Waters Corp First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Waters Corp (NYSE:WAT) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Waters is an analytical instrument manufacturer that designs, manufactures, sells and services liquid chromatography, ultra performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry instrument systems, and support products.

Waters Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of $1.09 per share, a rise of 6.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.14. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.09 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 8.7% compared to last year’s $5.23.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 6 cents, reporting profit of $1.56 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.50. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company exceeded forecasts by one cent with profit of $1.14 versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.13.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $441.5 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 3.3% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $1.94 billion for the year, a rise of 4.9% from last year’s revenue of $1.85 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with 12 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 8.3% to $137.1 million ($1.51 a share) from $126.6 million ($1.35 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.8% to $521.4 million from $483.6 million.

Key Stats:

This upcoming earnings announcement will be a chance to build on positive earnings momentum over the last three quarters. Net income rose 17.8% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 6.9% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 16.3% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 14.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 13.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between January 23, 2012 and April 18, 2012, the stock price rose $9.43 (12%), from $78.76 to $88.19. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 7, 2011, when shares rose for nine straight days, increasing 7.8% (+$7.09) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 6, 2011 and December 14, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 10.4% (-$8.33) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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