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Earnings Previews for Q1 Frontrunners: JPM, CSX and PGR

As Alcoa AA has kick started the Q1 earning season with a positive surprise, all eyes will be glued on the next bigwigs – including JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, CSX Corp. CSX and Progressive Corp. PGR – slated to report this week.

The outlook for the Q1 earnings season is not very encouraging with estimates continuing on a southward trend for the last three months. As per Zacks Trend report, overall earnings for the first quarter of 2016 are expected to be down 11.1%.

Revenues are also expected to decline by 2.3%. Global growth concerns, a strengthening dollar and volatility in oil prices have played foul in the quarter. The weakness is not only confined to Q1 but will also spill over into Q2. So, it’s time to brace ourselves for lower guidance along with the earnings releases.

Let’s have a look at the three major companies that are about to release their results.

First off, CSX is set to release first-quarter results, after markets close, on Apr 12. The company has an Earnings ESP of -2.7% and carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Coal has long been on a downward spiral given the growing popularity of alternative energy sources. Thus, the decline in domestic coal shipments hurt CSX’s operations to a large extent.

Additionally, a strong greenback, lower fuel surcharges from customers owing to declining fuel costs and sluggish carload growth at the energy sector don’t help CSX’s case either (read more: Will CSX Corp Disappoint Estimates in Q1 Earnings?).

Next up is JPMorgan, which is slated to release first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 13, before market opens. Considering that finance has been the weakest performing sector of the market so far this year, thanks to Fed’s dovish stance, expectations are not very high from the bank. However, an earnings beat doesn’t look very difficult for JPMorgan, as the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pretty conservative at $1.26 after a number of downward revisions over the last couple of months. (read more: Why Q1 Earnings May be Ill-Fated for JPMorgan Stock).

Progressive Corp., which is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results before the opening bell on Apr 14, has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Although the property and casualty insurer is likely to have benefited from competitive pricing, an expanded multi-product offering and improved premiums, higher expenses could act as a dampener (read more: Progressive Q1 Earnings Beat Unlikely: Stock at Risk?).

We won’t be surprised if some of the companies deliver positive earnings surprises, as the estimates have become too conservative. So, do check back on our full write-up on earnings releases of these stocks.

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CSX CORP (CSX): Free Stock Analysis Report
JPMORGAN CHASE (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report
PROGRESSIVE COR (PGR): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALCOA INC (AA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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