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Better-than-Expected Q3 Earnings Lift Industrial ETFs

Despite global growth slowdown, most of the major industrial players managed to beat earnings estimates in the past one week. This along with better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims and dovish comments from the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has led the Dow Jones Industrial Average to record its best point and percentage gain in yesterday's (October 22, 2015) trading session since September 8.

However, revenue weakness was widespread among the industrial players. The blame goes largely to the stronger dollar as most of these companies have significant international exposure resulting in an unfavorable currency impact.

Industrial Earnings in Focus

General Electric Company ( GE )

Diversified industrial conglomerate General Electric posted stellar third quarter performance as it was able to surpass expectations for both earnings and revenues. The company's operating earnings rose year over year to $3.3 billion or 32 cents a share in the quarter owing to stringent cost-cutting and simplification initiatives. Operating earnings exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6 cents (read: Industrial ETFs in Focus on GE Restructuring Plans ).

Revenues fell slightly to $31,680 million from $32,107 million in the year-earlier quarter due to lower Industrial segment and GE Capital revenues. However, total revenue topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $28,666 million. Organic revenue growth for the Industrial segment was 4% for the quarter. Shares of GE rose 2.6% since its earnings release on October 16 (as of October 22, 2015) (read: 3 Industrial ETFs to Play on GE Q3 Earnings Beat ).

3M Company ( MMM )

Another major conglomerate, 3M Company reported earnings of $2.05 per share for third-quarter 2015, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.01 and increasing 3.5% year over year. The decline in shares outstanding for the latest quarter boosted earnings per share

Net sales during the quarter were $7,712 million, down 5.2% year over year and short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7,895 million. The year-over-year decrease in sales was largely due to a significant negative foreign currency translation impact. However, the company achieved organic local-currency sales growth of 1.2%. 3M shares went up 4.1% in yesterday's trading session post earnings release.

Honeywell International Inc. ( HON )

Honeywell International's adjusted earnings per share escalated 9.8% to $1.57 in the reported quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.55. The uptick in earnings was driven by improved cost management and margins.

Revenues in third-quarter 2015 decreased 5% year over year to $9,611 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9,884 million. The decrease in revenues was due to the unfavorable foreign currency impact and divestiture of Friction Material. However, Honeywell delivered 1% core organic sales growth. Shares of the company rose 3.8% since its earnings release on October 16.

Caterpillar Inc. ( CAT )

Mining and equipment behemoth Caterpillar posted disappointing results compared to its peers. The company's third-quarter 2015 adjusted earnings plunged 56% to 75 cents per share, reflecting the ongoing weakness in mining and oil and gas industries. Earnings, however, came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Revenues declined 19% year over year to $10.96 billion in the quarter, failing to match the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.11 billion due to the unfavorable currency impact along with lower volumes. Nevertheless, shares of Caterpillar rose 2.9% following the earnings release in yesterday's trading session (read: Crush Caterpillar Woes with This Industrial ETF ).

Union Pacific Corporation ( UNP )

The rail transportation operator, Union Pacific reported third-quarter 2015 earnings of $1.50 per share, which came in well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.43. Earnings, however, declined 2% on a year-over-year basis.

Revenues decreased 10% year over year to $5.56 billion in the third quarter, falling short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.65 billion. A 10% decline in freight revenues hurt the top line. Further, declining coal shipments weighed on the railroad operator's results yet again. However, shares of the company rose 3.8% following its results in yesterday's trading session.

ETF Impact

The upward movement in major industrial stocks caused the shares of industrial ETFs to trade in the green in the past five days (as of October 22, 2015). Below we discuss three of these ETFs having a sizeable exposure to the above stocks (see all Industrial ETFs here).

Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund ( XLI )

This product provides exposure to 66 industrial stocks by tracking the Industrial Select Sector Index. General Electric occupies the top spot with 11.5% allocation, while 3M, Caterpillar, Honeywell and Union Pacific have a combined exposure of roughly 16.7% in the fund. XLI has garnered $7 billion in assets and trades in a heavy volume of 10.9 million shares per day. It has a low expense ratio of 0.15%. The product gained 3.4% in the past five days and currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook.

Vanguard Industrials ETF ( VIS )

This fund follows the MSCI US IMI Industrials 25/50 index and holds about 345 securities in its basket. Of these firms, GE occupies the top position with 11.5% share, while 3M, Honeywell and Union Pacific together comprise 10.8% of the fund's assets. The fund manages nearly $2 billion in its asset base and charges only 12 bps in annual fees. Volume is moderate as it exchanges roughly 105,000 shares a day on average. The product returned 2.6% in the past five days and currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.

iShares U.S. Industrials ETF ( IYJ )

IYJ tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Industrials Index to provide exposure to 213 U.S. companies that produce goods used in construction and manufacturing. General Electric occupies the top spot in the fund with 11.4% share while 3M, Caterpillar, Honeywell and Union Pacific have a combined exposure of roughly 11.5%. The ETF manages an asset base of $587 million and trades in an average volume of 82,000 shares. The fund is slightly expensive with 43 basis points as fees. It rose 2.5% in the last five days and currently has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days . Click to get this free report >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

GENL ELECTRIC (GE): Free Stock Analysis Report

3M CO (MMM): Free Stock Analysis Report

HONEYWELL INTL (HON): Free Stock Analysis Report

CATERPILLAR INC (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report

UNION PAC CORP (UNP): Free Stock Analysis Report

SPDR-INDU SELS (XLI): ETF Research Reports

VIPERS-INDUS (VIS): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-US INDU (IYJ): ETF Research Reports

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


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

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