4 Biggest Earnings Releases Next Week

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Another week into this fall's earnings season and Wall Street is still moving at full speed. Here is what to watch.PFE ChartPFE data by YCharts

Pfizer ( PFE)

Background: Pfizer, a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of medicines for people and animals worldwide. Pfizer trades an average of 27 million shares per day with a marketcap of $191 billion.

52-Week Range: $18.15 to $26.09

Book Value: $10.65

Price to Book: 2.4

Pfizer is forecast to record lower third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Oct. 30.

The consensus estimate is currently 53 cents a share, a drop of 9 cents (14.5%) from 62 cents during the equivalent quarter last year. Analysts' estimates this quarter range from 49 cents, to a high of 57 cents per share. The estimates are not pretty, but at least they are fully priced in.

TheStreet's Henry Schwartz writes about Pfizer in HOV, NOK, PFE: A Few Updates.

Seventeen analysts rate Pfizer a buy or strong buy out of 21 analysts. The company has three holds and one total sell ratings. Shares have really appreciated, gaining 30% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Pfizer is $27.94.

Pfizer is in a strong bull trend. The moving averages are trending higher, and shareholders are making capital gains. I have written about Pfizer in several articles at TheStreet. I like Pfizer for the outsized dividend. Trend followers will hold a long position until a technical break results in a signal to exit.

As mentioned, Pfizer currently pays 88 cents per share in dividends for a yield of 3.5%. The payout percentage is well under 50%, based on this year's estimated earnings of $2.21

Shares moved higher 3.5% in the last month, and I believe the price will remain strong, and shares should be bought on dips. While I don't believe the current health care policies are helping drug makers, Pfizer is positioned to continue paying their healthy dividend.

Short sellers are next to impossible to find. Short interest is so low I only include it to demonstrate the smart money is not betting against this company: 0.8% of the float is short based on the last reported numbers.

PFE Revenue Quarterly Chart PFE Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

ANR Chart ANR data by YCharts

Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR)

Background: Alpha Natural Resources, together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing, processing and selling steam and metallurgical coal in the U.S. The company has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming. Alpha Natural trades an average of 23.6 million shares per day with a marketcap of $2 billion.

52-Week Range: $5.28 to $29.29

Book Value: $23.03

Price to Book: 0.4

Alpha Natural is forecast to report a loss during the third-quarter before the market opens on November 2.

The consensus estimate is currently looking for a loss of 45 cents a share, falling 80 cents from a profit of 35 cents per share during the same period last year. Analysts' estimates range from a low of losing 70 cents per share, up to the highest estimate of (only) losing 28 cents per share.

TheStreet's Dick Arms writes about Alpha Natural Resources in Everywhere a Sign.

Analyst opinion is mixed. Most of the analysts surveyed don't believe a buy or a sell should be made at this point. Currently, Alpha Natural has 13 buy recommendations out of 28 analysts covering the company, 13 holds, and two recommend selling. The stock dropped 62% (ouch) in the last year and the average analyst target price for Alpha Natural is $10.33.

This summer, when Alpha Natural traded under $7.50 a share I was very bullish due to the oversold nature of the chart. At $9 a share, I'm not as bullish, but for long term buy-and-hold investors, Alpha continues being attractive as a value buy.

Options are actively traded, and are excellent tools to hedge (and profit) during earnings season. Selling covered calls on some shares owned, or selling cash-covered puts, will lower your risk while juicing returns.

Not everyone agrees with me in the outlook for Alpha. Short interest with this stock is very high. More than one in five shares is short. Shorts are the smart money, but when they pile on this hard it can backfire too. The proportion of the float short is 26.40%.

ANR Revenue Quarterly Chart ANR Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

F Chart F data by YCharts

Ford Motor ( F)

Background: Ford produces cars and trucks. The company and its subsidiaries also engage in other businesses, including manufacturing automotive components and systems and financing and renting vehicles and equipment.

The company is divided up into the following four operating segments: Automotive, Visteon Automotive Systems, Ford Motor Credit Company, and the Hertz Corporation. Ford trades an average of 36 million shares per day with a marketcap of $39 billion.

52-Week Range: $8.82 to $13.05

Book Value: $4.7

Price to Book: 2.3

Wall Street isn't expecting much this quarter. Earnings per share is expected to come in below last year for the same quarter. The earnings release is scheduled before the market opens on Oct. 30.

The consensus estimate is currently 30 cents a share, a decline of 4 cents (11.8%) from 34 cents during the corresponding period last year. Analysts' estimates this quarter range from 16 cents, to a high of 34 cents per share. Next quarter is shaping up to fall further, albeit, above the year-ago period.

TheStreet's Doug Kass writes about Ford in The Long Way.

Analysts approve the road Ford is traveling on. Fourteen of the 21 analysts covering the company give a buy recommendation. Seven analysts rate it a hold, and not one sell rating. Investors haven't made progress this year. Shares in the company fell 20% from a year ago. The average analyst target price for Ford is $14.00.

Ford is making the necessary changes needed in Europe. Perhaps not fast enough, but making them nonetheless. Ford continues to push into China, and hopefully the market will remain strong after increased production comes online.

Shareholders receive 20 cents annually in dividend payments. The current 2% yield becomes even more attractive if shares go on sale under $10. Ford is a strong buy on dips for longer term holds in my opinion. Don't let this earnings report (good or bad) shake you out of your shares. I wrote about Ford in the option newsletter I write with Rocco Pendola.

The short interest is slightly elevated, granted. When short interest is under 4% I give it little weight on decision-making. As long as the short interest remains under near this level, I won't give it much thought. Short interest is 3.7%, and if the proportion shorted ascends significantly, I recommend monitoring for a possible exit.

F Revenue Quarterly Chart F Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

SIRI Chart SIRI data by YCharts

SiriusXM Radio ( SIRI)

Background: SiriusXM Radio provides satellite radio services in the U.S. and Canada. The company broadcasts approximately 135 channels, including music, sports, entertainment, comedy, talk, news, traffic and weather channels on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems. It also offers music genres, such as rock, pop and hip-hop, as well as dance, jazz, Latin and classical music, advertising on non-music channels and applications to allow consumers to access Internet services on mobile devices.

SiriusXM trades an average of 72.9 million shares per day with a marketcap of $11 billion.

52-Week Range: $1.61 to $2.97

Book Value: $1.05

Price to Book: 2.8

SiriusXM is anticipated to give us a repeat performance of last year in this year's third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Oct. 30.

The consensus estimate is currently 2 cents a share, the same as third-quarter last year. The lowest analyst estimate this report is 1 cent per share and the highest is 3 cents per share.

Analysts as a whole like this company. Currently, SiriusXM has 11 buy recommendations out of 16 analysts covering the company, along with 4 holds, and 1 sell rating.

Five out of 16 analysts now rate SiriusXM a strong buy up from four analysts a month ago. Analysts overall have called this one correctly. In the last 12 months, the shares have accelerated higher. The one year return is 56%. The average analyst current target price for Sirius XM is $3.10.

SiriusXM is riding the bull like a Wyoming cowboy. In the last month, the stock has really moved higher with a 18.3% increase. The moving averages are moving higher, and shareholders are happy.

Liberty Media almost has control of the company, and what that means for the average investor remains to be seen. For Mel Karmazin, who navigated Sirius away from the event horizon just a few years ago, it means it's time to exit. Mr. Karmazin steps down in February.

While not a popular view among the faithful, I don't see a lot of upside potential beyond the $3 mark. Sirius is far from a short, but as I have written (correctly) many times, hedging with covered calls continues to make sense to me.

The current proportion sold short based on the float is 7.8%, and I find this much interest by short sellers worth looking at in more depth.

SIRI Revenue Quarterly Chart SIRI Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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