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What to Expect from HubSpot (HUBS) this Earnings Season?

HubSpot Inc. HUBS is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 4. Last quarter, the company incurred a loss per share of 30 cents, which was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 34 cents. With respect to earnings surprise, the stock has a positive four-quarter average of 12.62%.

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

Factors at Play

HubSpot offers inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract traffic to their websites, convert visitors into leads and close leads into customers. We are encouraged by the company’s focus on investing in product development and international expansion, which should boost the top line in the first quarter.

Notably, HubSpot’s total customer base grew more than 33% on a year-over-year basis to 18,116 in the fourth quarter. Moreover, average subscription revenue per customer increased to $11,135 in the fourth quarter from $9,530 a year ago. This trend should continue in the to-be-reported quarter as well.

Additionally, during fourth-quarter 2015 earnings results, HubSpot provided an encouraging guidance, which makes us more optimistic about the company’s first quarter performance.

However, we remain cautious about the bottom line in the first quarter owing to higher customer acquisition costs.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that HubSpot is likely to beat estimates this quarter. This 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: The Earnings ESP for HubSpot is 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at a loss of 35 cents per share.

Zacks Rank: HubSpot currently has a Zacks Rank #3 which 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

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

Synopsys Inc. SNPS, with an Earnings ESP of +6.38% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Fitbit Inc. FIT, with an Earnings ESP of +175.00% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Benefitfocus Inc. BNFT, with an Earnings ESP of +4.00% 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
 
HUBSPOT INC (HUBS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SYNOPSYS INC (SNPS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BENEFITFOCUS (BNFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FITBIT INC (FIT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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