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More Earnings News You Can Use

Tracking our stock portfolio through earnings season


Earnings season is in full swing, and after disappointing news Tuesday night from both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) it’s time to move on and look at some of the upcoming announcements our investors are looking for the remainder of the week.

On Thursday Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE:DPS) will report earnings and I love this company. I’ve recommended this company to my Blue Chip Growth members for the last year and while we’ve made some nice double-digit gains, the 3.1% dividend payment has been fantastic. While the earnings growth with this company is not quite as explosive as AAPL, this is a safe beverage company with solid fundamentals across the board. I rate DPS a buy.

Also on Thursday morning we’ll hear from 3M (NYSE:MMM). While this company also pays a nice dividend, I’m not a buyer just yet. The company has had trouble growing its sales and margins of late which is impacting earnings growth and the ability to post earnings surprises.

At best, I rate MMM as a hold. If you already own it, the risk is low to hold on. But if you’re thinking about establishing a new position, I would wait for margins to improve and buying pressure to build.

Wrapping up the week on Friday is Merck (NYSE:MRK). This is an interesting one. The stock has been on a great run in the last two months—rising nearly 16% in what has been a rough period for the indices.

Big drug companies are riding the “ObamaCare” decision wave lately, but what’s on tap for earnings? Sales are expected to be flat from the year-ago quarter while earnings should be up just 6% over last year. Operating margins are at 22%, cash flow is decent and buying pressure is top notch.

If the company can eke out an earnings surprise, it will keep momentum building for the stock. I rate MRK as a buy in my free stock rating tool.

If there are any major earnings developments this week, you can be sure that I’ll be in touch immediately with another Market 360 update and through our Daily Blog.

So check your email and regularly for updates. Until then, if there’s a stock you’d like to get my buy/sell/hold recommendation on this earnings season, log on to my free stock-rating tool, Portfolio Grader, for my current advice.

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