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ABB Set to Expand on Acquisitions & Cost Saving Program

Investors have been encouraged by ABB Ltd’s ABB recent winstreak, as ABB’s earnings have trumped estimates in the four trailing quarters. The company is anticipated to continue the momentum driven byaccretive acquisitions, diligent restructuring efforts and cost saving initiatives.

ABB’s performance has reflected well on its share price as well, exhibiting investor optimism, The company’s shares have appreciated 17.5% year to date, significantly outperforming the industry’s average gain of 13%. We believe that the industry is seeing favorable broader trends, which should have a positive impact on the company, in the quarters to come. Read on to find out the key drivers for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company right now.

Existing Business Scenarios

ABB has been driving growth on the back of steady revenues from the Electrification Products and Robotics and Motion segments. Particularly, the Robotics and Motion segment is enjoying consistent strong demand patterns in robotics and light industry. Recently, the company also consolidated all electrification components and offerings into Electrification Products which would enable it to better manage costs and maximize growth.

We are highly optimistic about ABB’s recent acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, which will fortify global position in electrification, and will enable it to expand access to the North American market. Further, the company anticipates the B&R buyout, to bridge the gap in machine and factory automation, while also generating tremendous operational synergies. ABB anticipates these acquisitions to help shift its focus to higher growth segments, consequently becoming more competitive.

The company is highly optimistic about the White-Collar Productivity savings program, which has garnered significant cost savings over the past few quarters and is expected to benefit coming quarter’s results as well. Moreover, positive investments made by all the three major markets of the company, namely, utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure, are expected to boost the financials going forward.

Despite these positives, ABB’s exposure to oil and gas markets makes it susceptible to current price volatility in the market, posing a severe challenge. We believe lower capital spending for the upstream energy end-markets are predictedto hurt financials.

Moreover, softness in industrial production and the projected slowdown, are weighing on the company’s financials. Currently, the industrial slowdown in China is posing a threat to the company’s profitability. Few other end markets also continue to bear the brunt of sluggish industrial spending. Moreover, the company remains quite vulnerable to currency translation risks, and even hedging activities might not be able to protect it against significant fluctuations.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the same space include II-VI Incorporated IIVI, Smith (A.O.) Corporation AOS and Franklin Electric Co., Inc. FELE. While II-VI Incorporated sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Smith (A.O.) Corporation and Franklin Electric carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

II-VI Incorporated has surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 50.4%.

Smith (A.O.) Corporation has surpassed estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 3.3%.

Franklin Electric has outpaced estimates once in the preceding four quarters, with an average earnings surprise of 0.4%.

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