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Why Is Zebra (ZBRA) Up 4.1% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Zebra Technologies (ZBRA - Free Report) . Shares have added about 4.1% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Zebra due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Zebra Q2 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates, Rise Y/Y

Zebra reported solid second-quarter 2021 results, with earnings and sales surpassing estimates by 10.9% and 2.4%, respectively.

The company’s adjusted earnings per share in the reported quarter came in at $4.57, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.12. The bottom line also increased 89.6% on a year-over-year basis.

Revenues & Segmental Performance

In the second quarter, Zebra generated net sales of $1,377 million, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 44%. The improvement was driven by 39.8% increase in organic sales, a 1.6% contribution from acquisitions and a 2.6% gain from movements in foreign currencies. The top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,345 million.

The company reports revenues under the segments discussed below:

Revenues from the Asset Intelligence & Tracking segment were $421 million, up 54.2% year over year. The increase was driven by 51.2% year-over-year growth in organic sales and a 3% gain from movements in foreign currencies.

The Enterprise Visibility & Mobility segment’s revenues were $959 million, up 40.4% year over year. The results benefited from 35.1% year-over-year growth in organic sales, 2.6% benefits from acquisitions and a 2.7% gain from movements in foreign currencies.

Margin Profile

In the second quarter, Zebra’s cost of sales totaled $719 million, reflecting a rise of 33.9% from the year-ago quarter. Total operating expenses in the quarter were $411 million, reflecting an increase of 37%.

Net income in the reported quarter increased 119% year over year to $219 million, while adjusted margin expanded 540 basis points to 15.9%.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Exiting the second quarter, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $318 million, up 79.7% from $177 million recorded at the end of the prior quarter. Long-term debt was down 1.3% sequentially to $944 million.

In the first six months of 2021, it generated net cash of $539 million from operating activities compared with $355 million in the year-ago period. In the same time frame, its debt repayments totaled $256 million and interest payments were $17 million. Capital expenditure was $25 million. Free cash flow was $514 million, reflecting an increase of 59.6% from the year-ago period.

In the first six months of 2021, the company repurchased shares worth $25 million compared with $200 million in the year-ago period.


For 2021, Zebra anticipates adjusted net sales growth of 23-25% on a year-over-year basis, compared with rise of 18-22% predicted earlier. Free cash flow is expected to be a minimum of $900 million.

For the third quarter, the company estimates adjusted net sales to grow of 21-25% on a year-over-year basis. Adjusted earnings is projected to lie in the range of $3.90 to $4.10. Adjusted effective tax rate is likely to be 18-19%.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

Currently, Zebra has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a C. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Zebra has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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