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Trimble Navigation Limited (TRMB - Analyst Report) is set to report its second quarter 2013 results today, after the closing bell. In the prior quarter, the company posted a 3% negative surprise.  Let’s see how things are shaping up for this semiconductor chip maker.

Growth Factors this Past Quarter

Strengthening U.S. commercial and residential construction markets helped Trimble’s business in the last quarter. Trimble has also made a number of acquisitions in the recent months, which are helping it to build a strong product portfolio and position itself in markets with better growth prospects.

Despite softness in some markets, Trimble’s solid portfolio (enhanced by acquisitions), strong market position and strategic partnerships are expected to drive both revenues and earnings over the next few quarters. 

Earnings Whispers?

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter stands at 34 cents per share while that for fiscal 2013 stands at $1.36.

Trimble Navigation posted breakeven results in the fourth and second quarters of fiscal 2012. It posted a negative surprise in the first quarter and a positive surprise in the third quarter of 2012. This led to an average positive surprise of 3.93% for the preceding four quarters.

No estimate revisions were noticed for both the second quarter and fiscal 2013 over the past 30 days. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has remained unchanged for the second quarter as well as for 2013.

The chances of a big surprise are unlikely given the lack of catalysts. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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

Other Stocks to Consider

Our model states that a stock needs to have both a positive Zacks Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3 to beat earnings estimates. You could, therefore, consider stocks like:

InvenSense Inc. (INVN - Snapshot Report), Earnings ESP of +8.33% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

Gartner Inc. (IT - Snapshot Report), Earnings ESP of +1.96% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

Scientific Games Corporation(SGMS - Analyst Report), with an ESP of +100.0% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

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