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Earnings season is in full swing so let's take a look at one of the recent surprises. Greatbatch, Inc. (GB) came in ahead of expectations, but how are analysts reacting to this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Company Description

Greatbatch provides components and devices predominantly for the medical industry, but also for the battery, wireless, defense, and other industries

Beat Estimates

Last week, on Oct 27, Greatbatch topped Wall Street forecasts for the third time in the past 4 quarters. Sales were up 3% since the same period last year.

The bottom line saw much larger gains though. Earnings per share rose 21% to $0.41. Analysts polled by Zacks were looking for $0.34 on average.

Optimistic Analysts

Greatbatch reaffirmed its outlook, which was raised after the previous quarterly report. But analysts have grown a bit more optimistic. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2011 is up 3 cents, to $1.68. Next year's average projection is up a penny, to $1.84.

In 2010 Greatbatch earned $1.51, so the forecasted growth rates are now 11% and 9%, respectively.

A Nice Value to Boot

Shares of GB are going for 13 times forward estimates, which puts the PEG ratio at 1.3. The price to sales is at 0.9 times and the stock is trading just over book value, at 1.1 times.

Some Technicals

A cursory look a couple technical indicators show a bit of a battle at this level. The stochastic is coming in near 80, which shows shares may be considered "overbought" by some. But the 21-day moving average has just eclipsed the 50-day, which is an indication of bullish momentum.

Perhaps share may cool off a bit here, but the upward earnings and momentum are making good arguments for another move higher soon.

Greatbatch, Inc  - ticker GB>

Bill Wilton is the Aggressive Growth Stock Strategist for He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Small Cap Trader service

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