Analysts get it wrong — ET companies doing well

Second quarter earnings are turning out pretty good for publicly traded companies with East Tennessee connections — much to the surprise of analysts.

restaurant03.SY%2311158.jpgOn Thursday, Greeneville-based air freight company Forward Air reported its 2Q profit nearly tripled and Maryville-based restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday reported a profit of $21 million, up 45 percent from a year ago.

Earlier this month, aluminum maker Alcoa reported a profit of $136 million, a reversal of fortune from a loss of $454M a year ago. Even First Horizon National Corp., parent of First Tennessee bank, has returned to profitability with a slender profit of $2.7 million, or 1 cent per share.

Will the trend continue? Will analysts predictions be any better?

Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group and Kingsport-based Eastman Chemical co. are among next week’s filers. Both are expected to release 2Q numbers on Thursday.

It will be interesting to see what these two very different companies report.

Last month, Eastman upped its 2Q and full-year outlook, saying demand was rising as the economy improves.

Regal depends in large part on what Hollywood churns out.

Morgan Joseph & Co. analyst Jeffrey Thomison earlier this month said: “Our view of Regal’s competitive position is unchanged, yet some disappointing films during the summer season have led to reductions to our financial projections.”

Stay tuned.