CHICAGO, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T's (NYSE: T), Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI) and Eaton Corporation (NYSE: ETN).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Apple Beats EPS by Almost 20%
Earnings homerun slugger Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) went yard once again when it announced earnings results for 2nd quarter 2011 Wednesday after the bell. Earnings of $6.40 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.35 by 19.6%. Quarterly revenues of $24.67 billion easily topped expectations of $23.1 billion.
The after-market cheered the results and sent AAPL shares up nearly $9 after the closing bell, for a gain of ovber 2.5%. This followed a more tempered 1.35% gain during normal trading hours today.
Sales of iPhones stood out -- 18.65 million phones were sold in the quarter, up from the 16.3 million expected. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) now offering iPhones has clearly been a positive, as was AT&T's (NYSE: T) report earlier that its iPhone business performed better than expected in the quarter.
Gross margins of 41.4% show continued strength -- the company's earlier warning about gross margin compression has yet to manifest. Macs sold totaled 3.67 million, which was in line with expectations, but iPad sales of 4.7 million was notably fewer than the 6 million anticipated.
Apple Inc's earnings beat is all the more impressive considering that there has been extensive upward pressure on earnings estimates over the past month. Thirteen analysts had upwardly revised AAPL estimates for the quarter in the past 30 days, pushing the EPS estimate from $5.25 at the start of the quarter to $5.35 before earnings were announced.
Even more impressive is that the 19.6% positive earnings surprise is actually lower than the surprise average over the preceding 4 quarters. In the year-ago quarter, Apple Inc. brought in $3.33 -- a 37% surprise over the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Year over year, Apple Inc's EPS has increased a stunning 82.73%.
Typically, Apple Inc. has followed up the big earnings and revenue beat with conservative guidance for the following quarter. The company now says it expects $5.03 per share in its fiscal 3rd quarter, where the Zacks Consensus Estimate was $5.25. But count on that $5.03 figure getting beaten soundly; few people look with dire concern at lowered guidance from Apple these days.
Hanesbrands Beats, Ups Guidance
Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI) reported its first quarter 2011 results on April 20, 2011. The company reported earnings of 49 cents which was 32% higher than 37 cents per share reported in the prior year quarter.
Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents by 48.5%. Profits were primarily impacted by acquisitions, organic growth and operational efficiency.
Following strong results in the quarter the company raised its full-year 2011 diluted EPS guidance to a range of $2.70 to $2.90, 10 cents up from the previous guidance of $2.60 to $2.80.
Revenues and Operating Profits
Total revenue for the quarter climbed 11.7% to $1,306.41 million from $927.84 million in the year-ago period. The growth in net sales was driven by strong performance of the acquired 'Gear For Sports' business, organic Outerwear segment growth and International growth.
The Outerwear segment's 'Gear For Sports' business, acquired in November 2010, added 5 percentage points to the company's 12% sales gain and contributed 3 cents of the 11 cents increase in EPS.
Hanes' expects net sales to remain in the range of $4.9 billion to $5 billion, with the low end of the range having increased from $4.85 billion. The company raised prices appropriately to deal with input-cost inflation, and expects leverage of scale and infrastructure to reap the benefits of increased sales and acquisitions. Hanesbrands delivered operating margin expansion of 60 basis points (bps) to 9.8% in the quarter.
Eaton Races Ahead of Estimates
Industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE: ETN) today released its first quarter 2011 earnings results, which grew 75% year over year, on a per share basis, mainly on a 14% end-market growth.
Eaton's operating earnings per share reached 84 cents in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 80 cents and exceeding the first quarter guidance range of $1.50 - $1.60. In the year-ago period, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company had earned 48 cents per share.
In the first quarter, Eaton earned net quarterly revenue of $3.8 billion, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.6 billion, up 23% from the year-ago comparable period. Revenue growth in the quarter stemmed mainly from a 19% rise in organic sales, 2% from acquisitions and 2% from higher foreign exchange rates.
During the quarter, Eaton witnessed robust sales growth across all its business segments, with Electrical Americas, Hydraulics and Truck markets growing more strongly than expected.
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