Traders are Watching 3 Stocks Ahead of Earnings

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, February 17, 2012. The average analyst estimate is for net income of 62 cents per share, a decline of 12.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 66 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 63 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 7.1% compared to last year’s $2.36.

Last quarter, the company reported profit of 82 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of. The company has beaten estimates for the past three quarters. Analysts are projecting a decline of 0.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.12 billion.

Competitors to Watch: TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), McCormick & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MKC), H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), SYSCO (NYSE:SYY), United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT), Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) and Pepsico (NYSE:PEP).

H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, February 17, 2012. The average analyst estimate is for net income of 85 cents per share, a rise of 1.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 90 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 86 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 8.1% versus last year to $3.33.

The company is looking to make a streak of three quarters of beating estimates. Last quarter, it beat expectations by reporting profit of 81 cents per share, and the previous quarter, it had net income of 78 cents. Analysts are projecting a rise of 6.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.89 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), Smart Balance, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMBL), TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB), ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), Unilever plc (NYSE:UL), Kellogg (NYSE:K) and Unilever N.V. (NYSE:UN).

Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, February 17, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 89 cents per share, a rise of 15.6% 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 was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $3.27 per share, a rise of 13.5% from last year.

The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 7 cents, reporting profit of 88 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 81 cents per share. Analysts predict a rise of more than twofold in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $565.9 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com