The Q3 earnings cycle is drawing to a close. According to our latest Earnings Outlook, 91.1% of the S&P 500 companies have released their quarterly numbers. Reported results reveal a 4% increase in third-quarter earnings on 2.7% growth in revenues.
For the construction sector, 92.3% companies have reported their Q3 results wherein total earnings increased 7.6% on 8.2% higher revenues.
Positives like a healthier economy, improving employment levels, low interest rates, positive consumer confidence and a tight supply situation raise optimism about the sector’s second-half performance. Further, a strong home remodeling market along with solid job data and rising consumer confidence are doing the trick for these stocks.
Recently, D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI - Free Report) exhibited a mixed performance in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 with earnings missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and sales surpassing the same. Shares declined 5.52% in pre-market trading following the release. However, the TX-based homebuilder’s order trends remained strong in the quarter.
Again, Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.'s (MLM - Free Report) third-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share of $2.49 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.64 by about 5.7%. However, earnings rose 43% from the prior-year quarter.
Let us take a look at how these two construction stocks are placed ahead of their earnings releases on Nov 14.
AECOM (ACM - Free Report) AECOM specializes in providing integrated services for planning, construction and maintenance of infrastructure that includes consulting, architecture, engineering as well as managing the requirements for energy, water and environment for private and public clients. Its Construction services business has been doing well on the back of bountiful opportunities in the building construction market.
AECOM is currently eyeing multiple investment options in key end markets that look promising for each of its business segments. In the U.S., nine states have approved laws to enable design build in the infrastructure market, unlocking fresh opportunities for the company.
This apart, we believe solid business bonds with project developers and foreign direct investment partners are opening up multiple opportunities for AECOM in new markets. The company ended third-quarter fiscal 2016 with over $38 billion in backlog, which is a key indicator of future revenue growth.
Per our model, a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) to beat earnings.
AECOM has a Zacks Rank #3 which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.
The company reported positive earnings surprise of 14.08% in last quarter. In fact, AECOM has posted positive earnings surprises in three of the past four quarters with an average beat of 10.83%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
For the third quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at 73 cents, reflecting a decline of 22.6% year over year, while the consensus for revenues is at $4.68 billion, indicating a 0.9% year-over-year decrease.
Energy Focus, Inc. (EFOI - Free Report) is a leading provider and innovator of energy efficient LED lighting products.
Our proven model does not conclusively show a beat for Energy Focus as it has a combination of an Earnings ESP of 0.00% (Most Accurate estimate and Zacks Consensus Estimate at a loss of 25 cents) and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here..
In the preceding quarter, the company posted a huge negative earnings surprise of 325.0%. The company has an average negative surprise of 25.67% for the trailing four quarters.
For the third quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for loss is pegged at 25 cents, reflecting a 160.4% wider figure on a year-over-year basis, while the consensus for revenues is at $8.58 million, indicating a 53.2% year-over-year decline.
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