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AmerisourceBergen (ABC) Q2 Earnings: Stock to Surprise?

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AmerisourceBergen Corporation ABC is set to report second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 5, before the opening bell.

AmerisourceBergen’s track record has been mixed with the company comfortably beating estimates in three of the last four quarters. In the last reported quarter, it recorded a positive earnings surprise of 1.60%. Overall, the company has posted an average positive earnings surprise of 7% over the past four quarters. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors Influencing this Quarter

During its first-quarter fiscal 2016 call, AmerisourceBergen announced that it has signed a new distribution agreement with privately held Publix. Moreover, the company has renewed and extended the long-term contract with its largest independent pharmacy group purchasing organization customer, Compliant Pharmacy Alliance Cooperative, earlier than scheduled.

AmerisourceBergen had to narrow its guidance to include the impact of this renewal, along with a decline in generic inflation and lower-than-expected contribution from generic launches in fiscal 2016. Consequently, the company now expects earnings per share in the range of $5.73 to $5.83, compared to the previous projection of $5.73–$5.90. Generic inflation is projected to be modest in the remaining three quarters of fiscal 2016.

Additionally, based on a recent court ruling, generic launch of certain oncology drugs has been delayed by a couple of years.

Repricing of the U.S. Department of Defense contract also casts a shadow on the company’s results. The contract was renewed at less favorable terms and lower generic price appreciation.

On the other hand, AmerisourceBergen continues to expect revenues to grow around 8–10% in fiscal 2016. Solid organic growth rates in the pharmaceutical market in the U.S., improved health reform initiatives and better generic launches should positively impact AmerisourceBergen’s results in the quarter. Additionally, the business will likely be positively impacted by incremental benefit from the MWI Supply acquisition. Meanwhile, contributions from the company’s largest customer, Walgreens Boot Alliance (WBA - Free Report) , were strong in fiscal 2015 and the business is estimated to grow further in fiscal 2016.

AmerisourceBergen acquired privately held PharMEDium Healthcare Holdings, Inc. in Nov 2015. The acquisition will be accretive to its fiscal 2016 earnings.

What Our Model Indicates

Our proven model does not conclusively show that AmerisourceBergen is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) to be able to beat estimates. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP for AmerisourceBergen is 0.00%, as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at $1.62.

Zacks Rank: AmerisourceBergen carries a Zacks Rank #3, which when combined with a 0.00% ESP, makes a surprise prediction difficult.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some companies you may want to consider, as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (JAZZ - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +4.58% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter results on May 10.

Impax Laboratories Inc. has an Earnings ESP of +8.89% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter results on May 10.

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