The Q1 Earnings season is drawing to a close with almost 87% of the S&P 500 members having released their quarterly numbers so far. As per our Earnings Preview report, many companies have outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and revenues which has been quite a surprise for analysts and investors alike.
The high number of beats during the quarter can be explained by the conservative estimates which followed the lowering of estimates by analysts post a disappointing fourth-quarter 2015. The recent dip in the exchange value of the U.S. dollar is also driving margins for the companies.
Overall, the consumer sector has reported modest results this quarter. Lower gas prices, an improving job scenario and increasing consumer confidence were a boon.
Although energy prices seem to have bounced back, it is hovering at a low level. Moreover, consumers have partly cleared their debts and have started spending more on discretionary items, which is in turn driving revenues for these companies.
In the consumer staples sector, 84.4% companies had reported Q1 earnings as of May 6. Out of these, 85.2% of the companies have posted an earnings beat while 66.7% have surpassed the revenue estimate. We saw leading names like Estee Lauder Inc. EL , American Public Education Inc .APEI , DeVry Education Group Inc. DV and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc .HOT deliver stellar Q1 results despite the currency headwinds and sluggishness in emerging markets.
Similarly, among consumer discretionary, stocks 84% have reported Q1 results as of May 6, out of which 83.9% beat earnings estimates and 64.5% reported a revenue beat. Tyson Foods Inc. TSN , Kellogg Company K , Treehouse Foods, Inc. THS , Capella Education Co .CPLA were among the outperformers who benefited from the improving consumer spending on luxury items and education.
However, declining brand loyalty, fierce competition, changing food and beverage preferences and shifting of spending to tech products and healthcare products affected the likes of Pilgrims Pride Corporation PPC , Philip Morris International Inc. PM , Reynolds American Inc. RAI and Boston Beer Inc. SAM , resulting in a dismal quarter for the companies.
Let us now consider 4 consumer stocks and see how they are poised before the scheduled announcements on May 12.
Arctic Cat, Inc.ACAT , a manufacturer and marketer of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company's fourth-quarter bottom line is pegged at a loss of 86 cents. In the trailing four quarters, the company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 73.06%.
Party City Holdco Inc.PRTY - a global manufacturer and distributors of party supplies - has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings is pegged at 4 cents. In the trailing four quarters, the company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 5.11%.
Prestige Brands Holdings Inc.PBH , a marketer of over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare and household cleaning products, has an Earnings ESP of 4.08% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at 49 cents. In the trailing four quarters, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 6.00%.
Vista Outdoor Inc.VSTO a marketer of outdoor sports and recreation markets in the United States and internationally, has an Earnings ESP of 4.92% and a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at 61 cents. Estimates have moved upward over the past 30-day period.
In the trailing four quarters, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 10.57%.
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