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Will Hillenbrand (HI) Beat Earnings Estimates This Season?

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Hillenbrand, Inc. (HI - Free Report) is scheduled to report third-quarter fiscal 2014 (ended Jun 2014) results on Aug 6 after the market closes.

In the preceding quarter, Hillenbrand reported impressive results. Adjusted net income grew 12.4% year over year while earnings came in at 54 cents per share, up 10.2% from 49 cents reported in the year-ago quarter.

However, Hillenbrand’s top-line results were weak as net revenues inched down 0.4% year over year to $396.8 million. The poor performance was due to lower revenue generation from the Batesville segment, offset partially by an increase recorded in the Process Equipment Group segment. Cost of sales declined 4% year over year while operating expenses slipped 7.8%.   

Hillenbrand’s Process Equipment Group segment deals in process and material handling equipment and systems, serving diversified industries including packaged foods, pharmaceuticals, plastics, energy, minerals, fertilizers and petrochemicals. With the global economy growing, demand for industrial products is on the rise. At the end of second-quarter fiscal 2014, the segment recorded an all-time high order backlog of $717 million. This will eventually materialize into revenues in the quarters ahead.

Also, the company’s Batesville segment, one of the leading death-care products manufacturers in North America, would benefit from its integrated death care solutions and customized products.

Hillenbrand remains committed towards rewarding its shareholders handsomely. Its annual dividend has grown by 6.8% to 78 cents per share in the past five years. However, risks associated with negative foreign currency translations and stiff business competition limit the company’s growth prospects in the near term.

Hillenbrand presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked companies in the industry include Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR - Free Report) , Badger Meter Inc. (BMI - Free Report) and Roper Industries Inc. (ROP - Free Report) . All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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