NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Earnings season is just about over and some of the biggest names are about to report market-moving earnings.Look for strong growth in Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Cisco is always a favorite of mine to pay attention to, and Staples should provide an idea of how small business is coping in general as we approach the highest expected tax increase on business since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Background: Wal-Mart trades an average of eight million shares per day with a market cap of $249.9 billion. I love the stock, but don't enjoy shopping there unless I want to buy something late at night. 52-Week High: $75.24 52-Week Low: $49.28 Book Value: $20.31 Price To Book: 3.36 The company is anticipated to report strong earnings before the market opens on Thursday. The consensus estimate is currently $1.17 a share, an improvement of 8 cents (6.8%) from $1.09 during the same period last year. Look for a beat of at least 1 cent to 2 cents. Analyst opinion is mixed. Most of the analysts surveyed don't believe a buy or a sell should be made at this point. Right now, WMT has 11 buy recommendations out of 23 analysts covering the company, and zero recommend selling. Short sellers agree, and less than 2% of the float is short. Wal-Mart is the first of two companies in this article that are in a strong bullish trend. The moving averages are moving higher and shareholders are happy. Trend followers love this pattern and will hold a position until a technical break results in a signal to exit. TheStreet'sJim Cramer writes about retailers in
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) Background: Marvell is a leading designer, developer and supplier of mixed-signal and digital-signal processing integrated circuit for high-speed, high-density, digital data storage and broadband digital data networking markets. Marvell trades an average of 10 million shares per day with a market cap of $6.7 billion. 52-Week High: $16.86 52-Week Low: $10.27 Book Value: $8.74 Price To Book: 1.37 Analysts aren't expecting an improvement in earnings, but the stock is improving in front of earnings. The earnings release is planned after the market closes on Thursday. The consensus estimate is currently 27 cents a share, backsliding 6 cents from 33 cents during the matching period in the previous year. Look for a beat of 1 cent to 2 cents per share. Analysts as a whole like this company. Currently, Marvell has 16 buy recommendations out of 25 analysts covering the company, nine holds, and not a sell rating to be found.
Staples (SPLS) Background: Staples.com is creating a leading business-to-business electronic marketplace offering a comprehensive solution for all of the office needs of business customers. Staples trades an average of 11.1 million shares per day with a market cap of $9.2 billion. 52-Week High: $16.93 52-Week Low: $12.10 Book Value: $10.27 Price To Book: 1.33 Strong second-quarter earnings growth is expected by Wall Street before the market opens on Wednesday. The consensus is 22 cents a share, the same as the corresponding quarter last year. The trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio is 9.5, the mean fiscal year estimate price-to-earnings ratio is 9, based on estimated earnings of $1.48 per share this year. The company currently pays 44 cents in dividends per share for a yield of 3.3%. Looking back at the three-year history of declared dividends, this company has paid on average $0.36 a year per share in dividend payments. Over the last five years, the dividend has grown by an average of 12.7% per year. Analysts like this company, but not overwhelmingly so. Currently, Staples has eight buy recommendations out of 15 analysts covering the company, six holds, and one recommends selling. Staples current proportion sold short based on the float is 7.5%.That is pretty high, and combined with the stock trending below the 200-day moving average should give investors pause. SPLS Value Score data by YCharts
Applied Materials (AMAT) Background: Applied Materials develops, manufactures, markets and services semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment and related spare parts for the worldwide semiconductor industry. The company was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. Applied Materials trades an average of 11.7 million shares per day with a market cap of $15.2 billion. 52-Week High: $13.94
Cisco Systems (CSCO) Background: Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco's Internet Protocol-based networking solutions are the foundation of the Internet and most corporate, education, and government networks around the world. Cisco trades an average of 40.6 million shares per day with a market cap of $94.8 billion. 52-Week High: $21.30 52-Week Low: $14.90 Strong fourth-quarter earnings growth is expected by Wall Street after the market closes on Wednesday. The consensus is 40 cents a share, a gain of 5 cents (12.5%) from 35 cents during the corresponding quarter last year. Analysts approve the direction CSCO is headed, with 18 of the 30 analysts covering the company give a buy recommendation. 12 analysts rate it a hold, and no analysts recommend selling. TheStreet'sJim Cramer writes about technology