6 Interesting Stock Earnings to Analyze from the Week

Some interesting companies announced earnings last week. We’ve spared you some precious research time and put together a list of earnings reports we think you should know more about:

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1) Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR): The Kroger Co. is a retail chain operating food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores in the United States. The company reported its first quarter earnings today and squelched analyst estimates, topping mean projections by $.06 per share. KR shares finished up 4.44% on the day. Net income for the grocery store rose to $432.3 million (70 cents/share) vs. $374 million (58 cents/share) in the same quarter a year earlier. A rise of 15.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 7.6% to $19.93 billion in fourth quarter of the last fiscal year. The figure rose 5.8% in third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier and climbed 6% in second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

According to David Dillon, Kroger CEO, “Our Customer 1st strategy is clearly connecting with customers. We have shown that our focus on people, products, prices and the shopping experience is meaningful to customers through both good and challenging times. As a result, we achieved strong performance across the company.

Watch these competitors: Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), and SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU).

2) Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE:SFD): reported its results for the fourth quarter. Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a hog producer and pork processor, which produces and markets a number of fresh meat and packaged meats products both domestically and internationally. The company swung to a profit of $98.4 million (59 cents/diluted share) in the quarter. Smithfield Foods Inc. had a net loss of $4.6 million or a loss 2 cents per share in the year earlier quarter. SFD reported earnings per share that trumped analyst estimates, yet total revenues fell short of expectations. Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 10.5% to $3.19 billion in third quarter. The figure rose 11.4% in second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 6.9% in first quarter from the year-ago quarter. Smithfield shares jumped 6.42% higher in trading today.

Keep an eye on competitors: Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NYSE:PPC), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kraft (NYSE:KFT), and H.J. Heinz (NYSE:HNZ).

3) Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM): The Blackberry maker and once upon a time smartphone leader reported earnings for the first quarter today, beating analyst earnings estimates by $.01 at $1.33 per share. Revenues totaled 4.9 billion, up 16% YoY, but fell short of projections by .2 billion. The stock slid by a huge margin in after hours exchanges following the release, down over 14%, after gaining slightly during trading today (up .45%). From MarketWatch, “For the quarter ended May 28, Research In Motion  said net income came in at $695 million, or $1.33 per share, compared to net income of $769 million, or $1.38 per share, for the same period the previous year. The company said it shipped 13.2 million smartphone units and 500,000 units of its new Playbook tablet. Analysts had been expecting smartphone shipments of 13.3 million and Playbook shipments of 436,000.”

Competitors to Watch: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Motorola (NYSE:MSI), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL).

4) Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY): The electronics retailer saw shares bump higher today, up 4.5% on a strong earnings report. Net income for Best Buy stores fell to $136 million (35 cents/share) vs. $155 million (36 cents/share) a year earlier. A decline of 12.3% from the year earlier quarter, While revenues rose 1% YoY. The company topped mean analyst estimates recording earnings of 33 cents per share. Gross margin shrunk 0.9 percentage point to 25%. The contraction appeared to be driven by rising costs as the figure rose 2.2% from the year earlier quarter while revenue rose 1%. Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy, commented on the results, saying, “I’d like to thank our employees around the world for their continued efforts to serve our customers and focus on profitable returns for our shareholders. We’re pleased that our actions improved sales trends within the quarter, with continued double-digit growth online and strong growth of mobile phones and connections.”

See how competitors fared in a good day on Wall Street: hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE:HGG), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), , Systemax (NYSE:SYX), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY).

5) FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE:FDS): is a provider of integrated global financial and economic information, including fundamental financial data on tens of thousands of companies worldwide. The company published its most recent earnings today, landing on target to match analyst expectations of 92 cents/share earnings. Revenues for FactSet rose 14.6% to $183.6 million YoY. The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the second quarter, net income rose 25.3% and in the first quarter, the figure rose 15.1%. According to Philip A. Hadley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, “FactSet continued its strong performance during the third quarter as key operating metrics experienced healthy growth. It is gratifying to see our hard work and investments show such positive results.” FDS shares slid -4.21% in trading today.

Watch for these companies to keep pace: MSCI Inc. (NYSE:MSCI), Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:MORN), andThomson Reuters Corp. (NYSE:TRI).

6) GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ:SOLR): a global provider of polysilicon production technology, and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets, today announced an improved outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ending July 2, 2011, reiterated its full year fiscal 2012 guidance and revised upward its backlog outlook for fiscal 2012.

The company had previously indicated on its last earnings conference call on May 24 that it expected revenues between $140 million to $150 million, EPS fully-diluted in the range of $0.08 to $0.11 and gross margin of approximately 37% for first quarter fiscal 2012. SOLR now expects first quarter fiscal 2012 revenue of approximately $225 million based on sooner than expected completion of DSS™650 upgrades in Q1, allowing for Q1 revenue recognition for certain PV orders which had been previously expected in Q2. The fully-diluted EPS for Q1 is now expected to be approximately $0.30, and gross margin for Q1 is now expected to be approximately 43% to 44%.

The company reiterated its full fiscal year 2012 guidance provided on May 24, 2011, which includes: revenue in the range of $1 billion to $1.1 billion; earnings per share of $1.55 to $1.85; gross margin between 42 to 44 percent; operating expenses between $115 million to $125 million; capital expenditures of approximately $25 million to $30 million; and an effective tax rate of approximately 33 percent.

In addition, given the significant number of orders it has received thus far in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the company now expects its backlog at the end of fiscal 2012 to be at least $1.6 billion. Previously, it had estimated its backlog would be above $1 billion at the end of fiscal 2012. SOLR shares ended up 9.52% today.

For more on GT Solar’s earnings go here

Competitors to Watch: First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE:STP), Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (NYSE:YGE), and LDK Solar Co.(NYSE:LDK).

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Disclosure: No positions