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Earnings season is coming up, with a raft of names set to release quarterly reports in the coming weeks. One thing makes this year a little trickier than others, though. Yes, it’s that once-in-a-lifetime mid-pandemic U.S. election. Talk about a Black Swan event… Investors should therefore do their homework before buying stocks ahead of earnings this year. Here are eight key names to look out for.
Names reporting earnings in October
CN Rail, reporting quarterly results October 20, might be expected to outperform thanks to ratcheting grain demand. Hauling a bumper crop this year, CN Rail’s grain car efficiency was likely also boosted by lower loads from other products. How this shakes out will be key to the upcoming earnings report, which could include some mixed results given the economic effects of the pandemic.
TFI International has proven a surprise hit during this ravaged year, with investors pushing its stock up 20% in the last three months alone. Its packaging and logistics operations slotted neatly into the quarantine market. October 22 will see TFI release its next quarterly report, which is expected to contain some positive news.
Rogers Communications has been much written about lately, with a fair number of headlines generated by its Cogeco takeover bid. Rogers will spill the beans on its most recent quarter October 22. This will be a key time for investors in this space, with Cogeco itself releasing its own results October 27.
Four stocks to watch post-election
Waiting for after the U.S. election before getting invested? Some top-tier names will be reporting earnings in November. Spin Master will dish the dirt November 11, just in time for a likely frothy market. Extendicare will release its quarterly results the next day, November 12.
Between these two stocks, investors should get a clearer picture of how the country is faring in terms of retail and healthcare. Adding to this picture will be the results from Plaza Retail REIT and Curaleaf Holdings, which will report on earnings November 13 and November 17, respectively.
One thing to bear in mind about buying stocks before earnings is that companies do not necessarily need to turn in fantastic results to see upside. A company could turn in a better-than-expected quarterly loss and fare less badly on the markets than a business that grows its earnings but at a lower-than-expected rate.
Investors can play this fall in a couple of ways. The most obvious is to simply sit it out. Provided their portfolios are in order, trimmed of any dead wood and optimized for recessionary market forces, it could be a good time to hibernate, fiscally speaking.
Alternatively, investors can make use of a choppy market. They can try to time the bottom — or at least wait for the dust to settle — by reviewing the markets after the U.S. election. Or investors can choose to make use of a deteriorating market by buying smaller packets of shares on weakness. This will allow investors to build positions without missing out on successive value opportunities.
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Fool contributor Victoria Hetherington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Canadian National Railway and Spin Master. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway and ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS INC. CL B NV.
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