Upcoming Earnings Reports to Watch: CAT, AAPL, FB

Stocks were moving higher in early morning trading Friday, putting major indexes on track for another green week in what has been a strong start to the year for Wall Street. The momentum comes during an importan t earnings report season, which is only set to get busier over the next week.

So far, roughly 20% of S&P 500 members have filed their latest earnings results. Earnings are up an average of 14% on 8% higher revenues, comfortably topping estimates that had been widely revised downward ahead of the season.

This week's reports generally impressed, as everything from airline stocks to IBM IBM and Starbucks SBUX moved higher in the wake of their respective announcements. There were, of course, some shortcomings-Intel INTC comes to mind-but overall sentiment was positive.

Now, the upcoming week as the potential to really set the tone moving forward. It'll be quite busy, but investors should remember to use the Zacks Earnings Calendar to plan out their schedules for earnings, dividend announcements, and other important financial releases. This handy tool is your perfect one-stop-shop to properly prepare for the market events that will have an impact on your own portfolio.

Today, we're going to take a look at a few of the upcoming week's most importan t report s. This is an incomplete list, no doubt. The companies below, in our view, simply carry the heaviest narratives into their reports, and they should serve as great indicators for their broader industries.

Check out our top earnings reports to watch for the week of January 28:

1. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

Caterpillar had a rough 2018, as concerns about rising costs associated with new tariffs and a slowdown in the U.S. construction market brought the stock lower. Investors will likely see its upcoming report as a read on the effects of trade tensions. Caterpillar should also show the market whether it has seen concerning trends in domestic and international markets. The heavy equipment giant is set to report before the market opens on Monday.

Caterpillar is expected to report earnings of $2.98 per share and revenue of $14.37 billion, according to our latest Zacks Consensus Estimates. These results would represent year-over-year growth rates of 38% and 11%, respectively. Early estimates have CAT's 2019 earnings at $12.77 per share, so look for that to be the bar for guidance. If management can call for anything above that level this year, CAT should be in store for a rally.

2. Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Tech behemoth Apple is scheduled to release its lates t earnings report after the closing bell on Tuesday. In a relatively unprecedented move for the company, Apple issued a profit warning for the to-be-reported quarter. Apple said that its performance in China was not up to expectations, and it looks like this year's iPhone rollout didn't quite land like investors are used to.

Apple's earnings consensus for the period has fallen from $4.77 to $4.17 in under two months of time. If this holds up, it would mean EPS growth of just 7% for Apple in the quarter. Meanwhile, revenue is expected to be down nearly 5% to $84.10 billion. Apple's full-year estimates have taken a hit in recent weeks as well. It will be interesting to see whether management has spotted better trends, or if the company expects its struggles to continue.

3. Facebook, Inc. (FB)

After the year Facebook has had, its earnings announcement on Wednesday will need to do a lot of work to satisfy the remaining bullish investors. The stock is down more than 33% from its 52-week high, costs associated with preventing abuse and securing data are on the rise, and public trust of management is at an all-time low. A quarterly earnings report will not include a miracle cure for all of these woes, of course, but Facebook must be prepared to answer lingering questions about the future of its business.

For Wednesday's report, our Zacks Consensus Estimates indicate that analysts expect earnings of $2.17 per share and revenue of $16.37 billion. This revenue result would mark growth of 26% year over year, an impressive feat for a company of Facebook's size. But that EPS consensus represents a decline in excess of 1%, underscoring how much the company is spending to combat problems with its platform.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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