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Zoetis (ZTS) Warming Up to Q4 Earnings: What’s in Store?

Zacks

Zoetis Inc. ZTS is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2017 results on Feb 15 before the market opens.

Zoetis’ performance over the last four quarters has been mixed, with the company surpassing expectations thrice and meeting the same once. The average positive earnings surprise over the last four quarters is 4.51%. Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Zoetis’ share price movement year to date shows that the stock has outperformed the industry. The stock has moved up 27.8% as against the industry’s decline of 2.1% during this period.


Factors to Consider

Zoetis derives the majority of its revenues from a diversified product portfolio of medicines and vaccines used to treat and protect livestock and companion animals. The company continues to strengthen its diverse products portfolio through lifecycle innovations, strong customer relationships and access to new markets and technologies.

The company’s companion animal business has been performing well. Apoquel and other product launches continue to drive growth. The company expects to see stronger growth from its companion animal portfolio in 2017 driven by its dermatology portfolio, Apoquel and Cytopoint, further penetration of Simparica, and ongoing uptake of new vaccines. In December 2017, the company announced the launch of Vanguard CIV H3N2/H3N8, the latest vaccine in the company’s canine influenza virus (CIV) portfolio.

Concurrent with the third-quarter earnings call, Zoetis raised its 2017 outlook. The company expects earnings in the range of $2.34-$2.39 per share and revenues of $5.225-$5.275 billion. The improved outlook also hints at the possibility of better results in the fourth quarter.

Zoetis completed the acquisition of Nexvet Biopharma, an innovator in monoclonal antibody therapies for companion animals, in July, 2017. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Zoetis’ pipeline of solutions for chronic pain management in dogs and cats, which represents an area of high-need in companion animal health.

We expect management to throw more light on its acquisition strategy.

Zoetis is working on returning value to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends. The company also hiked its dividend by 20% in December 2017 which will be payable in March 2018.

What Our Model Indicates

Our proven model shows does not conclusively show an earnings beat for Zoetis 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) to be able to beat estimates. But that is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Earnings ESP is -0.82%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Zoetis currently has a Zacks Rank #2, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings beat.

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

Zoetis Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Zoetis Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Zoetis Inc. Quote

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some health care stocks that you may also want to consider, as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Alkermes ALKS is scheduled to release fourth-quarter results on Feb 21. The company has an Earnings ESP of +3.53% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Anthera Pharmaceuticals ANTH is expected to release fourth-quarter results on Feb 26. The company has an Earnings ESP of +20.47% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Exelixis EXEL, which is expected to release fourth-quarter results on Feb 26, has an Earnings ESP of +21.98% and a Zacks Rank #2.

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