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Tickers in this Article: AET, UNH, WLP, SYT, MOS, AGU, SPG, BPO
On Friday, Feb 5, there will be a number of companies reporting earnings that have the potential to shake up their respective sectors. A health care power and a couple of big real estate names, among other companies, will be announcing their quarterly results. Here is what to expect from some of the key players reporting on Friday. IN PICTURES: World's Greatest Investors

Vital Signs
When the health insurance provider Aetna (NYSE:AET) reports its Q4 results before the opening bell, analysts will be expecting the company to announce a 56.3% drop in EPS from a year ago, on an 11.5% rise in total revenue. Over the course of the past year, the company has been growing its revenue through increased membership and premium rate hikes. Aetna has also managed to hold its medical benefits ratio in line with its own expectations.

Health insurers in general have been operating in a very tough environment, given the high unemployment rate, which has put downward pressure on employer-sponsored membership. The trend is beginning to stabilize, however. In recent weeks, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) and WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) have both noted that enrollment losses due to unemployment have been slowing at their respective companies. Investors should watch Aetna's results to see if the provider reaffirms this development.

The seed company Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) is also slated to announce its Q4 results on Friday. Company management has indicated that it expects to report full-year diluted EPS for 2009 close to the $16.26 that it finished with in 2008. Earlier this month, Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) reported that selling prices for crop nutrients were down compared to a year ago, although volumes have improved. Agrium (NYSE:AGU), another big player in the space, will report its results early next week.

Premium Real Estate
The retail REIT Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) will check in before the market open on Friday with its Q4 earnings. Analysts are expecting the company to announce a 18% slowdown in EPS when compared to the company's year-ago quarter.

In the company's Q3, EPS fell by 24.0% although FFO increased by 2.0%. In August, Simon Property opened Cincinnati Premium Outlets just north of the city. It currently has two major expansion projects in the works including one at the South Shore Plaza in the Boston area. The 3.3% dividend yield that this stock carries might appeal to income investors.

Another real estate development and management company also reporting on Friday is Brookfield Properties (NYSE:BPO). Wall Street is expecting that the company will report a 34.7% drop in EPS, when compared to the prior year. This stock is coming off of a stellar 2009 in which it rose 60%. It too may look attractive to dividend investors with its healthy 4.6% yield. (Learn more about the importance of dividends: Dividends Still Look Good After All These Years and The Importance Of Dividends.)

The Bottom Line
On a year-over-year basis, each of these companies is going to have a tough fight in trying to surpass prior year results. However, the potential rise in revenue at Aetna is promising, and Syngenta will likely hold its ground. Simon and Brookfield could be more challenged, although both seem to be regaining their footing and their stock prices have been performing well. Keep an eye on these companies to be among next Friday's movers and shakers.

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