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Will Freight Softness Mar Old Dominion's (ODFL) Q3 Earnings?

Old Dominion Freight Line ODFL is scheduled to report third-quarter 2020 results on Oct 27, before market open.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s third-quarter earnings has been revised upward by 11% in the last 60 days. Let’s take a look at the factors that are expected to have influenced the company’s performance.

Soft freight environment amid the coronavirus crisis is likely to have hurt Old Dominion’s performance in the to-be-reported quarter. This weakness is expected to reflect in LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) tonnage per day and LTL revenue per hundredweight. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for LTL tonnage per day indicates a 1.2% dip from the year-ago reported number. The same for LTL revenue per hundredweight suggests a 2.2% decrease from third-quarter 2019’s reported figure. The apprehended softness in LTL tonnage per day and LTL revenue per hundredweight might get reflected in revenues from LTL services, the company’s major revenue generating segment.

However, similar to the previous quarters, the company’s bottom line is anticipated to have benefited from reduction in operating costs owing to decrease in salaries, wages & benefits expenses. The anticipated decline in operating expenses should reflect in the operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for operating ratio in the third quarter stands at 78%, indicating an improvement from 79% reported in the third quarter of 2019. Notably, lower the value of the metric, the better.

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Quote

What Does the Zacks Model Say?

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Old Dominion this time around. This is because a stock needs to have a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. However, that is not the case here. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: Old Dominion has an Earnings ESP of -0.91% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $1.49, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.51. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Old Dominion carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Highlights of Q2 Earnings

In the last-reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 21.4%. However, the bottom line contracted 13.2% year over year. Total revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but declined 15.5% year over year due to coronavirus-induced soft freight environment.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may consider C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc CHRW, United Parcel Service Inc UPS and Schneider National Inc SNDR as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

C.H. Robinson has an Earnings ESP of +1.35% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will release third-quarter earnings numbers on Oct 27.

UPS has an Earnings ESP of +4.52% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company will announce third-quarter results on Oct 28.

Schneider has an Earnings ESP of +1.82% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company will release third-quarter earnings on Oct 29.

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Schneider National, Inc. (SNDR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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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.

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