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SunEdison Semiconductor (SEMI): Earnings Preview for Q1

SunEdison Semiconductor Limited SEMI is expected to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 9. Last quarter, the company posted a negative earnings surprise of 21.05%.

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

Factors at Play

SunEdison Semiconductor’s fourth-quarter loss of 65 cents was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 38 cents, primarily due to lower revenues.

Revenues of $181.0 million were down 3.9% sequentially because of a decline in volumes and selling prices.

Despite lower revenues, SunEdison Semiconductor’s gross margin increased sequentially.  Continued focus on streamlining manufacturing expenses and reduction in materials costs aided fourth-quarter margins and we expect the trend to continue in the first quarter as well.

Also, significant investments in Silicon-on-insulator (SOI), one of its fast growing products, to expand its capacity should boost growth and profitability.

However, a weak pricing environment and a highly leveraged balance sheet are concerns. Apart from this, increasing competition from the likes of SunPower Corp. and First Solar Inc. add to the company’s woes.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that SunEdison will beat estimates 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 a loss of 49 cents. Hence, the difference is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: SunEdison Semiconductor carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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

Stocks to Consider

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

Intrexon Corporation XON, with an Earnings ESP of +17.39% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company is slated to report first-quarter 2016 earnings results on May 10, 2016.

Student Transportation Inc. STB, with an Earnings ESP of +60.00% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company is slated to report third-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results on May 12, 2016.

Hormel Foods Corporation HRL, with an Earnings ESP of +5.26% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company is slated to report second-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results on May 18, 2016.

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HORMEL FOODS CP (HRL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SUNEDISON SEMI (SEMI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
INTREXON CORP (XON): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
STUDENT TRANSPT (STB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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