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O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) Q1 Earnings: Surprise in Store?

O'Reilly Automotive Inc. ORLY is set to release its first-quarter 2016 earnings on Apr 27, after the markets close. The last quarter of 2015 saw reported earnings at $2.19 per share, 5.08% higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.07.

The company has posted positive earnings surprises in all four trailing quarters, with an average of 6.43%. Sales for the last reported quarter were $1.95 billion which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.12%. Overall, the company performed well in the fourth quarter of 2015 as well as the full year.

Let’s see how things have shaped up for the forthcoming announcement.

Factors at Play

O’Reilly Automotive has reported comparable sales growth and record income for all 23 years for which it has been public. The company continues with its growth-led strategy to increase earnings for the coming quarters.

In 2016, the company intends to open net 210 new stores across the existing geographical areas of business as well as in new areas. Total capital expenditure for 2016 is expected to be $460–$490 million.

The company has also continued with it share repurchase program through 2015. From the end of last year to the middle of first-quarter 2016, the company purchased 0.6 million shares for $141 million. On Feb 10, the board authorized the company to further raise its repurchase program by $750 million.

In the to-be-reported quarter, O’Reilly Automotive issued senior unsecured notes maturing in 2026. The proceeds will be used for general management as well as for the repurchase program. In the first quarter, the company expects higher gross margin due to lower LIFO charges leading to improvement in acquisition costs.

A strengthening U.S. dollar is expected to impact the company positively by reducing costs as many goods are sourced globally. Modest improvement in employment and lower fuel prices are expected to increase total miles driven and improve vehicle demand in the industry, which should positively impact the company.

However, selling, general and administrative expenses are expected to increase by 2% this year, compared to 1.5% through 2015. This increased cost includes higher estimated medical expenses, an intensive advertising program and investments in the internal information systems approach.

The company expects earnings to increase 17–22% in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis. For full-year 2016, the company aims at estimated earnings of $10.10–$10.50 per share. These expected increases take into account all share repurchases completed through mid-Feb but not the ones expected thereafter.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that O’Reilly Automotive is likely to beat earnings 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. This is not the case here as you will see below:

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are at $2.49. This lack of difference leaves the ESP at 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: O’Reilly Automotive carries a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

Stocks to Consider

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

LKQ Corp. LKQ has an Earnings ESP of +2.38% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Lear Corp. LEA has an Earnings ESP of +2.12% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Ford Motor Co. F has an Earnings ESP of +11.63% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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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
FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
O REILLY AUTO (ORLY): Free Stock Analysis Report
LEAR CORPORATN (LEA): Free Stock Analysis Report
LKQ CORP (LKQ): Free Stock Analysis Report
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