Interest rates, stabilizing FX headwinds, and cheap yet slowly rising oil prices are all expected to impact earnings reports this week, having both positive and negative implications. Here’s what to watch for this week from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL).
Bank of America Corp
Bank of America is set to release Q1:16 earnings on Thursday, April 14 before market open. Analysts are expecting revenue of $20.33 billion and earnings of $0.21 per share, compared to revenues of $21.42 billion and earnings of $0.27 for the same quarter of last year.
For this report, analysts and investors will be watching for the effects of general macro volatility and low interest rates. Due to an unlikely interest rate increase in April, interest rates remain low keeping investors cautious as Bank of America is one of the most rate sensitive banks with a lower share price compared to peers. As a result of these low interest rates, investors are also expecting low margins for the quarter.
Low interest rates mixed with increased government regulations have led the company to employ cost saving initiatives this quarter such as layoffs and restructuring. Investors will be watching for how these efforts will weigh on operating costs and efficiency ratios for the quarter. Additionally, investors will be focused on the bank’s credit quality. Although credit quality has improved in recent years, investors are paying special attention to how low energy prices and generally weak credit conditions could curtail recent progress. Similarly, energy prices are slowly starting to improve though still remain relatively low. In Q1, the company had a low total loan exposure to energy of 2%, which limits investor concern that low energy prices could weigh heavily on the earnings report. With a recently issued $800 million share buyback purchase in Q1, sending the stock up over 3%, many believe negative factors are unlikely to have a material effect on earnings. Unless the company posts a major surprise in its report, many note a limited downside risk for the stock.
Analyst Jason Goldberg of Barclays weighed in on the stock prior to earnings with an Equal Weight rating and $19 price target on April 7, 2016. The analyst explained what he expects from the company’s Q1 report. He specifically mentions the CCAR, an annual exercise by the Federal Reserve to determine if large banks have enough capital to continue operations.
According to Goldberg,”Key factors to watch [for in Q1 are]: 1) markets revenues: expected weakness in trading and IB revenues set up for uncertain full-year results; 2) net interest income… 3) expenses: new levers may be needed if rates stay lower for longer; 4) credit costs: energy related deterioration may offset consumer improvement near-term; and 5) capital deployment: while $800mn buyback increase in 1Q16 a net positive, 2016 CCAR now in focus.”
According to TipRanks, out of the 12 analysts who have rated the stock in the past 3 months, 8 gave a Buy rating, 1 gave a Sell rating, and 3 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $17.70, marking a 37% upside from where shares last closed.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM is expected to report Q1:16 earnings on Wednesday, April 13 before market open. For Q1, analysts are expecting revenues of $23.4 billion and earnings of $1.26 per share, compared to revenues of $24.82 billion and earnings of $1.45 per share for the same quarter of last year.
Despite recent quarterly gains, recent financial market turmoil is expected to negatively impact Q1 earnings. The company has faced many of the same struggles as peer Bank of America this past quarter, notably from low interest rates and global economic volatility. As a result of low interest rates and other market woes such as low oil prices and recession fears, the company expects a 20% y/y decline in sales and trading revenue as well as a decline in interest related income and fees. Furthermore, investors expect a drop in investment banking revenues due to low M&A activity for the quarter.
Like Bank of America, JPM focused on reducing costs this quarter to keep itself afloat amidst a tough banking environment. For this quarter, investors will be watching for how its cost cutting initiatives affected its company’s overhead ratio, a percent of operating expenses as part of net revenue. Last quarter, the company posted an overhead ratio of 60%, a 5% decline from the previous quarter. Investors will be watching for a continuous decrease in the ratio.
In a recent letter to shareholders, CEO Jamie Dimon reassured investors. He stated that the company “alone has enough loss absorbing resources to bear all the losses, assumed by CCAR, of the 31 largest banks in the United States.” Investors will be paying close attention to guidance in the earnings report, expecting the company to improve in the next few quarters due to a slowly strengthening U.S. economy and increasing demand for loans. A recent $1.9 billion share repurchase and announced $0.44 dividend further increased investor confidence regarding valuation and the long term outlook of the company.
According to TipRanks, out of the 10 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 8 gave a Buy rating while 2 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $71.50, marking a 24% upside from where shares last closed.
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Delta Air Lines is set to release Q1:2016 earnings on Thursday, April 14 after market close. For the quarter, analysts are expecting the company to post revenues of $9.26 billion and earnings of $1.30 per share, compared to last year’s revenues of $9.39 billion and earnings of $0.45 per share. For the first quarter, analysts believe the company will post profit growth despite some minor recent setbacks. Earlier this month, the company reported a decline of 4.5% in passenger revenue per available seat mile for the first quarter. Last month, future CEO Ed Bastian reported a decline in domestic demand and expects metrics for Q1 to fall within guided range, though on the lower end. Finally, slowly rising fuel prices are expected to increase expenses.
Analysts will be watching for the effects of currency fluctuations, as the weakening dollar, due to the Fed Reserve’s decision not to increase interest rates, is causing the Yen to strengthen. This is significant for the company because Japan is one of Delta’s largest foreign markets. However, the strong dollar in Q1 is expected to have only a modestly negative impact on earnings. Going forward, currency fluctuations should have a less significant effect on the company due to increasing stabilization. Positive factors for earnings include forward bookings, which are up y/y, with demand relatively steady despite slightly lower ticket prices. Additionally, investors expect margin expansion of 23% compared to 14% growth from the same quarter of last year due to declining fuel prices, hedging losses, and improved capacity utilization.
In the past few quarters, the company has used the $3.8 billion FCF generated in 2015 to reinvest in its fleet and increase shareholder returns while reducing its debt. As a result, the company has reduced its interest expenses by $170 million. If the company continues in this direction, it could help Delta better cope with industry fluctuations, making the stock less risky. Analysts will be watching for updates on fuel prices and demand, as this ratio will indicate the direction of airline stocks going forward.
According to TipRanks, out of the 5 analysts who have rated the company in the last 3 months, 4 are bullish and 1 remains on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $64.40, marking a 39% upside from where shares last closed.