysts, these eight stocks spread across diverse sectors range in upside potential from 4% to 52% with an average of 53% of analysts offering buy ratings and an average of 43% issuing hold ratings. Among these eight stocks, Steel Dynamics ( STLD) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold have high dividend yields of 3.1% and 4.3%, respectively.

These eight stocks are arranged based on earnings release date.

8. Steel Dynamics ( STLD) operates in three segments -- steel operations, metals recycling and ferrous resources operations and steel fabrication operations. The company will announce its third quarter results on Oct. 17.

For 2011 third quarter, net income is estimated to come in at $48.58 million on sales of $1.97 billion, as compared to a net income of $18.74 million recorded on sales of $1.58 billion sales for the same period in 2010, as per analysts polled by Bloomberg. Earnings per share are forecast at 21 cents for the quarter, compared to nine cents registered in 2010 third quarter. Gross margin for the same period is seen coming in at 11.66% as compared to 8.10%.

Recently, the company declared its regular quarterly cash dividend of 10 cents per common share which is payable on Oct. 14. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 3.1%. For the third quarter of 2011, dividend per share is estimated to be at 10 cents as compared to eight cents in the year-ago quarter.

Of the 16 analysts covering the stock, 63% recommend a buy, while the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 50.8% to $16.92 from current levels over the next 12 months.

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