2 Stocks to Analyze Previous to Earnings Releases

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $2.10 per share, a rise of 17.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $2.06. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at $2.10 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $9.01 per share, a rise of 32.3% from last year.

The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 17 cents, reporting profit of $2.51 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $2.34 per share. Analysts are projecting a rise of 13.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.08 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), Interline Brands, Inc. (NYSE:IBI), Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE), WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC), Watsco, Incorporated (NYSE:WSO), Houston Wire & Cable Co. (NASDAQ:HWCC), Hudson Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HDSN), Snap-on Incorporated (NYSE:SNA), and Record Electric SAECA (NYSE:REC).

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEC) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 69 cents per share, a rise of 23.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 14% versus last year to $3.02.

The company is looking to beat analyst estimates for the third quarter in a row. Last quarter, it beat estimates with profit of 74 cents per share against the mean estimate of 72 cents. In the prior quarter, the company reported net income of 71 cents. Analysts are projecting a rise of 14.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.7 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR), URS Corporation (NYSE:URS), The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW), Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEK), KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR), Michael Baker Corporation (AMEX:BKR), AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE:ACM), Granite Construction Inc. (NYSE:GVA), Willdan Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WLDN), and Quanta Services, Inc. (NYSE:PWR).