Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that Ultratech (NAS: UTEK) will top analyst expectations for the fourth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, Jan. 26. Ultratech develops, manufactures, and markets photolithography and laser thermal processing equipment for manufacturers of semiconductor and nanotechnology components.
What analysts say:
Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts are very bullish on this stock, unanimously backing it as a buy. Analysts like Ultratech better than competitor Photronics overall. Four out of six analysts rate Photronics a buy compared to three of three for Ultratech. Analysts haven't adjusted their rating of Ultratech for the past three months.
Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $58.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 34.8% from the year-ago quarter.
Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.41 per share. Estimates range from $0.40 to $0.43.
What our community says:
Most CAPS All-Stars are skeptical of UTEK prospects, with 69.4% awarding it an "underperform" rating. The community is of two minds on the stock with 49.8% Fools assigning it an "outperform" rating and 50.2% an "underperform" rating. Fools are skeptical of Ultratech, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 74 posts in the past 30 days. Ultratech's bearish CAPS rating of one out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.
Ultratech's profit has risen year over year by an average of more than threefold over the past five quarters. The company upped its gross margin by 4.7 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 44.8% while cost of sales rose 31.6% to $25.5 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.
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