H.B. Fuller Earnings Preview

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Investors never know what to expect from H.B. Fuller (NYS: FUL) , as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, Sept. 12. H.B. Fuller is a formulator, manufacturer, and marketer of adhesives, sealants, paints, and other specialty chemical products.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on H.B. Fuller, with five of seven rating it a hold. Analysts don't like H.B. Fuller as much as competitor PPG Industries overall. Three out of nine rate PPG Industries a buy, compared with two of seven for H.B. Fuller. Analysts still rate the stock a hold, but they are a bit more wary about it compared with three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $377.6 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 11.5% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.47 per share. Estimates range from $0.43 to $0.53.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock, with 100% awarding it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars, with 91.1% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools are keen on H.B. Fuller, though the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 21 posts in the past 30 days. H.B. Fuller has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community's assessment.

Management:
H.B. Fuller's profit has risen year over year by an average of 11.7% over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

QuarterQ2Q1Q4Q3
Gross Margin28.6%28.5%28.3%28.4%
Operating Margin8.9%6.2%8.2%6.7%
Net Margin6.4%4.2%6.1%5.6%
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