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Linde (LIN) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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Linde plc (LIN - Free Report) is set to report first-quarter 2020 results on May 7, before the opening bell.

The leading industrial gases and engineering player, which was formed following the closing of the merger between Praxair and Linde AG on Oct 31, 2018, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the last four quarters, the average positive surprise being 6.5%, as shown in the chart below.

Linde plc Price and EPS Surprise


Linde plc Price and EPS Surprise

Linde plc price-eps-surprise | Linde plc Quote

In the last reported quarter, the company’s earnings per share were $1.89, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.84, thanks to improved pricing across Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Let’s see how things have shaped up prior to the upcoming announcement.

Estimate Picture

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings is pegged at $1.83 per share, which has seen four downward revisions in the past 30 days. The figure suggests year-over-year improvement of 8.3%.

However, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $6.7 billion, indicating a decline of 2.9% from the year-ago reported figure.

Key Factors to Note

In the United States, industrial production declined 5.5% in March 2020 from a year ago, per TRADING ECONOMICS. This marked the steepest fall since November 2009. The downturn was led by suspension of operations by many factories due the coronavirus pandemic. This is likely to have hurt Linde’s first-quarter earnings as it is a leading producer and distributor of industrial gases which are utilized by various industries.

Moreover, the business scenario was not favorable in Europe. In Germany – the largest economy in the Eurozone area – industrial production declined 0.9% and 1.2% in January and February, respectively, from the comparable months in 2019, per TRADING ECONOMICS. Notably, the coronavirus containment measures also severely affected the country’s industrial production in the last month of first quarter. 

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not predict a beat for Linde this earnings season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Earnings ESP: Linde has an ESP of -0.87%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate stands at $1.81 per share, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.83. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Stocks Poised to Beat Estimates

Here are some companies in the basic materials space you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Verso Corporation (VRS - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +20.00% and is a Zacks #3 Ranked player. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 11. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Domtar Corporation (UFS - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +39.81% and a Zacks Rank of 3. It is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 8.

SSR Mining Inc. (SSRM - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +13.57% and a Zacks Rank #2. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on May 14.

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