Tight earnings estimates means reliable stock price - Barron's

NEW YORK Sun Oct 7, 2012 4:31pm EDT

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NEW YORK Oct 7 (Reuters) - As companies enter another round of reporting earnings, some research to note is that earnings estimates in a more narrow range is a better barometer of a reliable stock price, Barron's financial weekly said on Sunday.

One reason is that companies that are doing well tend to be more forthcoming with their earnings guidance, Barron's noted.

Here are four stocks to watch, according to Barron's, that have seen some small increase in 2013 earnings and revenue forecasts and that look "reasonably priced based on earnings."

Cisco Systems "beat profit and revenue estimates last quarter and raised its dividend 75 percent." The tech company has spent more on share repurchases than dividends, Barron's said in its Oct. 8 edition.

Wal-Mart Stores saw a 4.5 percent revenue gain last quarter and the chain is opening smaller stores to compete with Family Dollar and Dollar General Corp, Barron's said.

CVS Caremark Corp saw an increase in revenue of 16 percent last quarter, noted the paper, while U.S. Bancorp weathered the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, "without posting a quarterly loss."

Since then "it has scooped up struggling banks at low prices through Federal Deposit Insurance Corp-backed deals."