AMCOL International Earnings Preview

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Investors braced for a bumpy ride ahead of AMCOL International's (NYS: ACO) earnings announcement as the company has wavered between beating and falling short of analyst predictions during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, Jan. 27. AMCOL International is a global specialty minerals company that provides a diverse group of industrial and consumer product lines.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on AMCOL International with analysts unanimously rating it hold. AMCOL International's rating hasn't changed over the past three months.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $236.2 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 5.7% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.44 per share. Estimates range from $0.38 to $0.48.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are in strong support of the stock, with 98.2% granting it an "outperform" rating. Most of the community is in line with the All-Stars, with 94.2% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools feel positively about AMCOL International, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 45 posts in the past 30 days. AMCOL International has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

Management:
Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. The company increased its gross margin by 3.6 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 6.3% while cost of sales rose 1.2% to $177.1 million from a year earlier.

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

Q3

Q2

Q1

Q4

Gross Margin

28.6%

25.0%

26.1%

23.7%

Operating Margin

10.9%

8.8%

8.3%

5.1%

Net Margin

7.8%

5.5%

5.5%

(4.2%)

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