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Will Perrigo (PRGO) Surprise Earnings Estimates in Q1?

Perrigo Company plc PRGO is expected to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 19. Perrigo has a pretty good track record with the company beating estimates in three of the last four quarters with an average earnings surprise of 1.84%. In the last reported quarter, Perrigo recorded a negative earnings surprise of 7.22%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company this quarter.

Factors at Play This Quarter

At the time of reporting fourth-quarter 2015 results, Perrigo guided 2016 earnings in the range of $9.50 to $9.80 per share (representing a year-over-year increase of 25–29%) and net sales in the range of $5.9–$6.2 billion (representing a year-over-year increase of 10–16%).

On the fourth quarter call, the company mentioned that it expects about 40% of earnings to come in the first half of 2016 while 60% should be generated in the second half of the year. Specifically, the company projected earnings to grow in the low single digits in the first quarter of 2016. Moreover, the Mar 2015 Omega Pharma acquisition is expected to impact the year-over-year earnings per share comparison.

As far as Perrigo’s business segments are concerned, though seasonality factors could affect the performance of the Consumer HealthCare segment in the first quarter of 2016, the Rx Pharmaceuticals segment should continue to perform well on the back of new product launches.

The Branded Consumer Healthcare (BCH) segment recorded lower-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter of 2015. The segment was impacted by market dynamics in certain geographic sales channels including Belgium, Germany and Spain. While the segment failed to realize the benefits of a normal cough/cold/flu season in Europe, advertising and promotion investments did not drive the segment’s sales. Notably, this segment allocates approximately 27% to 30% of their annual advertising and promotion spending to the first quarter.

The company announced an extensive plan along with its fourth quarter earnings results to improve the segment’s performance including putting into place the matrix leadership model and exiting underperforming brands so as to reallocate these resources to higher growth products among others.

On the first quarter call, investor focus will be on the company’s performance as well as on the progress with its plans for the BCH segment.

Earnings Whispers?

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

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP for Perrigo is 0.00% since the Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.92 per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks Rank: Perrigo currently carries a Zacks Rank #3, which when combined with an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, makes a surprise prediction difficult.

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

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are a few health care stocks that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Biogen Inc. BIIB has an Earnings ESP of +1.79% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on Apr 21.

The Earnings ESP for Seattle Genetics, Inc. SGEN is +63.64% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on Apr 28.

Amgen Inc. AMGN has an Earnings ESP of +10.94% and carries a Zacks Rank #3. It is scheduled to report first-quarter results on Apr 28.

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