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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Ball, Eaton Corporation, Quanta Services, Jacobs Engineering Group and Fluor

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 05, 2016 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Ball Corporation (BLL), Eaton Corporation plc (ETN), Quanta Services, Inc. (PWR), Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC) and Fluor Corporation ( FLR).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Engineering Stocks to Watch for Thursday

Having moved past the halfway mark, we now have enough data to paint a meaningful picture of the first-quarter earnings season, and draw a valid inference about the companies yet to report.

A large number of companies have reported positive surprises for both earnings and revenues, undoubtedly aided by easy-to-beat estimates and a waning greenback.

The expectations bar was apparently set exceptionally low this time around, with the first quarter having seen record negative estimate revisions. Consequently, out of the 310 companies on the S&P 500 index that have released their quarterly results, about 71.9% have posted positive earnings surprises. (Data from the Zacks Earnings Trends report dated Apr 29, 2016).

However, the ground reality remains that soft macroeconomic growth has driven projections of an earnings decline for 10 of the 16 Zacks sectors. In fact, Industrial Products sector’s Q1 earnings are now expected to be down 23.4% year-over-year, on 9.4% lower revenues.

In fact, we have already seen sub-standard reports from a number of major players in the sector, such as Ball Corporation ( BLL).

Overall, we now have Q1 results from 71.8% of the sector’s market capitalization in the S&P 500 index. Total earnings for these industrial products companies are down 24.1% year over year on 9.3% lower revenues, with 64.7% beating EPS and revenue estimates.

However, there are many sector majors that have posted striking earnings beats as well. Eaton Corporation plc ( ETN), for posted impressive earnings.

Let’s have a look at how three engineering companies from the sector, slated to report earnings tomorrow, are poised ahead of the scheduled announcements:

Quanta Services, Inc. (PWR) provides specialty contracting services to the electric power, and oil and gas industries. Quanta Services has an Earnings ESP of -18.18% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 22 cents.

Quanta Services has had a choppy earnings history recently, with earnings beating estimates twice and missing once in the trailing four quarters with an average negative surprise of 3.9%. Last quarter, it beat estimates by 8%.

Quanta Services has been contending with challenges like harsh weather events, project delays and sudden shifts in small transmission market dynamics. Also, macroeconomic factors like oil & gas volatility, consumer spending constraints and strengthening of the U.S. dollar are expected to hurt its first-quarter 2016 results. (Read more: Quanta Services Q1 Earnings: Will It Disappoint? )

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC) provides technical, professional, and construction services to a range of industrial, commercial, and governmental clients. Jacobs has an Earnings ESP of -17.39% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 69 cents.

The company has posted decent earnings in recent times; beating estimates in three of the four trailing quarters, while missing in one, resulting in an average beat of 10.1%.

Jacobs’ to-be-reported results are expected to benefit from an increased demand from Aerospace & Technology and PharmaBio markets. However, the company continues to grapple with capital spending constraints of clients and currency issues, which adversely impact its operations. (Read more: Will Q2 Earnings Hold a Surprise for Jacobs Stock? )

Fluor Corporation (FLR) delivers engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance (EPCM), and project management to governments and clients in diverse industries.Fluor has an Earnings ESP of 2.33% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 86 cents.

The company has had a lacklustre earnings history, managing to beat earnings estimates just once in the last four quarters while missing in the other three, resulting in a negative average surprise of 6.7%.

However, in the upcoming report, we expect Fluor’s operations to benefit from its impressive contract wins as well as the recent uptick in the company’s LNG business. Also, its recently acquired Dutch engineering and construction company Stork Holding will likely boost the company’s sales. (Read more: Fluor Corp. Poised to Beat Q1 Earnings: Here's Why )

Keep an eye on our full earnings articles to see how these S&P 500 members finally fare.

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BALL CORP (BLL): Free Stock Analysis Report
EATON CORP PLC (ETN): Free Stock Analysis Report
QUANTA SERVICES (PWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
JACOBS ENGIN GR (JEC): Free Stock Analysis Report
FLUOR CORP-NEW (FLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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