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Plexus Corp (PLXS - Analyst Report) is set to report fiscal first-quarter 2014 results on Jan 15. In the prior quarter, the company posted earnings that were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Moreover, the company has posted an average positive earnings surprise of 5.0% over the past four quarters.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company in this quarter.

Growth Factors this Past Quarter

Although the disengagement with Juniper and weak end-market demand is expected to negatively impact the company’s top line and profitability in the first quarter, capacity expansion and new contract wins in the manufacturing solutions are positives.

Plexus recently announced that it is expanding operations in Boise Microelectronics Center of Excellence in Idaho by investing $3.0 million.

Moreover, the disengagement from Juniper is expected to improve the product mix. Additionally, the consolidation of the company’s production facilities in low-cost areas is expected to boost margins in the near term.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Plexus Corp. will beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 61 cents. Hence, the difference is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Plexus’ Zacks Rank #3 when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

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

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

Netflix (NFLX - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +1.54% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Western Digital (WDC - Analyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +1.93% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Cirrus Logic (CRUS - Snapshot Report), with Earnings ESP of +4.41% and a Zacks Rank #1.

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