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The top stocks to watch for Friday (Feb. 10, 2017) include a mortgage insurance company, an investment banking company, and an electronic manufacturing service company.
The three main indexes all beat intraday highs Thursday evening. The Dow hit 20,157.5, the S&P 500 hit 2,306.35, and the Nasdaq hit 5,706. On top of reaching an intraday high, the Nasdaq closed at a record high of 5,715.18, making it the third straight record close. These gains were largely fueled by bullish earnings reports.
Here are the three top stocks to watch for Friday and why they're top movers…
Top Stocks to Watch Today No. 3: Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE: ESNT)
Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE: ESNT) is a mortgage insurance company offering insurance on mortgages secured by residential properties in the United States.
Essent Group stock is up 0.33% today ahead of its earnings announcement tomorrow morning. The announcement will happen before the opening bell, and we're expecting the stock price to rise.
Essent Group has beaten analysts' earnings-per-share (EPS) estimates the last four quarters by an average of 6%. The gap between analysts' expectations and actual earnings is widening.
ESNT EPS has grown from $0.48 to $0.65 in the last year. Analysts expect earnings to be $0.63 per share for Q4.
ESNT stock traded at $36.40 Thursday afternoon for a gain of 12% year to date (YTD).
Top Stocks to Watch Today No. 2: FBR & Co. (Nasdaq: FBRC)
FBR & Co. (Nasdaq: FBRC) is an investment banking and institutional brokerage company.
FBRC stock is up 1.7% today ahead of its earnings announcement tomorrow before the bell. We are expecting the stock to drop after the announcement is released.
The company has missed earnings expectations for the last two quarters. Last quarter, the company missed EPS predictions by 9,750%. Earnings were expected to be -$0.08 per share and came in at -$7.88 per share.
Projected EPS for Q4 is $0.62, which would be the highest in over four quarters. FBRC has not reported positive EPS in over a year.
FBRC was trading at $15.00 Thursday afternoon for a YTD gain of 17%.
Top Stocks to Watch Today No. 1: IEC Electronics Corp. (NYSEMKT: IEC)
IEC Electronics Corp. (NYSEMKT: IEC) provides life-saving and mission-critical electronic manufacturing services for the defense, aerospace, and medical sectors.
The company is down 2.3% leading up to its earnings report announcement tomorrow morning. This stock should be volatile following the announcement since analysts' projections have been off by over 30% each of the last four quarters.
IEC beat analysts' projections in three of the last four quarters. However, the company missed projections by 83% last quarter.
Current predictions have EPS at -$0.05, but it is likely the range could be as varied as $0.20 in either direction of the estimates.
IEC stock was trading at $3.42 Thursday afternoon for a loss of 3.4% YTD.
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