4 vital trades for Wednesday

Prepare for these earnings releases.

By Stock Traders Daily Jan 22, 2013 6:58PM
Stock market report CorbisBy Billy Fisher, Stock Traders Daily

A myriad of companies will be reporting earnings results this week. On Wednesday, several prominent names in the health care sector will be announcing their quarterly results. For traders looking to lay down bets ahead of the action, Stock Traders Daily offers these vital trades for consideration.

Stryking back
After the closing bell on Wednesday, analysts will be expecting the medical device maker Stryker Corporation (SYK) to report a 9.8% improvement in earnings per share on a 3.5% uptick in sales when compared to the prior year's quarter.

This is a great company, but traders going long into the release may be setting themselves up for disappointment. Long-term, Stryker may trend higher, but in the short term I see it cooling off a bit. It has already run up 12.3% since the beginning of the year. It's time to take some off the table.

Prior to the market open on Wednesday, St. Jude Medical (STJ) will unveil the results of its fourth quarter. The consensus on Wall Street is that the company will check in with earnings per share of $0.89 versus $0.86 in last year's quarter. Total revenue is expected to decline by 2.5%. The company has seen a great deal of strength from its atrial fibrillation unit recently, which could help to contribute to an earnings beat of a penny or more. I like the name heading into Wednesday.

Full coverage
One of the nation's largest health insurance providers will also release its fourth quarter results on Wednesday. Before the opening bell, analysts are calling for WellPoint (WLP) to report earnings per share of $0.95 compared to $0.99 in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue is expected to improve by 0.7%.

The company made some notable acquisitions in 2012 including Amerigroup and 1-800 CONTACTS, and its stock price has been picking up steam as of late. If the company can post a beat as it did in the third quarter, the stock should be able to maintain its recent gains and set the table for longer term growth as these acquisitions become fully integrated.

One other name for traders to watch heading into Wednesday is Abbott Laboratories (ABT). Analysts are predicting that the company will report a 3.4% upswing in earnings per share on a 1.9% advance in total revenue when compared to the prior year quarter. The company has surprised to the upside in each of its last four quarters and I see it happening once again. The technicals are great on this stock -- it is heading higher.
Jan 22, 2013 10:36PM

Stryker was a damn good company, still is a good company....But traded out to something else, with a little more growth potential and somewhat better dividend...Same sector..

And had owned SYK, for about 10 years...Probably still a fair investment long term..

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