earnings preview

It was a big day for retail earnings today as many of the country’s big chain store operations reported their first quarter results. Here’s a round up of how they, and others, did in the period.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) had a good quarter by its own and other’s estimations. The company earned $3.74 billion in the first quarter of 2012 as the consumer economy began to rebound. In the same period last year the big box store reported profits of $3.4 billion. The firm’s revenue for the three months were $113 billion. The company beat Wall Street’s expectations and it’s showing on the market today. The company is trading at around 62, a rise of 5% from today’s open.

Sears Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) recovered from the loss it made in the first quarter last year to post positive earnings today a move traders are clearly impressed with. The company earned $189 million in the first quarter. Last year in the same three month the company lost $170 million. Much of the increase has been driven by sales of the firm’s assets and revenue actually slightly fell compared with last year to $9.27 billion. the company announced plans o spin off its Canadian operation Sears Canada in a continuation of its asset selling plans.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE:CRM) will announce its earnings later today amid reports that the company has failed to secure a key contract. The enterprise information technology service provider is expected to break even according to estimates from analysts. The company earned 6 cents per share in the same period last year. Revenue, at least, is expected to increase to $678.1 million compared to last year’s $504.4 million. The company has failed in its bid to provide services to an Australian energy retailer it was reported yeterday. That has left the company’s shares down almost 2% today.

Brocade Communications System Inc. (NYSE:BRCD), the communications and data transmission systems provider, is expected to earn 8 cents per share for the company’s second fiscal quarter. The firm earned 12 cents per share in the same period last year. Revenue is expected to be slightly lower than it was in the same three months last year. In Q1 2011 the company took in a total of $541.4 million. The firm’s stock has not moved much today in anticipation of the earnings.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) is expected to announce earnings of 24 cents per share later today for the first fiscal quarter. In the same period last year the company earned 38 cents per share. The firm, which is involved in the provision of support and manufacturing material to high tech semiconductor and solar panel manufacturers, is expected to have revenue of $2.39 billion for the period compared with last year’s $2.86 billion. The company’s shares were trending down today before the results were set to be announced.

Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE:ARO) is expected to earn 13 cents per share for the first quarter. Last year the company announced earnings of 20 cents per share. The firm is expected to see higher revenue of $490.1 million for the period compared to 2011’s revenue of $469.2 million. The company’s shares were trading down by almost 2% as investors waited for results from the company. The firm operates casual clothing stores across the United states. It operates mainly in malls in stores under its Aeropostale brand name.

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), a direct competitor with Aeropostale Inc., is expected to show earnings 46 cents per share when it announces it results later today. In the same period last year the company announced earnings of 40 cents per share. Revenue at the firm is projected to come in at $3.56 billion. Last year the company’s revenue was $3.29 billion. The firm’s shares were down by just over 1% in anticipation of the results. Its results are expected after the market closes this afternoon.