Orbital Earnings Preview

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After beating estimates last quarter by $0.01, Orbital (NYS: ORB) has set the standard for itself. The company will unveil its latest earnings Thursday. Orbital Sciences develops and manufactures small and medium class rockets and space systems for commercial, military, and civil government customers, including the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts are very bullish on this stock, unanimously backing it as a buy. Analysts like Orbital better than competitor Alliant Techsystems overall. Five out of 11 analysts rate Alliant Techsystems a buy compared with 10 of 10 for Orbital. That rating hasn't budged in three months as analysts have remained steadfast in their opinion of the stock.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $345 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 9.7% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.23 per share. Estimates range from $0.20 to $0.25.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 96.2% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 96.6% giving it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced Orbital, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 89 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, Orbital's CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
Orbital's profit has risen year over year by an average of more than twofold 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.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

19.4%

14.7%

21.8%

24.4%

Operating Margin

6.5%

3.2%

7.0%

6.2%

Net Margin

6.1%

3.9%

6.1%

3.4%

For all our Orbital-specific analysis, including earnings and beyond, add Orbital to My Watchlist.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Orbital Sciences.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

At the time this article was published

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