It’s the very end of the current earnings season, with only a couple of companies left to report financial results. With more than 99% of the companies listed in the S&P 500 index having reported their finances, the results for the January through March period have held up fairly well.
However, pessimism is growing for the next round of results that are due to begin in coming weeks.
According to data from FactSet, the estimated earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 index is 4.3%. If that turns out to be correct, it will be the lowest earnings growth rate reported by the index since the final quarter of 2020, during the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Will the coming results end up being that bad? We shall see.
But in the meantime, the following three companies bring to an end the latest earning season for U.S. stocks.
|Levi Strauss & Co.’s
Mullen Automotive (MULN)
MULN stock fell nearly 10% on June 30 after the company failed to reveal the name of the Fortune 500 company it said it is working with.
Company CEO David Michery had earlier promised that the company would reveal “everything” about a Fortune 500 company he said Mullen Automotive is working with by the end of the second quarter, which was on June 30. However, in a press statement released on June 30, Mullen did not provide any further details, sending its stock sharply lower.
The Fortune 500 controversy aside, Mullen Automotive has had some positive news recently. The company hired John Taylor to be its senior vice president of global manufacturing and strategic planning. Taylor is a veteran of the automotive industry and previously worked at Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).
The company also broke ground on its on its battery plant and started making EV battery packs. A positive earnings print could go a long way to helping MULN stock, which has fallen 82% year to date to trade at $1.04 per share. Wall Street does not expect Mullen to report any earnings for its upcoming results, but does anticipate $37.3 million in revenue for the period.
Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI)
Speaking of stocks that could use some good news, blue jeans legend Levi Strauss & Co.’s (NYSE:LEVI) stock is down 34% through the first half of the year at $16.52 a share, and has fallen 40% over the past 12 months.
Much of that downturn is the result of the broader market selloff. However, despite the drop in its share price, San Francisco-based Levi remains bullish on its own future prospects.
On June 1, the company lifted its financial targets for the next five years on optimism that it will be able to substantially grows its e-commerce business in that timeframe.
Specifically, Levi said it now sees annual revenue growing in a range of 6% to 8%, up from the 4% to 6% previously expected, through 2027. If accurate, that growth would bring Levi’s annual revenue to $10 billion five years from now.
The upward revision raised eyebrows on Wall Street as it bucked the trend that has seen retailers ranging from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) to Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) lower their forecasts in the face of inflation that’s running at a 40-year high and rising interest rates.
WD-40 Company (WDFC)
Also reporting earnings on July 7 is the WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC). The maker of primarily engine oil and carpet cleaning products has seen its stock slump 17% this year to now trade at $203.99 a share. Over the last 12 months, WDFC stock has declined 20%.
While the drop in WD-40 stock is not great, it is better than the 20% YTD decline in the S&P 500 index, which has had its worst start to a year since 1970. And despite the deflation, some analysts see WD-40 as a stock that can weather the current high-inflation environment better than most securities.
While some analysts see WD-40’s products as essential to automotive garages no matter what direction the economy heads, and thus immune to inflation pressures, the company itself has guided lower its expectations for this year. Management at WD-40 has forecast sales of between $522 million and $542 million for all of this year, which would be between 7% and 11% higher than in 2021. The company also dropped guidance for full-year earnings to $5.14 to $5.27. Previous guidance had been for $5.24 to $5.38 in EPS.
Wall Street is looking for WD-40 to report EPS of $1.27 on revenue of $142.77 million in its coming report.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.