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Will WestRock (WRK) be Able to Retain Earnings Streak in Q3?

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WestRock Company (WRK - Free Report) , a provider of paper and packaging solutions to consumer and corrugated markets, is scheduled to report third-quarter fiscal 2017 results on Aug 3.

Last quarter, the company posted a positive surprise of 14.89%.

In fact, it delivered earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 9.79%.

Westrock Company Price and EPS Surprise

Westrock Company Price and EPS Surprise | Westrock Company Quote

Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Factors at Play

For the fiscal third quarter, WestRock expects sequential adjusted earnings per share higher than 54 cents achieved in the fiscal second quarter. The company guided EBITDA to lie in the range of $50–$70 million for the fiscal third quarter, which will benefit from seasonally higher volumes, favorable mix and productivity. Thus, favorable market trends and the relentless execution of its strategy will drive growth.

WestRock witnessed total commodity inflation of $125 million year over year in the fiscal second quarter. This was the result of significant increases across most of its input costs. Input cost inflation are projected to be close to $350 million for fiscal 2017 and consequently be a headwind in the fiscal third quarter as well. Additionally, pricing pressure continues to be a concern for WestRock due to industry oversupply in both containerboard and boxboard.


Earnings Whispers

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

Zacks ESP: WestRock’s Earnings ESP is +0.00% as the Most Accurate estimate of 47 cents is in line 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:  Though WestRock’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP, the ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

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.

Share Price Performance

In the past three months, shares of WestRock have outperformed the industry. The stock gained 6.7% ahead of the industry’s rise of 4.3%.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some stocks you may want to consider, as according to our model these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Deere & Company (DE - Free Report) , with an Earnings ESP of +5.32% and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Regal Beloit Corporation (RBC - Free Report) , with an Earnings ESP of +0.78% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (AIT - Free Report) , with an Earnings ESP of +1.30% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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