Today marks the unofficial beginning of first-quarter earnings season. After the closing bell, Alcoa (AA) will report its earnings for the first three months of 2009. It probably won’t be a good report. Wall Street expects Alcoa to post a loss of 52 cents a share compared with a profit of 44 cents for the same period last year. The stock gets an “F – Strong Sell” in my Portfolio Grader stock-rating system.
Not all companies are in such difficult shape. One of my top-rated electronic retailers, HHGregg Inc. (HGG) reported its preliminary results this morning and business is going well. Sales were up 13% and earnings-per-share were between 39 cents and 42 cents which is a nice improvement over the 32 cents from last year’s first quarter. Wall Street was only expecting earnings of 23 cents a share.
The company also lifted in full-year EPS guidance to a range of $1.08 and $1.11 up from the earlier range of 85 cents to 95 cents. HGG is an outstanding buy.