August 01, 2011 at 09:30 AM EDT
Zacks Earnings Preview: CF Industries, CBS, Cigna, MEMC Electronic Materials and XL Group

CHICAGO, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com releases the list of companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This week's list includes CF Industries (NYSE: CF), CBS (NYSE: CBS) Cigna (NYSE: CI), MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) and XL Group (NYSE: XL). To see more earnings analysis, visit http://at.zacks.com/?id=3207.

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Earnings Season Peaks

Historically the best indicators of firms likely to report positive surprises are a recent history of positive surprises and rising estimates going into the report. The Zacks Rank is also a good indicator of potential surprises.

Similarly, a recent history of earnings disappointments, cuts in the average estimate for the quarter in the month before the report is due and a poor Zacks rank (#4 or #5) are often red flags pointing to a potential disappointing earnings report.

In the Earnings Calendar below, $999.00 should be read as N.A.

Potential Positive Surprises

  • CF Industries (NYSE: CF) is expected to report EPS of $5.81 versus $2.51 a year ago. Last time out CF reported 17.96% above expectations, and over the last month the estimates for this quarter have risen by 2.84%. CF is a Zacks #1 Ranked stock.
  • CBS (NYSE: CBS) is expected to report EPS of $0.45 versus $0.25 a year ago. Last time out CBS reported 57.63% above expectations, and over the last month the estimates for this quarter have risen by 2.96%. CBS is a Zacks #2 Ranked stock.
  • Cigna (NYSE: CI) is expected to report EPS of $1.29 versus $1.38 a year ago. Last time out CI reported 25.69% above expectations, and over the last month the estimates for this quarter have risen by 1.22%. CI is a Zacks #2 Ranked stock.

Potential Negative Surprises

  • MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) is expected to report EPS of $0.08 versus a loss of $0.03 a year ago. Last time out WFR reported 25.0% below expectations, and over the last month the estimates for this quarter have plunged by 27.3%. WFR is a Zacks #5 Ranked stock.
  • XL Group (NYSE: XL) is expected to report EPS of $0.48 versus $0.71 a year ago. Last time out XL reported 18.18% below expectations, and over the last month the estimates for this quarter have dropped by 9.24%. XL is a Zacks #4 Ranked stock

Dirk Van Dijk, CFA, is the Chief Equity Strategist for Zacks.com.

About the Zacks Rank

Since 1988, the Zacks Rank has proven that "Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices." Since inception in 1988, #1 Rank Stocks have generated an average annual return of +28%. During the 2000-2002 bear market, Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained +43.8%, while the S&P 500 tumbled -37.6%. Also note that the Zacks Rank system has just as many Strong Sell recommendations (Rank #5) as Strong Buy recommendations (Rank #1). Since 1988, Zacks Rank #5 stocks have significantly underperformed the S&P 500 (+3% versus +10%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.

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About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=3568.

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Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contact: Dirk Van Dijk, CFA
Company: Zacks.com
Phone: 312-265-9211
Email: pr@zacks.com

Visit: www.Zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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