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Tuesday's Earnings Announcements: H&R Block, Robbins & Myers, and Sealy


H&R Block will explain how taxing tax season has been, Robbins & Myers has analysts' eyes, and Sealy beds down with three new partners.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Scheduled earnings announcements for Tuesday, June 26 include:

AeroVironment (AVAV): In June, five-year-old AVAV won a $9.6 million contract to supply the Danish Armed Forces with 12 of the company's small unmanned aircraft systems, an unspecified order from the Swedish Army for similar units, and a $15.8 million order from the US Army, which is by far the firm's largest client, in a deal that could be worth a total of $65.9 million. In addition to unmanned aircraft, the company also offers a way to bet on electric vehicles since it operates charging stations from Canada to California with plans to extend to Mexico. Quite a few eyes will be on AVAV's earnings, given that numerous funds have significant investments in the company, according to SEC documents, including IBM retirees.

H&R Block (HRB): Given the fact that their meat and potatoes is tax preparation and the filing date is mid-April, this is a key quarter for HRB. Zack's with a Strong Sell rating is among the pessimists. At least some investors are too, as the stock logged some unusual trading activity June 19. Puts and calls traded at a ratio of 10-to-1. Not everyone is spooked, however; Compass Point issued a Buy on HRB. Clearly the company is teeing up to announce at least some executive changes; it filed an 8-K confirming the separation agreement with its former president of retail tax services, and another 8-K announcing a new CFO.

Robbins & Myers (RBN): RBN recently has gathered quite a few analysts covering it, including Capstone, which initiated coverage at Buy and SunTrust at Neutral. Today, analysts were predicting that the oil and gas goods company would report higher earnings per share than a year ago. As Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy continues to crash and burn, RBN seems to benefit from the less newsworthy reputation of its chairman of the board and largest shareholder, Thomas Loftis. Technically, the largest 5%+ shareholder is M.H.M. & Co., Ltd. of Cleveland, Ohio, but the general partner of MHM is Loftis.

Sealy Corp (ZZ): Sealy will announce its earnings after the bell, followed by a conference call at 5:00 p.m. EDT. It's been heavily shorted since it announced it acquired a non-controlling stake in Comfort Revolution, a specialty mattress maker which has a foam not unlike Tempur Pedic's (TPX). Between ZZ and its main competitor, Tempur Pedic, the latter enjoys higher sales growth, gross margin, and operating margin although it has delivered a series of marginal earnings reports of late. Meanwhile Sealy boasts the largest market share. Before the Comfort Revolution announcement, ZZ announced a license agreement with Downlite, a family-owned luxury bedding business specializing in down-filled products, and American Textile Company, another family-owned company which provides private-label bedding.

Four small Chinese-based companies will also report Tuesday: WSP Holdings (WH), a pipe manufacturer; LDK Solar (LDK), a manufacturer of solar wafers; Agria Corp (GRO), an agricultural company; and Highway Holdings (HIHO), an integratred manufacturing services company. In what could be a significant trend for many China-based manufacturers, HIHO said earlier in the year that it was hit by increased labor costs in China, specifying that minimum salaries in China increased by 67% and market wage rates in the province of Shenzhen increased 100%, both over a two-year period. At the time it said it was looking to outsource, but it did not specify where.

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