Is Leggett (LEG) Poised to Beat Earnings Estimates? - Analyst Blog


Leggett & Platt Inc. ( LEG ) is set to report fourth-quarter 2013 results on Jan 24. Last quarter, the company's earnings were below the expectations. Let us see how things are developing for this announcement.

Factors Impacting Last Quarter

The company's earnings for third-quarter 2013 declined 4.4% to 43 cents per share due to lower sales and negative comps. Results were also impacted by exclusion of the acquisition gain in the quarter. Total sales of the company fell 2.1% year over year to $957.7 million and it lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $993.0 million.

Prompted by its weak third-quarter performance, the company revised its sales and earnings per share guidance for full-year 2013. It now expects sales to rise 1% to $3.75 billion, against the previous forecast of $3.75-$3.85 billion. Adjusted EPS is expected to come in the range of $1.50-$1.55, compared with the prior projection of $1.50-$1.65.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Leggett is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: ESP for Leggett is 0.00% since the Most Accurate Estimate stands at 44 cents, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Leggett's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) has little effect on the predictive power of ESP because the Zacks Rank #3 when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements, i.e., a positive Zacks Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3.

Baidu, Inc. ( BIDU ) with an Earnings ESP of +7.09% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

Seagate Technology public Ltd. Co. ( STX ) with an Earnings ESP of +1.44% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. ( PNFP ) with an Earnings ESP of +2.33% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

BAIDU INC (BIDU): Free Stock Analysis Report

LEGGETT & PLATT (LEG): Free Stock Analysis Report

PINNACLE FIN PT (PNFP): Free Stock Analysis Report

SEAGATE TECH (STX): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Earnings , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: BIDU , LEG , PNFP , STX

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