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Windstream's (WIN) Q1 Earnings Preview: Hit or Miss?

Windstream Holdings, Inc. WIN is slated to release first-quarter 2016 financial numbers on May 5, before the opening bell.

In the last reported quarter, the company recorded earnings of $1.41 per share in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 48 cents, which led to a positive earnings surprise of 393.75%. Moreover, the trailing four-quarter average earnings surprise stands at 187.51%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

We expect the company to post solid results in its enterprise segment by offering robust solutions and a customized approach. Further, enhancement of its long haul network and expansion of data centers bode well.

Additionally, launch of a new cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery management solutions and fiber-based high-band Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) or "Wave" service are expected to boost the quarterly results. Moreover, the company’s relentless focus on improving sales, cost-cutting initiatives and planned pricing initiatives should drive revenues and margins in the to-be-reported quarter.

However, threats from a competitive market, soft carrier transport business and a highly leveraged balance sheet are certain factors that are likely to hamper the quarter’s performance.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Windstream is likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate 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. Unfortunately, that is not the case here as elaborated below.

Zacks ESP: Windstream’s earnings ESP is 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at a loss of 54 cents.

Zacks Rank: Windstream carries a Zacks Rank #1 which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

Note that Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

TELUS Corp. TU has an earnings ESP of +3.85% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. CCOI has an earnings ESP of +25.00% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Mattersight Corp. MATR has an earnings ESP of +6.67% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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
 
TELUS CORP (TU): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
WINDSTREAM HLDG (WIN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COGENT COMM HLD (CCOI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MATTERSIGHT CP (MATR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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