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RE/MAX Holdings (RMAX) to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?

RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. RMAX, a real estate operations firm, is slated to report third-quarter 2017 results on Nov 2, after the market closes.

The company delivered a positive surprise of 10.2% in the preceding quarter.

In fact, it beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, recording an average positive surprise of 7.6%. The graph below depicts this surprise history.

RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

In addition, the stock has gained 18.3% year to date, outperforming 14.6% growth recorded by the industry it belongs to.

Factors to Influence Q3 results

RE/MAX Holdings enjoys an enviable global footprint. The company has a steady fee-based revenue model with specific focus on its agents. Further, it enjoys solid cash flow and margins.

RE/MAX Holdings boasts a highly-productive network of more than 116,270 agents. Management projects the number of agents to be up 4.5-5.5% in third-quarter 2017 on a year-over-year basis, driven by strong agent growth outside the United States and Canada. This will likely have a positive influence on the company’s performance in the quarter to be reported.

Subsequently, management estimates revenues in the range of $49-$50.5 million and adjusted EBITDA margin to lie in the band of 54-55.5%

Last year, RE/MAX Holdings rolled out a mortgage brokerage franchise — Motto Mortgage (Motto). Though Motto can cushion the company’s growth in unfavorable times, the expenses incurred to support its growth cannot be ignored. Management expects Motto expenses to exceed its revenues in the current year, resulting in a net investment. Moreover, investment in Motto, along with a decline in revenues from preferred marketing arrangements, hurt the company’s second-quarter bottom-line performance.

Total operating expenses were $26 million for the second quarter, escalating 14.6% from the second-quarter 2016 tally. This uptick stemmed from additional amortization expenses from the acquired independent regions, and increased investment in Motto and technological infrastructure.

Selling, operating and administrative expenses were 42.3% of second quarter revenues. The company expects the figure to flare up in the range of 46-47.5% in the quarter under review. This might thwart the company’s profitability.

Its activities during the third quarter were inadequate to gain analysts’ confidence. Consequently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third-quarter earnings remained unchanged at 52 cents over the past month.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that RE/MAX Holdings will likely beat FFO estimates this time around. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or at least 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

(You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.)

Zacks ESP: RE/MAX Holdings has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: RE/MAX Holdings currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), which reduces the predictive power of ESP.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are a few stocks in the real estate investment trust (REIT) space that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to report a positive surprise this time around:

EPR Properties EPR, slated to release third-quarter earnings on Nov 8, has an Earnings ESP of +0.93% and a Zacks Rank of 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Paramount Group Inc. PGRE, scheduledto report its numbers on Nov 6, has an Earnings ESP of +0.34% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

RLJ Lodging Trust RLJ, set to release third-quarter figures on Nov 8, has an Earnings ESP of +1.35% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

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