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Zacks Earnings Preview: Best Buy, Commercial Metals, FedEx, Gerber Scientific, and Morgan Stanley releases the list of companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This weeks list includes Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC), Gerber Scientific (NYSE:GRB) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). To see more earnings analysis, visit

Earnings Preview is written by Charles Rotblut, CFA, Senior Market Analyst for

Catalysts? What catalysts?

Anyone who wants a reason for the markets to move in one direction or another during the week of June 18 is going to be disappointed. Daily market fluctuations, both here and overseas, possible comments out of Fed officials and sentiment are all the market will have to rely on. The list of scheduled events is small, few companies are providing guidance and people are taking summer vacations. Even the Stock Traders Almanac offers nothing except to say that the week after June triple witching has been negative for the Dow during 14 out of the past 16 years.

To be fair, there are eight S&P 500 companies on deck including Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) as the second-quarter earnings preseason continues. None of these, however, should wield enough influence to do anything more than cause some potential intraday swings in the market.

The economic calendar wont add much excitement either. May housing starts will be published on Tuesday. Thursday brings the May Leading Economic Indicators and the Philadelphia Feds June survey.

Given this backdrop and lack of catalysts, interest rates could continue to play a role. The Feds next meeting is not until June 27-28 (a two-day meeting) and although the committee should leave interest rates unchanged, the bond markets remain weak on a technical basis. Higher interest rates are a problem for the housing market and for the capital markets since they make more expensive to complete corporate deals. This is why perhaps the best catalyst for the bulls would be a large, private equity takeover a clear sign that interest rates havent risen too much. Of course, predicting if and when this will happen is beyond the scope of my crystal ball.

Catalysts. To quote Stephen Colbert, thats the word.

Companies That Could Issue Positive Earnings Surprises during the Week of June 18 June 22

Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC) has had a mixed record when it comes to earnings performance. It has beat expectations and missed expectations twice over the past four quarters. A recent improvement, albeit small, in the consensus estimate suggests CMC might just report bullish fiscal third-quarter reports. A revision by one brokerage analyst pushed the quarterly consensus estimate up by one cent to 78 cents per share. The Most Recent Consensus is at 79 cents per share. Commercial Metals is scheduled to report on Wednesday, June 20, before the start of trading.

Gerber Scientific (NYSE:GRB) recently preannounced results for its fiscal fourth quarter. The company, which makes graphics software for signs and apparel, expects to report revenues of $153 to $155 million and earnings of 22 to 26 cents per share. Both numbers were above the companys previous guidance. All of the covering brokerage analysts raised their projections in response, sending the consensus earnings estimate six cents higher to 23 cents per share. GRB has topped profit expectations for four consecutive quarters. Gerber Scientific is scheduled to report on Thursday, June 18.

Two brokerage analysts have raised their projections on Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) within the past 30 days. The impact of these revisions has been to push the second-quarter earnings estimate up by a penny to $2 per share. The Most Recent Consensus is considerably more bullish at $2.09 per share. The investment banking and brokerage firm has topped expectations during each of the past four quarters by an average margin of 40 cents per share. Morgan Stanley is scheduled to report on Wednesday, June 20, before the start of trading.

Companies That Could Issue Negative Earnings Surprises during the Week of June 18 June 22

About one quarter of the covering brokerage analysts have cut their forecasts for Best Buys (NYSE:BBY) fiscal first quarter. The downward revisions may reflect concerns about weaker sales of LCD televisions and higher gasoline prices. The consensus earnings estimate of 50 cents per share is a penny less than 30 days ago and two cents below the average forecast of 60 days ago. BBY has missed expectations once during the past four quarters. Best Buy is scheduled to report on Tuesday, June 19, before the start of trading.

Want to turn earnings surprises into quick profits? Learn how by visiting

About the Zacks Rank

Since 1988, the Zacks Rank has proven that "Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices." Since inception in 1988, #1 Rank stocks have generated an average annual return of +31.9%. During the 2000-2002 bear market, Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained +43.8%, while the S&P 500 tumbled -37.6%. Also note that the Zacks Rank system has just as many Strong Sell recommendations (Rank #5) as Strong Buy recommendations (Rank #1). Since 1988, Zacks Rank #5 stocks have underperformed the S&P 500 by 132% annually (+5.1% vs. +11.9%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.

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About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros by going to

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

(a) Zacks Rank performance is the total return (price changes + dividends) of equal weighted portfolios, consisting of those stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank, assuming zero transaction costs. These returns are not the result of a backtest; these are actual returns since 1988. The stocks in the Zacks Rank portfolios were available to Zacks clients before the beginning of each month (monthly rebalancing). Performance results from 1988 through September 2006 are based on a subset of all Zacks Rank stocks that excludes stocks covered by only one analyst and ADRs. Starting in October 2006 and going forward the performance numbers for the Zacks Rank is based upon the full universe of stocks which is more reflective of the list of stocks that customers will find on the Zacks websites. 2007 returns are for the period of Jan 1 Mar 31, 2007.

(b) The S&P 500 Index ("S&P 500") is a well-known, unmanaged index of the prices of 500 large-company common stocks selected by Standard & Poor's. The S&P 500 includes the reinvestment of all dividends, no transaction costs, and represents the gross returns before management fees.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Charles Rotblut, CFA, 312-265-9352

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