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These stocks are set for big moves Friday

Pay attention to these five companies on Friday as they report their results

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Shareholders in Gap Inc. may have an extra reason to celebrate this long weekend: the company posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday, setting up the stock for an end-of-week rally.

The largest U.S. apparel-focused retailer reported profit of 36 cents a share, well exceeding the 29 cents expected by analysts, amid signs its turnaround plan may be taking hold thanks to a strong performance at Old Navy. Comparable-store sales rose 2 per cent in the quarter, compared with a drop of 5 per cent in the same period last year. Analysts had forecast a decline of 0.2 per cent. The shares rose as much as 8 per cent in postmarket trading. The stock had gained 3.3 per cent this year through Thursday's close.

Also rising in post-market trading Thursday were shares of Salesforce.com Inc. and Autodesk Inc., after both reported better-than-expected earnings.

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Deere & Co. is also set for a busy day of trading Friday, as the agriculture-equipment maker will release its fiscal second-quarter results before the bell. Analysts are expecting year-over-year profit growth of 7.5 per cent to $1.68 a share. Revenue is forecast to rise 3.1 per cent to $7.26-billion. The company has beaten the Street consensus for adjusted profits in seven of the past eight quarters, but has a more mixed track record when it comes to revenue.

Deere's fiscal second-quarter results should reflect a better sales mix in agriculture equipment and sizable gains in construction machinery sales, as well as margin improvements from cost cutting, according to research analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence. Deere may increase its 2017 industry forecasts in North American and Europe, they predict.

Campbell Soup Co. will also release its latest financials in Friday's premarket.

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About the Author
Investment Editor

Darcy Keith is The Globe and Mail's Investment Editor. He has been a business journalist since 1992 and joined the Report on Business in 2010 from Yahoo! Canada, where he was the senior editor of finance. More

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