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What's in Store for PulteGroup (PHM) this Earnings Season?

PulteGroup Inc. PHM is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 21, before the market opens.

Last quarter, it posted a positive earnings surprise of 14.00%. However, the company missed estimates in three out of the past four quarters, resulting in an average negative surprise of 11.45%.

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

Factors to Consider this Quarter

After weak results in the first three quarters of 2015, the homebuilding company reported better-than-expected results in the fourth quarter. The upside was driven by improvement in home deliveries, order trends, sales pace, and average selling prices as overall demand trends remained positive. These positives are expected to continue in the soon-to-be reported quarter.  

Pulte is likely to benefit from steady demand trends, prudent land investments, focus on higher-return business and the Wieland acquisition in the first quarter and the rest of the year.

However, though overall housing demand remains positive, the industry headwinds – labor constraints and extended land development timelines – are likely to put pressure on results in the first quarter and through the rest of the year.

Earnings Whisper?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that PulteGroup is likely to beat on 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. However, that is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Pulte’s Earnings ESP is 0.00%, as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 19 cents.

Zacks Rank: Though the company’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP, PulteGroup’s ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

Note that we caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into an earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies in the broader construction sector that can be considered as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. ASPN, with an Earnings ESP of +20.00% and a Zacks Rank #3.

CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. CX, with an Earnings ESP of +28.57% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Headwaters Incorporated HW with an Earnings ESP of +11.11% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. http://www.zacks.com/registration/pfp/?ALERT=RPT_7BST_LP194&... blog">Click to get this free report >>


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
 
HEADWATERS INC (HW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ASPEN AEROGELS (ASPN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CEMEX SA ADR (CX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PULTE GROUP ONC (PHM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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