Friday, June 10, 2016

General Electric Company Investor Presentation

When analysts at a heavyweight investment bank issue an underweight rating on a stock, it's usually a good idea to re-examine the case for buying or holding the shares. As such, J.P. Morgan's negative call on General Electric Company caused no little angst among the stock's supporters. With this in mind, let's take a look at CEO Jeff Immelt's presentation at the recent Electrical Products Group (EPG) conference, and what it means to the stock's prospects.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cisco Systems Earnings Analysis

The headline numbers from Cisco Systems' third-quarter results, reported May 18, were good on a superficial basis, but let's take a closer look at the underlying themes and trends in order to better see what's going on. In truth, it's hard to argue that the earnings weren't a net positive, but there are some underlying concerns from the report.

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General Electric Earnings Guidance

After outperforming a flat S&P 500 by nearly 24% last year, General Electric Company has slightly underperformed the market in 2016. The story of GE refocusing its business (away from GE Capital) is largely known to the market now, so is General Electric's period of market-beating returns over? Let's take a look at what to expect in 2016 in light of the recent first-quarter results.

GE Chart
GE data by YCharts.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

AgroFresh Solutions Stock Analysis

How 'bout them apples, and how 'bout that one product? At the moment those are the two key questions AgroFresh Solutions Inc.  shareholders are asking themselves before considering the company's progress. The company remains heavily reliant on the global apple harvest and its core SmartFresh product, which keeps fruit fresh longer during storage and transportation, and that exposure has hurt the company in recent quarters. Its first-quarter 2016 results were disappointing, but management outlined steps to improve overall performance in the future. Let's take a closer look at what's going on.

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Caterpillar Inc or Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works versus Caterpillar ? At first glance, they appear strange bedfellows, but looking closely at their prospects reveals a lot about the current state of the industrial economy. The former is an all-purpose industrial with exposure to many parts of the economy, while the latter has heavy exposure to oil and gas, mining, and construction. They offer different things to different investors, but overall, which is the better value?

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Honeywell International Stock Analysis

In common with its peer and sometime acquisition target, United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), Honeywell International (NYSE:HON) has had a good 2016 so far. But can the good times continue? Let's take a look at the updated investment thesis for buying the stock in the light of Honeywell's recently released first-quarter results.

UTX Chart
UTX data by YCharts.
The case for buying Honeywell International stock With a trailing P/E ratio of nearly 19, Honeywell isn't an obviously cheap stock, but upon closer inspection, it has plenty of upside potential. In fact, if it merely hits its long-term targets, the case for buying the stock is a strong one. The best argument in its favor rests on its underlying free cash flow generation.

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Cognex Corporation Earnings Analysis

Machine vision company Cognex Corporation's (NASDAQ:CGNX) first-quarter results easily beat management's guidance, and the forecast for the second quarter indicates a strong start to 2016. Despite management taking a cautionary tone on full-year prospects in Monday's earnings report, the market took the stock up as much as 20% in Tuesday's trading, and it was up 17% around 2:20 p.m. EDT. Let's take a look at the results from the quarter.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

UPS Earnings Predict FedEx's Future

With rival United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) having given results recently, it's time to look ahead to what FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) might report in its upcoming fourth quarter. UPS' commentary on market conditions has direct relevance to FedEx, so let's take a look at five key impacts on FedEx drawn from UPS' earnings report.
Ups Means
UPS and FedEx earnings are traditionally tied to the economy. Image source: United Parcel Service.

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Emerson Electric Earnings Analysis

Another quarter and another set of tough end-market conditions for Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR). It almost feels like the company has spent the last two years firefighting deteriorating end markets. To be fair, though, its management hasn't stood still. Restructuring plans are afoot, even while the recent second-quarter results confirmed ongoing tough conditions. Let's take a look at the key themes and numbers from the earnings.

Emr
OIL AND GAS SPENDING REMAINS DIFFICULT FOR EMERSON ELECTRIC. IMAGE SOURCE: EMERSON ELECTRIC.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Cognex Corporation Stock Analysis

Dataman
COGNEX HAS HIGH HOPES FOR ITS MOBILE TERMINAL. IMAGE SOURCE: COGNEX CORPORATION. 
Machine vision company Cognex Corporation's (NASDAQ:CGNX) first-quarter results easily beat management's guidance, and the forecast for the second quarter indicates a strong start to 2016. Despite management taking a cautionary tone on full-year prospects in Monday's earnings report, the market took the stock up as much as 20% in Tuesday's trading, and it was up 17% around 2:20 p.m. EDT. Let's take a look at the results from the quarter.

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United Parcel Service, FedEx Corporation, Fuel Surcharge

How should we think about oil prices and profitability at logistics companies like United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) and FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX)? The answer will help determine your investing position in response to oil price movements. For example, if you think oil prices are likely to bottom (recall that a move from, say, $30 to $50 is actually a 66% hike in prices) in 2016, then is it safe to assume UPS and FedEx are automatically a buy now?
Let's take a closer look at the underlying considerations.
WTI Crude Oil Spot Price Chart

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IDEXX Laboratories Earnings Analysis

IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX) and its management cheered the market by doing something few companies have done in the current earnings season: raise full-year guidance, generate double-digit organic revenue growth, and talk of more favorable end markets. In a moderately growing economy, the stock stands out for its growth prospects. Let's look at the highlights from the veterinary health specialist's recent first quarter to see what's going on.

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Wesco International Earnings Analysis

The first quarter was never going to be a pretty one for Wesco International (NYSE:WCC). Compared to other industrial suppliers like MSC Industrial Direct, Wesco has a lot of exposure to the kind of heavy industrial activities (metals, mining, energy) that have suffered the most in the recent slowdown. However, given the startling recovery in industrial supply company stock prices in 2016, the market is clearly preparing for a turnaround in conditions. Let's take a look at the facts behind Wesco's first quarter to shed more light on the matter.

WCC Chart
WCC data by YCharts.

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BorgWarner Management Sounds Cautious

Having disappointed the market by failing to meet guidance in 2015, the onus is on BorgWarner's management to restore confidence in their forecasting -- which goes a long way toward explaining the cautionary tone taken by CEO James Verrier during Thursday's earnings call. The first-quarter earnings themselves were good, and despite some operational disappointments, management of the auto parts supplier kept full-year earnings guidance intact. On the other hand, when any company's leadership says current risks outweigh opportunities, investors will want to take notice. Let's take a closer look at the quarter and what was said.

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United Parcel Service Earnings Analysis

United Parcel Service, Inc managed to navigate the waters of difficult economic conditions in the first-quarter in producing a pretty solid set of results. As with key rival FedEx Corporation , UPS is seeing strong e-commerce (particularly Business to Consumer, or B2C) growth supplant weakness in the industrial economy. This is unsurprising, as the theme of consumer-facing businesses outgrowing industrial-facing ones is a recurring one this earnings season. Let's see how the company managed to extract 9% operating income growth in a quarter when other companies have floundered.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jones Lang LaSalle Earnings Analysis

Jll
From the JLL Investor Relation site

Given the considerable anxiety expressed by widening credit spreads at the start of the year, the first-quarter results from commercial property services company Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) were pretty solid. In addition, the market no longer fears commercial property Armageddon via the credit markets -- the company's stock has rallied more than 7% in the last month. That said, what can investors glean from the first-quarter results?

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Robert Half International Earnings Analysis

Staffing company Robert Half International's  results are always interesting because they offer a lot of color on prospects for the global economy. Simply put, there aren't many better gauges of economic growth than employment trends. The company's first-quarter earnings and guidance indicate a moderately growing economy beset with caution on behalf of employers and characterized by unevenness in demand. It's OK, but it could be better.

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Cognex Corporation Earnings Preview

What to expect from Cognex Corporation's upcoming first-quarter results on May 2? In a simple world, we would be able to pencil in a series of assumptions based on global manufacturing trends and quickly conclude that Cognex is heading for the kind of OK-ish quarter reported by others in the industrial sector so far. 

But we don't live in a simple investing world. In reality, Cognex has a number of positive and negative stock-specific factors governing its earnings in 2016. Let's take a look at three of them.

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Roper Technologies Earnings Analysis

Sometimes the headline numbers don't tell you everything about a company's earnings, and that was definitely the case with diversified industrial Roper Technologies' (NYSE:ROP) first quarter. A revenue increase of just 4.4% accompanied by flat operating income isn't usually anything to write home about, but the figures mask a lot of moving parts under the surface, and the underlying picture is a bit brighter.

Let's take a closer look.

Roper
Exposure to upstream oil and gas proved a drag on first-quarter results. Image source: Roper Technologies. 

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Monday, May 2, 2016

AZZ Incorporated Earnings Review

AZZ Incorporated stock has had a strong year, with notable outperformance compared to the S&P 500 index. It's in large part due to the successful resolution of operating inefficiencies plus completing previously delayed shipments in its energy segment and the positive effects of acquisitions in the galvanizing segment. All of these themes came up in the company's recent fourth-quarter earnings. Let's take a closer look at the numbers and what management outlined for its fiscal year 2017.

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