3 Earnings Reports That Caught My Attention Last Week

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After wrapping up an incredibly strong first quarter of earnings reports, we've dived headfirst into the second quarter, with many reports coming in better than expected thus far. With so many companies reporting during the weeks that comprise earnings season each quarter, it's easy for some earnings reports to fall through the cracks.

Each week this year, I've taken a look at three companies that could be worth further research after either beating or missing their profit expectations. Today we're going to take a look at three more companies that reported earnings last week. If they slid under your radar, they deserve a look:

Company

Consensus EPS

Reported EPS

Surprise

Yahoo! (NAS: YHOO) $0.17$0.2335%
Universal Forest Products (NAS: UFPI) $0.03$0.21600%
Stanley Black & Decker (NYS: SWK) $1.13$1.09(4%)

Source: Yahoo! Finance.


Yahoo!
Oh, Yahoo! -- you're such a tease! Last Tuesday, the third-largest search engine reported its first quarterly year-over-year revenue increase in three years as investors blindly ate up the optimism. But examine this report a little closer and you'll see more of the same for Yahoo! as it struggles to find its niche.

The company's plan to regain market share from its rivals includes shutting down 50 underperforming web properties, better utilizing online commerce and mobile products and perhaps selling its stake in Alibaba -- just about the only valuable asset Yahoo! owns, according to many Wall Street pundits. But is this really anything new?

Yahoo! previously discussed unloading its 40% stake in Alibaba but pulled that idea off the table. In addition, Yahoo!'s attempt to get into the mobile app market may be too little, too late. Google (NAS: GOOG) continues to outperform Yahoo! in terms of search engine market share and advertising growth, Yahoo!'s bread and butter. I'd take this earnings beat with a grain of salt.

Universal Forest Products
How much wood could this woodchuck chuck? Enough to crush estimates by 600%, apparently!

Even when Universal Forest Products was missing EPS estimates by a mile last year, I opined that it would be worthwhile to stick with this company over the long term for its tie-in with the do-it-yourself home-improvement boom. This quarter we saw firsthand just how strong that movement continues to be.

As the Fool's Matt Koppenheffer noted last week, Universal Forest's retail building-products segment saw a 12% rise in sales. This segment is a big part of the company's sales, as DIY retailer Home Depot (NYS: HD) accounted for 23% of total sales in 2011. As I noted in early February, Home Depot continues to reap the benefits of higher-margin home remodels as homeowners are being coerced by tighter credit markets and falling home prices to stay in their current homes. This movement is going to play right into Universal Forest's hands as the company, like Home Depot, stands to benefit from both construction and DIY purchases.

Stanley Black & Decker
As with Universal Forest a year ago, investors would be wise not to give up on Stanley Black & Decker after its recent quarterly shortfall. Merger-related costs and one-time expenses weighed on the company's first-quarter profit and are not indicative of the strength of tools for the DIY consumer.

For the quarter, Stanley Black & Decker reported a 12% rise in sales, with security and industrial businesses providing the biggest boost to its bottom line. However, when the smoke clears and the company is fully realizing the synergies from its merger, I have a suspicion it will catch Wall Street with its pants down. Stanley Black & Decker did stick with its full-year earnings guidance of $5.75 to $6 per share and has raised its dividend for 44 straight years. Bet against those figures at your own peril.

Foolish roundup
Sometimes an earnings beat or miss isn't as cut-and-dried as it appears. I've given my two cents on what's next for each of these companies; now it's your turn to sound off. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider adding these stocks to your free and personalized watchlist.

If you'd like the inside track on three more companies that could wind up in the earnings beat column, then I suggest you get a copy of our latest special report, "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World." Did I mention the best part? This report is completely free, so don't miss out!

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He is dangerous with power tools. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.The Motley Fool owns shares of Yahoo!, Google, and Universal Forest Products. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Yahoo!, Google, and Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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 that always exceeds expectations.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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