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Illinois Tool (ITW) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store?

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Illinois Tool Works Inc. ITW is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2019 results on Jan 31, before market open.

The company reported better-than-expected results in each of the trailing four quarters, the positive earnings surprise being 1.95%, on average. In the third quarter, the company’s earnings of $2.04 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.94 by 5.15%.

In the past six months, the stock has gained 12.8% compared with the industry’s rally of 5.5%.

Factors at Play

Illinois Tool is likely to have benefited from strength across its automotive aftermarket end market in the fourth quarter. Also, solid orders in the maintenance, repair and operations side of the electronics business is likely to have proven beneficial for its top line.

Moreover, the company has been benefiting from portfolio management and strategic sourcing initiatives, which are likely to have supported its organic sales in the fourth quarter. The company predicts operating margin (excluding restructuring activities) of 24.5% for 2019, with benefits from Enterprise initiatives.

However, in the fourth quarter, operating environment was not favorable for industrial product manufacturers and service providers in the United States. The country’s industrial production decreased 0.5% year over year in the quarter, which might get reflected in the industrial products and equipment manufacturer’s results. Also, slower demand environment across Illinois Tool’s welding equipment, retail, restaurants and automotive OEM end markets is likely to have weighed on the company’s fourth-quarter top-line performance.

In the third quarter, forex woes had an adverse impact of 1.8% on its sales, a trend that might have continued in the fourth quarter as well. This is because Illinois Tool’s significant international presence exposes it to unfavorable movements in foreign currencies and geopolitical issues.

Earnings Whispers

According to our quantitative model, a stock needs to have the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy), or at least 3 (Hold) to increase the odds of an earnings beat. But that is not the case here as we will see below.

You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP: Illinois Tool has an Earnings ESP of -1.54% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $1.83, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.86.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Illinois Tool Works Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Illinois Tool Works Inc. price-eps-surprise | Illinois Tool Works Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank: Illinois Tool carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Key Picks

Here are some companies that you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter: Holdings, Inc. (ALRM - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #1 and has an Earnings ESP of +1.15%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Tennant Company TNC has an Earnings ESP of +4.20% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Kadant Inc KAI carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of +0.59%.

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