Stocks to Watch: Wal-Mart, HP, Tesla

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT), the world's biggest retailer, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share on revenue of $128.85 billion.

Analysts expect Wal-Mart's namesake U.S. business to post a same-store sales increase of 1.4% in the quarter.

Last year, Wal-Mart earned $1.45 a share on net sales of $122.47 billion.

Federal Reserve, Wal-Mart Fear the Same Thing

Personal computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) is forecast to have earned 71 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter on revenue of $27.79 billion.

HP is expected to issue its earnings report after the stock market closes Thursday.

HP earned $1.5 billion, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $30.4 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Excluding accounting charges, earnings were 92 cents a share last year.

Tesla Motors' ( TSLA) fourth-quarter earnings were mixed, with revenue beating Wall Street estimates but losses coming in wider than expected.

Tesla reported a fourth-quarter non-GAAP loss of 65 cents a share on revenue of $306 million. Analysts were looking for a loss of 53 cents a share on revenue of $298.2 million.

"During the quarter, we delivered approximately 2,400 Model S vehicles. We delivered the remaining North American Signature Series cars and shipped exclusively cars with the 85 kWh battery pack. We also saw strong demand for options such as the Performance version and Tech Package. Finally, we sold most of our remaining Roadsters during the quarter," CEO Elon Musk wrote in a letter to shareholders.

In the first quarter, Tesla said it expects to be "slightly positive net income, on a non-GAAP basis. We also expect to be near breakeven on cash flow from operations."

Tesla Shares Slip on Wider-Than-Expected Loss

Boeing ( BA) is expected to launch on Friday a formal plan to get its grounded Dreamliner back into service, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the details.

Senior Boeing executives are scheduled to meet with Federal Aviation Administration officials in Washington to discuss the proposed 10-point package, emphasizing changes to the plane's lithium-ion batteries, the people told the newspaper.

Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), the second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, down from year-earlier profit of 58 cents a share.

A Tale of 2 Energy Companies

Wall Street expects Safeway ( SWY), the grocery store chain, to report fourth-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share on revenue of $13.7 billion.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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