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Machinery Stocks' Earnings Lineup for Nov 7: ROK, MFS, SNHY

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After encountering a difficult 2015 and a similarly tough first-half 2016, the scenario for the Machinery industry seems to be improving at last. The industry, which is broadly grouped under the Industrial Products sector (one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors) suffered a 21% plunge in earnings in first-quarter 2016 and a then a 1% dip in the second quarter. Going by our projected growth of a 7% increase in earnings for the sector, the growth graph will finally enter the positive territory in the third quarter.

So far 82.6% of the companies in the sector reported their numbers exhibiting a 3.9% dip in earnings for the quarter. With the curtains for the third quarter yet to fall, the growth graph is likely to pick up eventually.
Looking at the bigger picture of the yet-to-report 136 companies, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to rise 2.4% while revenues will rise 1.4%. Even though the growth rate seems meager at this moment, the positive growth is indeed an improvement from the back-to-back declines for five quarters. (Read more: Positive Earnings Growth in Q3)

As per the Federal Reserve, industrial output edged up 0.1% in September after a 0.5% dip in August. The improvement was driven by a 0.2% rise in manufacturing output, which in turn was bolstered by the production of goods such as textiles and plastics. In the third quarter, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.8% - the first quarterly increase since third-quarter 2015. Manufacturing output moved up at an annual rate of 0.9% in the third quarter.

The industrial sector has been affected by a strong dollar and an oil price slump. Further, efforts to reduce an inventory overhang led to fewer orders being placed with factories. However, with the dollar's rally fading and oil prices stabilizing, the worst of the industrial downturn seems to be over.

It will be interesting to see how some of the machinery stocks fare when they release their numbers on Nov 7. Apart from beats and misses, focus will also be on their outlook.

Rockwell Automation Inc. (ROK - Free Report) provides industrial automation power, control and information solutions. The company is slated to announce its fiscal fourth-quarter 2016 results before the opening bell.

In the third quarter, Rockwell Automation’s top and bottom line plunged year over year. While the earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, revenues fell short.

In the last reported quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 6.16%. The stock beat estimates in three of the last four quarters with a positive average surprise of 2.34%.

ROCKWELL AUTOMT Price and EPS Surprise


For the fiscal fourth quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is at $1.49, reflecting a 5.41% year-over-year decline. Continued weaker-than-expected orders and sales performance in its solutions and services businesses, the mining industry slump and low oil prices is likely to dent Rockwell Automation’s results in the quarter. (Read more: Rockwell Automation Q4 Earnings: What’s in the Cards?)

An earnings beat is unlikely this quarter for Rockwell Automation given its Earnings ESP of -0.67% and a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). As it is, the Zacks #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement. Please check our Earnings ESP Filter that enables you to find stocks that are expected to come out with earnings surprises.

Manitowoc Foodservice, Inc. designs, manufactures and services hot and cold category commercial foodservice equipment worldwide and will report its third-quarter results before the market opens. The company’s both earnings and revenues failed to match the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the preceding quarter.

Last quarter, it missed earnings estimates by 25.00%. The company has an average positive earnings surprise of 12.5% in the past four quarters.

MANITOWOC FOODS Price and EPS Surprise


For the third quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is at 17 cents. Manitowoc Foodservice is likely to benefit from its Simplification and Right-Sizing initiatives. However, ongoing softness in the QSR market in North America and the impact of Brexit on foreign currency translation remain headwinds. The company has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #4. This combination makes an earnings beat unlikely this quarter.

Sun Hydraulics Corp. (SNHY - Free Report) designs, manufactures and sells screw-in cartridge valves, manifolds and integrated fluid power packages and subsystems used in hydraulic systems to industrial and mobile customers worldwide. It will also report third-quarter results after the closing bell. In the second quarter, both earnings and revenues declined on a year-over-year basis.

In the second quarter, the company’s earnings came in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company has an overall negative track record with an average earnings surprise of -0.15% in the past four quarters.

SUN HYDRAULICS Price and EPS Surprise


The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter is pegged at 20 cents, a 37.50% year-over-year decline. Demand in the company’s various end markets remains sluggish, but the company remains encouraged by increased sales in selected markets throughout Asia Pacific following its increased marketing efforts in the region. The company is accelerating lean manufacturing efforts, expanding electronic as well as digital capabilities, acquiring talent to complement its current competencies and exploring for opportunities for growth in both new and existing geographic regions.

The combination of an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) makes surprise prediction difficult. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

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