Costco and Smithfield Drum Up Trading Chatter Before Earnings Releases

Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, December 8, 2011. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 79 cents per share, a rise of 11.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 78 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from 80 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $3.84 per share, a rise of 16.4% from last year.

The company is looking to beat estimates after falling short of forecasts last quarter. Last quarter, it reported net income of $1.08 per share against a consensus estimate of profit of $1.09 per share. Analysts are projecting a rise of 10.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $21.25 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. (NYSE:BJ), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), Gordmans Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMAN), Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED).

Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, December 8, 2011. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 69 cents per share, a decline of 13.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has risen from 67 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.41 per share, a decline of 18% from last year.

Last quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent, coming in at net income of 69 cents a share versus the estimate of profit of 68 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates. Analysts are projecting a rise of 7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $3.21 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), ZHONGPIN INC. (NASDAQ:HOGS), Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NYSE:PPC), Seaboard Corporation (AMEX:SEB), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON).

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