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Tickers in this Article: USB
US Bancorp (NYSE:USB) is expected to report increased earnings when it releases its second quarter results on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. The consensus estimate is anticipating a profit of 69 cents a share, an increase from last year's 60 cents per share.

Investors care about earnings because they drive stock prices. Strong earnings generally result in the stock price moving up and vice versa. SEE: Earnings: Quality Means Everything

What to Expect: The consensus estimate for US Bancorp's earnings is 69 cents per share, up 15% from a year ago when the company reported earnings of 60 cents per share.

Though it hasn't changed in the last month, the consensus estimate is up from 66 cents three months ago. For the fiscal year, analysts are expecting earnings of $2.75 per share.

US Bancorp's expected revenue of $4.97 billion for the quarter is below last year's reported figure of $5.27 billion by 5.8%. Revenue for the fiscal year is expected to come in at $19.87 billion.

Company Performance: Revenue for US Bancorp has been on the rise for four consecutive quarters. It increased 7.2% to $5.48 billion in the first quarter. Prior to that, the figure rose 6.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 3.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 3.3% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. A high or low P/E ratio is not good or bad in and of itself, but a company trading with a high P/E ratio must continue to post strong financial performance or its stock price is likely to fall. SEE: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

Over the past quarter, the stock price has increased from $31.16 on April 16, 2012 to $32.28. US Bancorp's best recent streak was when its price gained $2.93 per share between June 4, 2012 and June 20, 2012.

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