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Can Fiserv (FISV) Pull Off an Earnings Surprise in Q1?

Fiserv, Inc. FISV, a financial services technology provider, is slated to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 5. Last quarter, it posted in-line earnings. It is noteworthy that Fiserv has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 2.69%.

Factors at Play

Fiserv commands a leading position in the financial and payment solutions business driven by its strong customer base and various contract wins from the likes of Citizens Bank, U.S. Bank and Swift. Additionally, Fiserv continues to add retail and business clients to its Mobiliti ASP solutions, which are expected to drive growth. With over four million users on Mobiliti ASP, it remains a major growth driver.

Accretive acquisitions have been a key growth factor for Fiserv over the years. Recently, the company completed the acquisition of ACI Worldwide Community Financial Services business (announced in Jan 2016 and including employees, contracts, IP and technology assets) in an all cash deal valued at $200 million. Though the details aren’t available as of yet, Fiserv expects ACI's CFS business, which adds to its digital banking and electronic payments solutions, to be accretive to financials beginning 2017.

However, investors should keep in mind that increasing regulations in the banking and financial services industry and intensifying competition from the likes of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. FIS and others remain pressing concerns.

Earnings Whispers?

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

Zacks ESP: Fiserv has an earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at $1.02.

Zacks Rank: Fiserv currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

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

Stocks to Consider

Here are 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:

Quotient Technology Inc. QUOT has an Earnings ESP of +18.18% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Agilent Technologies, Inc. A has an Earnings ESP of +2.56% and a Zacks Rank #2.

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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
AGILENT TECH (A): Free Stock Analysis Report
FIDELITY NAT IN (FIS): Free Stock Analysis Report
FISERV INC (FISV): Free Stock Analysis Report
QUOTIENT TECH (QUOT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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