Earnings Preview: Cars, Banking and Medical

by Hilary Kramer | January 26, 2012 1:43 pm

Earnings season is starting to pick up, with five more noteworthy companies reporting in the next week. I’ll talk in more depth about the results next week, but here’s a quick preview of what we can expect from each:

Ford (NYSE:F[1]) is first up, reporting Q4 results tomorrow, Jan. 27. Consensus estimates are for earnings of $0.25, versus $0.30 last year. Initial estimates of $0.32 have come down over the past three months on concerns that weakness in the company’s foreign operations could offset domestic strength. I’m especially interested in what Ford will say about Europe. Current market conditions aside, Ford still seems poised for more consistent earnings in the future given its lower cost structure and improved offerings in passenger cars.

ICU Medical (NASDAQ:ICUI[2]) is expected to report earnings of $0.62 a share on Jan. 30, which would be lower than the $0.72 earned a year ago. ICUI has a very “lumpy” business in which orders tend to come in bunches, so I won’t place too much weight on individual quarterly results. Instead, I’ll be paying close attention to the competitive environment, which the company said is intensifying, and whether new-product launches are lessening the negative impact of rising competition.

Jack Henry (NASDAQ:JKHY[3]) also reports next Monday, and the consensus estimate is for earnings of $0.43 a share, versus $0.42 a year ago. The company has seen a pickup in its business in recent quarters because its community and regional banking customer base have enjoyed a much more favorable environment. JKHY has been a consistent company historically, and I do not expect any big surprises.

Paraxel (NASDAQ:PRXL[4]) is another company where quarterly results are not as important as the overall business environment and future guidance. PRXL believes new research from pharmaceutical companies is picking up and that the investments they have in place for this increase will pay off. Last quarter was an encouraging one, and the stock has responded well since. I am confident this trend can continue. PRXL reports fiscal Q2 earnings on Monday as well, with estimates of $0.23 a share, compared with $0.29 a share last year.

Vascular Solutions (NASDAQ:VASC[5]) reports on Feb. 2 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings to grow to $0.13 a share from $0.12 in the prior year, and revenues are expected to increase 7.8%, to $22.5 million. As in the case of ICUI, VASC has been pressured by concerns that competition in medical devices is intensifying. I will be interested in management’s comments on the competitive environment and how the company is seeking to offset any pricing pressures.

Endnotes:
  1. F: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=F
  2. ICUI: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ICUI
  3. JKHY: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=JKHY
  4. PRXL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=PRXL
  5. VASC: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=VASC

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