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Plexus (PLXS) to Report Q3 Earnings: What’s in the Cards?


Plexus Corp. PLXS is set to report third-quarter fiscal 2017 results on Jul 19, after the closing bell. The company reported a positive earnings surprise of 10.53% in the last quarter. Further, it has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 2.52% over the trailing four quarters.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Consider

For third-quarter fiscal 2017, revenues are projected in the range of $595–$625 million. GAAP earnings are projected within 68–76 cents per share. GAAP operating margin is expected to be 4.8–5.2%.

For Healthcare/Life sciences Sector, management expects growth to be in mid-single digits driven by increasing end-market demand and new wins, while for Industrial/Commercial sector, revenues are anticipated to be flat year over year.

Communications sector is stated to be marred by softening end market demand as well as timing of new product launches, whereas Defense/Security/Aerospace, bolstered by increasing end-market demand and new program wins, is projected to see revenues up in mid-single digits sequentially.

We note that on a year-to-date basis Plexus’ shares have decreased 2.4%, underperforming the Zacks categorized Electronics Manufacturing Services industry’s gain of 16.7% over the same period.

This sluggish performance can be primarily attributed to the reduced end-market demand in the slowing Networking and Communications industry, which contributes significantly to the company’s top-line (approximately 23.4% of fiscal 2016 revenues).

Nevertheless, we believe that a healthy number of program wins is a big positive for the company. In the last reported quarter, Plexus won 26 programs worth approximately $202 million in its Manufacturing Solutions group and has added over $813 million in revenues in the trailing four quarters due to new wins. In addition, the company announced that qualified manufacturing opportunities reached $3 billion revenue run rate in the quarter.

Moreover, as an engineering-focused EMS player, Plexus is well-positioned to benefit from the increasing outsourcing trend among healthcare, industrial and defense/aerospace OEMs; given its exposure to high-growth segments, streamlining of operations and strong cash flow generation abilities.

Furthermore, the consolidation of the company’s production facilities in low-cost areas is expected to boost margins, going forward. Additionally, a robust shareholder return policy continues to drive the stock.

Plexus Corp. Price and EPS Surprise

Plexus Corp. Price and EPS Surprise | Plexus Corp. Quote

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Plexus is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Plexus currently has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at 72 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Plexus carries a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we need to have a positive ESP to be confident about an earnings surprise.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some stocks you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:

Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. AAOI with an Earnings ESP of +6.09% and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

IPG Photonics Corporation IPGP with an Earnings ESP of +3.07% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Lam Research Corporation LRCX with an Earnings ESP of +1.33% and a Zacks Rank #1.

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