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Trimble (TRMB) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y

Zacks

Trimble Inc. TRMB reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents. The figure increased 25.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Revenues increased 21% year over year to $708.4 million, which came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $672 million. Top-line growth was driven by strong performance of segments and improved end-market results in the agricultural sector.

Product revenues (65.9% of revenues) came in $466.7 million, up 24% on a year-over-year basis. Services revenues (18.3% of revenues) came in $129.8 million, up 14.6% year over year. Subscription revenues (15.8% of revenues) increased 16.9% to $111.9 million.

Notably, Trimble introduced GFX-750 display system for agricultural purpose in the reported quarter. Also, the company went for expansion of CenterPoint RTX Fast in North America and Europe.

Additionally, four new distributors were added to the Vantage network, which includes Vantage NSW, Vantage Northeast Australia, Vantage Canada West and Vantage Benelux.

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2017 at a Glance


In 2017, Trimble reported adjusted earnings of $1.48 per share. The figure increased 24.4%, compared with the year-ago figure.

Also, revenues for the consolidated year came in $2.65 billion that increased 12.4%, compared with 2016. Product portfolio expansion and strong acquisitions played a significant role in top line growth. Notably, e-Builder, which was acquired by Trimble, generated $53 million revenues in 2017.

Segments in Detail

Trimble operates in four organized segments: Buildings and Infrastructure, Geospatial, Resources and Utilities and Transportation segments.

Buildings and Infrastructure: This segment generated $209.6 million, accounting for 29.6% of the total revenues, which grew 18.0% on a year-over-year basis. This was driven by the growing building and civil engineering construction business. Further, acquisition of e-Builder accelerated the sales number by strengthening construction management solutions.

Geospatial: Revenues were $176.4 million, accounting for 24.9% of total revenues. The figure increased 11.2%, compared with the year-ago quarter. A strong performance of optical and G&S SaaS equipments in North American market drove revenues in this quarter. Increasing sales of industrial technologies to automotive companies and the launch of mechanical total station production line continued to benefit the company throughout the quarter.

Resources and Utilities: The segment generated revenues of $131.6 million, accounting for 18.6% of total revenues. The figure was up 37.9% on a year-over-year basis, out of which 23% was contributed by acquisitions.

Transportation: Revenues from this segment increased 24.1% to $190.8 million, accounting for 26.9% of total revenues. This quarter witnessed SaaS revenue growth and business synergies in Europe and India. Implementation of ELD regulations in North America also benefited the company’s business.

Operating Details

In the fourth quarter, gross margin came in 56%, which contracted 90 basis points (bps) year over year due to acquisition related expenses as well as unfavorable product mix (higher percentage of lower margin hardware sales).

Operating expenses were $270.4 million (38.2% of revenues), which went up 19.75%, compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating margin came to 17.8%, which contracted 50 bps on a year-over-year basis due to higher acquisition-related expenses.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

As of Dec 31, 2017, cash and cash equivalents were $358.5 million, compared with $409.2 million as of Sep 30, 2017. Inventories were $271.8 million, up 6.7% sequentially. Long-term debt was $785.5 million at the year–end, compared to $489.6 million at the end of 2016.

Cash flow from operations was $411.9 million against $310.0 million in the previous quarter.

In 2017, Trimble repurchased 7.4 million shares worth $288 million.

Guidance

For the first quarter 2018, Trimble expects adjusted earnings between 36 cents and 40 cents per share.

Revenues are expected within $700 million to $730 million with a year-over-year growth rate in a range of 14-19%. The outlook for first-quarter 2018 revenues consists of ASC 605 revenue recognition.

Operating margin for first-quarter 2018 is projected at 17.8%.

Management expects 2018 revenues to grow in the low to mid-teens range. The non-GAAP tax rate is predicted to fall to 20% from 23% in 2018.

Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider

Trimble carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Micron Technology MU, The Trade Desk TTD and Lam Research LRCX, all the three sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Micron Technology, Lam Research and The Trade Desk is projected at 10%, 14.9% and 25%, respectively.

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