Agilent Technologies Inc
) is set to report fourth quarter 2013 results on Nov 14. Last
quarter it posted a 9.7% positive surprise. Let's see how things
are shaping up for this announcement.
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Growth Factors this Past Quarter
Agilent's earnings per share of 68 cents in the last quarter beat
the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6 cents, driven by lower
operating expenses and aggressive share repurchases in the past
quarter. The sequential contraction in gross margin was related
to volume declines in the Electronics Measurement segment and
unfavorable mix in the Diagnostics and Genomics segment.
Agilent's increasing exposure to Asia and its limited presence in
Europe also helped earnings per share.
For the fourth fiscal quarter, Agilent expects revenues to be in
the range of $1.7 billion to $1.72 billion. Non-GAAP earnings per
share are expected to be in the range of 75 cents to 77 cents.
Our proven model does not conclusively show that Agilent is
likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock
needs to have both a positive
and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not
the case here as you will see below.
Negative Zacks ESP
: That is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at 75 cents
while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is higher at 76 cents. Hence
the difference is -1.3%.
Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)
: Agilent's Zacks Rank #2 when combined with a negative ESP makes
surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with
Zacks #4 and #5 Ranks (Sell rated stocks) going into the 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 they have the right combination of elements to post
an earnings beat this quarter:
), Earnings ESP of +18.2% and a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy)
), Earnings ESP of +50.0% and a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy)
Hilltop Holdings Inc
), Earnings ESP of +3.2% and a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy)