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Will Defense Stock Lockheed's (LMT) Q1 Earnings Surprise?

Lockheed Martin Corporation LMT will release first-quarter 2016 financial results before the market opens on Apr 26, 2016. In the prior quarter, this largest defense contractor reported a positive earnings surprise of 2.73%. Let’s see how things are shaping up at the company prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider This Quarter

Being the largest defense contractor with varied product offerings, Lockheed continued to receive contracts from the U.S. defense departments and from foreign customers.

Lockheed expects is Sikorsky acquisition-related adjustments to lower sales and profits by $400 million and $375 million respectively in 2016. The company also expects the major impact of the decline to be felt in the first half of 2016, which will no doubt adversely impact its first-quarter results.

The operating margin of Lockheed in 2016 is expected to be lower than the 2015 levels. Lockheed Martin attributed the margin decline to the expected decrease in segment operating profits at IS&GS, MFC and Space Systems. The combination of the above factors might result in lower-than-expected earnings in the first quarter.

Surprise History

The above chart indicates that Lockheed Martin was able to generate positive earnings surprises in each of the last four quarters. The average positive surprise was 6.48%.

Earnings Whispers

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

Zacks ESP: This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at $2.46, while  the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $2.51, resulting in -1.99% ESP.

Zacks Rank: Though Lockheed Martin’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of the ESP, its -1.99% ESP makes a beat uncertain this quarter.

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

Stocks to Consider

Other stocks in the Aerospace and Defense space worth considering on the basis of our model include:

The Boeing Company BA with an earnings ESP of +0.55% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings before the market opens on Apr 27, 2016.

Raytheon Company RTN with an earnings ESP of +0.74% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings before the market opens on Apr 28, 2016.

Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. HII with an earnings ESP of +0.47% and a Zacks Rank #2. It is expected to report earnings before the market opens on May 5, 2016.

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BOEING CO (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
LOCKHEED MARTIN (LMT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
RAYTHEON CO (RTN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HUNTINGTON INGL (HII): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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