Get Ready for the Earnings Excuses

In just a few days, we will start to feel the real heat of March quarter earnings season. Yes, Alcoa (AA) officially kicked off the season with a solid report that bodes well for several sectors, including heavy trucks and aerospace. That's good news for Paccar (PCAR), Boeing (BA) and others. But if we look at the calendar, there has been a shift year over year that, when added to the harsh winter weather, could weigh on retailers, travel and leisure and some others.

As hard as it might be to accept, I'm talking about the Easter holiday, which falls on April 20 this year, compared with March 31 last year. That near three-week shift means that Easter and its impact will fall in the June quarter this year instead of the March quarter. Easter tends to bode well for higher-end restaurants and for candy companies such as Hershey (HSY) and Tootsie Roll (TR) and for the spice and marinade company McCormick (MKC), whose European business benefits nicely from the Easter holiday. Call it an excuse or rationalizing, but I expect those management teams to use the old "timing issue" when they report their quarterly results....281 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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