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What's in the Offing for Nielsen (NLSN) in Q1 Earnings?

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Nielsen Holdings Plc (NLSN - Free Report) is scheduled to report first-quarter 2018 results on Apr 26.

The company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, with an average negative earnings surprise of 18.67%.

Last quarter, Nielsen reported earnings of 52 cents per share, which excluded a provisional non-cash tax charge of 29 cents per share. The figure increased 18.2% year over year and 26.8% sequentially.

Revenues increased 6.3% year over year and 7.3% sequentially to $1.76 billion. Top-line growth was driven by contribution from the acquisition of Gracenote, continued strength in the company’s Watch segment and growth in emerging markets, partially offset by weakness in the U.S. Buy segment.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this quarter.

Robust Product Portfolio to Boost Results

Nielsen’s regular investments in innovative technologies bode well for its product portfolio expansion.

Recently, Nielsen launched Advanced Audience Forecasting tool which provides forecasts of TV audiences defined by advanced audience segments to its clients.

Further, the company introduced Connected Partner Program, which helps companies to connect their network, discover new connected partners and utilize the measurement data provided by Nielsen.

Also, the company launched Nielsen Branded Integration Intel, which provides standardized measurement of brands appearing within video content, including TV programs.

These endeavors are likely to benefit the company’s first-quarter results.

Strategic Partnerships Remain Positive

Strategic partnerships have been shaping Nielsen’s growth trajectory over the past few years.

Recently, Nielsen extended its partnership with Dollar General (DG - Free Report) , post which, the latter will increase the use of Nielsen's insights and solutions. This is likely to benefit the Buy segment of the company which did not perform well in the last quarter.

However, the segment is expected to witness sluggish growth in the first quarter due to weakness in the U.S. market.

Earlier this year, Nielsen entered into a multi-year renewal agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI - Free Report) . This partnership will allow the Sinclair Broadcast to deploy Nielsen TV ratings in its business model.

Last year, the company also signed an agreement with Cumulus Media, post which Nielsen has started providing radio and network radio ratings services to 446 radio stations across 90 local markets.

These partnerships will continue to aid the strong performance of Watch segment of the company.

We believe the above-mentioned moves taken by the company will boost its top-line growth by improving its clientele in the soon-to-be reported quarter.

What Our Model Says

According to the Zacks model, a company with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) has a good chance of beating estimates if it also has a positive Earnings ESP. The Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) are best avoided. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Though Nielsen’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the odd of an earnings beat, its 0.00% Earnings ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

Stock That Warrant a Look

Here is stock worth considering as our model shows that this has the right combination of elements to deliver an earnings beat in the upcoming releases.

Agilent Technologies (A - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +3.72% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank  stocks here.

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