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Defense Stock General Dynamics (GD) to Beat Q1 Earnings?

Defense major General Dynamics Corp. GD is set to release first-quarter 2016 results before the opening bell on Apr 27. In the preceding quarter, General Dynamics delivered a positive earnings surprise of 2.13%. Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that General Dynamics is likely to beat earnings this season because it has the right combination of two key ingredients. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) to beat estimates, and General Dynamics has the right mix.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +1.40%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at $2.17, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged slightly lower at $2.14. This is a meaningful indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise.

Zacks Rank: General Dynamics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.

The combination of General Dynamics’ Zacks Rank #3 and positive ESP make us reasonably confident of an earnings beat on Apr 27.

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

What is Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

General Dynamics’ earns revenues from a broad portfolio of products and services that help to keep its overall growth momentum steady. The Gulfstream jet, tank and war ship manufacturer is one of the only two contractors in the world equipped to build nuclear-powered submarines.

Among the highlights of the quarter, General Dynamics has bagged a number of contracts from the Pentagon. The company announced that it will design and build an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer this year, named Harvey C. Barnum Jr, for the U.S. Navy. The company will also design and integrate a 30mm cannon on the Stryker infantry carrier vehicles for the Army.

When it comes to investor friendly moves, during the first quarter, the company raised the quarterly dividend on its common stock by 10.1% to 76 cents per share from 69 cents, bringing the annualized payout to $3.04 per share. This hike indicates the successful implementation of the company’s investment growth strategy. Moreover, its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of an additional 10 million shares of the company’s issued and outstanding common stock in the open market.

However, on its fourth-quarter earnings call, General Dynamics had disclosed its expectations of 2016 free cash flow coming in below net income due to its investment in Gulfstream.

Other Stocks that Warrant a Look

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

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. SPR has an Earnings ESP of +6.60% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company will report quarterly results on Apr 29, 2016.

Raytheon Company RTN has an Earnings ESP of +0.74% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to report quarterly results on Apr 28.

Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. HII has an Earnings ESP of +0.47% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to report quarterly results on May 5.

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GENL DYNAMICS (GD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SPIRIT AEROSYS (SPR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
RAYTHEON CO (RTN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HUNTINGTON INGL (HII): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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