Its earnings season and Thursday will witness some of the important earnings of the quarter. Let’s have a look on what to expect from some of these companies. Earnings preview for Key Corp. (NYSE:KEY), Fifth Third bank (NASDAQ:FITB), BB&T (NYSE:BBT) UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), and AutoNation (NYSE:AN).

earnings Preview

Key Corp. (NYSE:KEY) is set to announce its earnings on Thursday, April 18, 2013. As per the analyst estimates, the profit will decline in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. The consensus estimates for earnings per share are at 20 cents. For full fiscal earnings per share is expected at 87 cents per share.

Key Corp. (NYSE:KEY)’s revenue is projected to decline 10.9 percent year over year to $1.03 billion for the first quarter. Analysts are expecting revenue to come in at $4.18 billion for the whole year. For the previous eight quarters, the company has earned profit, but the income has declined in the last four quarters by an average of 5.8 percent year over year.

Majority of analysts maintain a ‘hold’ rating on the stock.

Unlike the last two quarters, most of the regional banks are expected to report profits that are down or flat. Fifth Third bank (NASDAQ:FITB), which will announce the earnings on Thursday, is expected to report profits, which is good for investors, but the numbers may be lower or similar to the figures last year.

 Profits at Fifth Third of Cincinnati are expected to fall marginally. The bank enjoys five-star strength ratings, which is the highest possible rating from Bauer Financial, the recognized authority on independent bank research. The ratings signify banks with strong profits, customers, loans and resources.

BB&T (NYSE:BBT) is expected to report an EPS of $0.67 against the earlier estimates of $0.66 and consensus of $0.65, says a report from Barclays. The estimates from Barclays exclude an anticipated $281 million ($0.40) charge related to an ongoing tax liability dispute.

BB&T (NYSE:BBT) recently revealed that the average loan growth for the first quarter has slowed from the earlier guidance of 2-4 percent annualized growth. NPA’s are expected to improve at a reasonable rate in the first quarter, and NCO’s are expected to be at 1 percent but will continue declining thereafter.

When compared to the last quarter, Barclays expects a slower core balance sheet expansion, a lower net interest margin, lower fee income and lower expenses and reduced OREO costs.

UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) is the bell-weather for the managed care sector as its earnings give investors and analysts an initial look what is in store for them, in the full year. The insurer has been exceeding analyst estimates and often raises its full year forecasts when it reports quarterly results. In January, the company told that for 2013 it expects earnings of $5.25 to $5.50 per share on revenues between $123 billion to $124 billion.

According to FactSet, analysts forecast earnings for UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) of $1.14 per share on $30.51 billion in revenue for the first quarter.  In the first quarter of 2012, earnings for the company rose 3 percent to $1.39 billion, or $1.31 per share, on $27.29 billion in revenue.

A report from Goldman expects AutoNation (NYSE:AN) to report a lower than consensus EPS for the first quarter. As per the report, the auto company is expected to report EPS of $0.61, which is 4.1 percent below consensus.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN)’s SSS comps are expected to gain 6.9 percent in the first quarter, which is in line with the reports mix implied growth rate. Historically, the company has outperformed the forecasts and the report expects a positive impact on the sales due to the recent store re-branding initiative.