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.

7. Domino's Pizza ( DPZ), a pizza delivery company in the U.S., operates in three segments - domestic stores, domestic supply chain and international. Its brands include Domino's Pizza, Domino's HeatWave, Domino's American Legends pizzas and Domino's BreadBowl Pasta and Cinna Stix. The company will announce its third-quarter results Oct. 18.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 is estimated at $20.10 million on sales of $373.29 million, higher than net income of $16.29 million recorded on $347.39 million sales for the same period in 2010, as per analysts polled by Bloomberg. Earnings per share are forecast at 33 cents for the quarter, as compared to 26 cents registered in 2010 third quarter. Meanwhile, operating profit is seen rising by 10% to $53.13 million from the year-ago period.

Of the 13 analysts covering the stock, 46% recommend a buy, while the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 4.5% to $29.19 from current levels over the next 12 months.

6. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), a copper, gold and molybdenum mining company, operates seven copper mines in North America, four copper mines in South America, Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company will announce its third-quarter results on Oct 19.

For the third quarter of 2011, net income is estimated at $1.14 billion or $1.06 per share. Sales are forecasted at $4.81 billion. Gross margin for the quarter is seen increasing to 54.60% from 50.76% in the year ago quarter. Cash flow per share is seen at $1.94 as compared to 58 cents in 2010 third quarter.

Recently, the company declared a cash dividend of 25 cents per share payable on Nov. 1, 2011. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 4.3%. For the third quarter, dividend per share is estimated at 27 cents as compared to 15 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Of the 22 analysts covering the stock, 82% recommend a buy while 14% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 51.8% to $53.50 from current levels over the next 12 months.

5. Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG), along with its subsidiaries operates restaurants across the U.S, two restaurants in Toronto, Canada and one in London, England. CMG divides its restaurants as end-caps (at the end of a line of retail outlets), in-lines (in a line of retail outlets), freestanding or other. The company will announce its third-quarter results on Oct 20.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 is estimated to increase by 22% to $58.65 million with sales surging by 22% to $584.05 million, as per analysts polled by Bloomberg. Earnings per share are forecast at $1.85 for the quarter, as compared to $1.52 in the 2010 third quarter. For the same period, return on assets is seen at 17.5% as compared to 16.82%. Operating profit for the quarter is seen increasing by 20% to $95.21 million. Cash flow per share is seen expanding to $2.80 from $2.17 in the year ago quarter.

Of the 28 analysts covering the stock, 36% recommends a buy, while 54% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain almost 5% to $333.06 from current levels over the next 12 months.

4. PPG Industries ( PPG), operates in six business segments -- performance coatings, industrial coatings, architectural coatings (in Europe, Middle East and Africa); optical and specialty materials; commodity chemicals and glass. The company will announce its third-quarter results on Oct. 20.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 is estimated at $309.29 million on sales of $3.89 billion, as compared to $264 million recorded on $3.46 billion sales for the same period in 2010, as per analysts polled by Bloomberg. Earnings per share are forecast at $1.94 for the quarter, an increase of 22% from the year ago quarter. Return on equity is seen increasing to 25.70% from 19.05% recorded in the year ago quarter, while gross margin is seen at 38.73% from 35.72% earlier.

Recently, the company paid a dividend of 57 cents per share indicating its 452nd consecutive dividend payment. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 2.9%. For the third quarter of 2011, dividend per share is seen rising to 57 cents from 55 cents paid inn the year-ago quarter.

Of the 15 analysts covering the stock, 40% recommends a buy, while remaining suggest a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain almost 14.8% to $89.20 from current levels over the next 12 months.

3. Nucor ( NUE), is a manufacturer of steel and steel products. It also produces direct reduced iron for use in the company's steel mills. The company will announce its third quarter results on Oct. 20.

For the third quarter of 2011, net income is seen increasing to $168.30 million from $23.50 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share are estimated to increase to 52 cents from 7 cents in the year ago period. Sales are seen rising by 17% to $4.85 billion from $4.14 billion in the third quarter of 2010. Gross margin is seen expanding to 11.43% from 4.60% in the year ago quarter. Return on assets is expected to increase by 350% to 7.10%, while return on equity is seen rising by 215% to 8.80%.

Recently, the company declared its regular quarterly cash dividend of 36.25 cents per share on Nucor's common stock. The dividend is payable on November 11, 2011. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 4.1%.

Of the 20 analysts covering the stock, 55% recommends a buy, while 25% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain almost 24.7% to $44.15 from current levels over the next 12 months.

2. Sensient Technologies ( SXT), is a global manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances. It uses technologies at facilities globally to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, inkjet and specialty inks and colors, and other specialty chemicals. The company will announce its third-quarter results on Oct. 21.

For the third quarter of 2011, net income is estimated at $30.10 million on sales of $373 million, as compared to $28.23 million recorded on $340.87 million sales for the same period in 2010, as per analysts polled by Bloomberg. Earnings per share are forecast at 62 cents for the quarter, an 8% increase from 57 cents in 2010 third quarter. Return on equity is seen increasing to 11.10% from 10.43% for the same period.

Recently, the company paid a regular quarterly cash dividend of 21 cents per share on its common stock. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 2.3%. For the third quarter of 2011, dividend per share is expected to increase to 21 cents from 20 cents in the third quarter of 2010.

Of the six analysts covering the stock, two recommend a buy while the rest suggest a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On an average, analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain almost 14.7% to $40.50 from current levels over the next 12 months.

1. McDonald's ( MCD) franchises and operates fast-food restaurants globally. Its restaurants serve a variety of value-priced menu products. The company will announce its third-quarter results Oct. 21.

For the third quarter of 2011, net income of the company is seen at $1.48 billion as compared to $1.39 billion recorded in the year ago quarter. Also, for the same period, net sales are seen rising to $7.03 billion from $6.30 billion. Earnings per share for the quarter are seen increasing to $1.42 from $1.29 per share in the year-ago period. Operating profit is seen rising by 12% to $2.34 billion.

Recently, the company declared a quarterly cash dividend of 70 cents per share on its common stock payable on Dec. 15. This indicates a 15% increase over the previous quarterly dividend and leads to the fourth quarter dividend payout to more than $700 million. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 2.7%.

Of the 29 analysts covering the stock, 69% recommend a buy while the rest suggest a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On an average, analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain almost 9.5% to $97.80 from current levels over the next 12 months.

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