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CAI International (CAI) to Post Q1 Earnings: What's in Store?

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CAI International is scheduled to report first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 29, after market close.

The company boasts a pleasant surprise history with its earnings having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters (missing the mark in the remaining one only). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter 2021 earnings has remained stable at $1.66 per share over the past 60 days.

CAI International, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

CAI International, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

CAI International, Inc. price-eps-surprise | CAI International, Inc. Quote

Against this backdrop, let’s discuss the factors that might have impacted CAI International’s performance in the March quarter.

We expect the company’s first-quarter performance to have been boosted by a sequential increase in customer lease revenues as economic activities gain pace in the United States following the loosening of restrictions.

Lower operating expenses, courtesy of the company’s cost-control efforts, are likely to have aided the bottom line in the to-be-reported quarter. Container fleet utilization is also likely to have improved year over year owing to strong container demand.

However, congestion in the Suez Canal during March and the unfavorable weather in February might have hurt the company’s earnings in the March quarter.

What Does the Zacks Model Say?

The proven Zacks model does not predict an earnings beat for CAI International this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of beating estimates, which is not the case here as elaborated below. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: CAI International has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as the Most Accurate Estimate is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.66 per share. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: CAI International carries a Zacks Rank #3, currently.

Highlights of Q4 Earnings

CAI International’s earnings (excluding $1.09from non-recurring items) of $1.76 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.11. Moreover, the bottom line surged 226% on a year-over-year basis. Operating revenues of $81.6 million, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $82.3 million.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may consider SkyWest (SKYW - Free Report) , Werner Enterprises (WERN - Free Report)  and Expeditors International of Washington (EXPD - Free Report) as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

SkyWest has an Earnings ESP of +35.34% and a Zacks Rank of 3, currently. The company is set to release first-quarter 2021 earnings numbers on Apr 29.

Werner has an Earnings ESP of +2.78% and a Zacks Rank of 3 at present. The company will release first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 28.

Expeditors has an Earnings ESP of +4.00% and is Zacks #2 Ranked, presently. The company will release first-quarter 2021 results on May 4.

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