Earnings Preview: Frontline, Xpeng, Zoom Video

All three major U.S. equity indexes posted dips of less than 1% Thursday, likely due to general ennui over an equities market that cannot seem to get any traction on a slippery slope. Walmart, Target and Cisco were among the day’s leading losers.

After markets closed Thursday, Applied Materials reported top-line and bottom-line numbers that missed expectations thanks to coronavirus lockdowns in China. Without getting specific, the company said that next year will be better than this year. Shares traded down about 2% in Friday’s premarket.

Palo Alto Networks beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines, and the company raised earnings per share (EPS) and revenue guidance. The stock traded up more than 11% early Friday.

Ross Stores missed estimates on both the top and bottom lines. The stock is getting hammered in Friday’s premarket trading, down more than 26%.

Deere beat the consensus EPS estimate by 1.8% and missed on revenue. Net income guidance was raised, mostly due to a one-time gain of $220 million in the current quarter. Shares traded down more than 4% in Friday’s premarket

Foot Locker also beat the consensus EPS estimate and missed on revenue. The company reaffirmed fiscal year guidance and said it expects same-store sales to be down 8% to 10%. Shares traded up 2.5% in the premarket session.

Here is a look at three firms set to report earnings on Monday or Tuesday.

Frontline

Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) operates a fleet of 70 tankers transporting crude oil and refined products worldwide. The stock has added 9.5% over the past 12 months, but since reaching its peak in early March, shares have dropped more than 14%. Partly that is due to a slowdown in Chinese demand and partly it is due to the weakening global economy. Frontline is scheduled to report results before markets open on Tuesday.

As with most oil tanker firms, Frontline could stand to prosper from Europe’s abandonment of Russian oil. That would mean that Russian crude would have to travel much further, probably to Asia, and demand for tankers would rise. Orders for newbuild tankers have fallen to a 36-year low, and the combination points toward a rise in day rates.

Of just four analysts covering the company, three have a Buy or Strong Buy rating. At a recent price of around $8.90 a share, the stock trades just below its median price target of $9.00. At the high price target of $11.00, the upside potential is 23.6%.

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First-quarter revenue is forecast at $106.78 million, which would be up 6.1% sequentially but down 0.3% year over year. Analysts expect an adjusted loss of $0.01 per share, compared to a loss of $0.02 per share in the prior quarter and EPS of $0.04 in the year-ago quarter. For the full 2022 fiscal year, Frontline is expected to report EPS of $0.56, up from a loss per share of $0.28 in 2021, on revenue of $584.05 million, up 63.7%.

The stock trades at 15.9 times expected 2022 EPS and 7.2 times estimated 2023 earnings of $1.23 per share. Frontline’s 52-week trading range is $6.10 to $10.43. The company has suspended its dividend and was, therefore, not among the seven shipping stocks with massive dividends we recently reviewed. Total shareholder return for the past year was 6.63%.

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