Ferrellgas Partners Crushes Estimates

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Ferrellgas Partners (NYS: FGP) reported earnings on Dec. 9. Here's what you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Oct. 31 (Q1), Ferrellgas Partners crushed expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

  • Gross margins contracted, operating margins narrowed, and net margins expanded.

Revenue
Ferrellgas Partners chalked up revenue of $538 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see net sales of $406 million.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.

EPS
Non-GAAP EPS came in at -$0.42. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged -$0.30 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were -$0.43 for Q1 against -$0.40 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margins
For the quarter, gross margin was 23.9%, 880 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -1.8%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -6.1%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods.

Looking ahead
What does the future hold?

Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $846 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.97. (There are two revenue estimates and six EPS estimates.)

For the full year ending 2012, the average estimate for revenue is $2.5 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.59. (There are two revenue estimates and three EPS estimates.)

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating at Motley Fool CAPS, with 117 members out of 154 rating the stock outperform and 37 members rating it underperform. Among 48 CAPS All-Star picks, 34 give Ferrellgas Partners a green thumbs-up, and 14 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Ferrellgas Partners is underperform, with an average price target of $19.50.

At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. 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.

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