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Can Vipshop Holdings (VIPS) Pull a Surprise in Q1 Earnings?

Vipshop Holdings Limited VIPS is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 17. Last quarter, this Chinese online lifestyle product retailer posted a negative surprise of 5.88%. The company posted positive surprise in three of the last four quarters, reaching the four-quarter average surprise to a positive 6.03%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

Vipshop Holdings has been posting decent results over the past few quarters on the back of higher revenues and solid expense management.

Vipshop Holdings has made several investments in 2015 to revamp its online business. These should boost the company's top line in the first quarter as more consumers are resorting to online shopping. Moreover, the company enhanced its logistics to improve customers’ shopping experience. The company also expanded the product assortment at its stores during the first half of the year which should aid top-line growth in the to-be-reported quarter.

The company has also started offering discounts since the third quarter of the last fiscal in order to attract new customers. The initiative catalyzed revenue growth during the fourth quarter of 2015, and is also expected to boost the top line in the to-be-reported quarter.

However, the offering of discounts is expected to impact margins. Further, the ongoing macroeconomic slowdown in China and increasing competition in the retail space may offset the positives.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Vipshop Holdings will beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 15 cents per share. Hence, the difference is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: Vipshop Holdings’ Zacks Rank #3 when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

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

Stocks to Consider

You could consider the following computer and technology stocks with a positive Earnings ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank:

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

BlackBerry Limited BBRY, with an Earnings ESP of +30.00% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Cascade Microtech Inc.CSCD, with an Earnings ESP of +8.70% and a Zacks Rank #1.

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CASCADE MICRO (CSCD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AGILENT TECH (A): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VIPSHOP HOLDNGS (VIPS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BLACKBERRY LTD (BBRY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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