Caution appears to be the order of the day with global markets generally subdued on Friday as investors wait to hear a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke at the annual Jackson Hole economic symposium. With the Fed's Beige Book showing no recession risk stateside, those hoping for more stimulus to be injected into the American economy may well be disappointed. Here at home, Statistics Canada will report on the gross domestic product in the second quarter. Economists are expecting to see an annual growth of 1.6 per cent.
Here are the stocks we're watching today:
*Laurentian Bank of Canada is the last of Canada's big banks to report its quarterly earnings this week and Laurentian will do so on Friday. The Montreal-based bank's shares have risen by 12 per cent since early June and it boosted its quarterly dividend by 2 cents, or 4 per cent, to 47 cents per share. Laurentian also announced recently it would acquire Toronto-based AGF Management Ltd. for $415.5 million.
*Caterpillar Inc.'s shares are off their highs for the year. Shares in the Peoria, Ill.-based manufacturer of construction and mining equipment have dropped to US$67.54 from $85.58 at the start of the year as declining global prices for commodities such as iron ore, copper, and coal is in-turn hurting planned mining projects in China and Europe. Recently, an RBC Dominion Securities analyst downgraded his earnings-per-share forecast to $10 from $10.55 on revenues of $73.2 billion instead of $74.9 billion.
*OmniVision Technologies Inc., the Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of advanced digital imaging products, says it expects non-GAAP earnings of 21 cents to 37 cents per share on revenue of $355 million to $390 million for its fiscal second quarter. Analysts are expecting a profit of 33 cents per share in the quarter on revenue of $268.6 million.
*Gordmans Stores Inc., an Omaha-based apparel and home décor retailer, saw its second quarter net sales increase by 11.7 per cent to $262.2 million compared to $234.7 million for the same period one year ago. The company's comparable store sales increased by 2.5 per cent in the quarter and it's been adding new stores as it continues to expand its presence in the American Midwest. However, the company's shares dropped by 13 per cent to $18 in after-hours trading after Gordmans offered downbeat third-quarter guidance.
*Zumiez Inc., the Everett, Wash.-based teen apparel and specialty sports retailer, will report its third quarter earnings on Friday but expect potentially bogus results as a number of analysts have lowered their price targets for Zumiez. The company announced yesterday it anticipates earnings of 42 to 45 cents per share. Wall Street expected earnings of 56 cents per share.