Earnings season 1Q2021 Jim Mora meme big

The “Oops, All Earnings!” Edition

So, you really want to talk about earnings, huh?

Why yes … yes I do. In fact, I dedicated today’s entire edition of Great Stuff to our favorite quarterly Wall Street soap opera — no, not EV Days or Antitrust Issues. Those are slated for later this week…

Welcome to the tippy top peak of earnings season, Great Ones! The ever-revolving door of hopes and expectations that lives on inside the earnings confessional. If this is your first time tuning into the action, welcome! You picked a heck of a time to start — over 400 companies are set to report this week alone.

Over the next few days, the market’s mighty magnifying glass will leave no sector unsinged, searing stocks from Big Tech to little tech … the credit card cartels to the insurance innovators … the robot factory fleet creators to the tape and Post-its maker!

You get earnings! You get earnings! Everyone gets to report earnings!

What I’m saying is, if you give a hoot about how any of your companies actually perform on paper, now’s the time to listen up, Chuck. Upchuck? Really? Gross.

It’s time to check over your portfolio … to see which of the stocks you own are about to go under the hammer. And sit back, relax, and enjoy the drama — that is, if the give-and-take game of analyst action thrills you.

Me? I’ve been anxiously awaiting for the earnings releases to hit the presses since daybreak. (Yeah, let’s leave it at that…)

Kimberly Clark (NYSE: KMB) already reported year-end earnings this morning, kicking off the week much as 2020 began: with a mad rush to deck the halls with toilet paper. And by the time you read this, chipmaker extraordinaire Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX) will be in the books as well.

But what other surprises shall this week in earnings hold? Only time will tell. Let’s take a look at the stocks Wall Street will be watching!

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Great Stuff Chart of the Week

Who’d have guessed? Our Chart of the Week comes from none other than Earnings Whispers on Twitter — that information gold mine for everything earnings. Here’s a look at what companies are set to report. Spot any of your Great Stuff Picks in the mix?

Earnings chart Jan 25, 2021 big tech week

If I know one thing about you Great Ones, your eyes go straight toward the flashy big red logo — 3M (NYSE: MMM), obviously.

When was the last time Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) was a deep cut in the earnings chart? Elon and co. are practically buried beneath a tsunami of Big Tech heading into the earnings spotlight: Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) … or, as I’m calling the trio this week, the “FAM.”

Above all, I think what you’ll find as the FAM stocks report is Big Tech increasing its stranglehold over the pandemic environment — while at the same backing out of the antitrust-verging limelight.

Like past quarters, Facebook’s earnings give us a better look at the state of digital ad spending. FB (along with Google’s tangled data-seeking tendrils) has become the barometer for how many ad dollars continue to move online — especially amid the pandemic holiday season. Ads, presumably, for the latest shininess from Apple…

And what about old ‘Softy? Microsoft’s consistency with beating earnings is legendary. But the only real surprises these days come from the company’s cloud division, and it might pack a pandemic-propelled punch, what with everyone and their mother moving to the cloud for remote work.

With this much of a glut in market-carrying names, don’t be surprised if trading gets choppy later in the week — for better or worse!

We also have a spate of lesser-known (but big in the industry) tech names about to strut their stuff. Great Stuff Pick and all-around chipmaker supreme Advanced Micro Devices (Nasdaq: AMD) is my top stock to watch — namely whether or not it reports growth and catalysts to continue pushing shares higher for y’all.

But wait — robots! For Great One Huston and anyone else wanting in on industrial innovation, first … put down those steel stocks, and pick up the robots — erm, automation experts, at least. Though not pictured above, Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) will report earnings on Tuesday, with Honeywell International (NYSE: HON) rounding out the week on Friday.

And how about those big-name consumer stocks that everyone loves? You bet they’re covered this week: Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) will show how they shined or declined during the pandemic holidays — and just how much they remained in consumers’ daily routines.

Next up is a tale of two blue chips, starting with Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) tried-and-true approach of selling every personal care product under the sun and ending with whatever General Electric (NYSE: GE) is up to these days…

We even have a few telecoms reporting earnings if that’s your thing: Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T).

With the latter, I’m waiting for more of a sign that AT&T gets out of its own way to join the modern, digital age. The fact that AT&T actually came to an agreement to put HBO Max on Roku devices gives me some indication (and hope) that the company might finally wake up to the streaming potential … but I’m not holding my breath here yet.

On a similar note, airline earnings are still up in the air as the usual suspects try to reduce cash burn and (safely) drum up more business back up in the skies. On Thursday, we’ll hear from Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) and American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL) and JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU).

And what we’re looking for here, frankly, hasn’t changed since previous quarters: Just hold on long enough for the frequent flier crop to come back. That’s why we stuck with Boeing (NYSE: BA) in Great Stuff Picks, since it doesn’t directly have to worry all that much about how many people fly … just how many planes airlines want to buy. We’ll see how that’s shaking out so far on Wednesday.

Wow, he really was looking forward to earnings season… What else is on the already-full plate, Mr. Great Stuff?

Let’s see here … are you into financials? Yeah, you’ve got your ho-hum banking stocks reporting this week, but insomniacs need only apply in those boredom doldrums… I’m waiting on the real financial hotness: credit card stocks.

You read that right. This week’s roundup of the credit-crunching crew is like a party at the moon tower — everybody who’s anybody will be there. Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Visa (NYSE: V), Amex (NYSE: AXP) and Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF) are all on the docket this week.

And the real reason why we’re even looking at the credit nitty gritty is the same reason I told you for Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) last week: the ever-evolving look at the average consumer. Are people spending out of their means? Or is the average American staying relatively even-keeled on the credit front?

I know, if it’s not Apple products or a Tesla that everyone’s shelling out dough for, it’s … insurance policies?

I’ve heard more than mere whispers that the number of insurance policies that people are taking out ramped up rapidly during the pandemic. We’ll see just how much that’s true (and what kind of insurance folks are scooping up) in reports from Anthem (NYSE: ANTM) and Progressive (NYSE: PGR) later this week.

As always, we’ll keep you up to speed with the cream of this week’s earnings crop!

Great Stuff: That Extra Fluff We Love

That just about wraps up the ‘Stuff for today, semi-short and sweet. Now riddle me this: What earnings do you have in your sights this week? Are any of your personal portfolio stocks going under the microscope?

Or … do you just disregard earnings season altogether, log off Robinhood, and hope you’re pleasantly surprised when all is said and done?

Let us know at GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com. Who knows? You might just find your email featured in this week’s edition of Reader Feedback! Of course, if you don’t crave the spotlight of your fellow Great Ones, just let us know, and we’ll keep your super-secret trades on the down-low — promise!

We’ll catch you on the flip side. Until then, don’t forget to follow us on social media too: Facebook and Instagram.

Joseph Hargett

Editor, Great Stuff