Discover Financial Services The financial services firm reported earlier this month first-quarter earnings of $624 million, or $1.18 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $508 million, or 95 cents. "In addition to a better credit outlook, highlights from the investor day includeexpectations for a successful buildout of a direct banking model and emerginggrowth opportunities for the card and payments business that we believe willdrive mid-high single digit operating income growth for DFS," Guggenheim analysts wrote in a March 26 report. Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.2% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 27.97% from the previous year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $42.64. The stock closed Friday at $33.34 and has risen 38.92% year to date.
JPMorgan Chase The bank is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on April 13. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.12 a share on revenue of $24.48 billion. "Given the improved fixed income trading environment helped by tighter spreads across variety of assets (especially credit and mortgage), we are raising our 1Q12 FICC trading forecasts, lending support to 1Q EPS estimates," Citi analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "Our top picks into the qtr are GS and JPM where we are 25% and 15% ahead of consensus, which we both see benefiting from strong FICC trading; our least favored stock is LAZ where we are ~60% below consensus due to slower M&A advisory completions and deferred comp headwinds." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.6% Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as it was a year ago. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.24% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $51.57. The stock closed Friday at $45.98 and has risen 38.29% year to date.
Sysco The food products company reported last month second-quarter earnings of $250.1 million, or 43 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $258.2 million, or 44 cents. "We continue to rate Sysco's stock Underperform, as we see further downside risk to the stock at the current valuation," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 6 report. "We expect the company to continue to chase volume given the lack of industry growth, Business Transformation costs should continue to rise and likely not peak until 2013 now, and inflation (a tailwind to gross profit dollars) seems poised to eventually decelerate. Our estimates are 5-7% below the street for the remainder of fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013." Forward annual Dividend Yield: 3.6% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's second-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year. Sysco has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.99, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs. In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 17.35% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $34.50. The stock closed Friday at $29.86 and has risen 1.81% year to date.