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Luminar (LAZR) Q4 Earnings Preview: High Costs to Mar Margins

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Luminar (LAZR - Free Report) is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2022 results on Feb 28. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the bottom line is pegged at a loss of 22 cents per share for the quarter. This implies a year-over-year deterioration of 83.3%. The consensus mark for Luminar’s fourth-quarter loss per share has been unchanged in the past 30 days.

In the last reported quarter, this lidar manufacturer incurred a net loss per share of 18 cents, narrower than the consensus mark of a loss of 21 cents. Over the trailing four quarters, Luminar surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate twice for as many misses, with the average surprise being 3.5%. 

Luminar Technologies, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Luminar Technologies, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Luminar Technologies, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Luminar Technologies, Inc. Quote

Things to Note

Luminar’s proprietary software, designed to unlock full lidar capabilities, enhances automakers’ ability to deliver high-speed highway autonomy at a commercial series production scale. This has been helping the company secure business wins, which are expected to have boosted fourth-quarter revenues. Contracts with Volvo and Polestar bode well for upcoming results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter revenues is pegged at 12.9 million, implying year-over-year growth of 4%.

With the company still in a nascent stage, high technology and product development expenses are likely to have dented fourth-quarter margins. In the last reported quarter, Luminar recorded operating expenses of $99.2 million, which jumped from $67.3 million recorded in the year-ago period. Discouragingly, the firm expects higher spending this year from the 2021 levels, which doesn’t augur well for the upcoming results.

While high revenues are likely to aid results, escalating R&D, sales and marketing, and G&A expenses are anticipated to have eroded fourth-quarter margins.

What the Zacks Model Says

Our proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Luminar this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. That is not the case here.

Earnings ESP: Luminar has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged on par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: LAZR currently carries a Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings Whispers for Innoviz

Luminar’s peer Innoviz Technologies (INVZ - Free Report)  is also set to report fourth-quarter 2022 results on Mar 1, before the opening bell. Our model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Innoviz. This is because the company doesn’t possess the right combination of a positive ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank.

Innoviz has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fourth-quarter loss is pegged at 23 cents a share, indicating a wider loss from 19 cents incurred in the year-ago period. In the last reported quarter, INVZ posted a loss of 25 cents/share, wider than the consensus mark of 23 cents.

Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.

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