Zacks Earnings Preview: Kroger, Staples, H&R Block, Hovnanian Enterprises and Transocean

Zacks Earnings Preview: Kroger, Staples, H&R Block, Hovnanian Enterprises and
                                  Transocean

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 4, 2013

CHICAGO, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com releases the list of
companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This week's list includes Kroger
(NYSE:KR), Staples (Nasdaq:SPLS), H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), Hovnanian Enterprises
(NYSE:HOV) and Transocean (NYSE:RIG).

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Looking Toward Employment Numbers

The budget sequester has taken effect, but thankfully everything seems to be
just fine.

The fourth quarter earnings season is effectively in the books now, though it
will still be couple of more weeks before we can officially call an end to the
reporting season. The focus this week will be on economic data, with the
February jobs reports coming out on Friday. The budget sequester will also
provide headlines, though thankfully the actual onset of the long-dreaded
event has thus far been quite underwhelming.

But while earnings may not be in the headlines, we will have a total of 188
companies coming out with results this week, including 5 S&P 500 members. By
the end of this week, we will be close to the finish line, having seen Q4
results from 491 S&P 500 companies or 98.2% of the index's total membership.
The major companies reporting this week include Kroger (NYSE:KR), Staples
(Nasdaq:SPLS), H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE:HOV) and
Transocean (NYSE:RIG).

The reality of the Q4 earnings season is that it has turned out to be not as
bad as many of us suspected. Leaving aside anemic growth, on most other
metrics the fourth quarter reporting season is quite good. Not only are the
ratio and magnitude of surprises better than the previous quarter and
comparable to the last many, but the tone of management guidance has also been
less worrisome than was the case in the third quarter reporting season.

Total earnings for the 486 S&P 500 companies that have come out with Q4
results, as of Friday March 1, are up +2% from the same period last year, with
64% beating expectations with a strong median surprise of +3.4%.

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